Charlie's Big Kid Bed

We needed to transition our son out of his crib-turned-toddler-bed to free up the crib for the next spawn, arriving in November. We wanted something we could sit or lie on with him for the reading of bedtime stories, which ruled out most toddler beds and the inexpensive twin size beds. The choice was clear between spending $1000 on some out-of-the-box bed from a furniture store, using a mattress-and-springs-on-metal-frame from the mattress store (which lacks any sort of organized storage potential) or building our own awesome storage-friendly bed that will hopefully last until the kiddo graduates high school and gets his own place.  I love this plan because of the ample storage it provides between the under-the-bed cubbies, the cubbies on the "walled-in" side of the bed that can be used for off-season clothes and less-frequently-used items, even the space between the cubbies only accessible by sliding the mattress off and popping out the slats.  Also, my child is doomed to need glasses at some point in his life, so the headboard with space to stow the glasses, an alarm clock, a glass of water, a couple books ... this plan was perfect for what we needed and what we wanted. And custom-made by dad? Painted Elmo-red (the current obsession) by 7-months-pregnant mom? What could be better?  We are thrilled by the bed and are already planning the expansion we'll do (create a bunk? Just build a matching bed?) in a few years when the new little brother has outgrown the crib.  

We opted to skip pretty much all the hardware on this bed and, with the help of a few nails inserted via nail gun, put the bed together with copious amounts of wood glue and clamps. This bed is NEVER wiggling apart, no matter how much the kid jumps on it.  The exception is the binding of the headboard and footboard to the base itself -- this is done with cleverly placed screws so that the bed can be disassembled if it ever needs to be moved.  The project would've been a weekend project from shopping through painting except that we had to wait hours for glue to dry in between steps. As a result, it monopolized our garage for about a week.  

Estimated Cost
We had to buy quite a few tools, so our Home Depot trip for this project was pretty pricy! I believe we spent about $200 on lumber. We bought two quarts of BIN shellac primer but used brushes/rollers we had on hand and a half gallon of Elmo-red paint left from another project.
Estimated Time Investment
Week Long Project (20 Hours or More)
Finish Used
Shellac primer + satin-finish interior paint
Recommended Skill Level