Custom Playhouse Bunkbed

Submitted by Abzman on Wed, 10/19/2011 - 16:28

I wanted to create something for my 2 girls (6 & 4) that would make both of them happy, fit in a small room, and get it done within 3 weeks while they were away on vacation. It was a surprise as neither the girls nor their mother had any idea what I was doing.
I copied the idea from others on this site but then modified it a bit to get what I wanted.
I still have more touches to complete.
I didn't finish the inside for the sake of time. I might wallpaper the inside or just paint it when time allows.

The top is a full size bed. The playhouse is enclosed with walls on all sides. There's a bed inside of the playhouse that's a Twin size with a simple stool to get on it (ran out of time - was going to create a 2 step drawer stairs).
The stairs are drawers and there's a "secret" opening under the bed going into the stairs where the girls can hide stuff.
Left the first step open in order to use for totes. My 4yr old currently fits in there and can get in and out of the playhouse through that opening. I might put a flap there.

I worked on this playhouse for about 200hrs which includes tons of visits to hardware stores, furniture stores, finishing, touches, etc. Worked in the garage and built it such that it can be disassembled and re-assembled easily.
Wanted to make it more fancy but ran out of time.
Made the stairs a separate piece on its own.
MADE MANY ERRORS but was able to correct almost all of them. Learned a lot from this project.
I didn't follow any particular plan except for the concept since my dimensions were different. I made the rails higher for added safety since my girls almost sleep walk!
Accommodating the Full size mattress made this project very challenging and more costly since I had to get a full sheet for each side - total 5 sides.

Detailed Pictures and Dimensions:…

Estimated Cost
$800 including mattresses & comforters
Estimated Time Investment
Week Long Project (20 Hours or More)
Finish Used
Base paint, Latex white & Latex colored
Paneling (optional)
Recommended Skill Level



Sun, 10/23/2011 - 08:03

Completely brilliant in so many ways. Way to go. What were their reactions? I imagine they are in heaven!


Thu, 12/01/2011 - 13:08

Sorry just saw the comments.

After some 30hrs of travelling by air and land, they arrived exhausted. When they saw this they all got charged up with energy. The girls loved it and it's now a toy & a bed. Their mom loved it and all the storage and began using it right away.
Slight problem is that the younger one wants to sleep in the top large bunk so we settled to having them swap in the weekends!
One nightmare is making the beds!

Dimika (not verified)

Wed, 12/07/2011 - 07:53

Abzman this is the most wonderful thing I have ever seen. At first I thought I was gonna read where you got this from but when I saw you made this I just had to tell you what a marvelous job you did. I really wish I could buy something like this for my own girls (4 and 3). Thanks for sharing


Wed, 12/07/2011 - 09:15

What a wonderful and generous surprise for you wife and daughters! I'm sure that was better than their vacation!

Guest (not verified)

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 19:23

Hi, I'm building for a full size mattress as well. It looks like you are using 1x4 for the slats. How are they holding up? Did you have to reinforce them because of the added width?

Also, how high and deep are the stairs?

BTW, everything looks great.

Thanks for the help.

In reply to by Guest (not verified)


Wed, 12/21/2011 - 22:10

I just finished documenting some of my dimensions and included them in the photo album linked below.
I did use 1x4's and picked the hardest and straightest I could find. I tested all of them first at HD!
They are holding up well. I used 12 total. They are all a tight fit and that was good enough support. I didn't use additional support and I know they will hold up well for a 100+ lbs person but I still have it planned to secure a few of the slats. I laid down on the top bunk and it felt sturdy.
Note that some might not agree with the height of my top bunk rails. They are at 4' even!
As for the stairs, I included the measurements in the pics. Hope this helps.
I will be covering the inside walls with colored carpeting! It will also act as a noise insulator so the kids won't wake up early AM from street noise.…


Fri, 07/06/2012 - 20:11

Do you have pics and dimensions for the drawers and how you installed them in the stairs?

In reply to by km621326


Fri, 07/06/2012 - 23:08

Give me your email address and I'll email you the pictures I have. I don't have dimensions but maybe the pictures can help. Since my staircase is removable I built the drawers outside of the bed then re-inserted the staircase. I did it the easy way using cleats and I installed felt padding under the drawers so they wouldn't scratch the steps.


Sat, 07/07/2012 - 10:15

Thank you! I'm planning on building the stairs separate as well. I've never built any with drawers in them before, and I can't find any plans for them. :-(

In reply to by km621326


Sat, 07/07/2012 - 13:32

I just realized a better solution, I've posted the pictures to Google Photos. Hopefully that would help.
Basically, I built the frame of the drawers and made the front fascia separate which I attached afterwords. It allows for error correction in case the drawer doesn't come out straight and also allows for adjustments and fine tuning.
Go here:…