My eldest daughter contact me to show me the standard doll bunk bed on this site. I decided then that I was going to build one for Christmas for my 6 year old, since she loves to play with her American GIrl dolls. Before I got to it, she ended up drawing a name for Secret Santa gifts with her gymnastics team. I got the idea to build my first bed for the girl who's name she drew, therefore, I'd learn what to and not to do first, since I'll be building my daughters in Oak and not the pine that I would build this one out of. I talked with her mother to see if she played with dolls and she confirmed that she had 3 American Girl dolls that she adores.
You'll also notice that we added another level, since she has three dolls, and you can't leave on without a place to sleep. It was quite easy to add the extra level by measuring the distance between the first and second and then adding that onto to second. In the pictures you can see that I added metal feet to each leg, and that made the bottom of the ladder sit a little above the floor by that same distance. I think that I'll start the ladder on my next one at the bottom rung of the lower bed, and not leave that piece at the bottom.
Needless to say, the little girl was beside herself when she opened the wrapping paper. My daughter learned a lesson on how much more fun it is to give, especially after all of the work, than to receive. Before the party, all she could do was say, "I can't wait to see her face when she opens this." I asked her about it when she came home today, and she said that she must have thanked her a hundred times throughout the night, as it was a sleepover at the gym.
I wish that I had taken pictures along the way, but I didn't. I will however, when I build the next one for my daughter.
It cost me just over $20 to build. I needed 7 - 8' 1x2's. I used a nice piece of cardboard for the floor of each bed. I found it at Sam's club while shopping. They had it between something that was stacked on a pallet, and whatever it was was gone. I asked the manager if I could have it and he was happy to be rid of it. It's not your standard cardboard, but has a double wall. At a width of just over 9", it's very sturdy and especially cheap. The feet were bought at Walmart for $1.57. I glued each connection, even though they were held together by pocket hole screws. With one pocket hole screw per piece, it had the ability to swivel on that screw. I learned that Kreg, the maker of the pocket hole jig has come up with a mini jig, which allows double pocket holes to be drilled into a piece of wood just 1" wide. I asked and received one for Christmas. My daughters will feature the new holes and therefore, I won't be glueing it.
Hope you have as much fun building it as I did with my daughter.