Doll Farmhouse Bed

Submitted by Ana White on Tue, 11/16/2010 - 23:27
Starter Projects
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A doll bed modeled after our Farmhouse Beds, suitable for 18" dolls. This bed is slightly wider than traditional doll beds, to look more like our Farmhouse Beds.


The Ram called from work yesterday and the conversation went something like this:

"I can barely hear you." (Ram)

"Oh, I'm out in the garage." (Me)

"Are you building something?" (Ram)

"uh, yeah . . . me and Grace just built a Farmhouse Bed." (Me)

slight pause . . . "who is the bed for?" (Ram)

How we got to the point where building a bed is no longer a big deal, I'm not quite sure.  But the Ram was quite relieved when he came home and found out who the bed was for.

Grace's doll . . . that she might get for Christmas.

And then the Ram looked over my shoulder and chuckled . . . Hey!  That looks just like our bed!

But best of all, Grace (it's not a surprise when she helps build it) absolutely loves the bed.  Grace has never had much interest in toys, so we were quite surprised to see her making the bed, putting her dolls to bed, even trying to sleep in the bed herself.  She also helped me make all the bedding from the adorable vintage fabric that I found at a local fabric store. We just bought a little bundle of precut squares and sewed it all together - not perfect, but it was something that Grace and I could do together and appreciate.

I'm really enjoying my daughter being old enough to help and have an interest in crafts.  I hope you make this bed for your daughters for the Holidays.  But most of all, I hope you make the bed together - the memories and knowing what and how something is made is more valueable than the end result.  She'll outgrow the bed, but she will not forget the experience.

The main motivation for building this bed was from the frequent request from moms everywhere.  We all want the best for our children.  But also, the pile of scrap boards sitting on my saw stand just kept nagging at me . . . make me into a doll bed!

Dimensions are shown above.


Shopping List

2×2 (3 feet total)
2 – 1x3s (10 feet total)
1 – 1×2 (8 feet total)
scrap 1/4″ plywood (you could even use sturdy cardboard here)
1 1/4″ Screws
2″ Screws
Wood Glue

Cut List

5 – 1×3 @ 6″ (Headboard Panel)
5 – 1×3 @ 3″ (Footboard Panel)
2 – 2×2 @ 4 1/4″ (Footboard Legs)
2 – 2×2 @ 11″ (Headboard Legs)
2 – 1×2 @ 12 1/2″ (Bottom of Panels)
2 – 1×2 @ 15 1/2″ (Top of Panels)
2 – 1×3 @ 16 1/2″ (Top of Headboard and Footboard)
2 – 1×3 @ 19″ (Siderails)
2 – 1×2 @ 14″ (Bed Frame)

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Circular Saw
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set


Step 1


Line out your panel boards as shown above. Notice how I rested the panel boards on a piece of 3/8″ plywood?

Step 2

That’s so you can easily line up the panel bottom board on center. Mark and predrill holes with a countersink bit into the bottom panel boards.

Step 3

And screw the bottom panel boards to the panel, as shown above. Use glue and 1 1/4″ screws.

Step 4


Now attach the legs to the panel with 2″ screws and glue. Be careful to screw into the panel boards and the bottom.

Step 5

Step 6

Top of Headboard

Finally, screw the top of the headboard to the headboard, centering on the headboard. You only need 2 screws and glue here.

Step 7

See the size compared to the glue? It’s so cute!

Step 8


Now build the footboard just like the headboard.

Step 9

Here is both my footboard and headboard. I used scraps, and that’s why you see some pink paint on the legs. I’m not a big fan of waste.

Step 10


Now screw the siderails to the frame as shown above. If you have a daughter anything like mine, a third support should be placed in the center. Place more supports if you are using flimsy material (ie cardboard) for the top.

Step 11


Now simply predrill holes and screw the frame to the headboard and footboard.

Step 12


And just lay plywood on top.

Finishing Instructions
Finish Used
I filled all my holes with wood filler and let dry. Then I sanded with 120 grit sandpaper. Then I brushed on primer and two coats of Antique White by Valspar in Satin.


Tami (not verified)

Wed, 11/17/2010 - 10:47

Oh, I so need to work on figuring out bunk beds of this, my daughter has 2 dolls and has been living with 1 bed for the two of them for a while and really wants them to be bunks. I am thinking just doing a headboard on each end should give enough clearance for bunks.

Pam the Goatherd (not verified)

Wed, 11/17/2010 - 10:59

My daughter is a senior in college and would still be thrilled to get this bed for Christmas! Her grandpa, my father, built her a trunk for her American Girl doll several years ago, which is the only furniture she has for her doll. I'm looking forward to seeing some of the other things you are designing for those dolls. I may have Christmas presents for her covered for the next several years!

Theresa (not verified)

Wed, 11/17/2010 - 15:49

Ana , I think this is the best plan yet. Think of all the children that will get a wonderful new doll bed. My favorite treasure was a doll cabinet . It was a place to store my dolls and hang my doll clothes on hangers. I still remember how much I enjoyd it . I dont know what happened to it. Maybe I should make another.

Michelle (not verified)

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 13:42

Ana, I just finished building this bed, it is too cute for words! I didn't see how far up (from the bottom) to attach the frame, so I rested it (the frame) on top of a couple of 2X4 scraps, and tacked it in place with 2" nails. I then predrilled and screwed hands free, yippee!

I used scraps I had lying around, so mine needs some wood filler and sanding before I paint, but will be posting pics soon. Thanks again for more FAB plans, you're helping me fill my home with amazing, GORGEOUS, handmade furniture!

PRETTY PLEASE share your sheet/mattress/pillow/quilt patterns with us, my daughter is DYING to get her hands on this bed!!

Alissa (not verified)

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 14:59

Wow, Ana, just... wow. You've outdone yourself with this plan (and that's saying a lot because all your plans are amazing)! This doll bed is SO cute! My two-year-old would go nuts having a bed this beautiful to tuck her "babies" into at night. I think I know what Santa will leave her under the tree this year... ;)

Bethany (not verified)

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 16:28

When I was a little girl, I wanted a dollhouse SO BAD. We couldn't afford one, so I made one out of cardboard boxes. I even remember my mom taking me to get samples of wallpaper from the home improvement store for the walls. I played with that thing until it fell apart! I hope to have a daughter someday and it makes me feel so happy to know I can make things for her like this! This is sooooo adorable! :) Thank you for sharing. And Oh, P.S. I ADORE the quilt. You did a great job lining the squares up - that's no easy task for anyone without experience sewing!! Lol, or for me, and I've been sewing regularly since last Christmas!

Leigh (not verified)

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 17:14

I totally jumped the gun! I built a farmhouse bed on Tuesday for my daughter's doll. I just made it up as I went and used some scrap bead board. Yours is way cuter though. I think I'll make it too, paint them both, and let my daughter decide which one she wants to keep and which one she wants to gift to her cousin.