Doll Farmhouse Bed

Submitted by Ana White on Tue, 11/16/2010 - 23:27
Difficulty
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.

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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
Dimensions are shown above.

Preparation

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)

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

Instructions

Step 1

Panel

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

Legs

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

Footboard

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

Frame

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

Assembly

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

Step 12

Platform

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.
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Comments

Jen (not verified)

Wed, 12/29/2010 - 11:41

I used left over 2" foam from a head board I made for my kids. It was a little tight though. I glued it to the plywood and stapled the fabric around it.

Audrey (not verified)

Wed, 12/29/2010 - 18:16

A friend of mine asked me if I could make bunk beds for her daughter's American Girl dolls. I had just seen these plans and LOVED them so this is what I came up with. Thank you for these plans!

100_9031

atlgeorgiegirl.net (not verified)

Sat, 01/01/2011 - 10:37

I was so thrilled to come across your website when looking for plans to make a doll bed for my 6 year old. She received her first AG doll on her 6th birthday in October and wanted a bed for Lanie. When saw the prices for AG beds I was FLOORED! I have never done ANY wood working, but deided that the cost of those beds made it a necessity. The pans and instructions were so user friendly and made the process very enjoyable. The bed turned out AMAZING! have been asked by friends and famly to make beds for their girls. I am hooked. I am trying to decide which Ana White to do next!!!

Jennifer (not verified)

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 08:24

Thank you so much for these plans!!! My father in law mentioned he was making a doll bed for my niece's American Girl doll for Christmas. I asked if he had any plans and he said no, he was just winging it. A day or two later, I came across this post in my Google Reader and immediately sent it to him. He called to say he LOVED it and had scrapped what he had already started in favor of this one. In fact, he had already gone out and bought the wood for it. He put it together and finished it in no time at all and it was just lovely when it was done. He even personalized it by signing and dating it on the bottom of the bed. My 8 year old niece was absolutely over the moon - thank you so much for posting this!!!

LuLu (not verified)

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 11:06

Hi Ana,
I have followed your blog for a very long time. I just completed my first project though. I'm thrilled with how it turned out! Thank you so much for the doll plans. I would love to outfit my whole doll house with your cute designs. <a href="Photobucket"><img src="Photobucket" width="100%" />Photobucket

Heather (not verified)

Sat, 01/08/2011 - 18:25

I made this for my daughter for Christmas....but she has 2 dolls & I wasn't up for making 2 beds. I just separated the slats & extended some measurements, and was able to make a "kig size" bed for her AG dolls! The bedding was a valance that came with my daugters bedding (that I hated...but perfect for the comforter)...and the pillows are made out of scrap fabric from decor in her room!

ag bed

Ali Smith (not verified)

Sat, 01/22/2011 - 05:58

What would you use as a mattress that would be flat looking like you have? I have never made anything like this and am so excited to try! :)

Amme (not verified)

Sun, 01/23/2011 - 03:56

Ali-I used a blue camping pad from Wal-mart because I was making 4 so needed to be very cost efficient. It is pretty thin, probably only a half inch or so. But, I got enough for 5 mattresses out of one camping pad for 5 bucks. You could also use a kitchen chair pad. Just cut them to fit and cover and you are set.