Farmhouse Bed for American Girl or 18" Dolls

Submitted by Ana White on Fri, 12/04/2020 - 11:27
Difficulty
Starter Projects
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Build your own American Girl doll bed to match our Farmhouse Beds, suitable for 18" dolls. This bed is slightly wider than traditional doll beds, to look more like our Farmhouse Beds.  Free step by step plans from Ana-White.com

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american girl doll bed

Photo by CPEEPLES

American Girl doll beds can be so expensive!  Have you thought about building your own?  For about $10 you can DIY your own doll bed, and paint or stain it any color you like!

Here's a few DIY photos from our amazing readers:

american girl doll bed

Photo by LBROWN

american girl doll bed

Photo by KROCHELLE

This project has been a reader favorite for over a decade! It's such a fun and easy project with big results!

Our free plans make it simple!  

American Girl Doll Bed Tutorial

Dimensions
Farmhouse Doll Bed dimensions ana white plans
Dimensions are shown in diagram

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″ self tapping wood screws (SPAX brand or similar) OR brad nails (if you have a brad nailer)
  • 2″ self tapping wood screws (SPAX brand or similar) OR brad nails (if you have a brad nailer)
  • 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
Drill
Circular Saw
Power Sander

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

Attach top with the shorter screws or nails and glue.

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.

Comments

gcbcmama

Wed, 01/04/2012 - 07:55

I found your site today and first let me say I am amazed! You are very talented. My daughter wants a bed for her doll, so I'm going to give it a try. I must say, I am very nervous...I make a lot of crafts, but this would be taking it to the next level.

spiceylg

Wed, 01/04/2012 - 09:36

Don't be nervous gcbcmama. Like most that follow Ana's blog, I was a total beginner and have made several of these to sell. Her directions are broken down so they are really easy to follow. Welcome and happy building!

Carol Skippysmom (not verified)

Wed, 02/29/2012 - 09:59

The bed turned out as cute as the picture. BUT the horizontal piece that hangs over the bed on the footboard needs to be moved back (away from the bed) so there is a little more room for the doll's feet. There are barely 18" for the doll so it's a tight fit.

Xena (not verified)

Mon, 10/22/2012 - 17:54

This is sooooooo cool!!! I wanted to have a small dool bed for a very dear stuffed bear of mine since I could talk! Even though I'm a bit old for this I'm still going to try and make one, just incase I can let my future children have my dear stuffed bear. Thank you for posting this!!!

Jessie Murphy (not verified)

Mon, 12/03/2012 - 11:33

I saw somewhere that you used this same plan (or the regular farmhouse bed) and made a bunk bed for the dogs. Do you have this plan posted? I've been looking all over and am dying to make it for my two pups!

grampa george (not verified)

Mon, 12/10/2012 - 13:08

do not cut the two 14" 1x2's until the head & foot boards are completed. Not sure if anyone else had this problem, but after building the frame (step #10) i found the frame was a bit too big (by 3/8")-the frame extended past the head & foot boards. I cut 3/8" off of the 14" pieces & then completed the bed. Either my 1x3's or 2x2's were a bit wider, in any case i would leave the cutting of the 14" 1x2's til the end.
I finished the bed for my grandaughter (a christmas present!) and it is really beautiful. I used a nail gun so it was a very easy project; your directions are great--thank you.
George

ps-do you know where i can find plans for a tressel desk (something approx 24" by 48"

aj Freego

Tue, 07/30/2013 - 22:36

I am working on this doll bed . It is my second one and I love it and it helps me relax.
Keep up the good work

Big Al

momofour09

Fri, 08/16/2013 - 07:00

Sorry if this has been asked and answered. But, I was wondering what size countersink bit was used. I believe I have a 1/2" but I've never used it because it kind of scares me. Also, did you countersink all screws that would be visible? I made one last night but because I didn't have wood filler I just skipped the countersinking, but obviously it would be sturdier and more professional looking with it. I'm just curious b/c I have to make a few more within the next 2 weeks and would love to know before I begin.

Thanks in advance!
Plans are awesome and my girls loved it even with my mistakes :)