Farmhouse Bed for American Girl or 18" Dolls

Submitted by Ana White on Fri, 12/04/2020 - 11:27
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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

american girl doll bed


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


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

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


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)
Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Circular Saw
Power Sander


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.


Robin (not verified)

Wed, 11/17/2010 - 07:00

This is amazing, I was just trying to figure out how to make my own but this is SO SO much nicer. I think I'm going to make the legs a little taller so I can put a trundle underneath for her to have her doll friends sleep over. If I can do this maybe I'll try the Queen Farmhouse bed for me!!

Anna (not verified)

Wed, 11/17/2010 - 07:00

So adorable! After ordering $150 of American Girl doll clothing, I wasn't looking forward to shopping for beds for the little people! I will be making three of these for under our tree this year.

Thank you!

Vanessa (not verified)

Wed, 11/17/2010 - 07:49

My daughter will be getting her first American Girl doll for her birthday (from Grandma) and this will be the perfect thing to go with it! Thanks!

rachael (not verified)

Wed, 11/17/2010 - 07:58

Ana- This is SO cute! I love this, I also loved the readers comment about having my son help make it for his sisters, GREAT idea! I have a few questions, what did you use for the mattress? It looks like you made a sheet, did you make it like a pillow where you sewed three sides, added in the padding and sewed it closed, or did you sew it like an actual sheet that doesn't have a bottom? Would you mind adding measurements of the finished quilt and pad? I may have to start the quilt before I have the bed done to get it finished in time! Thanks for your site--it is AWESOME!!!

Ana White (not verified)

Wed, 11/17/2010 - 09:24

Kristal (and Marie) I actually used a leftover chair cushion pad cut down to size. It worked perfect, and the chair pads are 17 1/2" x 15", so I just cut the one side down an inch or two. The cheapest place to buy chair pads is walmart - about $5 each. Of course, you could simply sew a box cushion and stuff with foam as well.

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