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

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.

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