Farmhouse Bed for American Girl or 18" Dolls

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

Brooke (not verified)

Mon, 11/22/2010 - 07:38

I swear I posted the other day but I looked today to see if there was a reply and my comment is no where to be found. So, I'll post again! I was just saying I LOVE THIS BED!!! I am getting my daughter her first AG doll for Christmas and have to make this bed. I have never done anything like this before and don't have the saws or countersinking tools and so I was wondering if I could use nails and glue and would it work as well? Also, would Home Depot do all those cuts for me? Thanks in advance!

jennie (not verified)

Mon, 11/22/2010 - 08:43

um wow!
My girls have American Girl Dolls, and our oldest has her dolls bed. But the younger needs a bed for her doll, but I cannot get over the $118 pricetage. OUCH!
I think we are going to give this a go! Thanks so much for posting!!

Shannon (not verified)

Mon, 11/22/2010 - 10:47

quick question. on the "shopping list" for the farmhouse doll bed it says you need 2- 1x3s at 10' tall - which would be 120" each right? because when i add up the total 1x3s that you use I only got 116", so would you be ok only getting 1 @ 10'tall?? sorry for the random question. i want to make a few of these and don't want to go overboard buying wood.

April (not verified)

Mon, 11/22/2010 - 12:40

I'm so excited about these plans! My three year old will be getting two for her new dolls this Christmas! My Dad is going to make the beds and my Mom and I will be making the bedding. She's getting two of the Target version of the AG dolls since they are far above what I can pay for a doll.

Thank you so much!

Ana White (not verified)

Mon, 11/22/2010 - 22:34

Shannon, I believe you are correct. I would go for 2 - 8' 1x3 pine boards - should be about $1.50. That way you can cut any knots or cracks out and use the good parts. Ask away, I try really hard to answer as many questions as possible, but when I can't, there are so many good smart people that chime in too!

Randi (not verified)

Tue, 11/23/2010 - 05:08

I'm so excited to have found this! My daughter is getting a Farmhouse Bed for Christmas and an American Girl Doll. Looks like she's getting a matching doll bed! Thanks so much Ana! I will make sure to post some pics after Christmas!

Brooke (not verified)

Tue, 11/23/2010 - 11:55

I swear I posted the other day but I looked today to see if there was a reply and my comment is no where to be found. So, I’ll post again! I was just saying I LOVE THIS BED!!! I am getting my daughter her first AG doll for Christmas and have to make this bed. I have never done anything like this before and don’t have the saws or countersinking tools and so I was wondering if I could use nails and glue and would it work as well? Also, would Home Depot do all those cuts for me? Thanks in advance!

Ana White (not verified)

Tue, 11/23/2010 - 14:54

Brooke, thanks for checking back, and I'm so sorry if your comment got spammed . . . we get thousands (4261 this month to be exact) of spam comments, and it's unfortunate that well meaning people like yourself get grouped in. One of the issues with using nails is the boards might split on you as you nail. If you choose an extra fine trim or finish nail and glue, the bed should hold together, but be very careful when nailing to avoid splitting boards. And depending on your local home improvement store, they may cut boards for you. I would call ahead and ask first. Make sure you read this post, Christine got all the lumber for under $6 and blogged the receipt!

Chiniot Furniture (not verified)

Tue, 11/23/2010 - 22:17

Thanks for sharing such information just have a look at chiniot furniture and you can found much more as we are only doing the local marketing but want to export some for like your company so please read this comment so we can have some more business

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