Farmhouse Bed for American Girl or 18" Dolls

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

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.


Q (not verified)

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 17:37

I am no expert, but have built a few things and since no one else has replied I will try to help since you're running out of time! Home Depot should cut those for you, especially if you find the right person and talk sweetly. Sometimes they charge but it will probably be worth it. As far as using nails and glue, screwing is much easier. You need a drill but you probably have one, if you have a husband or dad or brother or uncle. While you're at Home Depot ask them for a drill bit that will countersink screws. I would print your lists take them with you, when you get to Home Depot walk around a bit and find the person most likely to be the most helpful, hand them your print out and take as much help as they will give. Get an extra board or two to practice drilling a few holes and putting in screws. Then give it your best shot. You will also need sand paper and I've found it super helpful to sand before assembling, if you feel like investing in a hand sander they are also a lifesaver.

Greta (not verified)

Sun, 12/12/2010 - 17:44

My husband, son and my son's friend worked on making three of these today! My girlfriend had a teenage son so he was here helping to make one for his little sister and my husband and son were making them for my two younger daughters. My husband got them all together and is priming them tonight. I will likely paint them once tomorrow and again the next day. They are bigger than I pictured in my head but oh so cute! I plan on making sheets and pillows and a quilt for the beds for the girls too. I can't wait to see their faces Christmas morning! Thanks so much for doing this and sharing with the rest of us!

Did you happen to use 2" foam for the mattress? I am trying to figure out what I need for that. Thanks!

Natali (not verified)

Mon, 12/13/2010 - 17:55

Thank you so much for sharing! My daughter has had an AG Doll for a few years and we have never bought a bed (too pricey) so this year for Christmas she wants one and we were going to make one up. I LOVE this one and thanks for sharing the plans :) That will make it so much easier and it is DARLING!!

Sara (not verified)

Fri, 12/17/2010 - 18:49


I adore this bed and these plans! I built the toddler-sized bed for my little guy for Christmas and now built the doll-size for my daughter. Since she's getting an American Girl doll (18" tall) I made the bed longer (most AG beds are 22-24" long) and more narrow so it's "full" size dimensions by using 6 1x2s instead of 5 1x3s. Details and pics here:…

Best of all, I used 100% scraps - lumber, paint, fabric, everything! For a few hours of my time and ZERO dollars, my daughter will be very happy on Christmas morning thanks to you!

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