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

Jen (not verified)

Wed, 12/29/2010 - 11:41

I used left over 2" foam from a head board I made for my kids. It was a little tight though. I glued it to the plywood and stapled the fabric around it.

Audrey (not verified)

Wed, 12/29/2010 - 18:16

A friend of mine asked me if I could make bunk beds for her daughter's American Girl dolls. I had just seen these plans and LOVED them so this is what I came up with. Thank you for these plans!

100_9031

atlgeorgiegirl.net (not verified)

Sat, 01/01/2011 - 10:37

I was so thrilled to come across your website when looking for plans to make a doll bed for my 6 year old. She received her first AG doll on her 6th birthday in October and wanted a bed for Lanie. When saw the prices for AG beds I was FLOORED! I have never done ANY wood working, but deided that the cost of those beds made it a necessity. The pans and instructions were so user friendly and made the process very enjoyable. The bed turned out AMAZING! have been asked by friends and famly to make beds for their girls. I am hooked. I am trying to decide which Ana White to do next!!!

Jennifer (not verified)

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 08:24

Thank you so much for these plans!!! My father in law mentioned he was making a doll bed for my niece's American Girl doll for Christmas. I asked if he had any plans and he said no, he was just winging it. A day or two later, I came across this post in my Google Reader and immediately sent it to him. He called to say he LOVED it and had scrapped what he had already started in favor of this one. In fact, he had already gone out and bought the wood for it. He put it together and finished it in no time at all and it was just lovely when it was done. He even personalized it by signing and dating it on the bottom of the bed. My 8 year old niece was absolutely over the moon - thank you so much for posting this!!!

LuLu (not verified)

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 11:06

Hi Ana,
I have followed your blog for a very long time. I just completed my first project though. I'm thrilled with how it turned out! Thank you so much for the doll plans. I would love to outfit my whole doll house with your cute designs. <a href="Photobucket"><img src="Photobucket" width="100%" />Photobucket

Heather (not verified)

Sat, 01/08/2011 - 18:25

I made this for my daughter for Christmas....but she has 2 dolls & I wasn't up for making 2 beds. I just separated the slats & extended some measurements, and was able to make a "kig size" bed for her AG dolls! The bedding was a valance that came with my daugters bedding (that I hated...but perfect for the comforter)...and the pillows are made out of scrap fabric from decor in her room!

ag bed

Ali Smith (not verified)

Sat, 01/22/2011 - 05:58

What would you use as a mattress that would be flat looking like you have? I have never made anything like this and am so excited to try! :)

Amme (not verified)

Sun, 01/23/2011 - 03:56

Ali-I used a blue camping pad from Wal-mart because I was making 4 so needed to be very cost efficient. It is pretty thin, probably only a half inch or so. But, I got enough for 5 mattresses out of one camping pad for 5 bucks. You could also use a kitchen chair pad. Just cut them to fit and cover and you are set.