How to Build a Fort Bed

Submitted by Ana White on Thu, 05/06/2010 - 21:17
Difficulty
Intermediate
| Print this plan

A simple fort bed for creating an elevated children's sleeping space. Can be used upside down.




I have a present for you.  Mom to mom, think of it as a Mother's Day Present.  Because another amazing Mom gave it to me.

It's at the very bottom of this post.  And it looks like this:


And it WORKS!  That's right, we have a WORKING PRINT button!  I tested it out myself, and it is perfect! To find the print button, you must scroll to the very bottom of the plan, right above the comments.  You must be on the post page, and not the main page.  And no, it's not a third party software or anything like that, it is quite simply, a print button.

And please, don't thank me.  I can hack furniture, but hacking blogger, hmmmm . . . that takes someone Very Special.  Very Very Special.



Jessica from Very Baby was kind enough to give us all a working Print Button.  Despite running multiple businesses and being a Mom, Jessica took her time to figure out how to save us all some ink!  So if you have a second, you can drop over and visit Jessica at Very Baby


Those are cloth diapers.  I've never found myself (should I ever have a second child) looking forward to changing diapers, but these cloth diapers make me forget what diapering is really all about.  And here's the real kicker - Jessica sells the PATTERNS to make these diapers (and all the supplies).


Right down to the little tags marking the size and proudly displaying that your cloth diapers were home sewn.  I cannot think of a better (and more unique) baby shower gift!


Thanks for the Mother's Day present, Jessica.  I love it, probably not as much as I'm going to love my fingerpainted card Grace is "secretly" making me or the pancakes my husband will whip up (even if they are from a box), but the print button is definitely a day maker!

_____________________________________________________________


Oh, and one more suprise!  Yesterday I felt a little guilty putting up a teen loft bed and not a tot one too.  So Grace and I went "shopping" in Google Sketchup and came up with this . . .

And Grace (and my niece Hannah) called it a "fort bed"


Because they want to hang curtains up and make a fort.  Your creativity is your only limitation on this project.

Image from Ohdeedoh

This bed (purchased from IKEA) got the chalkboard treatment.  Love this idea!


Overall Dimensions are show above.  Click on READ MORE below.
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 This free furniture plan was brought to you by

mamachee

Thanks Mamachee!  Love your patterns!
__________________________________________________________________


Shopping List


1- 4x8 Sheet of 3/4" Particle Board
4 - 1x2 Boards, 8' Long
7 - 1x3 Boards, 8' Long
11 - 2x2 Boards, 8' Long
3" Screws
1 1/4" Screws
Wood Glue
Finishing Supplies

Tools


Saw
Measuring Tape
Square
Level
Drill or Screwgun with countersink bits

Cut List


1 - 3/4" Particle Board @ 39" x 11 1/2" (Open End Panel Board)
1 - 2/4" Particle Board @ 39" x 46" (Closed End Panel)
7 - 1x2 @ 39" (Panel Trim Pieces)
1 - 2x2 @ 39" (Bottom of Open Panel End)
4 - 2x2 @ 46" (Legs)
3 - 2x2 @ 16" (Ladder Rungs)
5 - 2x2 @ 75" (Side Panel Full Length Boards)
3 - 2x2 @ 57 1/2" (Ladder Panel Guardrail Boards)
14 - 1x3 @ 39" (Slats)


Overall Dimensions are shown above.  Composition is pine boards and 3/4" sheet goods, particle board would be inexpensive and effective for this application.

General Instructions


Cut all of our boards and finish individually.  You should assemble this bed in the room.  You can assemble the "panels" as shown in the steps in your garage and move into the room and then assemble the panels.  You should always work on a clean level surface and check for square after each step.  Be safe, have fun, use good boards, you know the drill.  Oh, and predrill your screw holes!


Step 1: Open End Panel { Part 1 }
Fasten with glue and screws the 1x2s to the particle board.  This can be a permanent joint.


Step 2: Open End Panel { Part 2 }
Fasten the legs and the bottom end panel piece to the legs as shown above.  Use 3" screws.  Predrill your screw holes.  Use glue, as this can also be a permanent joint.


Step 3: Closed End Panel { Part 1 }
Build your closed end just like your open end, first by gluing and screwing with 1 1/4" screws the trim boards to the particle board pieces.


Step 4: Closed End Panel { Part 2 }
Add the legs with 3" screws and glue.  Keep outside edges flush.


Step 5: Ladder Side Panel
Construct the ladder side panel as shown above, using glue and 3" screws.


Step 6: Back Rail Boards & Bottom
Using 3" screws, attach the back boards as shown above.


Step 7: Slats
With every plan, there is a tricky part.  And putting these slats on is going to be your tricky part.  OPTION #1: You could screw from the outsides of the sides of the bed into the ends of the slats, but then you have lots of screw heads showing.


OPTION #2 You could also glue and screw a 1x2 on edge to the rails.


OPTION #3 If you have a Kreg Jig, you could drill pocket holes and fasten to the rails in this manner


OPTION #4 If you've got teenagers using the bed, steel angle like this piece would both strengthen your rails and fasten your slats to your rails.  Simply screw with 1 1/4" screws to the inside of the rails and rest your slats on top.  From underneath, use a couple of screws to fasten your slats down.

Notes


To make your bed even stronger or to take an "wiggle" out, you can use Simpson Strong tie like the one below at the corners of the legs.

In return for providing you with free furniture plans, I request that you add comments on your building experience to assist other building the same projects. Photos of your work is greatly appreciated, please add to our flickr brag board group www.flickr.com/groups/knockoffwood .*** ***All rights reserved. Private use only. Plans from this page are not to be used for commercial purposes or republished without the express written consent of the publisher, Ana White, Knock-Off Wood*** ***While I do strive to produce accurate plans, I cannot guarantee each plan for accuracy. Not every plan that I post have I had the opportunity to build myself. Some plans have not been tested. It is recommended that you draw out the plans and have a clear understanding of how the project will fit together before beginning. I hope that if you do find a flaw in any plans, you will contact me immediately***

Dimensions
Overall Dimensions are shown above. Composition is pine boards and 3/4″ sheet goods, particle board would be inexpensive and effective for this application.

Preparation

Shopping List

1- 4×8 Sheet of 3/4″ Particle Board
4 – 1×2 Boards, 8′ Long
7 – 1×3 Boards, 8′ Long
11 – 2×2 Boards, 8′ Long
3″ Screws
1 1/4″ Screws
Wood Glue
Finishing Supplies

Common Materials
120 grit sandpaper
primer
wood conditioner
paint
paint brush
Cut List

1 – 3/4″ Particle Board @ 39″ x 11 1/2″ (Open End Panel Board)
1 – 2/4″ Particle Board @ 39″ x 46″ (Closed End Panel)
7 – 1×2 @ 39″ (Panel Trim Pieces)
1 – 2×2 @ 39″ (Bottom of Open Panel End)
4 – 2×2 @ 46″ (Legs)
3 – 2×2 @ 16″ (Ladder Rungs)
5 – 2×2 @ 75″ (Side Panel Full Length Boards)
3 – 2×2 @ 57 1/2″ (Ladder Panel Guardrail Boards)
14 – 1×3 @ 39″ (Slats)

Tools
Tape Measure
Speed Square
Pencil
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Drill
Circular Saw
Power Sander
General Instructions

Cut all of our boards and finish individually. You should assemble this bed in the room. You can assemble the “panels” as shown in the steps in your garage and move into the room and then assemble the panels. You should always work on a clean level surface and check for square after each step. Be safe, have fun, use good boards, you know the drill. Oh, and predrill your screw holes!

Instructions

Step 1

Open End Panel { Part 1 }
Fasten with glue and screws the 1x2s to the particle board. This can be a permanent joint.

Step 2

Open End Panel { Part 2 }
Fasten the legs and the bottom end panel piece to the legs as shown above. Use 3″ screws. Predrill your screw holes. Use glue, as this can also be a permanent joint

Step 3

Closed End Panel { Part 1 }
Build your closed end just like your open end, first by gluing and screwing with 1 1/4″ screws the trim boards to the particle board pieces.

Step 4

Closed End Panel { Part 2 }
Add the legs with 3″ screws and glue. Keep outside edges flush.

Step 5

Step 6

Back Rail Boards & Bottom
Using 3″ screws, attach the back boards as shown above.

Step 7

Slats
With every plan, there is a tricky part. And putting these slats on is going to be your tricky part. OPTION #1: You could screw from the outsides of the sides of the bed into the ends of the slats, but then you have lots of screw heads showin

Step 8

OPTION #2 You could also glue and screw a 1×2 on edge to the rails.

Step 9

OPTION #3 If you have a Kreg Jig™, you could drill pocket holes and fasten to the rails in this manner

Step 10

OPTION #4 If you’ve got teenagers using the bed, steel angle like this piece would both strengthen your rails and fasten your slats to your rails. Simply screw with 1 1/4″ screws to the inside of the rails and rest your slats on top. From underneath, use a couple of screws to fasten your slats down.

Step 11

Notes
To make your bed even stronger or to take an “wiggle” out, you can use Simpson Strong tie like the one below at the corners of the legs.

Help Improve This Plan

We apologize if there was an error in this plan. Please help us out and report any errors here.

Comments

Jennifer (not verified)

Thu, 05/06/2010 - 22:18

So excited!! I'd been hoping for more bed plans. We'll be making the fort bed and loft bed as soon as we move into our new house!
Thanks for cranking out such great plans!!!

Chris' Books (not verified)

Thu, 05/06/2010 - 23:48

Ok, this may be a dumb question, but how would you completely assemble the bed then get it through a 36" door?

Melissa (not verified)

Fri, 05/07/2010 - 02:23

First I just have to say THANK YOU! This is the type of bed I know my son will want within the next year. :-)

Ok, I'm sure if I keep looking (ie staring) at the dimensions I'll see the answer, but I seem to be missing it. How deep is the mattress area on this bed? I looked at this bed at Ikea, but didn't like that I couldn't use a traditional mattress on it (could only be like 5" thick for safety reason?). Is that the case here? If so, I'll need to figure out how to make the bed just a little bit taller to accommodate a "traditional" twin mattress.

Many thanks!!!

Guest (not verified)

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 22:05

Hello,

we have the extact bed from ikea, and it holds a tradition twin mattress, and still leaves a good amount of space to avoid rolling out. You could even use a pillow top mattress if the child was a bit older and wasnt worried about rolling out.

(I worried the same thing)

Tanja (not verified)

Fri, 05/07/2010 - 02:26

We have just purchased it this past weekend!!!!! I've been keeping my eye on all of your bunk beds thinking "she won't do one like this" - AND YOU DID!!! We have 3 little ones (3,4,and 5) and they LOOOOOVE this type of bed!!!

Jensen Clan (not verified)

Fri, 05/07/2010 - 02:47

Thank you for empowering women and people to build their own furniture! I love your website! I have been coveting this bed from IKEA for years and was thrilled to see these new plans. I was wondering if you could post how to build this bed with the option to take it apart? We are a military family that moves frequently which limits building this bed.

Jen (not verified)

Fri, 05/07/2010 - 03:42

I love this bed! I bought one about a year ago, but luckily it was off of craigslist and I didn't pay full price. I got a good deal! but thanks so much for the plans...we have a lot of kids, so I'm sure in the next couple of years I'll need another one!

Robyn Fish (not verified)

Fri, 05/07/2010 - 04:37

We bought this bed from IKEA, too. Had to build it anyway. lol. It was $200 before the mattress, we assembled it IN the room so as not to worry about doors. It fits a regular mattress (though we bought the $60/ 3 part mattress from IKEA).

Out of curiosity, anybody price this one out yet?

Bizzzy-Mommy's… (not verified)

Fri, 05/07/2010 - 04:54

@ Chris' Books, The directions say to assemble "panels" in garage then assemble panels in room. :)
was wondering the same thing until I read through the plans!!

Bizzzy-Mommy's… (not verified)

Fri, 05/07/2010 - 04:57

oops...the bed should be built in room with the panels that you have already built in the garage. I hope that makes sense, it made sense to me once I read it in the plans.