Kid's Kit: Doll Bed

Submitted by Ana White on Thu, 12/13/2012 - 10:38
Starter Projects
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About Project

Make a kit for your kids to build their own doll bed! Free tutorial and video from

One Saturday on a building supply shopping trip for the Momplex, we noticed a different energy in the Home Depot. The store was abuzz with energy and laughter and little voices - like a busy playground on a sunny day.

My little girl grabbed my hand and said, Mom, let's go see what is going on! So we followed the happiest sound on earth to discover the Home Depot Kids Building workshop.

She does look good in orange, doesn't she?

They gave her a kit to make a Turkey Napkin Holder. 

The pieces were all cut out and she was given glue and a screw driver to assemble.  

Of course, Grace is no stranger to building.  But this was new to her - to have her own project, made easy for her to build all by herself.

Don't forget the glue!

Then she got to paint it how she wanted to.

And of course they had sticker too.

At the end, Home Depot gave her a little badge for her apron, and Grace was begging to come back for the next Home Depot Kids Workshop.  We certainly are going to try, but we live 100 miles from Home Depot, and can't always make the workshops, so I started thinking ... what if I made her some kits at home?  Kits that I could share with you for your kids too?

Grace's birthday is right around the corner, and I thought, maybe the birthday guests are old enough to make and paint their own doll bed at the birthday party?  So I designed this Kid's Doll Bed Kit (see plans below) out of 1x2s and 1x3s, the cheapest possible wood because when you multiply the kits by 10 things can add up fast! This kit cost about $2 for the bed, so you can afford to let her "make it her own" or a dozen kits for parties.  Or if you had multiple kids to buy for, or say you wanted to make up a bunch of kits for Christmas gifts.

We cut the pieces and opted to pre-assemble the kit to step 2 but if you have an older child, they may be able to build from the cut pieces.  

And then we decided to see if she could build it.  Here's what happened:

Yes!  She can and loved building the doll bed!

I do apologize for the poor light quality - we are just a week away from the darkest day of the year and it's pretty much dark or dusky all the time up here in Alaska.  Also, ignore my current project in the background there ... it's almost done!

So what do you think?  Should I put together more plans for kits that you could put together to inspire DIY in your kids?  I can just see a tool caddy kit under the tree with a drill!  

PS - This post is not affiliated with or sponsored by the Home Depot.  They looked at me like I was just another crazy mom taking zillions of pictures of her kid.  Which I am.

PSS - Want a tutorial on the doll quilt?  Let me know!

PS - Want to convert singles to a bunk?

Here's a quick tutorial on how to do that:

Or you could just make the legs twice as long for fixed bunks!

Dimensions shown above. Designed to fit American Girl or other 18" doll


Shopping List

12 feet lof 1x2 boards (the furring strips were used in this plan/video)
16" of 1x3 (can substitute 1x2s here)
8" 2" screws
Hot glue or 1 1/4" finish nails and glue

Cut List

4 - 1x2 @ 9 1/2"
2 - 1x3 @ 8" (can use 1x2s here)
2 - 1x2 @ 8"

2 - 1x2 @ 18 1/2"
2 - 1x2 @ 17 3/4"

1/4" plywood or sturdy cardboard for the mattress support

Cutting Instructions

Use a jigsaw to round the 1x3 top corners down if desired. I just grabbed a large jar and traced it as a pattern on the corners.

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

We went ahead and build the headboards first. You can screw or nail, or if you have a hot glue gun, that works really well too. Build two headboards.

Of course an easier way would be to just use a wider width board for the headboard (for example 1x8 or 1x6 - but this adds to the overall cost and I was trying to keep costs as low as possible).

Step 2

Now attach the bed base support to the siderails. Again, nails, screws or hotglue does the trick.

Step 3

You can let your kids then assemble the pieces. Then have them measure and cut from sturdy cardboard a platform for the mattress and place in the bed.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.