Little Cottage Loft Bed

Submitted by Ana White on Mon, 04/11/2011 - 22:51
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A totally buildable playhouse loft bed that can be easily assembled in rooms.  Features cottage styling, open ladder, full railings, three large windows and a doorway. Freestanding.

I drew this plan up a few months back, but I just felt it unfair to post yet another girly bed. But after seeing Jeff's Amazing Firetruck Bed . . . it now only seems fair to post this bed!

Fits twin sized mattress


Shopping List

10 - 1x2 @ 8 feet long

7 - 2x2 @ 8 feet long
11 - 1x6 @ 8 feet long
11 - 1x3 @ 8 feet long
2 - 1x4 @ 8 feet long
Slats or Bunkie Board
Common Materials
2 inch screws
2 1/2 inch screws
3/4 inch finish nails
1 1/4 inch finish nails
120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
paint brush
Cut List

50 - 1x2 @ 15" (Rails)

1 - 2x2 @ 21" (Ladder Side, Top)
10 - 1x6 @ 21" (Ladder Side, Planks)
9 - 1x3 @ 71 1/4" (Legs)
1 - 1x6 @ 15 3/4" (Ladder Top)
4 - 1x3 @ 15 3/4" (Ladder Rungs)
2 - 1x2 @ 21" (Ladder Side Trim)
1 - 2x2 @ 37 1/2" (Window Side Top)
5 - 1x6 @ 37 1/2" (Window Side Planks)
4 - 1x6 @ 27 1/4" (Window Side Vertical Planks)
6 - 1x4 @ 27 1/4" (Window Trim)
1 - 1x3 @ 18 1/2" (Window Side Top Trim)
1 - 1x4 @ 18 1/2" (Window Side Bottom Trim, ends tapered in)
2 - 1x2 @ 37 1/2" (Window Side Trim)
2 - 2x2 @ 75" (Long Railing Tops)
4 - 1x3 @ 16 1/2" (Long Railing Ends)
3 - 1x6 @ 80" (Long Rail Bottoms/Bottom Support)
2 - 1x3 @ 43 3/4" (Back Spacers)
2 - 1x3 @ 27 1/4" (Front Window Spacers)
8 - 1x6 @ 28" (Front Planks)
1 - 2x2 @ 24" (Doorway top)
2 - 2x2 @ 47 3/4" (Doorway Sides)
2 - 1x2 @ 40 3/8" (Both ends cut at 20 degrees off square, ends parallel)
1 - 1x2 @ 78" (Gable End Trim)
1 - 1/8" Paneling to fit Gable end 
2 - 1x3 @ 17 1/4" (Front Window Top Trim)
2 - 1x4 @ 17 1/4" (Front Window Bottom Trim, Ends Tapered)
2 - 1x2 @ 25 1/2" (Front Wall Trim)
2 - 2x2 @ 75" (Cleats)
Slats for the mattress or bunkie board
Cutting Instructions

For a project of this size, it is always a good idea to cut as you go. It is also a good idea to grab a few extra boards in each size.

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
Brad Nailer
Power Sander
Staple Gun
Drill Bit Set
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

This is for the ladder side. The top is a 2x2, and the bottom is a 1x6. Mark out all the rail spacings as shown above and predrill holes with a Kreg Jig™ set for 3/4" stock. Fasten the rails to the top and bottom, keeping the back side flush.

Try placing a 3/4" thick board under the rails to bring them up to flush with the 2x2 as you fasten. Little tricks like this can save you a ton of time.

Step 2

With your ladder side rails done, attach the legs and the 1x6s with pocket holes as shown above. Remember that all boards on the back side are flush. Use glue and 1 1/4" pocket hole screws.

Step 3

Now it's time to start constructing the ladder. Attach the ladder top trim and the remaining leg as shown above.

Step 4

And now the ladder rungs.

Depending on the quality of your 1x6s, you may wish to add a pocket hole screw in the center of each 1x6, joining 1x6s to each other.

Step 5

Step 6

Now build the window side railing as shown above, in the same manner as the ladder side.

Step 7

And add the legs and the horizontal panel boards.

Step 8

Now measure and cut the vertical panel boards as shown above. Fasten in place. From the leg, attach the panel board with 1 1/4" finish nails and glue.

Step 9

Some window trim. Attach with 1 1/4" finish nails and glue.

Step 10

You don't have to do the trim in this manner - use your imagination and be creative! Attach with 1 1/4" finish nails and glue.

Step 11

A little trim will finish up the window side of the bed.

Step 12

You will need to build two of these, one for the front, and one for the back.

Step 13

To both of these railings, attach legs as shown here.

Step 14

To the back panel, attach a base support as shown above.

Step 15

And now fill in the legs as shown above. Use 1 1/4" finish nails and glue. This completes the back panel.

Step 16

On the remaining panel attach boards with 1 1/4" finish nails and glue. Use pocket holes to attach the door trim in place as shown above.

Step 17

Now add in the vertical panels as shown above. You may need to cut these to fit.

Step 18

Use your Kreg Jig to build a triangular frame as shown above. Then tack 1/8" beadboard paneling to the back with 3/4" finish nails or brad nails and glue. Then attach the gable end piece to the front of the bed with 1 1/4" finish nails and glue as shown above.

Step 19

Time for window trim. Same as the side window, use 1 1/4" finish nails and glue.

Step 20

This bed is easy to assemble in the room. Simply move all four panels into the room, and screw the walls together as shown above.

Step 21

Attach cleats to the inside of the bed as shown above with 2" screws and glue, every 6-8".

Step 22

Finally, lay slats across the cleats as recommended by your mattress, or use a bunkie board. If you use cleats, screw your cleats down with 2" screws.

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.



Tue, 04/12/2011 - 07:33

Hmm. I love this...But could you do it with the storage stairs?? My next project was going to bed the "girlie" loft beft with storage stairs, Also contemplating a full, which I have dimensions for. Cant wait to post my pictures for my Fancy Farmhouse bed....With a matching footboard in a King!!!!! Loving it so far!  Just trying to figure out what kind of sealer(minwax) to do, its white and I dont want the yellowish tones, that I hear some of them can leave... Thank you so much for such a great site!! =)


Tue, 04/12/2011 - 08:19

Acrylic sealers dry clear.  I think the Minwax version is named Polycrylic, but in general you just need to look for a water-based polyurethane.  There are plenty of sources if you're willing to look.  If there's a Woodcraft store in your area, they'll carry the products from General Finishes.

Guest (not verified)

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 09:41

Thank you sooo much! Thats what I was thinking about using, thanks for clarifying that it will dry clear. Wouldnt want all of my hard finishing work to go to waste on the final step. =)


Fri, 04/15/2011 - 07:47

I have a few questions. I was told to sand inbetween paint coats with 220 grit(very fine) sandpaper. I did this to what I thought was my "final coat" of semi gloss paint in antique white on My fancy farmhouse bed. It seems as if its now discolored and you can tell where it was sanded. Is this normal, or should i apply another coat of paint and not sand.

2nd..Once i figure this out im ready for the polycrylic(minwax)..That also says sand between coats. Will the minwax hide the discoloration of the proir sanding with out re-painting? And should I sand between coats of the minwax? Also it says use a brush to apply but at lowes they told me to use the foam brush to avoid brush marks. I have the foam brushes but again this goes against the directions of the minwax.


PLEASE help...Im so anxious to get this project wrapped. =)


Tue, 04/12/2011 - 07:41

I agree with CindyLynn.  Would it be possible to add on the storage stairs to this one?

Tsu Dho Nimh

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 07:58

Just change the marketing approach and you can make it anything you want:

Paint it brown and dark green and it's a Forest Service cabin.
Do some faux logs running sideways and it's a pioneer log cabin or Shrek's house in the swamp.
Do the faux logs running vertically and it's a frontier stockade.
Paint it gray fake stone block and put bars in the windows, it's the sheriff's office and jail.

Marci (not verified)

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 08:59

So I have this...well almost this, in my garage being painted as we speak! LOVED the Cottage style of the bed out of the catalog, and decided it reallly couldn't be that hard to replicate. I used the picture in the catalog, a couple of Ana's diagrams for the stairs, and a TON of imagination....I will post pictures and such when it's painted completely to show it toddler moved into it when it only had 2 walls and I had to pry her out of it to take it out to paint. 

Allison (not verified)

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 10:24

Hi Ana,

Just curious if this plan is the one you were mentioning in the cabin bunk system comments? Or is there an actual girly bunk bed plan coming our way??  :)


Tue, 04/12/2011 - 11:07

Is the assumption for this, and any of Ana's AWESOME beds that a box spring WOULD or WOULD NOT be used?  Seriously thinking about this one, only 10" shorter, since we have a VERY tiny room with ceiling fans for twin four yr olds.  Love Tsu's ideas that it's all in the marketing.  I think we will have to do some serious compromising on colors, even though we have 2 girls!