Loft bed for american girl or 18" doll

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Here are the plans for the Loft bed for 18" dolls. This is my first time to share plans. I hope I don't confuse any of you ;) If you would like the plans for the chair, they are now posted on my blog.

I saw the bed on the American Girl website. It is $225 and back ordered until after Christmas! This version can be built for free with scraps, or under $20 if you decide to use new boards.


Common Materials
3 inch screws
1 1/4 inch finish nails
120 grit sandpaper
paint brush
Cut List

4-2x2 @ 22 ½” (legs)
1-1x10 @ 22 ½” (ladder wall)
1-1x4 @ 9 ¼” (foot board cut to the same width as 1x10)
2-1x4 @ 19” (side rails)
3-1x2 @9 ¼” (cross slats for mattress)
3- 1x4 @ 3 ½” (bench sides and divider)
5-1x1 @ 4” (steps for ladder)
¼” plywood scrap cut to fit back desk wall
1-1x10 @ 7” (desk top) cut at 30 degrees (pic explanation below)

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Miter Saw
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

Attach two of the legs to the 1x4 foot board. You can either use pocket holes or pre drill and use 3” screws through the outside of the legs.

Step 2

Attach the other two legs to the solid
Ladder wall. If using ph, make sure you drill the holes where your shelves and bench will go. This way they can be hidden.

Step 3

Attach the side rails to the legs on either side.

Step 4

Cut your desk top. For this step, take the 1x10 that you cut for your desk top and measure 1 3/4" on the long side (this will be the same measurement as the width of your 2x2 leg) Draw an angle from this mark to the opposite corner on the short side. I know this is confusing, so I included a photo of it.

Step 5

Step 6

Measure from the base of the back rail to the bottom of the leg. Cut a 2x2 to fit. I attached mine with ph from the top rail into the leg, and then from the under side of the desk.

Step 7

Using glue and nails or hot glue, attach your steps to the ladder wall. I used a 1x4, between the steps, for a spacer.
I also mod podged a piece of fabric to a scrap piece of ¼” plywood for the back of the coat hanger. Then, I took 3 small cup hooks and attached them to it.

Step 8

Then, attach your shelves to the inside of the ladder wall. Put your bench together with nails and glue and attach it to the ladder wall with ph screws from the top of the bench. Then, nail your slats to the side rails and cut a piece of 1/4" plywood or strong cardboard to fit under the mattress .Take the scrap plywood you cut for the desk wall and attach it to the back legs with glue and nails. I also cut a scrap piece of plywood and glued a piece of foam to it. Then, I covered it with fabric and some yarn to create a bulletin board for the desk.

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.



Sat, 11/10/2012 - 06:48

Thanks so much for the plans! I'm planning on making this for my niece! Is there any way you could post plans or just dimensions for the chair? Thanks!

Anonymous Coward (not verified)

Thu, 11/15/2012 - 13:50

The text says 1 1/4 and the drawing shows 1 3/4

Which is it. or should it be "whatever matches the width of the 2x2 leg? (because we all know it is not 2")

In reply to by Anonymous Coward (not verified)

little stuf

Sun, 11/18/2012 - 11:41

Thanks for catching that! Yes, it should be the same dimension as the width of your 2x2 leg. I fixed it on the plans.


Thu, 11/29/2012 - 15:27

I am not able to find the blog that has the chair plans. I am building the American Doll loft Bed for my grand daughter for Christmas. Please help me find the Bolg site or e-mail the chair plans to me. Any help would be appreciated.

Jeff Parlee (not verified)

Tue, 12/04/2012 - 14:51

Hi Andrea,
Thank you for the help! The link worked great. It is now in my favorites. Best wishes,

Jaz (not verified)

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 10:24

What does "ph" stand for?

cbellin (not verified)

Tue, 01/01/2013 - 12:57

First, Ana, thank you for sharing all your wonderfaul plans! I sew, but have never worked with wood. Your plans are exciting - I have 4 grandaughters and 5 (so far) great nieces! Which Kreg Jig do I need to make your 18" doll beds - they have four levels and I'm not sure which to order.



In reply to by cbellin (not verified)


Tue, 01/01/2013 - 15:37

I'll jump in and give you my opinion. Start with the $30 kit called the Kreg Jr. If you have another $20 get an extra drill kit with the mini jig. I find the mini works best when you are drilling PHs in 1x2s. Also splurge and get the Kreg clamp. It really works well with the jig. Now you can spend up to about $140 but it is not needed to start. I have been using the PH system for three years and still don't need the expensive set. You will also need a few other clamps to hold everything in place when you set the PH screws. They exert a lot of torque and your setup will be out of line in an instant if everything is not held in place in all directions. Good Luck. You will, I promise you, become addicted.

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