Lydia Daybed

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This beautiful daybed will surprise you with it's easy to build plan. Features scalloped edges, moulding on the inside and out and finials. Easy to modify to a full size.


Image from Uli.  Can you believe that Uli lives in the metric system, and converted this beautiful bed to different sized lumber!  Amazing!


Another amazing photo from one of our readers!

My sister's name is Lydia Priscilla, so I thought Lydia would be a perfect name for this bed.

WHAT YOU CAN'T BUY As you probably know, Pottery Barn used to sell a beautiful Priscilla Dayed, but the bed is discontinued.  And I have for years wanted to redesign the bed, to make in "buildable."  And today, I think I have.

DREAMING OF THIS BED After putting together the post for the Swedish planked bed, then putting Grace to bed, I dreamed about scrolling with a jigsaw and using a Kreg Jig to build this bed.  Because the major issue before having a Kreg Jig in my tool belt was connecting the beautiful scalloped corners to the side rails.  Now we can easily do that!

IT'S EASIER THAN IT LOOKS Please don't let this bed intimidate you.  If a jigsaw doesn't intimidate you, you, yes YOU, can build this bed.  It's amazingly easy. For the trim, we are going to use store bought moulding, and then for the finials . . .

FINIALS?  YEAH, WE'VE GOT A HACK FOR THAT For the finials, simply pick up a four curtain rod finials next time you are out shopping (unfinished preferred, but if you are painting, a spray coat of primer can get these babies ready for your bed).  It will be easy to drill a simple hole on the tops of your daybed tops and screw these in.


Go ahead, click for a larger view.  It's much easier than it looks, eh?  Now I'm just going to put this out there, since I know most of you are Moms just like me.  If you can figure out how to raise a baby, if you took a baby home from the hospital and the baby not only survived, but they thrived, then you can do this.  This is NOTHING compared to the major project of raising kids.  You've got the ability. Let's get building! 

Fits a standard twin mattress. Convert to a full by simply adding 15" to all width-wise measurements.


Shopping List

4 – Pieces of 2 1/4″ moulding, 7′ Length like this one
2 – Pieces of 2 1/4″ moulding, 8′ Length (same as above, a little longer)
2 – 1×10, 8′ Length
1 – Sheet of 3/4″ MDF
4 – 1×2 Boards
11 – 1×3 Boards
Wood Filler
Wood Glue
1 1/4″ Nails
2″ Nails
1 1/4″ Screws

Common Materials
120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
paint brush
Cut List

2 – 3/4″ MDF @ 40 1/2″ x 27″ (Panels)
4 – 1×2 @ 34 1/2″ (End Legs, ends tapered in step 1)
2 – 1×3 @ 37 1/2 (Bottom Panel Trim)
4 – 1×3 @ 34 1/2″ (Side Legs, ends tapered)
2 – 1×3 @ 42″ (Top of Ends)
2 – 2 1/4″ Base Moulding @ 37 1/2″ (Trim for outside of panel)
2 – 2 1/4″ Base Moulding @ 40 1/2″ (Trim for inside of panel)
4 – 3/4″ MDF @ 15″ x 15″ (Scalloped Sides)
2 – 1×10 @ 75″ (Siderails)
2 – 1×2 @ 75″ (Cleats)
14 – 1×3 @ 39″ (Slats)
4 – 2 1/4″ Moulding @ 73″ (Siderail Trim)

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
Brad Nailer
Power Sander
General Instructions

You can click any of the images for a larger view. Work on a clean level surface. Be careful as you are working with a nailer. Check for square and level after each step. When nailing into MDF, avoid fastening too close to the edges on the end grain side (practice on a piece of scrap MDF first). Use glue and be safe.

This bed is designed to be painted. You can create a stainable bed by using A1 plywood for the panels and joining two 3 – 1×6 @ 30″ together, then cutting the panel in half to get two panels, approximately 15″ x 16 1/2″ (use a Kreg Jig™ to join the panels). Then cut your scalloped shape from these panels. Do not attempt to iron on edge banding to the scalloped edges and use plywood, you will not be able to get your iron in the scalloped parts. You will also need to purchase wood moulding instead of primed MDF moulding.


Step 1

Use 1 1/4″ nails and glue to fasten the 1×2 leg pieces to the end panel. Keep side edges flush, and top edge. Taper the legs as shown above. Just a tiny taper will show up, remember, the side legs will also be tapered. Taper with your jigsaw.

Step 2

Use 1 1/4″ nails and glue to fasten the bottom panel trim in place. Keep bottom edges flush.

Step 3

Use glue and 2″ nails to fasten the side legs to the panel and the end legs. Fasten all the way down the end leg.

Step 4

Attach the tops with 2″ nails and glue. Keep edges flush with the side legs.

Step 5

Step 6

Use the points given above to guide drawn the arched shapes. Cut out with a jigsaw. Once you have one side done, use it as a pattern for the remaining sides.

Step 7

Drill pocket holes in the scalloped sides and attach to the siderails as shown above. Then use 1 1/4″ nails and glue to attach the cleats to the siderails.

Step 8

Assemble your bed as shown above. Then lay your slats on top of the siderails and screw down with 1 1/4″ screws.

Step 9

Measure and cut your siderail trim to fit the siderails. Glue and nail with 1 1/4″ to the siderails.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Drill holes in the tops of the ends and screw your finials in with glue. You can easily disassemble the bed and reassembly by unscrewing at the side leg/siderail and scalloped edge joint (from step 8). Fill all nail holes with wood filler. Sand starting with a coarse sandpaper and working your way to fine. Prime. Paint as desired and distress.


FlossyMaeRDA (not verified)

Fri, 05/21/2010 - 09:03

oh my oh my oh my No I was wrong I waannnt this bed!! Thank You it is going to be great!!

Ali (not verified)

Fri, 05/21/2010 - 09:43

I love this plan! I can't wait to build it- thanks so much! now I just need to go buy the Kreg Jig that I've dreamed of having for so long now :)

Jolanda (not verified)

Fri, 05/21/2010 - 09:54

I gasped when I saw these plans!! Awesome! I have been hoping you would post plans for beds that have scrolls and arent' just straight (though I love the farmhouse bed too)!

Jenny Hillman (not verified)

Fri, 05/21/2010 - 09:57

Ana, I have to thank you for posting these plans. I requested this bed on facebook, and you not only came through, you made it amazing! I am so, so, so excited now, I am bouncing off the walls, ready to make this one. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for making something like this attainable for someone like me. I wish I could give you a hug!!!
xoxoxo Jenny

Jolanda (not verified)

Fri, 05/21/2010 - 10:06

Would it be possible to convert it to the toddler size?? Thank you for all you do! you have given me a wonderful new hobby and my hubby is just starting to get excited about all the possibilities and he is even more excited that I want to do it instead of begging him to do it!

betsyhwilson (not verified)

Fri, 05/21/2010 - 10:18

Gorgeous. I have downloaded the Google Sketchup 7. But was very confused on how it works. Will watch the tutorial. I love the bed and want to be able to get my ideas out of my head and on paper.

Kristen (not verified)

Fri, 05/21/2010 - 10:35

Oh, I love this. But I am running out of beds in my house to redesign- guess it's time to have more kids ;)

Rebecca (not verified)

Fri, 05/21/2010 - 11:43

If my Lydia didn't already have a daybed I'd be all over this. But I may give it a shot in the future.

*MICHELLE CAUDLE* (not verified)

Fri, 05/21/2010 - 15:38

I just got a kreg jig and these are definitely the beds I must make for my girls!! I'd love to see it in a toddler bed, too...but even if you don't get to it...I'll just have to put my toddler in a twin because these are too perfect!!!

Green Gracie Home (not verified)

Sat, 05/22/2010 - 00:37

LOVE it! My little angel is ready for a bed and her crib is beautiful, but not really re-saleable because of the whole side rail regulation change. I thought of hacking the crib, but she also has a wonderful full size mattress set in her room. I wanted something for her that felt little girl-ish and yet still sophisticated. Then I saw this and it is like you read my mind! I cannot wait to start building a full size version next month and will share!!! Thank you thank you for all you do.

Jodes (not verified)

Sat, 05/22/2010 - 01:10

The cutest bed! I'd love to see a bunk bed plan. My girls are wanting a mermaid room and I think this would make the cutest bunk beds in turquoise.

I See Badgers (not verified)

Sun, 05/23/2010 - 16:51

I love the new layout of your site! It is awesome!!!!!

So, I built 4 of the easy bookshelves, a cubby bench, and a coffee table from your blog and it all turned out awesome! I love it. Thank you for the help. You saved me bundles of time and money. Feel free to slow it down a bit. I don't want you to burn out :)

missmarble (not verified)

Sun, 05/23/2010 - 18:55

For some neat finials, you can also check out the deck and fence section at Lowe's or Home Depot. $4-5 each rather than $10-20 in the moulding and trim aisle. Prime and paint, then attach!

Desiree (not verified)

Sat, 06/12/2010 - 08:47

Beautiful! I wonder if it can be changed to accomodate cubbies underneath or a trundle? I wonder if it could be made king sized, too. I want one for *me*! lol

Our old house has only 2 small closets for a family of 7 so storage is sorely needed. I wonder if I could add in the cubbies. Might not look as pretty, but it would be useful!

kzoe (not verified)

Sun, 06/20/2010 - 10:11

This bed is beautiful! It's a child's twin bed, yes? I'm hoping to make into an adult queen bed, and have never DIY before...

chelsey (not verified)

Sat, 06/26/2010 - 08:46

I just build this bed and it looks great. However,the sides are ripping out from the headboard and footboard. I used 1 1/4 screws with the kreg jig to connect the pieces, but they keep coming apart and separating the sides from the two ends. Please help! What am I doing wrong?

Ana White (not verified)

Sat, 06/26/2010 - 09:33

Chelsea, what I would do is attach the side pieces to the ends too, not just the side rails. If this still isn't working, I would add a 1x2, the length of the siderail that splits the scalloped sides and the siderails, so 3/4" on the siderails and 3/4" on the scalloped pieces.

chelsey (not verified)

Sat, 06/26/2010 - 17:12

Ana, thanks for the advice. I switched to 1 1/2" screws and it seems to be holding now. I'll post a picture once I decide what color to paint it!

mommy2jadzia (not verified)

Wed, 09/01/2010 - 17:44

im thinking of adding a back to the day bed and a canopy. sort of a madeline day bed canopy combo. this is a great starting point for me to get the idea of how to do what I want thanks. all i need to do is show them to hubby and tell him i want the back different and make the canopy and presto a bed fit for a princess. I cant wat to do it and i bet it will be mich cheaper than the 1500 potterybarn kids wants for the bed and it isnt even the bed i want. now i can just make what i want for a fraction of the cost.. thnak you, thank you, thank you.!!!!

TwiddleLee (not verified)

Thu, 09/30/2010 - 11:43

I love this bed! I want to build it for my daughter who is graduating to a twin. I'm a little confused by step 8 though... I'm not sure where I would be screwing in the sides to the legs. Do you use a kreg jig to screw it into the back, or do you screw the sides directly into the side legs that you assembled in step 3? I love your easy plans, but I wish they had the screws and such drawn in the photos so I can see exactly what to do, I'm a beginner at all this! ;0)

heavenlypennies (not verified)

Tue, 10/05/2010 - 21:08

Wow! I LOVE this bed! I would really like to attempt to make this for my daughter, but she is a little tall, so I am thinking ahead a little and looking for a bed with twin xl dimensions, and maybe a trundle too. Would it be possible to alter this bed like that? I appreciate any advise you have! Thanks!! :)

Paula (not verified)

Sun, 11/21/2010 - 11:55

My son and I made this bed for my two year old granddaughter. She loves it and it is perfect for a child transitioning from a crib because it is low to the floor. The plans were great but we wanted to add a trundle underneath so we added two inches to the legs. Unfortunately when my son tried to get the bed into her room, his hallway was too narrow and he had to remove the two inches we added to the legs. We could have removed the finials, I guess, but we had had the bed professionally spray painted and the finials were glued and caulked. I think we will still be able to add a trundle if we use a four inch foam matress on a plywood platform with two inch rollers. That's our plan anyway. I highly suggest a professionsl spray paint job. That made the difference between a Pottery Barn quality piece and something home made.undefinedundefined

Gerri (not verified)

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 13:58

I'm interested in making this bed in a doll size. I'm curious if you might have some suggestions for adjusting the measurements and/or materials for that. It is adorable!! I would love to make it about 30" long.

Gerri (not verified)

Thu, 01/06/2011 - 17:33

Thanks so much for your response Ana!!

I was thinking the same with the 1x6/8s I'm HORRIBLE with the math and adjustment parts so I really appreciate everything you do here. I was just told about your site two days ago and I have been on it ever since...literally. lol. Already have a HUG list of "to-build" items so I had better get started! :)

Thanks again!

Christine (not verified)

Mon, 01/24/2011 - 15:44

Ana, hands down, this is my favorite website. Thanks so much I made it a "Favs" icon on my dad's desktop and now he is making all kinds of plans. He is currently making the Lydia bed for my girl. We just bought the materials(wood) and the cost was $220. (twin size, LOWES)

I would just love to know the paint maker and the name of the green they used in the picture that was submitted by one of your readers. Do you have any more info on that particular picture. Much thanks in advance. Love your work.

Mary (not verified)

Sun, 03/20/2011 - 14:13

Ana -

I would love to be able to add a canopy to this.  Like on the toddler sized version!  How would I do that since these legs are not actual posts?