Thursday, September 27, 2012

Painted Toes and Pocket Holes- Teen Bed

I just wanted to post about my adventures in woodworking. After reading Shanty 2 Chic's blog about how she made her son's bedroom furniture I was inspired to make my own. My tween boy is growing like a weed and outgrew his bunk bed. We bought it when he was 4 and knew that the day would come when he'd no longer fit in it but was surprised at how quickly that came up.

Since he is a tween, I wanted to get him something that would last until he was finished with high school... unless he grows so long that the full sized bed doesn't work anymore (which means little brother will inherit his bed and I'll have to build another one). Anyway, the spark that set me off on the quest to build my own bed was this post at Shanty 2 Chic. I love the look of pottery barn but don't love the price tag. You know what I'm talking about, too! I get the catalogs and pour over the pages trying to figure out how I can get that look for less. ;)

My dad is great at carpentry and so I ran some questions by him before starting my project. I'm the kind of person who likes to gather up all the facts, costs, potential problems before starting  up a major project. I know some people like to dive right in and that's just not me, sorry. And I'm also a firm believer in getting the kids involved as a fun project to teach them something new and make memories. So, here are the pics of my son's bed:

I first started by building the frame. I had a few tools already but had to purchase a couple more. I had on hand a drill (which my husband had bought me for Christmas some years ago), a sander and some things like a tape measure, carpenter square, and hammer. The things i felt were necessary to purchase were a miter saw (chop saw) and a kregg jig. That put me at $200 before I even bought the lumbar.

Here's my son (who is receiving the bed) helping me to do the sanding on the frame we built. It was interesting to see how involved he wanted to be when using new power tools. I also found that I had to turn a blind eye to some of the cuts he made which could be off by 1/2". This was a learning process, right? :) So, when it came to the wood that I needed for the frame it was $70. Not too bad so far, right?

The stain and sealer cost less than $20 and was more than enough for both the frame and headboard. I ended up staining the whole frame but didn't take another pic later on once this dried. I just flipped the bed over and finished staining so that I wouldn't have any drip marks. The frame was super easy to make once I got used to using the tools.

Here is the headboard put together.  The materials for the headboard cost around $80. I ended up using up one of my scrap boards as a reinforcement in the middle of the headboard. The picture is looking at the back of it since there was a lot of attachments made from behind. Now, I will say this. I am going to be shopping for a nailer in the near future. My thumb took a beating during all of this.

Here is the finished bed. For around $400 dollars (which included the price of the tools that I can use on further projects) I was able to build this cool Pottery Barn knock off bed. And it's all solid wood, too!

Again, you can see some really great photos over at the Shanty 2 Chic blog, which also has a link for the plans to build this bed. The next thing I plan on building is a bookcase and two nightstands.

Thanks for checking me out!


  1. awesome design! solid wood is the way to go :) I have something at my blog for you :)

  2. Wow, this is awesome!! I'm so impressed as this kind of project is waaaay above my skill level.

  3. Hi there, Glen! Well, congratulations on your first DIY bed! I think that itself is a victory. Now you can start doing more soon! And it is not bad for a first time. The bed looks fabulous and well built. I definitely like the rustic feel of the bed. Your boy would surely love this. [
    Darryl Margulies]