Toddler Bed

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Project by Matt Przybylski posted 11-06-2014 06:15 PM 1066 views 7 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

We just had our second girl on 11/2/14 and in preparation for her arrival I wanted to make a bed for my soon to be 3 year old daughter. I really wanted to make it out of maple as it would match the rest of the “furniture” in the room (Ikea stuff) and I didn’t want a lot of grain to show (like the cathedral grain in oak and ash) but I had an incredibly hard time finding any locally that wasn’t at a very expensive lumber yard. Eventually after about a month of searching and visiting all types of people on Craigslist I landed on a guy that was about an hour away from me who had 200bf of maple he was offloading. I was already kind of in his area so I figured I’d go check it out as a long shot (it was literally my last stop before finally deciding I’d bite the bullet and go to Owl Hardwood to get the maple). It turned out his maple was exactly what I was looking for and buying all 200 bf would allow me to have a lot more for other projects (I love maple) so I bought it all. It had some inactive beetle holes in it but with some strategy I was able to hide most of them and at $3/bf I couldn’t pass it up (plus I had gone all that way and I just wanted to buy it, really).

After milling the lumber I started to realize that some of it was tiger maple mixed in with some regular (actually I’d estimate that about 70% of it had tiger striping in it) so that was a big positive I wasn’t expecting. I went ahead and bought some ply from Menards for the headboard and footboard and built around that. Oddly enough the ply I found at Menards also had some tiger striping in it so it worked out wonderfully for this use. The design is done to fit some of the other pieces in the room and the pull out drawers at the bottom with the “removed” handle are an exact duplicate of some of the Ikea cabinets that sit across on the other wall from the bed to tie everything in. The color turned out to be an almost exact match so I was super happy about that. The drawers sit on the ground on rollerblade wheels I purchased from Lee Valley and they work wonderfully (and are GINORMOUS so they hold a ton of stuff). I made little covers for the wheels as I messed up and they were originally supposed to be mounted on the outside but after putting everything together and the little space in between the drawers ended up not being enough. I had to cut out a slot for the wheels on the inside and the covers were an afterthought but I made them so I can “open” them and access the hardware if necessary. They’re also not finished as I didn’t feel the need since they’re on the inside and won’t really be seen but this allows us to put stuff on/around the wheels without interfering with the movement of them.

The drawers span the width of the bed and are designed to pull out from either side in case we ever move the bed to the center of the room or somewhere where the other side is accessed. The railing is also intended to be used on either side and slips into a large mortise in the stretchers and a little metal “clip” in the headboard. No hardware necessary to move the railing so that my wife can easily take it off and put it back on if changing sheets and what not. Knock down bed hardware was used for breaking the bed down into separate components when moving is necessary.

I finished everything with 3 coats of General Finished Enduro Var sprayed through my Earlex 5500 and rubbed out the last coat with a paper bag just to get some of the (very little) dust nibs off of it for a very nice and smooth finish. I love this stuff, it makes me look like I really know what I’m doing when finishing (which is not the case at all, but you know what they say, fake it til you make it :).

The little one was super excited about the bed and could not stop talking about it for a few days after which made the labor of love very worth it.

-- Matt, Illinois,

7 comments so far

View grantd's profile


82 posts in 903 days

#1 posted 11-07-2014 01:24 AM

It turned out great, good job! I don’t think I’ve ever seen ply that nice at menards. I may have to look a bit harder next time I’m there.

View Matt Przybylski's profile

Matt Przybylski

528 posts in 1798 days

#2 posted 11-07-2014 02:51 AM

Thanks grantd. Normally the ply isn’t that nice and I believe every Menards has slightly different types but I got very lucky. I had to pick through quite a few of them to find this one and it’s a 1/2” sheet thats laminated with a 1/4” sheet on the other side (the show side is the 1/2”) so that there is a nice finish on both sides though the 1/4” side isn’t as pretty but as you can see its never really seen.

-- Matt, Illinois,

View Ty Sullivan's profile

Ty Sullivan

44 posts in 806 days

#3 posted 11-07-2014 06:31 AM

I appreciate you not making the piece overly bulky by keeping the drawers as simple as possible. I will be stealing the rail layout; if you don’t mind. Hoping to upgrade to your design from what I did on my daughter’s bed with the next child!

View Gshepherd's profile


1727 posts in 1622 days

#4 posted 11-07-2014 06:31 AM

Very Nice Bed. Your right all that work is well worth it when the smiles show up…..

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

View tyvekboy's profile


1308 posts in 2434 days

#5 posted 11-07-2014 07:33 AM

Congrats on the new addition to the family. Great job on the bed.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View Grant Davis's profile

Grant Davis

760 posts in 3329 days

#6 posted 11-07-2014 12:50 PM

Very nice looking bed.

-- Grant...."GO BUCKEYES"

View Matt Przybylski's profile

Matt Przybylski

528 posts in 1798 days

#7 posted 11-07-2014 03:12 PM

Thanks everyone.

Ty, steal away! :)

-- Matt, Illinois,

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