Toddler Bed Part 1

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Project by McLeanVA posted 01-06-2009 07:44 PM 2515 views 3 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a work in progress, as I need some suggestions on a headboard and side rails. I created a box frame using 3/4” oak ply with 2×4 supports. I used twin 2×4s as the legs and wrapped them in 3/4” pine. I routed some 1.5” pine with a cove bit for trim. I originally intended to stain the bed when complete, but now after reading so many iffy posts on staining pine, I think I’ll paint it instead.

Where I need the most help is figuring out a headboard and side rails, so that my 2 year old daughter doesn’t flop out in the wee hours of the night. Should I build an independent headboard and secure it with vertical supports “behind” the bed? Should I build a headboard that incorporates the side rails in the shape of a “U” and secure them from the inside with steel supports? Using 2×4s is most likely an overkill, but I’m a bit new to furniture building. I have seen some really nice examples on LJ of using tenons, but I’ll need some practice before feeling comfortable enough with tenon work.

Any and all suggestions appreciated. This has been a ton of fun and I’m excited to learn from the pros out there. My daughter came out into the garage this past Saturday and said, “Daddy, my bed looks beautiful. You did a good job.” So now I feel even more motivated to make sure I get this darn thing right.

Progress Update

-- Measure, cut, curse, repeat.

6 comments so far

View lew's profile


12100 posts in 3778 days

#1 posted 01-06-2009 08:01 PM

Looking Good!

Nice tight joints and miters- can’t ask for more than that!! Do a search of this site for cradles. You might get some ideas for side rails and then scale them down for a “big girl” bed.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View McLeanVA's profile


491 posts in 3456 days

#2 posted 01-06-2009 08:25 PM

Thanks again lew.

-- Measure, cut, curse, repeat.

View kewald's profile


127 posts in 3603 days

#3 posted 01-06-2009 09:21 PM

I’d make the headboard a separate unit and fasten it with metal fasteners that “snap together”. Check out this site for possibilities –
This will make it easier to move.

-- Always do the Right Thing the Right Way the First Time - if you can figure out what that is! Ken, Spring Branch, TX

View McLeanVA's profile


491 posts in 3456 days

#4 posted 01-07-2009 04:25 PM

Ken – Thank you for the link. Removing the headboard would indeed make it easier to get in and out of a standard interior doorway. I may order some of these fasteners and give it a shot.

-- Measure, cut, curse, repeat.

View lumberknowledgist's profile


30 posts in 3457 days

#5 posted 01-09-2009 12:47 AM

That will surely be a sturdy bed. I would think a removeable headboard would help with moving this from room to room as your child outgrows it. This will be one of my next projects for the little guy, can’t wait to see yours finished!

-- Jason

View jim1953's profile


2735 posts in 3864 days

#6 posted 01-09-2009 03:13 AM

Great lookin Bed

-- Jim, Kentucky

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