Bed for Granddaughter

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Project by Carey Mitchell posted 02-05-2017 03:40 AM 3182 views 6 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Our granddaughter wanted a bed with drawers; she finally found a photo and a plan she liked. I had to resize the drawings from a queen to a full size mattress. I found several other issues with their drawings/specs, such as pieces being shown as different sizes on different pages; parts joined in configurations that made no mechanical sense or visual sense, etc. – you get the picture.

It is constructed in 4 sections, the head and foot boards, which are connected by boxes that house the drawers. The gap between the boxes is bridged by slats.

This was a plan for a farmhouse bed; it was heavy looking and just plain “clunky” looking to me (see drawing), so I added a number of enhancements to reduce the “clunky” appearance. First, the posts were fluted to make them appear slimmer for a little girl’s room. The edges of the top pieces of the head and foot boards were routed to reduce/eliminate the boxy look. Molding boxes give some visual interest to the otherwise bland slabs of the head and foot boards. I added Chippendale style feet to the posts to add interest to the lower posts. The drawer fronts got cockbead moldings to protect the plywood edges from damage and to enhance the appearance. Also added small moldings inside the the edging on the drawer faces; this and the cockbead gives depth to the otherwise flat drawer fronts. All intended to improve the appearance and make it more acceptable for a girl.

The posts were glued up from poplar. The top pieces are maple for durability. The head and foot board slabs and the long boxes housing the drawers are all 3/4” maple plywood, as are the drawer fronts. This thing is seriously heavy !

The finish is 2 coats of sprayed acrylic primer, followed by 2 coats of satin lacquer.

This was a lot of fun and the esthetic challenges were really interesting. Two neighbors have asked for beds for their daughters, but it will be a while.

Someone asked about the cockbead molding. This is a molding traditionally used around the perimeter of drawers to protect the edges, especially those with veneered faces. It also adds aesthetic appeal by defining the drawer edge; while doing so it also helps hide slight variations in the gap around the drawer. In this case, the drawers were designed with flat, simple, boring faces, see drawing. The 3/4” maple plywood edges would have been quickly damaged on the back side, though protected on the front edges by the 1/4” facing pieces, so I went for the cockbead, which is really simple to make. A also added a molding inside the 1/4” facing to add visual interest and to get further away from the flat look.

14 comments so far

View BurlyBob's profile


5937 posts in 2443 days

#1 posted 02-05-2017 04:03 AM

That is absolutely Beautiful. A real princess bed for sure.

View pottz's profile


3365 posts in 1162 days

#2 posted 02-05-2017 04:51 AM

nice work carey I’m sure she is very happy with these results.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View robscastle's profile


5389 posts in 2381 days

#3 posted 02-05-2017 09:27 AM

OK Carey

You have produced a grand result here buddy
I am very impressed with your declunking work and the overall presentation of your bed.

I also have a question: I see photo No 6 is vacant so I wonder could you add a picture of the cockbead moldings effect, I am interested in learning what it is all about.

Meanwhile I am off to Google it !!

-- Regards Rob

View Kelster58's profile


670 posts in 717 days

#4 posted 02-05-2017 11:47 AM

Nice job ! You do beautiful work. Heirloom quality. I hope your Granddaughter enjoys it for many, many years.

-- K. Stone “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin

View Jerry Spencer's profile

Jerry Spencer

118 posts in 2991 days

#5 posted 02-05-2017 12:43 PM

Man, what a great job! I love the details you added and the your workmanship is amazing.

-- Jerry - Ohio

View tyvekboy's profile


1817 posts in 3190 days

#6 posted 02-05-2017 01:51 PM

Very nice looking bed. Great details.

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

View MadeinMT's profile


258 posts in 2338 days

#7 posted 02-05-2017 03:05 PM

Beautiful bed. I would love to make one for my granddaughter except I don’t have one yet. Waiting…..

-- Ron, Montana

View david38's profile


3518 posts in 2521 days

#8 posted 02-05-2017 03:15 PM


View helluvawreck's profile


32087 posts in 3044 days

#9 posted 02-05-2017 04:33 PM

Carey, you really did a nice job on this bed.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View oldnovice's profile


7274 posts in 3545 days

#10 posted 02-05-2017 08:58 PM

That sure is a beautiful bed!
I am sure she will love it and perhaps her parents will keep it, after she out grows it, as an heirloom!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Mas's profile


70 posts in 2440 days

#11 posted 02-06-2017 03:00 AM

Looks like a very nicely done bed frame and drawers. All the “extras” you did really makes it nice.

View robscastle's profile


5389 posts in 2381 days

#12 posted 02-06-2017 07:25 AM

cockbead moldings eh well years of woodworking and something new learned every day what a site what a group

Been using them for years didnt know that what they were called, just thought it was “edging”

-- Regards Rob

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3261 posts in 3890 days

#13 posted 02-07-2017 03:56 AM


That’s really an impressive bed! Your granddaughter must be delighted.

And I know what you mean by heavy. I put 8 casters on mine but can’t budge it on the carpeting. I’m thinking I should change them to four 245/40-21s but I’m not sure what kind of axles or steering mechanism I’d need!


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View daiku_padawan's profile


91 posts in 406 days

#14 posted 02-11-2018 01:27 AM

Really nice work. My daughter is 9 months old right now. While I’m just getting started in woodworking, projects like this inspire me to come up with ideas that I could do for her. Maybe one day I’ll be able to build my daughter a big-girl bed.

Beautiful work.

-- ~Daniel

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