DIY Doll Bunk Bed…Without Spending a Dime!

What do you get when you combine a lazy day of Summer vacation, a mom who’s on a purging rampage of ALL.THE.STUFF. we no longer need, and a seriously creative 10 year old girl who loves nothing more than her sweet dolls?

A DIY Doll Bunk Bed, that’s what!

Can I just tell you – we had ALL of this random wood here leftover from projects, along with some pieces from a friend I took off her hands a while back?! Even had the paint! So this was a freebie project – is that crazy or what?

Let’s dive in!

One day in August my oldest daughter asked if we could build her a bunk bed for her dolls. She only had one at the time, but was getting another one for her upcoming birthday. She knew this because she really wanted an American Girl (we have quite a few Our Generation dolls from Target that they ADORE – not knocking those whatsoever! But she really wanted this specific doll named Tenney). She was aware this would be her one and only present and she was 100% ok with that. So naturally, she HAD to have a place for these two babies of hers to sleep. Duh.

I started thinking…

A friend of mine gave me some wood a while back when she was clearing out her house. They looked like perfect pieces to create signs, and I used a couple to do just that. But we still had some left collecting dust.

I also had a random assortment of leftover wood from various projects.

And I have been on a major purge lately – I want to get rid of ALL THE THINGS. So what better way to clear out some clutter WHILE creating a sweet little doll bed for my girl? This would be a win-win!

So we got to work.

Got out the paint leftover from her dresser (SW Hopeful) and headed outside…

We thought the side pieces needed some sort of shape, so used a bowl to trace some rounded edges. Just used my jigsaw to cut them.

And started cutting and piecing it together…

I wish I could tell you the original sizes of all of these pieces but it was such a hodge podge of this and that. So weird that I had just enough to make it all work. Crazy!

Put my girl to work again…

And she had the idea to use stencils for their initials…

We had all the pieces cut and painted – then it was time to drill!

As you can see here, we drilled the bottom piece to those two little chunks underneath (those pieces were from my DIY Rustic Ladder!). After that, we secured the side pieces into the bottom pieces.

Then it was time to do the same for the top bunk…

Had to call in the hubs for this part – I’m far too much of a “winger” and call on him when exact measurements are needed! I have zero patience when I get rolling on a project. 😉

My daughter wanted bed rails (I’m telling you – the kid thought of EVERYTHING), so I used some thin pieces of wood I had and just cut and hot glued them. They were so thin I thought glue would be fine. So far so good!

For the other side, she wanted shorter ones (to leave room for the ladder – obvi). 😉 But how would I do that?? Didn’t want them just floating, so I cut itty bitty pieces and glued them on:

One last thing – the ladder. Would you believe I had a dowel – ONE RANDOM DOWEL – who has that laying around?! This was meant to be, I tell ya.

I cut it into three pieces, and glued each one onto a piece of wood:

And glued the other piece on there, and BOOM! We had a ladder. I was in shock this was all actually coming together. And my daughter was having a BALL seeing her idea come to life.

Just when I thought we were done, she asked about mattresses and bedding.

Of course. Because dolls can’t sleep on wood – that would be absurd.

Here’s where we actually DID need to spend money – I picked up a $6 piece of foam from Walmart. Cut it into the size of the bunks, and used some scrap fabric and spray adhesive to keep it in place.

We cut an old pillow case and sham in half for each bunk (I was getting rid of them anyway – see, wasn’t lying when I said I was on a serious purge rampage). And our DIY Bunk Bed was complete!

And how stinking cute is the doily she bought at Michael’s to use as a rug?! It was on clearance for $1 – I think that’s the sweetest.

And the slippers. STOP.

Oh, and I have another daughter with two dolls as well – you probably know where this is going…stay tuned for THAT bunk bed post;)

I am happy to report that Tenney and Adreena are VERY happy with their new sleeping arrangement, and I have one (now) 11 year old who had so much fun making this together that she said she actually didn’t want it to be finished.

Forget the fact that it was free and I cleared out a bunch of old wood – THAT, my friends is the real win-win.


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