Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Girls Bed - How to Build Tutorial

 The long awaited post on How I built the Girl's Bed!

This bed is such a favorite of our Girls!

I do have to post that I built this bed several years ago, before Blogs were even a thing!  As such, I do not have step by step photos of how I built it, but I do have the dimensions and can walk you through it.  If you do build this,  I recommend reading through this in its entirety before you begin.  

This bed plan is also for a Double Bed. It is not a Twin.

It is a Four Poster Bed with a HeadBoard…

 And a FootBoard…

With top Rails…

And Posts…

Types of Wood I used to complete this bed
-I used 3/4 in. MDF for the Posts.
-I used Beadboard for the Headboard and Footboard =  One Sheet total for both
-I used 1 sheet of lightweight 1/4 in. plywood for the backing of both Headboard & Footboard = One sheet for both total. 
-I used Pine Boards that were 2.5 in. wide for most of the trim on the Headboard and Footboard.
-I used Pine boards that measured 4 1/4 in. wide for the top board and side Sculpted boards on the Headboard.  
-I purchased some Large Egg & Dart Trim for the Headboard & FootBoard
-I purchased some Small Egg & Dart Trim for the Top rails
-I also purchased some various other trim to place under the Egg & Dart Trim on the Headboard.

I made my own small trim to build out the trim on the top rails using my router table. 

I used wood glue, brad nails, brad nailer & compressor, miter saw, table saw  sander,  wood putty, safety glasses, wood clamps and a router to complete this build.

I made the  4 Posts First. 
The posts are made out of 3/4 in. MDF.

I made four posts.  They are Hollow.  For each post, I used 4 boards. I cut all of my boards the same length… 76 3/4 in.  Tall or long.  

NOTE for the Widths...  2 of the boards for each post will be wider than the other two.  

2 boards, the top and bottom A. & B.  will be cut 5  1/2 in. wide
2 boards, the sides  C & D will be cut 4 1/8 in. wide.

This is a top view looking down into one of the posts.

I made a rabbet with the table saw only on the inside ends of  the A & B boards, all along the length of the A & B boards.   The rabbets are the width of the side boards to lay into, 3/4 in. wide.

Once all rabbets were cut, I glued the side boards and nailed them with brad nails to the top and bottom A & B to construct each post.  
I clamped them with wood clamps, filled all nails holes with wood putty and let them dry at least 24 hours.  I did this for each of the four posts.  

Once they were dry, I sanded down all putty  and smoothed out each post.  

Once the posts were sanded, I ran all four of the edges of  each post through the router table  using a cove bit to create a grooved edge.

Here is a close up of the grooved edge...

I made tops and bottoms for each of the posts.  The photo below is for the tops.  The tops have a double crown.  The bottoms actually only have one board.

For each of  the tops, I cut out of MDF

Top Crown
1 square 8.5 x 8.5 in.  I routered each of the underside edges on the  router table using a cove bit.

1 square 7 x7 in. I routered each of the underside edges on the router table using the same bit. 

I next cut a square 3  7/8  x 3  7/8 in. to be the drop block to hold the crowns in place.  

I  centered and stacked the top crown board, the lower crown board, and the drop block.  Glued and nailed them together. 

Once the top crowns are done, They are never nailed to the Posts. Same with the bottoms of the Posts.  They are made with the drop blocks so they can be taken on and off to provide access into the inner portion of the posts to reach the bolts for the top rails. 

 Here is a top view of the top of the crown blocks and the top rails. 

for the Bottoms of  each of the four posts, I made only one square, 

I cut it the same size as the Lower Crown, 7 x 7 in. wide.  Routered  the edges with a cove bit and made a drop block also,  
3 7/8  x 3  7/8 in.  I assembled it like the top, centered the drop block in the middle and glued and nailed it.    Again the bottom crowns are not nailed into the posts either.  The Drop blocks stop the posts from moving. 

Top Rails

I made 4 top rails.  2 longer rails and 2 shorter rails.  

For Each of the rails, I built them using a 2.5 in. wide pine board as the base.  I next nailed a piece of small Egg & Dart trim.  then I took a thin strip of pine board on the table saw that measured 1.5 in wide.  I next took that thin strip ran it through the router table using a fancy bit to groove the outside edge to create a piece of top trim and to build out the trim to look like a piece of crown moulding.  

If you are not able to create this trim, possibly you could find some smaller trim to build out the tops of the rails.  

The 2 longer rails measure   77 in. in length.  Meaning each of your pieces, the base, the egg & dart and the top trim all will be cut 77 in. long.   

The 2 Shorter top rails measure 49 1/2 in. long. Meaning each of the your pieces, the base, the egg & dart and the top trim all will be cut at 49 1/2 in. long.

After each rail is glued, nailed and puttied.  I sanded them down.  I bought some lag bolts/screws for the ends of each of the rails.  Each of the lag screws Do NOT have a head on them.   The lag bolts have a screw on one end.  This end is screwed into each end of the top rails.   The other end of the lag bolt or the bolt part will be used to attach the top rail into the post at the top.

This is a view of the top of the  post with the bolt end of the lag bolts in them.  


Here is a close up of the beadboard and trim to show the detail.

For the Headboard. 
1 cut the 1/4 in. plywood    47 3/4 in. wide x 41in. High.
This Plywood will serve as the base for the Headboard.

next I cut the Beadboard 47 3/4 in. Wide x 41 in. High
The same size as the plywood.  

I then placed the beadboard on top of the plywood.  
Glue and nail them together. 

Next I cut 2.5 in. wide Pine boards to be placed on top of the beadboard to be trim accents.  

Here are the measurements…

I took 2 boards of the 2.5 in wide pine.  I cut them 47 3/4 in. long.  One will go on the top and one will go on the bottom.  

start at the bottom turn the board horizontal and nail one of the  47 3/4 in. pine boards to the bottom of the bead board.

Here is a pic of the trim being nailed on to the bottom… Wait to nail the other top piece of pine cut 47 3/4 in. 

I next cut 4 pieces of 2.5 in. wide pine 32 1/4 in. long

2 of these pieces are placed on each of the edges of the breadboard vertically touching the bottom piece of pine that you just nailed on.  

The remaining two pine boards are placed vertically also about
 12 3/4 in. apart across the beadboard to create 3 squares of trim.  Next place the top piece of  47 3/4 in. pine horizontally across at the top of the pine.

Once the pine trim was nailed and glued on.  I took the router and used a Chamfur bit and routered around the inner edges on the pine boards only of each of the three squares of the pine.

This gives each of the three squares a more smooth and finished look.  

from here, you will need to build out the trim.  I bought some small trim, then layered the Egg & Dart Trim on top. It is all cut 47 3/4 in. long.  I cut some prop blocks, as if I was doing crown moulding and placed it under the egg and dart and extra trim  to build out the top of the trims.

I next cut a Top Board.  This is laid flat on top of the headboard to cap it off.  It is 4 1/4 in. wide pine board.  It is cut 47 3/4 in. long. 
  (it is placed between the two outer pine boards that are scroll cut with the jig saw as labeled in the photo below.)  I will talk about them next.  

Next I  took two pieces of 4 1/4 in pine and cut them 3 feet long in length.  I sketched out and made a scrolled pattern on them starting flush at the top and slowly scrolling it down to match the rolls in the moulding. I took the jig saw and cut it down the sketched lines to the end of the board to where it ended up being about 3 in. wide toward the end of the 3 feet long board. Each of these scrolled boards are nailed to the outside ends of the top board and edges of the headboard and to serve as the outside edge of the frame of the headboard.  They do not go the entire length of the headboard, but they are long enough to be covered once the mattresses and bed coverings are in place. 

For the Footboard, it is built similar to the headboard, but with a few differences. 

I took the 1/4 in. plywood and cut it    47 3/4 in Wide x 23 in. High

I cut the beadboard  47 3/4 in. Wide x 23 in. High

I laid the beadboard on top of the plywood and glued & nailed them together to make the base.

I next did the pine trim.  I took the 2.5 in. wide pine boards and cut 2 of them 47 3/4 in. long.  These will serve as the top and bottom trim.

I took more 2.5 in wide pine and cut 4 boards16 in.  long.

I placed one of the trim measuring 47 3/4 in. long horizontal along the bottom edge and nailed and glued it.  

I next spaced apart the other pieces of pine trim cut 16 in. long across the beadboard vertically and spaced  12 3/4 in. apart.  (glued and nailed)

I next placed ( glued & nailed) the last top pine board that measures 47 3/4 in.  horizontal so it touched the tops of the vertical placed pine boards.  I next routered    
as I did on the head board around the inner 3 squares of the pine boards to create a beveled edge. 

With the remaining space at the top of the Footboard, I placed the Egg & Dart Trim that I cut 47 3/4 in. long.  If needed you could place some other trim also.  

Next I made a frame around the entire Footboard.  All Pine boards  in this frame, lay on their sides as if they are framing in the footboard and are nailed to the outside edges of the footboard.

Here is another angle of the framed footboard

I kept the plywood/beadboard trim flat on the ground.  I took some 2.5 in. wide pine and cut 2 long for the top and 2 shorter for the side ends.  

The 2 top longer boards are 49 1/2 in. long
The 2 shorter boards are 22 3/4  in. long

I laid each of them on their sides all around the outside edges of the plywood/beadboard while flat on the ground to make it all flush.  I next glued and nailed the pine boards all the way around the plywood/beadboard and then it was completely framed in.  The longer boards overlap the shorter boards on the ends on the top and bottom.  There are NO  45 degree angles cut for the corners.  

Access Holes.  

I next cut some access holes so we would be able to  attach the bed rails towards the bottoms of each of the posts.  These are all cut on the INSIDE of each of the four posts.  Make sure to cut them on the inside or they will show on the outside of the bed and won't be so pretty.  The access holes are approximately 10 in. up from the bottom of the posts.  I wanted a longer bed skirt for the bed so that is why the bed rails are up so high off the ground.  

We cut the holes with a jigsaw big enough to get your hand into them to tighten the bolts from the bed rails. 

NOTE! Once The access holes on the footboard are cut and the bed rails are attached, they will actually be covered up by the Footboard once it is attached to the posts because the footboard sits lower on the posts than the headboard does, thus covering them up.  

Now all pieces have been built.  I sanded and painted everything.  I painted this with a cream color that I had special made to match something else in my home.  I then used a Ralph Lauren Glaze that I got at Home Depot.  I had them tint with a couple more drops of black so as to make the moulding stand out more.  

Once everything was dry, we assembled the bed. 

We placed the four posts with the squares on the bottom.  
Attached the bed rails to the posts through the access holes we cut. 
We attached the top rails to the tops of the posts.  To attach the top rails, remember they already have the lag bolt/screws in them.  We measured down 3 in. from the tops of each of the four posts where the top rails would go and drilled a hole for the bolts to go through.  

NOTE on each post, there should only be two holes drilled for the top rails and they should be on the inside of the two headboard & footboard posts for the shorter top rails and the insides between the Headboard and footboard posts for the longer top rails.   Once the top rails are inserted, anchor them with bolts so they will stay.

 Note, the top rails are attached at the inside corners of the posts, No holes are drilled on the outside corners of the posts. 

Attaching Headboard and Footboard
To attach the Headboard and foot board to the posts,  We drilled some holes on an angle through the back of the footboard and headboard and into the posts that they are anchored to.  We attached them to the posts with long screws.  

If you look close on the photo below, you can see the four black screws where we drilled and anchored the footboard.  We did the same for the headboard.

*The measurements where we placed the bottom of the foot board are
10 in. up from the bottom of the posts and top of the footboard ends 34 1/2 in. up from the bottom of the posts.

*The measurements where we placed the bottom of the headboard are 16 in. up from the bottom of the posts and the Top of the headboard  ends at 58 in.  up from the bottom of the post. 

Note, the access holes on the footboard, will be covered up once the footboard is screwed into place because it sits lower to the ground.

 Here is a view of the back of the Headboard

Once the Headboard is screwed into place, the bed is complete!  I laid some planks of wood across the bed rails and then laid box springs on and the top mattress and bedding!  Complete!

My girls refer to this as their Princess Bed!

I just completed a trundle bed to go under this bed!  I'll work on that tutorial and share it with you soon!  

With Much Love & Gratitude,

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  1. Awesome bed for your girls. It would also make it even more awesome had you wired some soft colored lighting into the top of the posts instead of covering completely with a cap - for a soft glow night light effect coming out of the top of the posts. (I had a soft green set of rope lights for my daughter that went around the top of her room at the ceiling.)

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