Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Blast From the Past - Big Kid Bed

Because I decided to start up this blog almost well after moving into our house, I decided it might be good to do a few posts about work we did before the blog was born.  So we'll call this series "A Blast from the Past". It'll feature all sorts of projects and full room re-dos.  A lot of the time, the "after" is more like a "progress" pic and more work is in store.

Today we'll talk about Sarah's bed which will be part of her Big Girl Bedroom, so its fair game to show you all where it came from!

To start the story off, let's talk about Sarah.  The best sleeping kid ever.  Seriously, once she figured it out, she'd zonk right out at night and sleep like the dead.  And because she never even tried climbing out of the crib, we were more than happy to let her keep on sleeping in there until we needed the crib for someone else.  Big kid bed shopping left me un-impressed.  The beds I liked were super expensive.  So I started clicking around the internet looking for options, and I stumbled upon Ana White's website with plans to build your own furniture.  Back then the website was smaller, but we found these plans and went for it.  It's a pretty straightforward design, which was a good call for a first time furniture building project.  

Step one was sourcing our lumber.  Ana says that the lumber should be readily available, but our Home Depot doesn't carry 4x4s that aren't pressure treated and you really don't want to use a pressure treated wood inside.   We found our 4x4s at a smaller lumber yard, so you may have to shop around.

We (meaning Jason) followed the plans step by step, only making one change to the design: we added a curve to make it look a little more feminine.

Here's the foot board:

Here's the headboard getting painted:

And here's the finished product (spring 2010):

We learned a LOT from this project:
  • It's not hard to build furniture, but you do need to take your time - no rushing!  Give glue, paint & primer time to dry. And as always, measure twice (or thrice) to avoid a cutting mistake.
  • Think about how heavy the piece will be - this thing is way too heavy to carry upstairs assembled.  I'm glad we assembled it upstairs.
  • I think if I had to do it over again, I'd skip the box spring and build a slatted base.  The box & mattress combo is a little high for a kid bed.
  • We need to make the bed an inch or two longer.  Everything fits VERY snugly, so changing sheets is sort of annoying. (we'll address this with the move to a big girl bedroom!)
  • We need to do a clear coat over the paint.  I will do a little research from experienced furniture painters, but the paint coat feels a bit sticky. (we'll address this with the move to a big girl bedroom!)
We'll be building more furniture down the road (a big bed for Chris?  nightstands?  entertainment unit for the basement one day??) and we'll be sharing when we do!

UPDATE - Link Ups!

House on the Way  Photobucket


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! My husband was VERY proud of his efforts and my daughter totally loves it!



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