How to build a loft bed following free plans by Ana White. This DIY loft bed frees up a lot space for toy storage or for creating a little reading nook.
I assisted a friend in building a loft bed for her daughter. We followed free plans by Ana White for the junior loft bed. We made a few modifications such as changing it to fit a full-sized mattress (more details down below). The loft bed is the largest furniture item that I have built thus far. I have learned a lot from working on the project. In this post, I’ll share the steps we took to build it.
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Tools and Materials
The following items are some of the tools and supplies we gathered to build the junior loft bed. For a complete listing of what is needed to build the loft bed check out Ana White’s free plan.
- Circular saw
- Kreg Jig
- Kreg Mobile Project Center (I love this workbench)
- Belt sander
- Orbital sander
- Drill / Driver
- Bed rail brackets (knockdown hardware)
- Pocket hole screws
- Behr White paint
How to build a Loft Bed
Continue reading for in progress photos, modifications to the original plans and lessons learned from building the junior loft bed.
3 Modifications to the original plan
- The biggest modification made to the original loft bed plans was adjusting the size to fit a full-sized mattress instead of the twin mattress. In addition to increasing the length of the bed, we added a 2×6 board to the middle of the bed for extra mattress support.
- The other major modification we made was using knockdown hardware instead of pocket hole joints for connecting the bed together. We wanted this bed to be something that could be assembled and disassembled easily because the bed was built at my home but needed to be transported to another.
- The final modification made to the project was using 4×4 posts instead of 2×4 posts. This added additional stability to the bed.
Building the loft bed
We used pocket hole joinery to bed most of the bed. I used the Kreg Jig K5 to create the pocket holes. For the bed rails and mattress support, we used bed rail brackets. I purchased 6 pairs of bed rail brackets as well as a bracket for the center mattress support board. The center support is a 2×6 board cut the same length as the bed rails. This board was not included in the original plans. We added it to support the additional weight of the full-sized mattress.
We painted the bed with white paint and sealed with a satin finish. We used a paint roller. (I think we regretted not using a paint sprayer.)
The kid approved of the new bed.
(The stairs were completed after the bed was delivered to the home. Originally we used nails to hold the steps in place. This did not hold up for long and screws were used to secure the steps.)