Make your own farmhouse toddler bed sized for a crib mattress with this tutorial that includes downloadable bed frame plans. Using a few basic tools, you can recreate this look with some boards, hardware and your choice of finish.
Our third-born has been a climber since before she could walk on her own. Surprisingly, she almost made it to 2 years old before she figured out she could climb out of her crib. See ya later, crib!
Our other two kids lasted in the crib until they could safely sleep in a twin bed, so we never had a need for a toddler bed. But our teeny, tiny girl was not quite ready for a regular bed.
And there you have it, the perfect excuse to craft an adorable pint-sized farmhouse bed! Not only is it super cute, Drew got some good building practice for a murphy bed we plan to build for our guest room and a queen-sized bed we hope to build for our master bedroom.
For a few weeks, our girl camped out on her crib mattress in the kids’ room. But now she’s feeling like a big kid sleeping in her brand new farmhouse inspired toddler bed (or “beb,” as she calls it).
This bed is just her size. She is very petite, but she is able to climb in and out of this bed, no problem. While it is small enough for a young toddler, there is still room to grow. I foresee her sleeping in it a couple years, at least until our new baby grows out (or, climbs out) of the crib.
Creating our DIY Farmhouse Toddler Bed Sized for a Crib Mattress
Drew came up with his own design for this project, so we could incorporate some farmhouse elements while customizing the size for a crib mattress. His design was inspired by standard-sized farmhouse beds we have seen online and in stores.
We really couldn’t be happier with the final product. Its sturdy, solid wood design with paneled headboard and footboard give it that farmhouse feel that we were aiming for.
For the wood, Drew used premium pine he purchased at Home Depot. Pine was the most affordable and most accessible wood choice for this project.
For the finish, Drew used Varathane Classic Wood Stain in the color “White Wash.” The whitewash finish allows some of the natural wood grain to show through, which is a nice touch.
Tips before you get started building your DIY toddler bed
A note about purchasing wood: Drew was shooting for a tongue-and-groove look on the paneled headboard and footboard. He purchased premium pine, which came with squared edges. He used a router with a roundover bit to round the edges, so the pieces came together with the appearance of tongue-and-groove. A couple other options are to use sandpaper on the edges OR purchase the cheaper construction-grade pine, which already has rounded edges.
One more thing: If you don’t have access to a miter saw or circular saw, or you just want to save yourself a little work, take the printable cut list to your local hardware store when you purchase the wood. Many stores will make cuts for you for free or for a small fee.
Watch Drew Explain the Process
- 4 – 1″x4″x6′ boards
- 2 – 2″x4″x6′ boards
- 1 – 4″x4″x6′ board
- 2 – 2″x2″x6′ boards
- 5 – 1″x2″x8′ boards
- Sand Paper
- Drop cloth or Plastic
- 1 1/4″ Pocket Hole Screws
- 2″ Wood Screws
- 1 1/4″ Wood Screws
- No Mortise Bed Rail Brackets (We ordered from Amazon)
- Finish/Paint of Choice
- Paint Brush and/or Sponge
- Drill or Driver (you can use a drill only, but an impact driver is helpful)
- Pocket Hole Jig (Drew used a K4 but a Kreg Mini and Clamp would also work)
- Miter Saw or Circular Saw (miter saw will improve the precision and accuracy of your cuts, but a circular saw will do just fine)
- Router with Roundover Bit (Optional, only need if using wood with squared edges)
- Palm Sander (Optional)
- Speed Square
- Tape Measure
- Gather and prepare all tools and materials. Download and print the FREE Cutlist and Cutsheet to make wood cuts. Sort and lay out all pieces according to assembly (i.e., headboard, footboard, rails, and mattress support). This is a good time to sand your wood pieces by using a coarse sandpaper first, then going over it again with a fine sandpaper. We used a palm sander to speed up the process. Round the edges of the boards for headboard and footboard, if desired
- Assemble the Headboard by drilling pocket holes and attaching panel boards and cap.
- Assemble Footboard by drilling pocket holes and attaching panel boards and cap.
- Assemble Bed Rails
- Assemble Mattress Support.
- Install Rail Brackets. Follow the detailed instructions that come in the packaging of your no mortise brackets.
- Apply Finish and allow to dry. We used Varathane Wood Stain in White Wash and finished with a coat of Polycrylic. Note: before applying finish, you may want to go over the wood with sandpaper again and wipe down wood with a wet cloth to remove dust.
- Assemble the bed by connecting the side rails to the headboard and footboard via the brackets and placing the mattress support on the bedrail supports. Now you’re ready to top it with a standard crib mattress!
- Getting prepped and organized is key to making this project go smoothly. Print and have the plans (scroll to bottom of page to download) in front of you. Put in a little extra time at the beginning to gather materials, make wood cuts, sand wood and sort pieces according to assembly.
- For the tongue-and-groove look on paneled head and footboards, round edges of boards with a router or buy wood that already has rounded edges.
- Do you want to make a large bed for your own room but you’re not quite ready to take the plunge? This is the perfect practice project. It is inexpensive and you won’t waste a ton of wood if you mess up.
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