July 24, 2013

DIY American Girl Wood Doll Bed–Kid Craft

Doll Bunk Beds {A Sprinkle of This . . . . A Dash of That}
This was by far the most ambitious craft camp project we did.  Go here to see the other crafts we did.  Mainly because of the prep work needed but also because I was unsure of the skills of the girls and not sure how they’d handle a hammer and nails.  However, they all did great!

If you haven’t heard of Ana White you’re missing out.  She has the most amazing plans and offers them for free!  She gives you a materials list and a cut list.  She has plans to build just about anything you can think of.  I’ve used her plans to build this cubby bench, this ledge shelf, and these laundry basket dressers.  Plan to spend a lot of time browsing her plans if you do visit her site!

Ana created a plan for a very simple doll bed and explains how to turn it into a “workshop kit” similar to Home Depot or Lowe’s.  She also shows how to make them stackable to turn them into bunk beds.  The cost for each bunk bed was around $8

The night before I cut all the supplies and organized them into sets.  I also pre-nailed a couple of boards to get them started.  I had them rest the board on cardboard to hammer the nails so they wouldn’t scratch them all up on the concrete.  Since there were 5 kids participating I had to cut supplies for 10 beds.
Doll Bed Boards {A Sprinkle of This . . . . A Dash of That}Doll Beds Pre-Nailed {A Sprinkle of This . . . . A Dash of That}Doll Beds Supplies {A Sprinkle of This . . . . A Dash of That}
Since my son wanted to build a set also I used his the day of camp to walk the girls through each step. I decided to see how much the girls could do on their own and not put the headboard and footboard together ahead of time.  Some of the girls were able to hammer their own nails but for others I had to get each one started and then let them finish.  They actually surprised me and were able to do more than I thought they could. 
Doll Bed Building 1 {A Sprinkle of This . . . . A Dash of That}          Doll Bed Building 2 {A Sprinkle of This . . . . A Dash of That}
Doll Bed Building 3 {A Sprinkle of This . . . . A Dash of That}
We built the headboard together step-by-step and some were able to build the footboard on their own.  The rest of us just worked each part together.  We also made sure to glue as well as nail.  We were only able to complete one bed the first week and we’ll finish the second and “bunk” them the next week. 
My husband and I went ahead and helped my daughter finish her second one to make sure things lined up and we’d be able to bunk them.  We did have to make a few adjustments and shave some of the boards on the upper bunk to get the legs to line up but it wasn’t terribly difficult.  The only problem we ran into was a knot on the top of one of the headboards and it was difficult to drill a hole for the pin to bunk them.  That one ended up a little off center but still worked.
Doll Bunk Beds {A Sprinkle of This . . . . A Dash of That}
Since this was a lengthy project we didn’t get to paint them or make mattresses or blankets.  Hopefully I can put that on the agenda for another craft camp in the future.
Did they turn out perfect?  Absolutely not.  Are they still functional and do the girls love them anyway?  Absolutely!


  1. What plans did you use for your beds? I looked on Ana's site, but all I could find was a more complicated version. I am wanting to do it like you did, so that I can make them with my girls. I would love your help. : )

    Thank you- Ashley

    1. http://ana-white.com/2012/12/plans/kid039s-kit-doll-bed