DIY Toddler Bed

DIY Toddler Bed, $50 bedframe, kids room

DIY Toddler Bed

DIY Toddler Bed is a super affordable project to make your little one a new bed for transitioning out of the crib stage.

My two year old just went through a phase (a nightmarish phase) of jumping out of the crib in the middle of the night. I say jumping because a huge thumping noise and crying would always come after. Obviously, for her safety a new bed was a must.

So the hunt for a toddler bed began!

I came across a few issues when searching for a new bed, however.

  1. A crib mattress and toddler bed are not the same size so we needed a new mattress too. And yes, I might be the only person who did not know these are different sizes.
  2. My daughter has a tiny room and we literally do not have the space in this house to get her a larger bed.
  3. Beds and mattresses are expensive! Plus…new bedding adds up to more cost for a toddler bed she won’t use for long.

SO.. the husband and myself (okay, mostly the husband) put together this toddler bed for around $50 utilizing the crib mattress and bedding we already have! You cannot beat a $50 bedframe and it is cute and safe! Plus, this bed can be painted in any color if you paint it at all and rails are optional since the mattress does lay on the ground. No more big thumps in the middle of the night.

The canopy in the photos was already there draping over her crib and we were able to wrap it around the new bed easily. That canopy was another DIY where I bought a cute shelf from Hobby Lobby, cut out a whole in the bottom, spray painted it white and stapled cheap IKEA curtains inside.

This project only took 2 days to complete, if you aren’t painting then you can have it done in a day… half a day if you are handy!

Start this project with a quick trip to Home Depot (AKA “the MAN store via my son) or something similar. Pick up the materials listed below. When picking wood, check each piece and make sure they are straight and not too beat up. Remember, you have to sand all this! Save yourself some time and look for quality pieces from the start. Even though we are purchasing cheaper material, grab the best ones you can find.

DIY Toddler Bed

Materials needed:

What tools will you need?

Note: You may come in over $50 if you need to buy all the necessary materials or tools. We used putty, screws and paint that we already had and did not need to purchase any new tools today. Depending on how well you utilize your wood, you may have extra to return.

Let’s begin building this DIY Toddler Bed!

Follow the number guide above for bed measurements with which size wood to use and we will be guiding you through step-by-step below :

  1. 52.5” (2 x 3”)
  2. 23” with a 45 degree angle (2 x 3”)
  3. 29.5” (2 x 2”)
  4. 35” (2 x 2”)
  5. 12” (2 x 2”)
  6. 48” (2 x 3”)
  7. 45” (2 x 3”)
  8. 29.5” (2 x 3”)

First step is to measure out the mattress to ensure the measurements are the same and begin the frame. The crib mattress should be a 52” x 27.5”.

You will want to assemble the frame of the head and foot of bed first. Measure out and mark four 48″(#6) and four 29.5” (#8) pieces. Assemble the head and foot frame with dry wall screws. Next, measure and cut four 52.5” (#1) for the sides. Assemble the sides to the head and foot frames using the larger construction screws. You now have the basic bed frame done!

Now time for the roof portion. Measure and cut four 23”(#2) pieces at a 45 degree angle. Use drywall screws to form a triangle on the top of the head and foot frames. Measure and cut one more 52.5” (#1) piece to go across the top and screw in.

At this point, you can cover the holes from your screws, sand, and be done! Or you can continue on with the rails and painting like we did.

Here we go with the rails using the 2 x 2” pieces! The rails help make the bed sturdier and also add more personality. You want to measure and cut four 35” pieces and four 29.5” pieces. You will also be measuring and cutting forty 12” pieces. Sand everything down well before assembling.

Assemble the rails before screwing into the bedframe. The side rail will use two 35” pieces with eight small 12” pieces screwed in 5” apart on the center making a 3” gap between each. Screw it into the bedframe followed by the 45” piece and secure it all together with more screws. Do this for both sides.

You can also extend one side of the rails out for only one opening (door). So think about how you want it to look before you start the rails. We made two doors and that is what the directions guide you to, however one side can easily be measured for a larger rail that extends from head to foot.

Almost there…

Put together the footer and header rails with the 12” pieces screwed into the 29.5” pieces. You will attach 7 rails on each of these keeping the same 3” gap (5” apart on center). Once assembled, screw into bedframe.

You have your DIY Toddler Bed almost done! Fill holes with the wood putty and let dry. Sand everything smooth once dried and begin painting with color of choice. Again, painting is optional! Use a paintbrush and small roller to completely cover bed with 2 coats of paint. Once the paint is dry, place into bedroom and decorate. You can wrap some fun string lights or a canopy like ours.

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  1. A DOR A BLE!!!!! I love it so much. What a great idea, that’s the perfect solution for any little princess. Well done! I’m not sure I have the skills to pull it off, the hubs for sure does not, LOL! But I’m kind of wishing I my little ones were younger so we could give it a shot. I’m sure this will be fully enjoyed until it’s time to graduate to a twin size. 2 Thumbs way up!

  2. How are the rails prepared? Did you just screw them? I would love some more detail on this, as I plan to make the bed this week 🙂

    1. Use the 2 x 2’s to assemble the rails using dry wall screws and attach to the bed frame posts with the construction screws.
      Assemble your rails before screwing into the bedframe.
      Cut each individual rail post at 12 inches and secure to the 35 inch 2 x 2’s for the sides. The header and footer are a bit smaller. The individual rails are still 12 inches long but will be secured to 29.5 inch pieces.
      Sand and use the wood putty to smooth everything out.
      I am a visual person myself, so referencing that numbered photo for measurements will really help keep it straight.

  3. Where in the world did you buy 2×2 and
    2×3 lumber? Lowe’s carry’s it but at
    $14.00 per 8 foot length. I can cut 2×4’s
    down but a true 2×4 is not 2” thick but
    1 1/2”. Any clarity would be appreciated.

      1. Sadly, I did not pay attention to where you purchased them at. I went to Lowe’s and the quality of the wood was terrible. I am using a twin mattress instead of the toddler bed. Other than that I plan on following your instructions. I am building this for my grand daughter and will need to transport it to their house. They have no room for me to build it but I hope I will not have issues assembling it at their house. Okay to send pics when it is finished?

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