DIY: Chic and Cheap Upholstered Bed

By January 18, 2010At Home

Miles' First Bed

You know how much I love custom and cheap.  And you know how Miles can launch himself out of his crib and so he needed to have a bog boy bed.  Voila!  A very low to the ground and very chic alternative to a toddler bed.  And you can make it in any size!

I saw this idea for a DIY upholstered bed on Design Sponge (one of my all time favorite blogs) courtesy of Gabrielle Blair of Design Mom (another of my all time favorite blogs).  She gives a great tutorial on Design Sponge so check it out.  My tutorial has a few extra detail as as usual for those of us (like me) who like things literally spelled out step by step so there is less chance of complete failure.  I meant to post the tutorial tonight but I am going to the hospital to have my little girl in 6 hours and I only finished the bed yesterday and putting the covers on the bed during bath time tonight!  I still need to sew the pillow that matches the bottom but that will have to wait.

So…tutorial coming but here are some pics so you KNOW that you can do this.  Miles’ bed is a twin but I will be posting my suggestions for how to make this bed in a full, queen or king as well because you WILL need extra support to go larger.  I think it would make a great bed for any age and you can TOTALLY customize your look.  I also made this bed so that it has storage underneath that is accessible.  I have put all the kids travel stuff as well as our aero bed and guest sheets under there.  Woohoo!

Step One:  Have Home Depot or Lowe’s Cut Plywood or MDF to correct size.

MDF For Bed - All from One Sheet - $25

Step Two:  Attach all the side pieces.  I used an ottoman as my helper but a human would be better.  Especially if you are 9 months pregnant.

Screw Pieces Together

Step Three:  Attach Side Rails with Screws.  Again – helper helpful.  I had to go from both sides because to do it by yourself you have to turn the unit on its side and drill from the inside and then reinforce from the outside.

Attach Side Rails with Screws

Step Four:   Attach batting using staple gun while your children watch Dora before nap time in “The Boat”. 

Attach Batting to the "Boat"

Step 5:  Upholster Bed with Your Choice of Awesome Fabric.  This is what will determine your budget.  I fell in love with this chocolate houndstooth like fabric and spent $70.  I will have enough for 2 large pillows and a 2 window box valances.  You could go much cheaper but I was under sort of a deadline, you know.  I did not do a perfect job with my enemy the staple gun and will be covering the staples with a thick fabric and some glue just to be super safe.  This project takes a LOT of staples.

Completed Upholstered Bed Frame

Step 6:  Insert Plywood Panels also cut by Home Depot or Lowe’s.  You will not need a box spring for this bed, which rocks.  Notice I left a little bit of space between the panels so they can easily be pulled out to access storage underneath.

Mattress Support with Easy Access

Step 7:  Make the Bed and Enjoy!  As I said I still need to sew matching pillows but otherwise I love the mix of browns and the body pillow I found at Target for $10 up against the wall.  The light tan down blanket and chocolate covered twin plush blanket on the bottom of the bed are from Target too!  The shams are from Bed, Bath & Beyond. 

Great Under the Nook!

The puppy dog blanket was a baby gift.  SO CUTE!

Puppy Love

I think it was a hit.  Post bathtime the kids were ecstatic!

After Bath they Loved the Bed!

I hope you like this one as much as I do!  I think it is such a great alternative to spending a ton at Pottery Barn or Land of Nod and it is the right height for toddlers at a little over 14″.  I am going to let Miles pick out some animal pillows too since of course, what he really wanted was a Diego comforter.  I will post the tutorial in the next few weeks. 

For now I am off to have this baby!

I am linking up to Kimba’s DIY Day at a Soft Place to Land and Make your Monday at Twice Remebered!  Check out all the great DIY projects!

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Join the discussion 23 Comments

  • Zandi says:

    You are too much. WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!! Its an incredible project and beautiful bed PLUS you did it within HOURS of giving birth… I am in utter awe.

    marry me? 😉


  • Natasha says:

    You’re a rock star!
    .-= Natasha´s last blog ..Why I Breastfeed, Part Deux =-.

  • What an ingenious idea! I love it. And you’re right … it does look great in the nook!

  • You are my hero! I am so impressed!!!!

  • Girl…I think I have met my match in the land of crazy-mama’s! Hope you and the new baby are doing well! This so awesome I think I’m going to make one for my son…we just had to take the side off his crib because he was climbing out but haven’t bought a ‘bed’ yet!
    .-= Rachael-TooTutuCuteMommy´s last blog ..I have laundry OCD! =-.

  • TooManyHats says:

    Totally cute! Hey isn’t today baby day? Best wishes.
    .-= TooManyHats´s last blog ..It’s Official or Is It? =-.

  • Great bed! You make it look so easy!
    Paula Grace ~

  • Candice says:

    That’s so cute! I wonder how it would hold up to toddler rough-and-tumble behavior. I’d love to hear an update 6, 8+ mths from now as to how the bed is holding up. What a cool project – and I LOVE that puppy blanket!

    Can’t wait for the baby post!!!
    .-= Candice´s last blog ..Cake or death? =-.

  • The bed looks amazing! And to do it while 9 months pregnant? YOU are amazing!
    .-= C @ Kid Things´s last blog ..I Get It Now =-.

  • Heather says:

    That’s a very cool bed! Can’t believe you made it while you were 9 months pregnant. I am in awe.
    .-= Heather´s last blog ..What more could a girl want? =-.

  • Dawana says:

    I love it. It looks awesome! Maybe I can make the bed Hubby and I have always wanted instead of waiting on the right amount of money to buy it.
    .-= Dawana´s last blog ..Lysol TBC =-.

  • Angela says:

    Wow, I can’t believe you made that all by yourself!
    .-= Angela´s last blog ..Tackling a Road Trip =-.

  • Becki says:

    oh. my. gosh. words cannot express my amazement, at not only the bed, but also the fact of doing it mere hours before lovely Violet!
    I am SO doing this for London when she needs a big girl bed. Its so darn cute I’m tempted to do it now!
    .-= Becki´s last blog ..Rainy Week Plan =-.

  • Melisa says:

    Wanted to let you know that your post inspired us to make our very own upholstered toddler bed! So far the boy likes it…but we are only on day one. 🙂
    .-= Melisa´s last blog ..Um…yeah. =-.

    • Brittany says:

      That’s awesome! Are you going to post pics? If not please send one to me!

      • Melisa says:

        Got a few pics over at my blog! The boy is having a good time climbing in and out of it..but not a full nights sleep in it yet. I think he has decided to battle his mom and see whom will outlast whom! 🙂

        Also, thanks for posting pics as you went along! I always feel better about a project if I can go back and look at pictures!
        .-= Melisa´s last blog ..Toddler Bed =-.

  • Kristi says:

    I have been interested in this bed since you posted it!!! We are finally about to move my baby out of the crib…mostly becaues the bed is recalled. I have two questions though….instead of putting the plywood on the bottom do you tthink I could just put the boxsprings in there? (We already have it is why i am asking) Also if I do that is do you think I could still put a railing up if needed to catch her?

  • Mommyofthreeboys says:

    I was just wondering what size mattress this is. Is it a twin or a toddler size? Thanks.

  • Krystal says:

    I was wondering what the measurments of the bed were. Both my LO’s are ready for a big kid bed and I hope to have the hubby make this bed for both (in twin, like you.). Also how much fabric did you use? Sorry to be a pest but these are questions he keeps bugging me with 🙂 so I thought I’d ask!
    Krystal recently posted… Oompa toys giveaway!My Profile

    • Brittany says:

      Krystal, the reason I did not include measurements is because even twin size mattresses differ slightly. It is always best to measure the mattress. Otherwise, use standard twin mattress dimensions and make sure that you add a little room on each side so the mattress is not forced in there. I used an inch. Make sure you are taking the interior dimensions into consideration as you cut and fasten your wood. There will be an overhang. In my case, I was using 3/4 inch so I needed my top and bottom to be an extra 1 1/2 inches wide since they would be “covering” the sides to be fastened. So my sides were the exact length that I wanted for my mattress but the top and bottom were just over the exact width so that I would maintain that number in my interior. As far as fabric – I believe I bougth 4 years and had some left over for window coverings. It will all depend on whether you can run the fabric horizontally. Just assume you will need 6 or so inches to wrap around the top and bottom plus the height of your bed. Then calculate the total length of all your sides. Draw a little picture and bring this into the fabric store of your choice. They can help you with this calculation. Good luck! I would love to see pics!

  • […] are interested, here is a picture of  the very safe and easy to get into bed I built for Miles and here is the post on how you can build one too!  It’s cheap and easy and so chic!  And you can build it in […]

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