DIY Ana White Jr. Loft Bed

Since moving into our house I haven’t been happy with the boys bunk beds. I didn’t like how awkward it was to crawl up and snuggle with Jack and I was always scared of someone falling off the ladder. So we split the beds into two twins which left them no room to play. 
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When we got new bedroom carpet a few weeks ago, we had to disassemble the beds to move them out. That’s when I came up with the idea to build the boys the perfect bed. After years swooning over all the plans on Ana White’s blog and reading her book “The Handbuilt Home” this was the perfect opportunity to try our hand at some furniture building. Thankfully when I cautiously presented the plans for the Jr. Loft Bed to Matt he was even on board! So we sold the old beds and prepared for our biggest project to date (maybe not the hardest, but the biggest in size!)
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Although nothing about it was difficult, it was time consuming, and consumed the greater part of two weekends. We followed the plans on Ana White’s blog pretty close, other than narrowing up the stairs by a few inches due to a furnace vent that would have been in the way. We bought all of our boards at Menards which came in just under $100 including the large piece of plywood. I spent chunks of time throughout the week getting all of the boards sanded. Then we spent a Saturday getting all the boards cut to the proper size. Then it was a week full of giving all the wood 2 coats of Bulls Eye primer and a top coat of high gloss cabinet paint.

The boys were SO excited the whole time we were building it and love it. Masey calls the whole bed his “top bunk”, even though he sleeps on the bottom. They also have dubbed the area under the platform the “hideout” and think they are invisible when they are hiding in there.
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I installed Ikea Kramare lights next to each of their beds to use as booklamps. (Thanks Dana @ *HouseTweaking*).
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I also installed the Ikea Kvartal track system around the inside of the bottom bunk. I used these clips from Ace to hang these Ikea curtains that I altered.
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One convenient coincidence was that the boys lego play tray fits perfectly under their stairs!
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I think I may revive the gutter bookshelves and put one next to each of their beds, but I’m still contemplating that one! For now I’m just happy that they are safe, they have room to play, and there’s room for Matt and I to snuggle them both every night.
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I also LOVE how great their Pirate Quilts that I made them look with these curtains!
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If you want to see how to make the quilts click here:
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Comments

  1. says

    Too stinkin’ cute! So are your boys! The bed looks like so much fun! I love the curtain fabric, and those quilts are to die for, LOVE IT ALL!

  2. says

    My husband and I have been contemplating something like this for our boys’ first bunk bed. I really like your version and I think I will have to show this to him. Thanks!

  3. Cassondra Pierce says

    Do you have an actual plan w/ measurements for this jr loft bed ? If so send if possible…. Thanks

  4. Megan says

    Curious to know what you assembled outside and what you assembled inside to be sure everything fits in door frames! :) Going to start this project this weekend!

    • Jess says

      We assembled the stairs and stair platform outside, as well as both the headboard and footboard pieces of the bed. Then once we were inside we did the horizontal pieces that attach the headboard to the footboard. Hope that helps!

  5. Sarah says

    Did you use a bunkie board or attach extra slats? I am working on my plans right now-love your version! Do I use 39″ slats and attach them to the cleats horizontally?? Or is that what you used the plywood for? Thanks for your help.

    • Jess says

      I used a large piece of plywood that we attached to the cleats, but I think a junkie board would work just as well. It would probably be easier to cut, attach, and haul than a huge piece of plywood. I’d love for you to share pictures when it’s done!

  6. Erin says

    Your brag post caught my eye at Ana White’s site. We need bunk beds for our girls, but putting a bed under the loft like you did would save on lumber costs. Is there a frame or platform under the bottom mattress? My girls are older (11&9) so I want them to have beds to grow into but don’t want to spend $300-$500 to build full bunk beds. Pretty soon the baby will need to move from her pack n play to a toddler bed (we’ll then need to build a bed for the previous toddler) so the girls’ room is in need of some space saving solutions! Right now it seems like wall to wall beds!

    Great job! I love the curtains, fun colors, quilts and everything. Ana White’s plans have made our house much more functional…six kids in a small house with a tight budget & we can still have decent furniture. I love the brag posts so I can see what great things others have done, thanks for posting yours!

  7. Kelly says

    Hi there! I came across your blog on Pinterest. We, too, have this loft bed in our daughter’s room. I want to add curtains as you’ve done. However, I can figure how to mount the Kvartal rail to the bed. How did you attach the rail? Thanks.

    • says

      There are little cylinder pieces from ikea that you mount to the bed, then you tighten the rail only those cylinder pieces. Here is the link to the ikea install video if that helps? Good Luck! I remember it being complicated too.

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