Saturday, November 19, 2011

DIY Canopy Doll Bed - It's Done!


Those of you who follow me on Facebook already know that I've been working on a doll canopy bed for my oldest daughter. I'm making each of them a doll bed and intended to use the plans for Ana White's farmhouse doll bed like this:

At first, I was just going to do three of the exact same bed (I have three girls), but my 2-year-old caught me looking at plans and saw this bed as well as Ana's doll crib, and she BEGGED for the crib. So then I was committed to doing a crib for her. THEN I fell in love with Ana's bunk bed plans and wanted to try that for the "middle child". But I knew if I did the bunk and the crib, then my oldest would feel like her bed was kinda plain. Don't get me wrong, the farmhouse bed is fab! But my girls are a little glam. They like frills and ruffles. 

So I scoured the online pages of PB Kids, and I found this:

Perfect! I used Ana's farmhouse plans as kind of a guideline.

Here's my lumber all ready to go (that pile also included lumber for the bunk bed and the crib).

Ana's plans are for American Girl dolls, but my kids really love stuffed animals. My daughter got this Hello Kitty from Build-a-Bear for her birthday, so she was my model here. Turns out she's about the same size as the American Dolls (18").

If you remember, we left our circular saw in Hawaii (and I have yet to fork out the cash for a miter saw), so I was left using the stupid jigsaw we got at the pawn shop when we arrived here. It works fine, but a jigsaw is NOT the tool you want to be using for straight, nice cuts. Blah. It was perfect for the headboard and footboard, though! Lucky for you, you can just have the Lowe's guy cut it all for you there at the store...I still wasn't sure of the sizes, so I left mine long and had to cut them myself.

Purchase list:
1x6 (1 at 8' long) - $5.50
2x2 furring strip (1 at 8' long) - $1.38
1x2 furring strip (1 at 8' long) - $.98
1x3 furring strip (1 at 8' long) - $1.58
Finials (optional) - $2.00 for 4 at Hobby Lobby
Decorative piece on headboard - $2.00 for 2 at Hobby Lobby
Screws, brad nails, Gorilla Glue

Total - about $13.50

That's to do one. You will have lots of left-over lumber, so you could easily do 2 with this amount of wood. You'd just need to purchase another $.98 1x2 and more finials.

Cut list:

2x2 - cut 4 pieces @ 18" each
1x6 - cut 2 pieces @ 9.5" each
1x3 - cut 2 pieces @ 18" each
1x2 - cut 2 pieces @ 9.5" each, 2 pieces at 18" each, and 2 or 3 (depending on how many slats you want on the bottom of the bed--I recommend 3) at 10" each

For the headboard and footboard, I just penciled in on the 1x6 (that you should have had cut to 9.5" each) how I wanted the design to look. You can change it up, of course, but this is a classic look. And this is where the jigsaw actually proved useful!

To make the headboard appear bigger than the footboard (without purchasing a 1x8 or 1x10), I simply placed it higher up on the legs than the footboard. The headboard should be up 5" from the bottom, and the footboard is up 3" from bottom. So this piece shown is the headboard. I should have taken a side-by-side comparison of the two, but oh well. You get it, right?

This was done at about 1:00 in the morning, so pics were the last thing on my mind. I wish I had taken one of the base (center that you attach the headboard and footboard to), but Ana's plans are excellent. Look at step 10 for reference. The sides on this one are the 1x3's cut at 18", and the head and foot (and center) are the 1x2's cut at 10".

Once the headboard, footboard, and base are all finished, put them together. I placed mine up 3" from bottom of the legs, so it's flush with the bottom of the footboard. You now have a four-poster bed!

To get the canopy look, take your last four 1x2's and put them across the front, back, and sides right at the top (flush with the top of the legs).  My furring strips split, so I ended up using Gorilla Glue to try to patch it back together. What a mess. Blah!

Every time I go to Lowes or HD, I always check the Oops! paint section to see if there's anything I like. I got lucky and found this awesome gray quart that was marked to $2.50! I wanted all white bedding and knew a gray bed would be the perfect match.

I'll share tutorials for the mattress and bedding later, but I had SO much fun making them. Anyone who's just starting to sew should really consider making doll bedding or doll clothes. They don't use much material (and you can use cheap stuff), and it gives you great practice!

Here's the headboard detail I Gorilla Glued on.

Here's a view of the headboard and footboard cut-outs. Can you tell the headboard is raised higher than the footboard?  That's the kids' Christmas tree in the background. They get their own tree in their room. We're that nuts.

You might also notice the round finials aren't in this pic. I'm still not 100% sold on them. I'm trying to find the perfect crystal doorknobs at the perfect price. I'd like to try those before settling on anything. So the finials have been painted but not attached.

Here's a pic with my 2-year-old, so you can see the size of it:

She's an independent two, people. She dresses herself.

Doesn't the little jelly roll pillow just melt you?

I had way too much fun making the bedding. The shams on the pillows are removable, as is the tulle on the jelly roll pillow.

And the best part? The jelly roll pillow and curtains are made from my wedding dress. Awwww. Remember when I ripped it up for pillows?  Yeah...tons left over still.

Ok, so I wasn't sure if people would actually be ready to build a bed like this, so I didn't bother making a PDF of the headboard and footboard. But let me know if you're interested! If enough people want it, I'll put it up. :)

UPDATE:  The PDF is up! HERE is a link for the headboard/footboard printable!

What do you think?


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