My oldest son Hunter, age 6, loves to play with trains and build his wooden tracks all over his room, and I mean all over.
Also, about half of the floor space in his room was taken up by his full size bed, that we got from IKEA, a couple of years ago.
The challenge is that when it is time to put him to sleep, my wife nor I, can barely get to his bed because the tracks are all over the place. So that is when I started to do some research on Loft Beds for Kids.
My Research Results on Loft Beds for Kids
Here were my three main challenges that led me to do more research:
- We needed a full size loft bed, not a twin size
- The cost to buy one, one that I really wanted, was way too expensive
- Couldn’t find the exact style and height to match up
Now let’s take a quick moment to break these down in detail.
1) The Need for a Full Size Loft Bed and Not a Twin Size Loft Bed
When I researched on the words “Loft Beds for Kids” most of the loft beds that came up at the time, were for twin size beds. The challenge with this is that Hunter’s bedtime process involves my wife, Mandy, laying down with Hunter, reading a book or two, of Hunter’s choosing, praying, and then many times she will lay down with Hunter the first 15-20 minutes until he dozes off….oh, and many times, Mandy dozes off too! lol 🙂 The challenge is that a twin size bed is just not as comfortable to do that on.
2) The Cost to Buy the One We Really Wanted, Was Way Too Expensive
After researching for awhile, I did find some websites that had some full size, loft bed choices.
Here are some of those sites:
(Be Warned: On Wayfair, when you search for “loft beds” this website brings up “bunk and loft beds” together, so you will literally have to search through many pages to find what you are looking for, and even then, might not find it)
The least expensive one I saw, about $219, looked too skimpy, it didn’t look sturdy enough, and it was just too plain. I wanted something that had the look and feel of strong, and sturdy, and the ones that really fit that description, ranged from $1,000-$2,000!!! I couldn’t believe it. That was way more than I was willing to pay.
3) We Couldn’t Find the Exact Height of the Loft Bed and Style to Match Up.
Hunter is 6 and this will be his first loft bed. We didn’t want anything that would be too high or else he would never want to sleep in it by himself…and I wasn’t gonna have him sleeping in our room every night, that’s for sure. When it came to the Loft Beds for Kids, all of the full size loft beds, stood 5 feet tall, and while this may be perfect for teenagers, we wanted something that was only about 3-4 feet tall.
The twin size loft beds came in at only 3-4 feet tall, which was more the height we were looking for, but the styles we really wanted were all full size loft beds. The twin size loft beds, in my opinion, didn’t look sturdy enough, and like I mentioned above, this would not work for the bed time process my wife has with Hunter.
DIY Kid Loft Bed Instructions and Tips
I am sure you are aware, that Pinterest has many DIY ideas, from everything inside the house, and outside, including DIY Loft Beds for Kids. I started seeing a lot of pictures on Pinterest that showed how you can create a loft bed, not a bunk bed, but a loft bed, which would allow for more floor space for Hunter to play on.
I couldn’t find one that was an exact fit for the type of IKEA bed that we had. By the way, you can literally search on Pinterest for IKEA Kids Bed Hacks, and get tons of results. There were a couple of images I found that were the style we were looking for but it was designed for a twin size loft bed.
I asked my dad if we could use the same style and design from the twin size loft bed, but with Hunter’s full size bed. Now my dad loves a challenge and he loves his grand kids, so without hesitating, he said, “We can absolutely do that.” And so the building and construction of the loft bed for Hunter began.
The Ikea full size bed we originally purchased for Hunter was called the Tarva, and the bed frame was pine, which we chose because we wanted to put our own dark brown wood stain on it.
My dad and I were able to turn the Ikea Full Size Bed, into this:
When I search the internet for how to make or build something, I search for ideas and concepts, not necessarily detailed instructions, unless I want something to look exactly the same as the image or video I am looking at.
That being said, while you might not have the exact twin or full size bed, when you decide to convert to a loft bed yourself, here are a couple of tips to consider beforehand:
- When it comes to the 4 posts that make the bed frame, many examples you will find online will be made with 2x4s but we strongly recommend using 4×4 posts
- Use 6 inch screws and pre-drill the holes, to attach the 4×4 posts to the bed frame (we recommend using the Kobalt 24v Impact Driver for this)
- For the side of the bed that will be against the wall, use a 2×4 to attach the bottom of the 4×4 posts together, as seen in the photo below
- If you have young kids, like mine, we recommend putting in a removable rail at the top, using 2x4s
- Use metal brackets to brace two or more of the posts, to a stud in the wall (this is KEY, if you want to have a DIY loft bed that doesn’t shake at all!)
- 4x4x8 – 2
- 6 inch screws with hex nut heads – 16
- Long screw bit we bought specifically for this project
- 2x4x8 – 3
- wooden stain
- Foam paint brush
- Shop towels
Cost of all materials about $70…now that is something I can do! 🙂
DIY Loft Bed for Kids Conclusion
This project took about an hour of research, an hour to plan, and about 8 hours to construct. By the way, we could have done it in half the time, but we made some mistakes along the way, which is why we posted about those mistakes, and how to avoid them, in the instructions and tips section above.
So there you have it. That is how we do it here at Tools 4 Guys, specifically my dad and I, on this particular project. How we went from a full size bed and turned it into a loft bed for kids, specifically, my kid.
To Being Heroes for Our Kids,