Mandal madness: Turn your bed into a storage bed and get an almost free cabinet!

Hi everybody… here the question is: how to turn your bed into a storage bed?

Me and my wife got to this point some time ago. We chose a bed without storage, but we got lots of stuff to store… and then, walking around at the IKEA store, we got the inspiration: Mandal is the answer!

Below our bed the free space is 19.5 cm high, so I had to find a storage structure with the drawer not taller than that.

Mandal bed is a little taller, but I checked the assembling instructions and noticed that it was possible to obtain a structure not taller than 19.5 cm. All you have to do is not to assemble the lower part of Mandal bed, that is the footing. You just have to let the “drawer” cabinet sit on ground.

Now, something to say about the finish; our bedroom is definitely classic, nothing to do with Mandal finish. So, I decided to turn it to “sugar” white.

Let’s start:

1. I started by sanding the external parts, then I painted them first with a coat of primer paint, then with 2 coats of finish color;


The same procedure for the birch frame and the drawers fronts, but I needed a little more sanding for the latters. I didn’t uproot all the white acrylic paint, but I needed to set the surface a little rougher to help the primer paint cling.


2. When the paint was pretty dry, I assembled the frame, but without the lower frame, the one that should be touching the floor; that means I skipped the steps 12 to 25 of the assembling instructions;

3. Now, the point is: step 12 is very important, because that is the central support for the whole frame; I simply replaced the supplied support with a taller one, to let it reach the floor;

4. I partially made step 16, assembling only the longer trees to finish the frame;

5. At this point the lower side of my storage was ready, but I didn’t want it to get full of dust, so I decided to cover it; I used some weed control fabric, it was a good and very cheap solution; I arranged it with some drawing pins;



The following picture shows the central support, covered with fabric


6. I was ready for step 26, so I turned the frame upside down;


7. I assembled the drawer slides;

8. Mandal storage bed is a real bed, but I didn’t need it as a bed, and I didn’t need to include the slats; so, I skipped steps 28 and 29; instead, I decided to cover the top of my storage with hardboard sheets; I added two little wooden supports in the middle;



9. Last steps: the drawers; I assembled them faithfully, but worked on the finish quite a bit, to meet the room’s style…


10. the hard part: we moved the frame underneath our bed;



This step proved to be a little harder than expected: I must have made some mistakes when estimating length, but the fact was that the frame didn’t fit. So we removed it and I had to:

– disassemble the top cover;

– saw away 2 corners;

– fill the screw holes with putty;

– paint the new exposed parts;

The result was definitely better than expected…



This part was as annoying as unexpected, and I have no pictures of this phase. But I found the way to take advantage of such unexpected disassemble. There was one thing that I didn’t like at all: the drawers don’t fill all the disposable space. So I added two shelves behind the drawers. I have no pictures, so I painted one of the shelves just to let you know what I mean:


I tried to take a picture of one shelf after reassembling the frame, from the open hole of one drawer; sorry for the quality of the picture…


And now, the very final result:




Well, I was definitely satisfied by what I got, but I looked at these remainders from Mandal bed frame…


and couldn’t stop thinking that we needed a cabinet for the bathroom… 14 solid pine slats, 7 cm wide, 135 cm long… then I made up my mind, put the drill back in the holster, and embarked for the new adventure.

My idea was to make a cabinet about 60 cm wide and 40 cm deep, and not taller than 150 cm. I decided to use the slats for the sidewall of the cabinet. So the best fitting to the desired depth was 6 slats each side: 6 x 7 cm = 42 cm. And I had 2 spare slats, in case of trouble…

1. I started by assembling 6 slats to make the sidewalls;


I used 2 flat wooden strips in the middle (section 20 mm x 45 mm), which will serve as shelf supports, and 2 square section (30 mm) wooden strips in the corners, which will help me get right angles.


2. once finished both sidewalls, I added 2 wooden boards (fir wood), one on the top and one in the bottom;

3. I added two strips on the back to increase strength and stability;




4. I started designing the door: one only door, classic style, with one frame and filled with fir wooden joint strips; I did not have any problem, so decided to use the spare slats for the frame (long sides);

5. the slats were only 2 cm deep, so I added some strips to increase the full depth to 3 cm; I added the strips in the inner side of the door; I needed this depth for the hinges;




6. then I painted both the cabinet and the door: first the primer paint…




7. then the finishing paints: white for the body, and vivid “lime” green for the door;



8. I mounted the hinges


9. and the feet with feltres





10. Added one handle…

11. .. and moved the cabinet to its place!



12. Later I added a magnetic closure.

13. And finally I made the shelves, with a smart solution for storing the floor washing tools…



That’s it. Below you can see the Mandal parts that exist in this cabinet, I highlighted them!


Bye bye