Mother Crafts Daughter’s Dream Loft Bed on a Budget

kids loft bed diy
Photo Credit: Marion @homerevive_by_m

Marion sought ways to make her daughter’s bedroom dreams come true without breaking the bank. Her daughter had drawn a picture of the exact loft bed she wanted, but custom-built options were over €3,000 ($3,230) – far more than their renovation budget could allow.

diy kids loft bed plan
Photo Credit: Marion @homerevive_by_m

Not wanting to compromise her daughter’s vision, Marion got to work with her father to brainstorm cheaper DIY kids loft bed options. After much debate, they devised a plan to build the bed frame using affordable IKEA furniture and additional materials.

IKEA items:

  • 3 SMÅSTAD/PLATSA (47.2″ / 120 cm)
  • 3 KALLAX shelving units to make the stairs: 1×1, 1×2 and 3×3

Other materials and tools:

  • MDF for the board from Castorama – maximum thickness of 4 wooden posts
  • One bed frame from But to lift the mattress from the floor
  • Wooden strips to make the wood slats
  • Wood panels to reinforce the KALLAX stairs
  • Wallpaper from KametLeon

DIY kids loft bed project

diy kids loft bed with IKEA furniture
Photo Credit: Marion @homerevive_by_m

The base was constructed from three IKEA SMÅSTAD/PLATSA units stacked to form the frame. “The goal,” Marion explains on her Instagram @homerevive_by_m, “is not to be standing underneath (the bed) but to have a cabin for reading.” The IKEA pieces are not the only support; she fixed four wooden posts to the ground to hold up the MDF board above.

Three KALLAX units were utilized creatively – one as a single step, one as a double step, and one as a triple step to create a stairway up to the bed. Marion used wood panels to reinforce the KALLAX stairs to ensure safety after she heard a “crack” when climbing them.

diy kids loft bed with wood slats
Photo Credit: Marion @homerevive_by_m

Wood slats, MDF boards from Castorama, and a bed frame structure from BUT were used to construct the mattress platform above the IKEA units.

Finally, wallpaper from KAMETLEON brought the design together.

The cost for the entire construction was lower than the custom-built quote at over $3K. Marion says it costs “around 700 euros ($750) for the complete bed including wallpaper, the wood slats, bed frame, and IKEA furniture.”

Admitting that some parts of the hack were “not easy,” particularly building out the wood slats, Marion feels it was worth the effort, knowing they did it themselves. “Yes, there are plenty of little faults, and it’s not perfect, but we love this custom space and spend much time reading stories in the hut. And thanks to the KALLAX stairs, my daughter has bookshelves next to her reading nook.”

The hardest part about this DIY kid’s loft bed project was ensuring the structure was sturdy and wouldn’t wobble or move. “Attaching the boards securely took a lot of trial and error to get right,” says Marion.

“How do you change the sheets?”

The first thought of parents looking at loft beds like these is, “How do you change the sheets?” Marion explains, “When building something like this, it’s important to make sure you can still access all areas easily, like being able to change the sheets. We left the back open without wood slats, but it (changing sheets) is still not easy.”

Is there anything she would have done anything differently? “No, I think we did a great job, and my daughter is so happy with how it turned out. Overall, I’m pleased with the result.”

Through creativity, perseverance, and a willingness to get hands-on, Marion could fulfill her daughter’s specific bed vision without the exorbitant price tag of a custom job. She crafted the perfect suspended dream bed within their budget with some elbow grease and repurposed IKEA items. Her DIY skills allowed for a unique bedroom feature while staying on budget for their entire home renovation.

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