Published: 3/22/2007

In December of 2006 I built a bed for Evan, since he was outgrowing his crib. Here’s a little bit of information on the project.

Status: Finished (for now)
Project cost: ~$200
Interior dimensions: 78″ long x 42″ wide x 42″ tall
Exterior dimensions: 79-1/2″ long x 43-1/4″ wide x 84″ tall (excluding roof overhangs)

clubhouse bed

Evan’s clubhouse bed is designed for twin-size beds on both bottom and top bunks, but since Evan doesn’t have a roommate, the top bunk can be a play area instead. When he gets older I’ll put a ladder to the top bunk and build a porch railing around the roof.

I constructed the bed out of 7 sheets of 1/2″ plywood, using 2x2s for supports, attachment points, etc. At first, I didn’t think those materials would be strong enough, but since everything is well braced the bed doesn’t wiggle at all and easily supports my weight on the top bunk. I used mostly 1-5/8″ square drive wood screws to hold things together.

The roof is made from 1x4s and a 1×6 and uses 1x2s to simulate the exposed ends of the rafters at the eaves. The trim is mostly 1/2″ x 1-1/2″ pine, but since trim is expensive I just made it from 2x4s by ripping them with a table saw and routing the edges. The roofing material is just regular birch underlayment cut and stained to look like cedar shingles.

The artwork was created by my wife’s sister, Megan. At the time, Evan was a big fan of the Wiggles and Captain Feathersword, so the decorations have a pirate theme. There’s a treasure chest, a parrot and a sign with Evan’s name on it.

I assembled everything down in the garage, not counting the trim. Since it’s way too big to fit through doorways, I took each panel apart and we carefully sanded, primed and painted everything. Finally, I assembled the bed in Evan’s room and installed the trim. Much of the trim will have to come off if we’re going to move it out of that room.

Evan likes his bed, and has slept in it since he turned two. He likes to climb through the windows, and he uses some old daybed bolsters as “gates” across the door every night.

Required tools:

  • Drill/driver
  • Circular saw
  • Tape measure
  • Square
  • Level
  • Sander

Tools to make life easier:

  • Miter saw
  • Air compressor and brad nailer
  • Clamps
  • Scroll saw (for making shingles)
  • Table saw (for making trim)
  • Router and roundover bits (for making trim)

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