My not yet 2 1/2 year-old girls are now in big girl beds! Yeah, I know. About a month ago, the girls decided they were done with cribs. It was quite unexpected. They’ve been able to climb out of their cribs for about a year, but just haven’t made an issue of it and we’ve been very lucky with their sleeping habits. I could count on one hand the number of bad nights we’ve had since they started sleeping through the night at 8 weeks old.
Needless to say, Jeremiah and I were a little bit cocky. But one day, they were just done. I wasn’t prepared. In fact, I tried to force it for about a week (more on that in another post), but eventually I gave in and put their crib mattresses on the ground while I tried to figure out what I was going to do about beds. BTW, how sad are their little crib mattresses on the ground?
I knew I wanted to build something, but since I thought I had at least 10 months before the transition, it wasn’t on the top of my priority list. Their room isn’t tiny, but any room is small with 2 beds in it, so I waffled between loft beds, side-by-side twin beds, and a bunk bed, before landing on a dual-level corner bed unit.
My mom had kept my brothers old bedroom set from Moosehead Manufacturing (closed since 2007), which is where the bureau and cabinet — that now lives in the girls closet — came from (pictured above). Of course, I didn’t take any before photos of the bed, but you can get an idea for it’s original look from that closet unit and those somewhat-sanded drawers. Basically, it’s a simple platform bed with 3 drawers on each side. Lucky for me, the drawer units are 2 separate pieces, so I was able to use one side of each drawer base as a foundation for each bed unit. Since this only gave me half a bed frame for each bed, I simply added a very simple leg frame using 2x4s to complete a full twin bed.
The lower bed sits directly on the frame, while the higher bed, has a 10″ shelf unit that I built using some leftover MDF I had in the workshop.
For the headboard and footboard pieces, I picked up a sheet of 1″ cabinet grade plywood and ripped it to get my (4) pieces. I used my jigsaw to scallop the edges, painted them and then attached them to the beds using wood screws.
I purchased these 8″ memory foam mattresses. They are our first ever memory foam mattresses and I’m already sold on them. They came packaged in boxes and we unrolled them and let them “inflate” for about 48 hours (although it seemed to only take about an hour for them to fully puff up). They’re solid mattresses for the price.
I painted the bed frames, drawers, headboards and footboards using Valspar Ballet Slipper. It looks white unless you put something white next to it, but I love how the soft, muted pink looks next to the bright blue walls. I have no issues with a “girly” room, but I’d like to keep the room somewhat balanced and gender-neutral.
I added a few sheets of heavy-duty gold-striped card stock to the back of the shelves on the higher bed. you’d hardly ever notice it, but it’s a quiet, fun little surprise.
Thanks to a few pieces of 1×4 and 1×2 strips of molding and a LOT of caulk, the piece gets a nice clean built-in look. I did use painter’s tape for most of the caulking work, but I got lazy on a few of the final touch-ups that showed up after removing the tape.
I recycled the owl knobs from my yellow sideboard for the drawers, which hide off-season clothes and extra blankets. Eventually I’ll utilize these for toys, but right now we have an excess of storage in this room.
Those adorable ice cream cone sheets are from Target’s new Pillowfort collection and they’re stupid cute and admittedly girly. We let the girls pick them out. I was rooting for the flamingo set but the ice cream cones won and in a wildly bizarre twist, they both picked the same ones. These may tip the gender-neutral balance just a touch.
We won’t be making a ton more changes to this room moving forward, but I will be adding some new artwork and some floating shelves above the beds. I also need to add steps or a ladder. The girls can get into the beds with a bit of muscle power, but they’re high enough that a ladder or stairs make sense. This footboard wall is so big and bare that I’m actually thinking that wall-climbing grips might be fun.
I also need to do some additional touch-ups to the patched walls. I apparently used the wrong sheen when patching from old artwork and you can see it. Womp! Add it to the list.