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How to Build a Kid-Friendly Bed (page 3 of 3)

Follow these step-by-step instructions to learn how to build a platform bed with built-in storage in the headboard and swing-out drawers underneath.

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Step 7: Attach Trim to the Drawer and Base

Use a router with a round-over bit to create a decorative profile on the rotating drawer.

Using brad nails, attach decorative trim to the drawer and base. Sand, prime and paint the rotating drawer and base as desired.

Step 8: Build the Headboard

Nothing says "sweet dreams" like a bedtime story. Top off the platform bed project with a house-shaped headboard that doubles as a bookcase for bedtime reads. Create the basic structure, reinforce it with smaller pieces of wood, then add the trim, paint and other decorative touches that give the piece its personality.

The headboard for this custom bed is basically a plywood box with internal supports, shelves and an angled "roof." As with the bed's platform base, sketch out a scale drawing of the headboard before getting started. The headboard should be the same width as the bed -- 38" for the project bed. If the headboard will double as a bookcase, make it 12" deep (a standard shelf depth) and whatever height suits the user.

Cut 3/4" plywood pieces for the front, back, sides and bottom of the headboard box, based on the scale drawing. For the house-shaped bookcase headboard, Karl cut a back piece that combined the rectangular box shape and the triangular "roof" area to back up the entire piece. The front of the box was a rectangle that left the triangular area open to the front for book storage (Image 1).

Cut an additional plywood piece the same size as the bottom of the box. This will serve as the shelf to hold the books.

Step 9: Assemble the All Components

To assemble the headboard, lay out the back piece, position the sides and attach with wood glue and nails.

Position the bottom of the box so that it sits inside the sides and front; attach to the back and sides with glue and nails (Image 1). Attach the shelf in the same manner.

Cut additional pieces of 3/4" plywood and use them to create internal supports similar to those on the bed platform. Glue and nail these into place, then attach the front of the box with glue and nails. With the front in place, nail into the shelves and supports from the outside of the piece.

Cut pieces of 1/2" plywood to shape the peaked roof. Glue and nail these into place (Image 2).

Cut strips of 1-1/2" x 1/4" pine to the same length as the roof's depth. Position and nail these into place as "shingles" for the roof.

Step 10: Finish the Bed

Attach decorative wood trim, then prime and paint the piece. Karl nailed decorative rope trim on all edges of the headboard.

Now it's time to put everything together. Drill holes and use lag bolts to attach the headboard to the bed platform, put the piece in place and add a mattress and bedding. Load up the shelves and rotating drawer, and you have a bed fit for a princess.

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