DIY: How to make an Ikea Hack children’s cabin bed with secret den.
In this step-by-step tutorial, I’ll show you how we made an Ikea Hack children’s cabin bed using Ikea Nordli chests of drawers. Not only did our cabin bed design help to maximise storage space in our daughter’s small bedroom, it also saved us money compared to ready-made cabin beds and mid-sleepers. Even better, we were able to add an extra special feature for our daughter…A hidden den.
Why build an Ikea Hack children’s cabin bed?
In my earlier post (HERE) I explained our daughter, Emily, was growing up fast and needed more room. Her room was relatively small, with a large low window making it tricky to put furniture in front of it. One solution was to raise the bed higher so she could have more drawers underneath the bed, rather than trying to fit even more furniture items into her small bedroom.
We looked at scores of readymade cabin beds and mid-sleepers, but none matched her needs. That’s when we decided to make a cabin / mid-sleeper bed by ‘hacking’ IKEA NORDLI chests into a simple yet stylish cabin bed that would last Emily for years. Designing and making our own mid-sleeper bed meant we could make it to our own specifications and add some special features too.
The best bit of our Ikea Hack children’s cabin bed design is the secret den we created in the ‘dead’ space behind the drawers. The den is the perfect size for her camping mat so it doubles as an extra bed, with bedding, pillows and a string of lights.
Before you start: Alternative Ikea Hack cabin bed instructions.
If you do want to have a go at this Ikea Hack bedroom makeover, let me tell you about another method of building an Ikea Hack cabin bed. This alternative method saves you having to cut MDF to size for the headboard and shelf by hacking more Ikea products. In fact, we’d originally planned to build Emily’s bed using this method, but in the end, I just couldn’t face another long trip to Ikea!
You can build a ‘fully Ikea hacked’ cabin bed using:
1.Ikea Lack Coffee Table top (white) for the headboard (at 1180mm L and 450mm W, the table top is ideal as there would be no need for sawing or painting you just need to make sure the plywood sheets for the bed base are 1180mm wide and not 1150mm wide)
2. Ikea Gnedby Shelving unit (white) for the shelf (laid horizontally on the plywood base against the back wall). Simply cut the shelving unit to the correct length (192cm instead of the original 202cm so it can be butted up against the Ikea Lack coffee table headboard) and have the open side facing the back wall to create a closed shelf. At 20cm high x 17cm deep, it wouldn’t be as high as the MDF shelf I made but it would still be higher than many regular children’s mattresses.
Step-by-step guide: How to build an Ikea Hack cabin bed.
- 3 Ikea Nordli chests of drawers in white (2 x 80cm three drawer chest and 1 x 40cm three drawer chest) – We considered the cheaper Malm drawers but there isn’t a narrow three drawer chest in this range, only a two drawer chest.
- 1 Pax 58mm x 150mm x 236 cm sliding wardrobe with Hasvik doors
- 1 Billy 80cm bookcase with extension unit.
- 1 IKEA BEKVÄM step stool.
For mattress frame:
- Smooth planed timber (T)18mm x (W)168mm x (L)1800/2400mm* for the mattress frame. As you will post likely be building the mattress frame yourselves, you will need enough timber for the 2 x 1900mm sides of the mattress frame and 1 x 970mm end panel. You may prefer a different width of timber e.g. 145mm, depending on the depth of your single mattress.
- L-brackets (or similar) to attach the end of the wooden mattress frame to the two sides and also for fixing the frame to the plywood base.
For an optional slatted base for mattress:
- Smooth planed timber (battens to support bed slats) 2 x 25mm (T) x 25mm (W) x 1900mm (L)
- Smooth planed timber (bed slats) 12 or 13 slats 17mm (T) x 70mm (W) x 900mm (L)
For the support frame:
- 4 x smooth planed timber battens 38mm (T) x 63mm (W) x 665mm (L).
- 2 x smooth planed timber battens 38mm (T) x 63mm (W) x 1800mm (L).
- Smooth planed timber 18mm (T) x 70mm (W) x 1800mm (L). This is to fix the support frame to so that is the same distance from wall as skirting board)
For bed base:
- Plywood 18mm (T) x 1150mm (W) x 2000mm (L) for the bed base. We asked the DIY store to cut it into 1150mm x 1000mm sheets for ease of transport. NB. If you are using a lack coffee table top as a headboard then the plywood base must be cut 1180mm wide.
For shelf and headboard:
- 18mm MDF sheet* – ours measured (T) x 1220mm (W) x 2440mm.
- 2 x smooth planed timber batten 18mm (T) x 44mm (W) x 1500mm (L) (to support shelf where it meets wall and plywood base). Note we didn’t need these to be as long as the shelf to support.
- 3 x L-brackets to fix top shelf to front edge of shelf.
*The 18mm MDF sheet was cut to the correct size at the DIY store as follows: SHELF: shelf top, 162mm (W) x 1900mm (L); shelf front 300mm (H) x 1920mm (L); shelf end 162mm (W) x 300mm (H). HEADBOARD: Front panel, 18mm (T) x 1132mm (W) x 602mm (H); Top panel, 18mm (T) x 1132mm (W) x 80mm (D); Side panel, 18mm (T) 80mm (W) x 620mm (H).
Other tools & materials.
- 80mm (approx 6mm diameter) flathead wood screws
- 20mm flathead wood screws
- 8 wall anchor bolts (type depending on wall construction)
- Wood filler
- 250ml all Surface Quick-Drying Primer & undercoat
- 750ml quick-drying satinwood paint (Brilliant white).
- Synthetic paintbrush 2-inch.
- Mini gloss roller.
- Fine (120 grade) sandpaper
- Tape measure
- Cordless or manual screwdriver
- Countersink drill bit
- Wood or multipurpose drill bit
- Handsaw or electric saw
- We used our daughter’s existing wooden bed frame for this project. If you don’t have a suitable bed frame, you can easily make a frame for the mattress (with or without slats) using 18mm (T) x 144mm (W) timber.
- You don’t have to build the shelf along the back of the mattress frame against the wall. However, the extra width of the plywood base needed for the shelf gave us more space behind the chest of drawers so we could do something very special with it (see later).
Diagrams of the finished Ikea Hack Children’s Cabin bed.
1. Make a wooden frame for your single mattress. For the sides, use two lengths of 18mm planed whitewood timber measuring 168mm (W) x 1900mm (L), and for the foot, use one piece of timber measuring 168mm (W) x 970mm (L).
This frame will suit a standard single bed measuring 900mm (W) x 1900mm (L). Attach the sides and end panel using 20mm screws and L-brackets. Leave the top end of the bed frame open, as this is where you will install the headboard.
Optional step: If you wish to add a slatted base, screw 25mm x 25mm x 1900mm timber battens along the inside of both long sides of the wooden bed frame. These battens will support 900mm wooden bed slats) – you can buy packs of bed slats for single beds on eBay.
2. Position the three NORDLI chests (we chose a wide, narrow, wide configuration) in a row with the back edge of the drawers 710mm from the wall. The drawer fronts should face into the room.
3. Build a ladder-style frame to act as a back support for the bed frame, along with the NORDLI chests in front. Use the two 1800mm long battens as the long sides, connecting them by equally spacing the 665mm wooden battens between them. Screw these four shorter battens in place with 80mm flathead wood screws. Use L-brackets at each corner of the frame to give it extra strength. When completed, the frame will be the same height from the floor as the Nordli drawers.
4. Use anchor bolts to secure the piece of 18mm (T) x 70mm (W) x 1800mm (L) timber to the wall, with its top edge at a height of 750mm from the floor. This support beam should match the depth of the skirting at the bottom of the wall, and will hold the ladder-frame 18mm away from the wall for an even fit.
5. Place the ladder-frame along the back wall, butting it up against the wall where the headboard will rest. Secure the frame along the back wall by screwing it into the skirting board and the support beam, using 80mm flat head wood screws.
6. For the base of the bed, use an 18mm (T) plywood sheet measuring 1150mm (W) x 2000mm (L). We had the sheet pre-cut and had to split it into two 1000mm x 1150mm sheets so they would fit in our car! Lay the plywood onto the drawers and butt it up against the back wall so that it fits flush with the front of the drawer units. NB. If you are using a lack coffee table top as a headboard then the plywood base must be cut 1180mm wide.
7. Use a screwdriver to secure the plywood by screwing it into the ladder-frame and the NORDLI drawers. On each side, use about 8 flat head wood screws, 100mm to 150mm apart.
8. For the headboard and side shelf, cut your 18mm (T) MDF sheet to the following specifications, or you can have it pre-cut at the DIY store. As I mentioned earlier, you can use a Lack coffee table and a Gnedby shelving unit from Ikea instead of having MDF cut to size, if preferred.
For the headboard:
Front panel: 1132mm (W) x 602mm (H)
Top panel: 1132mm (W) x 80 mm (D)
Side panel: 80mm (W) x 620mm (H)
For the shelf:
Top panel: 162mm (W) x 1900 mm (L)
Front panel: 300mm (H) x 1920 mm (L)
End panel: 162mm (W) x 300mm (H)
9. To construct the headboard, screw the top panel to the front panel, along the long side, at a right angle. Remember to countersink five or six holes before screwing the panels together. Attach the side panel where it aligns with the other two panels, also countersinking holes before attaching the panels. The side panel of the headboard will be flush with the fronts of the drawers.
10. Before constructing the shelf, screw one of the smooth planed timber battens 18mm (T) x 44mm (W) x 1500mm (L) to the plywood base of the bed base, making sure that the front edge of the board is 162 mm away from the back wall. Using anchor bolts, attach a second batten flat against the back wall at a height of 280mm above the plywood base of the bed. These battens will support the shelf.
11. Fix the top panel to the front panel as shown in the diagram using 3 L-brackets along its length. Secure the top panel of the shelf to the wall support batten and the side panel of the shelf against the front of the base support batten. Screw the two shelf panels together, making sure that they the ends of the panels are flush against the headboard.Then, attach the end panel of the shelf where the side and front panels meet, making sure all the edges are flush. Be sure to countersink your screws.
12. Lift the bed frame into place and screw it to the headboard and plywood base. Make sure the frame is flush with the front of the NORDLI drawer tops. Secure with additional L-brackets in the corners and flathead screws.
13. Fill and sand the countersunk screw holes. Then, use a 2-inch synthetic paint brush and mini gloss roller to give the completed bed two coats of quick-drying primer/undercoat, followed by two coats of brilliant white quick-dry Satinwood. (I prefer this paint because it’s solvent-free, non-yellowing, and the brushes can be cleaned using water.) Leave the recommended time intervals between additional coats of primer and paint.
14. Put the mattress in place, add an IKEA BEKVÄM step stool, and you are finished!
We added a bookcase and a wardrobe for even more storage.
Once the bed was completed, we added an 80cm wide Billy bookcase and a Pax Wardrobe with Hasvik sliding doors. Again, maximising storage space was one of the main objectives of Emily’s bedroom makeover so we made the most of the vertical space by adding an extension unit to the bookcase and opting for the 236.4cm high Pax wardrobe. We also added four internal drawers to the wardrobe.
The finished bedroom.
The brightly coloured duvet set (now discontinued, I think) and Polarvide throw from Ikea perfectly compliment the colour scheme. I bought an Ikea BEKVÄM step stool to make it easy for Emily to get up on her bed. The hanging storage and Kusiner mesh basket are also from Ikea and are perfect for storing Emily’s vast assortment of cuddly toys.
I used Emily’s old pink Next bean bag as a template and made her a blue beanbag instead, using some great value fabric I bought at Bargain Fabrics in Castle Donington.
We bought these fantastic ice lolly postcards from Ikea and put them in Ikea Fiskbo frames. We stuck acrylic Pac-Man ghosts from a noughts and crosses set along the headboard.
Then I made a pair of colourful Pac-Man Ghost cushions to continue the theme, (the cushions will be the subject of a future post).
I found a couple of fantastic framed superhero prints from Homesense.
The best part!
The design of the Ikea Hack children’s cabin bed meant we had some ‘dead’ space behind the row of Nordli drawers. Initially, we’d intended to leave the end of the bed open so we could easily access this space and use it for extra storage. However, thanks to our Pax wardrobes, Billy bookcases and Nordli drawers, we already had plenty of space for clothes and accessories, so we hit upon a much more exciting idea. We decided to create a hidden den for Emily, complete with lighting!
It was an inspired idea because the space behind the drawers was wide enough to fit our Emily’s camping mattress, so she could sleep there if she wanted a change from her cabin bed or just wanted to escape and read her books (or play Mineguidecraft!). If you want enough space for a bed in the den, you’ll need to ensure the plywood bed base is wide enough. Installing a shelf along the back wall like we did is one way to achieve the additional width.
Once we’d fitted the camping mattress and added bedding and some of Emily’s toys, we hung a string of lights around the edge of the den and plugged them into the nearby mains socket.
We’re delighted with the finished hidden den! What do you think?
Ikea Hack children’s cabin bed: The verdict.
Emily loves her new bedroom. Lifting her bed above the drawers has proved to be a much better use of the limited space she has in her small bedroom.
Of course, her favourite bit of the room makeover is the secret den, which she’s slept in many times over the last few months.
Adding the finishing touches.
To complete our daughter’s bedroom makeover, we added some more shelving, a desk and chair, and some additional storage for pens, pencils and toys:
a) DIY Budget Desk.
Our daughter needed a desk but, again, space was limited. Plus, we still needed to be able to access the drawers underneath her bed. We hit on the idea of making a desk on wheels using some of the MDF we had left over from our Ikea Hack cabin bed and a set of 4 Ikea Krille table legs on castors. Check out our custom made DIY desk here : Children’s Ikea Hack bedroom makeover finishing touches: DIY desk.
b) Cube Storage Shelves.
We added some funky cube shelves above her desk: Children’s ‘Ikea Hack’ bedroom makeover finishing touches: Cube shelves.
c) Ikea Hack desk tidy.
Not content with our Ikea Hack cabin bed, we decided to maximise desk space by ‘hacking’ some Ikea Bygel containers (since discontinued and replaced by Ikea Sunnersta containers) to create a hanging desk tidy, here : DIY project: Children’s ‘Ikea Hack’ Desk Tidy
So what do you think?
I am delighted with how the Ikea Hack children’s cabin bed and bedroom makeover turned out and I would love to have your feedback on this project.
What are your favourite bits?
Are there any things we could have done differently?
Are you tempted to have a go at something similar?
Your feedback and comments and shares are greatly appreciated.
P.S. I’m really proud of this makeover so if you like it, please share it via social media and tell your friends! Thank you!
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Oh wow, this looks amazing Jane 🙂 You did a great job here..
My daughter would love this too..
Thanks for joining us at the weekend blog hop..
Thanks so much, Claire. I had been meaning to visit your blog http://www.clairejustineoxox.com/ and join in your weekend blog hop for a while but as you can see, I have been a bit busy! I will be hopping back to have a look at everyone else’s offerings soon.
I can thoroughly recommend this Ikea Hack for kids and I do hope it will last her for lots of years yet. The hack can be as simple or complicated as you want it and hopefully you will learn from our little DIY disasters and have better walls!!!
That is an awesome bedroom, I love it! I love that you’ve managed to fit in so much storage, and my favourite bit has to be the secret den at the back, I’m with you on wanting one for myself!
Thanks so much, Jennifer. When we were kids, me and my sister used to sit in the bottom of a fitted wardrobe with a torch. This is sooo much better!
Oh lucky Emily! This is one stunning bedroom. I love the use of storage, so clever. The theme and the colours are great too. Just lovely! We spent the other weekend putting the girl’s bunk beds together and now I need to get on with decorating so this has provided me some much needed inspiration! 🙂
Thanks so much for your lovely comment. I can’t wait to see how you get on with the decorating…That post and the one on kid’s parties took me ages to write so I can finally see what my favourite bloggers are up to!
Fantastic job. Can see you put so much effort and thought into it. Love it. Thank you for introducing me to Ikea Hacks. Much more entertaining than Candy Crush.
Lol! Ikea Hacks are awesome but before you know it you have spent HOURS on that website 😉
Thanks! You’ve given me the inspiration I needed to do this for my son. He’s ten and too old (I am reliably informed) for his current bunk-bed and needs the extra storage as he’s got the smallest bedroom (sucks being the youngest!). As he’s a big lad (and getting bigger by the day), so we’re using a king single mattress (handed down by his older brother) so a different configuration of drawers but I love your blow-by-blow account of how you did it.
Again, many thanks for going to the trouble of posting ?? Much appreciated ? – Beverley
Thanks so much for your lovely comment, Beverley. Hope all goes well with your son’s bedroom makeover.
So interested to see how you did this, what a creative, funky and fun way to use the space – gorgeous photos too – it is such a great space! Thanks for joining #happyandhome
Thanks so much for your lovely comments, Penny!
The secret den! Wow it all looks so incredible, I’d have been over the moon with a bedroom like this. And such a brilliant hack too, thank you for sharing #HomeEtc
Thanks so much for your lovely comment, Lins!
Oh my word! What an insanely clever idea!! I love a good old Ikea hack but this takes the biscuit – well done. Looks like it came straight from the pages of GLTC, I’m sure your daughter is chuffed to bits. (I too am jealous of the secret den) x
Thanks so much for your lovely comments, Keira. Emily has mostly been sleeping in the den this week 😉
I want a secret den!! I love the room, what a clever idea to mount the bed on drawers. I love the fact that it’s blue even though it’s a girl’s room (blue has always been my favourite colour). The DIY disaster did make me laugh (though I imagine you weren’t laughing!) And the fact that your daughter said the wardrobe was ruined and Daddy was in a bad mood. Ha ha, just the sort of thing that happens in our house!! Well done, I’ll bet you were exhausted after all that. We have recently decorated both our son and daughter’s bedrooms and are currently renovating our kitchen. I think we are all going to need a very restful summer!! #HomeEtc
I had a little mooch around your site, via the HomeEtc linky. I really some of the projects on it…Especially your bedroom makeover. Great colours! 😉
Wow, it looks amazing and you really have worked so hard on it all. The best bit is absolutely that secret den, that must be every child’s dream! I love how bright and light it looks. We’ve had a few problems like that putting together Ikea furniture, I leave the house now and let my husband get on with it so I don’t have to hear him swearing and huffing! She looks very happy with it and you’re right, it is all worth it when they see it #HomeEtc
Thanks so much for your lovely comments, Hayley. I’m amazed how many nights she has slept in her den. The only problem is she never hears me when I shout her for tea!
WOW! this looks amazing and what a great way to create storage and make some space in a room too. Your daughter looks pleased as punch…well done this is a great Ikea hack. So great to have found your lovely blog via #HomeEtc.
Aw shucks *blushes*
This is incredible!!!! What a fantastic IKEA hack — no wonder Emily looks happy in the end pic — I’d have been absolutely THRILLED with a space like that when I was a little girl! Particularly the den underneath. Such a clever, clever idea — I bet you’re chuffed to bits aren’t you?
Clever girl — what a fab hack! 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing and linking up with us Jane, Caro x #HomeEtc
Thanks so much for your absolutely lovely comment, Caro, it made my day!..I can bet what made yours! Congratulations on being a BiB Finalist! Well done!
We really are delighted with the bedroom makeover and Emily has slept in the den as much as she has been in her bed…Mind you, she still managed to make a tented village of all of my chairs and blankets in the lounge yesterday so she hasn’t got that particular habit out of her system yet!
Wow, that’s great. All that storage must be really handy and how cool that there is a little den too. Glad it was worth all the stress and hard work in the end! xx
Wow like everyone said this is SO incredible!!!! What a brilliant IKEA hack — such a clever idea and superb use of space. Thanks for sharing & linking up! Love Jess xx
Thanks so much, Jess. I’m so glad folks like it! Hopefully it will inspire others. I’ve enjoyed being part of #HomeEtc
Wow! It looks amazing! All that storage is fantastic!!!
Great tips as well.
What a fab post Jane, love the end result ! I keep telling my hubby when we do our makeovers that he must take lots of before pics and as he builds, but he never listens ! Makes it impossible for me to show people how we do stuff ! Your step by step guide is wonderful.
Thanks so much for yor lovely comments, Karen. That really means a lot after looking at your blog and makeover!
That looks great – and love the secret space. But grrr… to the wardrobe calamity, MOH fell through a tall billy bookcase at one point, but it was just about rescue-able, phew #homeetc
Ha! I’m glad you could rescue yours! Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment, Stephanie!
I’ve been wanting to do something like this for our little girl’s room. I’m curious – on the Ikea website, it says the NORDLI 9-drawer is 63″, but the average twin mattress is 75″ long? So how did you make that work?
Hi Melissa, with the Nordli i used 2x80cm wide 3 drawer and 1x40cm 3 drawer chest for length of 200cm. A single mattress is 190cm long. So the headboard and footboard of bed frame made the length up to approx 200cm (slightly longer to allow for skirting board). If you are in US you may not have the same combinations. Hope this helps.
Hi – you have done an amazing job but the ‘den’ would look much better if the wood was painted, maybe in the brighter colours of her super heroes? As well as maybe letting her put up her own pictures under there? Personally I would have put smaller lights underneath to give her more space to move. Also, the bookshelves would look so much better if you removed the back, and papered it in something bright then replaced it, you can buy marvels wallpaper or murals, or maybe paint pac man colours in each gap, that would make it ‘pop.’ Finally, some of the pac man stickers on her wardrobe would stop it looking so huge, it would draw the eye to the stickers and detract from the vastness. I hope these suggestions help, and they are just that, thoughts and suggestions and in no way detract from the wonderful job you have done in her room.
We are considering your hack as an option for our daughter. Can you give me an approximate costing for the bed please. Thanks very much
I’ve just worked out pricing for the Ikea Hack bed (not the Pax wardrobe, Bookshelves, bedding, lights or mattress) using Ikea website and B&Q. nb. Timber merchants may be cheaper for timber and they will probably be able to cut it too. We used B&Q because they did all the cuts for free while we waited. Believe me, this makes it so much easier! I have assumed you are starting from scratch and making your own frame and bed slats for the mattress rather than repurposing an old bed.
This is a guide based on current prices and includes ‘overage’ as you will need to buy more timber than you probably need if you buy from B&Q rather than timber merchants. This is the maximum I would expect you to pay for Ikea products wood and MDF – I think you could do it much cheaper by shopping around for timber and getting exact amounts of timber rather than more than you need.
2 x Nordli 80cm drawers @ £100 each = £200
1 x Nordli 40cm drawer = £80
1 Bekvam stool = £13
Plywood 18mm x 1220mm x 2000mm = £35
MDF 18mm x 1220mm x 2440mm = £20
Support frame timber = £10
bedframe to go around mattress = £30
Slats and slat support if you opt for bed slats = £30
nb. this excludes mattress and cost of ironmongery like screws and brackets and paint etc.
I reckon you could easily do it all for less than £400 including all materials by getting cheaper timber – timber merchants and DIY stores may even have off-cuts.
Obviously, as we used our daughter’s existing bed we saved money on materials.
Hope this helps!
Can you give me some more advice on anchor bolts and l brackets? Was in Homebase’s today and couldn’t work it out! What sizes? Thank you 🙂
Remember, the support frame for the bed will be screwed into your skirting board at the bottom if you have one and the 18mm plank you’ve fixed to the wall with heavy duty wall fixings/anchor bolts at the top. The support frame can be screwed into the skirting and the plank at the top using wood screws which are long enough to go through the 63mm width of support frame and into the 18mm plank/skirting…ie 75mm or 80mm).
Thus, it is the 18mm plank that needs to be fixed to the wall using anchor bolts/heavy duty wall fixings. The anchor bolts/wall fixings you use depend on whether you have solid or hollow walls, so it’s best to ask them at Homebase or B&Q. Whichever they advise, you need to make sure they are the right length screws as they will need to go through the 18mm plank, then into the wall/plasterboard. Here are some plasterboard/hollow wall fixings http://www.screwfix.com/c/screws-nails-fixings/plasterboard-fixings/cat840020
For the support frame for the bed base, we used something like this at each corner (I called them L brackets in the post) : https://www.homebase.co.uk/corner-brace-63mm-8-piece_p314326
For making the frame for the mattress, we already had the corner brackets to fix the sides, but you could use corner braces like the ones above (wider shorter ones would be better) to fix the pieces together.
As I say, it depends on your type of wall. but remember, as well as fixing it to the wall, you will also be screwing the plywood bed base into the support frame which will help keep it in place. The force will mainly be downward so you may even getaway with sticking the batton/plank to the wall with ‘No More Nails’ and then screwing the support frame in place…
At the end of the day, you just need to make sure the plywood bed base is stable and secure.
I hope this helps, but as I say. your hardware store will be able to assist, depending on your wall.
This is an amazing bed hack!!! Kudos!!! 🙂 We are thinking of going ahead with it for our little 4 year old. How long did it take you to complete the bed? For the bed frame we are thinking of 120cm would you recommend anything stronger for wood frame and any extra product from Ikea?
Would you know how much weight can this hack handle? As our little girl sometimes likes to bounce on the bed time to time…. also there will be occasional sleepovers and two people will sleep on the bed.
Many thanks Andreas
Hi Andreas, thanks so much for your lovely comment.
Can you clarify what you mean by ‘bed frame’ and wood frame. Do you mean the frame that surrounds the mattress? And do you mean you are making a shorter than normal bed for your child? ie 120cm instead of 190cm?
Or are you talking about the support frame underneath the plywood base that is fixed to the wall?
Ours is very sturdy and would cope with some bouncing…Remember much of the bed base is resting on top of the drawers so this makes it pretty strong, so as long as you make a ladder frame using corner braces/L brackets for additional strength at each internal corner of the frame as described and you fix it securely to the wall, it should be very stable. Nb. these are just my opinions and without seeing your build I can’t 100% promise it will support bouncing kids! But ours is pretty solid!
I Love it! Our son’s room is very small too and we are looking for a cabin bed to hack and easy enough for us (zero experience). Would you say this is easy enough for inexperienced parents? Our alternative is Kallax.
If you can get the diy store to cut the wood for you it is quite easy…especially if you don’t build a shelf and use the Ikea shelf..
Great post! I stumbled on this researching for alternatives to the not exactly what I’m looking for captains beds currently on the market also. Did you just leave the opening to the den space open? My daughter wants this in a full size bed, but the end of her bed will face her bedroom door so just brainstorming on how to conceal that part. I’m thinking I’ll just do a really long bed skirt that hangs along the foot of the bed. Hmmm…. decisions, decisions!
Thanks for posting this awesome idea!
Thanks for your lovely comments. As our bed doesn’t face the door, we left it open. I agree that making a long bed skirt would be a great idea or a really cool drawback curtain, where you perhaps use net curtain wire suspended between hooks and eyes…If that makes sense! If you look at my desk tidy post, that uses curtain wire to suspend the desk pots from so perhaps something like that.
Or, a proper curtain track that fixes to the end of the bed….You would need to put an extra plank of wood for it to be attached to. Good luck!
Thanks for all the details. I followed your plan pretty loosely. The biggest difference is I used two Malm 3 drawer dressers so that a laundry hamper could go between them. My son was so happy with the results!
That’s great to hear! Thanks for telling me.
We’re considering something similar for our 7 year old daughter. Bit concerned about the height of the bed though as won’t have higher sides like already made cabin beds and worried about her falling out! Just wondered what you thought having used it for a while?
We haven’t had any worries about the side of the bed. However, if our daughter had been younger, I think I would have adapted the design to include a removable rail/ safety board that could slot into place like the ones used in caravan bunk beds. It would slot between the mattress and the bed frame using those metal flush mounts you can get from Screwfix https://www.screwfix.com/p/flush-mounts-zinc-plated-35-x-37-x-3-75mm-10-pack/11423 Hope this helps!
Is that a thin electric heater on the wall under the window? If so, where can I get one like it?
No it’s just a standard single central heating radiator.
Welcome to Narnia. Thanks for the inspiration! I have just completed one for my daughter! The main difference is you enter the den through the back of the wardrobe (that I built at the end of the cabin bed). I also cut the Ikea chest of draws down a little so that its just 6 draws under the bed rather than 9… I used the Stuva draws, two sets of blue fronts and one set of white in the middle. She loves it… I do too, so thanks again for the inspiration. Steve
Sounds amazing! I would love to see some photos!
The design looks amazing. How did this hold up over time? We’re looking at doing it for her son?