*This post is sponsored by PureBond Hardwood Plywood and contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own and remain uninfluenced.
I am a twin mama. I have 7-year old identical boys. I kinda sorta decorated their room when I built their first "big boy" beds four years ago. Needless to say, their space is in MAJOR need of a makeover! I've started working on a new bedroom design and the first step was to build new bunk beds.
Although I love our house, the bedrooms are tiny! Like 10' x 10'. I previously stuffed two twin farmhouse beds into their bedroom, which left them with like 12 square feet of ground to play on. I hesitated to resort to the bunk bed option because every bunk bed design I had seen either was not my style, or was built-in. I ADORE build-in bunk beds, but since we know we won't be living in this house forever, built-ins aren't a good choice for us.
I started searching for modern bunk bed inspiration. Once I found the "Perch" bed by Oeuf, I knew I had my design.
Knowing my children will sleep every night in this bed, I instantly chose formaldehyde free plywood. I emailed my friends over at PureBond Plywood and took the PureBond Pledge.
I swear I'm not one of "those" parents. I don't shop at Whole Food and my kids have never worn knee pads. But if I have the option to keep toxic chemicals which have been proven to cause serious health concerns away from my family, I'll take it. Most of you can find PureBond plywood at your local Home Depot. Unfortunately, that's not the case in Arizona, but it is available at many hardwood suppliers close by.
I really love that exposed plywood edge look that's popular right now, so I chose to build my bed with Europly in maple. Europly plywood is made from several thin sheets of wood pressed together, giving the edges that gorgeous detail. It was seriously the prettiest plywood I have every worked with!
- (2) 4' x 8' x 3/4" PureBond® Hardwood Plywood sheet
- (1) 2' x 4' x 3/4" PureBond® Hardwood Plywood sheet
- (11) 2 x 2 pine studs
- (3) 1 x 4 x 96" board
- (2) iron-on edge banding
- 1-1/4" pocket hole screws
- 2" wood screws
- 2-1/2" wood screws
- wood glue
- screw head caps
- pocket hole plugs
- circular saw
- Kreg Jig®
- power drill
- edge banding trimmer
- (8) 3/4" plywood @ 65" x 10" (cut into leg pattern)
- (2) 3/4" plywood @ 12-1/4" x 76-1/2" (EB)
- (2) 3/4" plywood @ 12-1/4" 39" (EB)
- (2) 3/4" plywood @ 8" x 56-1/2"
- (2) 3/4" plywood @ 8" x 22"
- (1) 3/4" plywood @ 40-1/2" x 20" (EB)
- (1) 3/4" plywood @ 6" x 40-1/2" (EB)
- (2) 3/4" plywood @ 6" x 75" (EB)
- (2) 2 x 2 @ 76-1/2"
- (2) 2 x 2 @ 75"
- (26) 2 x 2 @ 36"
- (2) 1 x 4 @ 72" (cut into pattern)
- (4) 1 x 4 @ 20"
1. The first step is to cut all your pieces down to size. The pieces marked (EB) in the cut list above will need wood veneer edge banding applied to at least one exposed edge. It's a good idea to paint each component separately before assembly.
I would recommend starting by cutting out the eight leg panels.
Use a circular saw to cut all the straight line and a jigsaw for the curves.
I used a paint can lid to create my curved lines, but you could get fancy and use a compass if you have one.
2. Once the panels are cut, drill 3/4" pocket holes along the straight edge of four of the panels. Make sure to flip two of the panels the opposite direction when you drill your holes, or else all your legs with face the same direction.
Attach pairs of leg panels together, using wood glue and 1-1/4" pocket hole screws, creating four finished legs.
3. Drill 3/4" pocket holes on both ends of each 8" x 22" panel. Attach a panel between two legs, using 1-1/4" pocket hole screws.
4. Attach 8" x 56-1/2" side rails to the remaining edges of the legs, through more pocket holes and screws.
Since I designed this bed to be taken apart and moved, at this point I chose to label the pieces. Using a sharpie marker, I wrote a little letter on the inside of each joint. When it's time to reassemble the bed, all I have to do is match up letters and I can be sure everything will line up okay.
5. Apply iron-on edge banding to the exposed edges of the remaining plywood pieces and trim off the excess.
6. Use a jigsaw to cut a large notch to make it easier to climb into the top bunk. On one 76-1/2" x 12-1/4" side skirt, measure 6" from the end. Cut a 20" x 6" notch with rounded corners.
Place the upper side skirts within the frame, leaving 6" of the skirt sticking up above. There should be a 1-1/2" gap between the bottom of the skirt and the bottom edge of the side frame rails. Screw upper side skirts in place, using 1-1/4" screws. If you keep the screws low enough, they won't be seen with the mattress in place.
7. Drill 3/4" pocket holes on both end of 12-1/4" x 39" upper end skirts. Slide the end skirts between the side panels and make sure the top edges are flush. Secure to the frame with 1-1/4" screws.
8. Measure 12" from the bottom of each leg and make a mark on the inside face. To make your life easier, I would really consider cutting four, 12" spacer blocks. Place the 20" x 40-1/2" headboard on top of the spacer blocks, and attach to the legs using 1-1/4" screws.
On the opposite end, place the 6" x 40-1/2" lower end skirt on the spacer blocks and attach to the legs using 1-1/4" screws.
10. Create the upper and lower mattress support frames. The upper frame uses 76-1/2" long side rails and the lower uses 75" rails.
For the both frames, space thirteen, 36" long 2 x 2 studs, 4-3/4" apart. Pre-drill through the side rails and into the ends of each rung. Attach rungs to side rails using two, 2-1/2" wood screws.
11. Slide the mattress support frames into place, flush with the bottom edge of the side skirts. Secure using 2" screws between each rung.
12. With the bed constructed, you can start to assemble the ladder.
Cut the bottom edge 10 degrees off of square. Measure 60-3/4" on the inside edge. Draw a 10 degree angle up from that point. Create a 3/4" x 4-1/2" triangular notch. Use a jigsaw to cut out the notch and round the top of the board.
13. Start measuring from the bottom, and space each step 14" apart. Pre-drill two holes through the sides, into the ends of each step. Attach using 2-1/2" screws.
15. The last step of the build is to hide all the evidence. I love screw head covers! I used them on my floating bathroom shelf and modern curtain rods. I tapped one over each visible screw head, making the whole piece look much more finished.
To hide the pocket holes on the inside of the bunk bed legs and upper skirts, I ordered plastic pocket hole plugs. The plastic type are removable, so I can pull them out when I need to disassemble the bed. They aren't a perfect fit, but they sure look better than a bunch of gaping holes.
And here is the final look!
Look at that gorgeous maple! I love the contrast of the blonde wood against the white.
Even though the bunk bed has that minimalist look that I love, it's actually very sturdy.
Like I mentioned, I've started my boy's room makeover and their new bed is the centerpiece. They LOVE it! In fact, they insisted on me taking a photo with them climbing the ladder. Aren't they handsome?
Are you ready to build you own modern bunk beds? Take the PureBond Pledge and pin the image below to save the idea for later!
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