Introduction: Building a Pretty Princess Castle Bed Your Child Will Love

Picture of Building a Pretty Princess Castle Bed Your Child Will Love

Intro

Here is how to make a bed that your daughter will love. I made this bed for my daughter so she would want to make a transition to a big girl bed and have a bed as cool as the dump truck bed I made for my son. Before building the bed, my wife and I searched for a store bought bed but they were all over-priced laminated particle board without character. I knew my daughter would never let it go if I didn't make her bed as cool as her brother’s bed, so I decided I was going to have to deal with making another homemade bed. I designed the coolest princess castle bed she has ever seen.

See my son's dump truck bed here:

https://www.instructables.com/id/Building-a-dump-tr...

Specifications and features of this fairytale castle:

The dimensions are 102 L X 60 W X 65 H inches. It holds a twin size mattress with plenty of square footage for my precious daughter. It could be made into a bunk bed very easily, but I have made the lower portion a play area. The castle has plenty of lights that are all low voltage LEDs for a total of 642 LEDs. Roughly 673 feet of wire (as single conductor) is routed throughout the castle and power is turned on by a control panel. I estimate the weight around 500 lbs and it breaks down into seven manageable pieces.

Step 1: Tools Required and Materials

Picture of Tools Required and Materials

Tools required

Circular saw, router, reciprocating saw, belt sander, hand sander, drill, paint brush/roller

Optional equipment

Table saw, chop saw, nail gun

Safety

Always wear a dust mask or a respirator when cutting MDF

Wear your safety glasses

Materials

1 sheets of ¾” laminated particle board 75lb each

7 sheets of ¾” MDF 90lb each

26 14-20 T nuts

14 3” ¼-20 wood bolts

12 1 ½” ¼-20 wood bolts

1 box 1” wood screws

1 box 1 1/2“ wood screws

1 gallon white paint

1 quart pink paint

1 quart purple paint

1 gallon primmer

Optional Material

Lights, switches, wire, power supply

Step 2: Front Wall

Picture of Front Wall

The front is comprised of 2 layers of MDF with a top crown treatment, door opening, 2 windows and center tower with light box. This is the first time I have ever made a light box but it was easy. You can find how on the Instructables website. Behind the light box is the control panel (see picture). The IR receivers are behind the light box, you can change the lighting patterns without seeing the sensors. If you use RF, this would not be necessary. The lighted buttons on the control panel are level with the top of the mattress and they can be seen easily if someone gets scared of the dark. All wires were routed between the 2 layers of MDF so no wires are visible or accessible by little fingers.

Step 3: ​Side Towers

Picture of ​Side Towers

The side towers look simple, but it takes a little patience to get the angles just right. They are mirror images making a left and right tower and only single thickness to keep the weight manageable to move them around. This was my first octagon shaped structure and it took time to get things to work out. All the wires run through the top crown on each.

Step 4: Side Walls

Picture of Side Walls

Left Side Wall

The left side wall is comprised of 2 layers of MDF. It has a door and a window. All wires are again between the layers of MDF, however all splices and connections are accessible for repair and maintenance. The power supply is located in base board.

Right Side Wall

The right side wall is a mirror image of the left, only instead of a single window there are 3 windows. The windows are positioned to make it easy to climb up this side of the castle.

Step 5: Ladder and Cantilever Side Tower

Picture of Ladder and Cantilever Side Tower

Ladder

This is the first ladder I’ve ever built, it has 4 rungs. I originally wanted an elaborate staircase, but could not fit it into the room. I wanted lighting on the ladder, so it would be safer. I came up with the idea of adding an acrylic center so I could edge light them. It turned out great and the ladder is lit up very well in a dark or even a bright room.

Slide/side tower

I have not built the slide yet as it made the length dimension too big to fit in the current room. I created a cantilever tower as a place holder instead.

Step 6: Electronics

Picture of Electronics

I opted to use a 12 volt system because the lower voltage is safer. There is also a large selection of lighting options. I chose a waterproof 12 volt power supply from superbrightleds.com and most of the LED lights as well. I purchased the LED strings from Costco. There are 4 circuits to the castle:

1. Twelve LEDs on the top of the towers that light the ceiling blue, two LED lights that light inside the castle

2. Top and bottom tower LED strings and the light box

3. Inside castle chasing LED string lights

4. Stairs and future slide circuit

I used CAT5 cable because it is 8-conductor wire with easy connections. I am not an electrical engineer but I know that the CAT5 conductors can hold the current I am running. Please do your own research to verify for your own project. On a few circuits I had to double up on the conductors to safely handle the current load.

Step 7: Paint and Artwork

Picture of Paint and Artwork

Paint

You should use the safest paint for

your child you can find. Do some research, your child is worth it. I chose Sherwin Williams Door and Trim paint because I had trouble with the Behr premium latex paint that I used on my son’s bed. The SW paint has a good hard finish and dried quickly. I chose high gloss for ease of maintenance and it looks good. I wish the surface would have been smoother but it works. I knew that I would be bolting the painted panels together and I wanted them to be able to disassemble without sticking. The paint works for this as long as you wait 14 days for it to fully cure.

Artwork

The back wall of the castle is a
big blank canvas. I had planned on painting a mural on it, but in the interest of saving time I purchased a “Frozen” mural from Fathead.com. I also bought some My Little Pony stickers as well. This makes the art work easy to change, and the bed and artwork can be easily moved to another room.

Step 8: Family Crest

Picture of Family Crest

No Castle is complete without a family crest.

Step 9: Happy Princess

Picture of Happy Princess

My daughter loves her princess

castle bed. She tells everyone she talks to about this very unique castle. It is absolutely priceless. She turns on various lights at night to keep the room from getting too dark. She has not once complained that her brother’s bed is better. Mission accomplished.

The bed cost was $320 dollars without the electronics. This is worth every penny. With everything, it was $630 dollars total. I did reduce a few options because of the accumulating cost, schedule hit and room size. The time to produce this work of art was 7 months of nights and weekends.

I hope you are inspired to create something made in the USA.

Comments

Saloio made it! (author)2017-05-09

From beginning to end it took about 13 months of free time on weeknights and weekends.... BUT... I also didn't touch it for a 7 month span during that time.... so, call it 6 months worth of free time. I still have to finish the LED lighting and lightbox, but its essentially done, and my princess has spent the last three nights in it! And all with 4 days to spare before her birthday! Thank you for the idea!

TheTripletDaddy (author)2017-02-20

Looks phenomenal. I'm trying to make a castle for four kids, but plan on using a lot of your design. Did you use the T-Nuts as a way to allow you to screw in between your double thick MDF walls/ladder rungs? Essentially, where did you use the T-Nuts?

BarajasF (author)2017-02-06

where can I Get plans to build this?

sgastelum (author)2016-11-30

are the MDF and laminated particle board 4' x 8'?

jablake (author)sgastelum2016-12-07

The 3/4" MDF was 49" by 97". I didn't use any laminated particle board. I believe djmccray used OSB (oriented strand board) for the mattress platform. I used 3/4" plywood for the mattress platform.

sgastelum (author)jablake2017-01-10

thank you!

jablake made it! (author)2016-12-07

It took me about 7 months as well but it was a labor of love!

jablake made it! (author)2016-03-05

I have created a Sketchup file and I'm in the process of duplicating this project. You can follow my progress at johnblake.online

DougR17 made it! (author)jablake2016-03-22

I just spent many hours in Sketchup, as I am a novice . I love this design, but the only plans I could find were very basic on other sites or in 3D Warehouse. So I created my own inspired by this one. At one point I was trying to figure out the sizes of the pieces by comparing them to the posters, or items in the garage... I wish I would have seen your model a couple months ago :) I am just finishing the towers, curtain wall and wall tower above the door.

MikeH271 (author)DougR172016-05-04

How can I see the sketch up for this? Can/have you put together plans for this?

jablake (author)2016-04-10

This is my newest Sketchup file. I've made the front wall 49 inches wide instead of 50" because 3/4" MDF come in 49" wide. I increased the size of the towers slightly to make up for the smaller front wall. I've added wiring passages in the side wall and tower turrets. I also corrected some problems with the display of layers.

swittler (author)2014-07-25

this is awesome! are there any type of plans used for this or did you just wing it? would love to do this for my daughter

djmccray (author)swittler2014-07-25

Sorry no plans I just winged it.

swittler (author)djmccray2014-12-01

is the back doubled up as well? what are the squares on the back wall?

jablake (author)swittler2016-03-27

The back wall is only double thickness for about the top 12 inches. The block along each side provide a double thickness to use as the attachment points for the sides.

smokey1007 (author)2016-01-24

I was wondering where are the instructions on how to cut n make the castle pieces i would love to try n make this u did an amazing job on both

LanzeL (author)2015-06-16

Hey DJ,

This is an awesome bed.I am actually going to try making it in the next couple weeks. I was wondering if you could take a few more pictures for me? Namely, one from the top (without the mattress), one of your control panel, and maybe one of the ladder directly? (That is unless you have drawn up some plans and could send those over?)

Thanks,

L.

SarahS20 (author)2015-06-07

Where are the plans!!!

dfortun (author)2015-05-29

What are the measures for the towers? Awesome work

johnininman (author)2015-03-13

Man, this shouldn't even be on here. No plans... just a let down. Nice job

JasonS15 (author)2015-03-03

How was the bed platform done, and how is the pieces actually connected together?

97Tracey (author)2015-02-07

How did you attach the 45 degree boards together in the towers???? Glued? Bracket?

destro2014 (author)2014-07-22

Wow!!! Wow!!! Wow!!............this is awesome, I would like to purchase this item if you don't mind ,, I have $15k right now that I can offer ? let me know,, also would like a tree house designed if you have time...

Excellent!!

m0neyz (author)destro20142015-01-01

Still looking for one?

djmccray (author)destro20142014-07-24

Thanks Destro2014 but I don't think my daughter will give it up:)

jose arturoV (author)2014-10-30

you did a fantastic job amazing i will make one for my daughters.

what type of wood do you recomend ?

i use 3/4 particle board to build my son car bed.

watchmeflyy (author)2014-09-13

Gorgeous!

JM1999 (author)2014-09-08

Wow! that is massive!

mmoschetti (author)2014-08-14

WOW!!!!!! great and awesome!

pthud586 (author)2014-07-26

AWESOME

social_steve (author)2014-07-22

An amazing piece of work! My daughter just turned 3 and I can definitely see myself building this for her 4th (maybe 5th) birthday.

djmccray (author)social_steve2014-07-24

Thanks. Send pics when you get to it.

ManCaveTutorials (author)2014-07-24

awesome

PaynTrain (author)2014-07-23

Oh, it is on. Like social_steve, my daughter is 3, but this will be on the list to begin a year from now, and and 2 years from now!!

wsharp3 (author)2014-07-22

I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is amazing! I'm a full grown adult and I want this!

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