I've got a growing family, and like most people we're always looking for better ways to use our space.

My two oldest boys share a room and wanted a bunk bed so they could spread out little, and I was happy to build them one. So I began looking at every bunk bed I could find for inspiration, but could not find a single design I liked.

So as typical, I started sketching out my own ideas trying to figure out a design that was sleek and minimalist, but still rock solid.

And this is what I came up with!

Despite the clean and simple look, this is an intermediate level project that is fairly complicated. However, I've made an effort to be as detailed and thorough as possible in this instructable, so ideally anyone with the necessary tools has all the information needed to reproduce this bunk bed.

If you end up making this and have any questions along the way, please ask!

Step 1: Features

The bunk bed is made from two identical platform-style, twin-size bed frames that can be used individually or together.

When used together, the bottom frame is inverted and sits flush on the ground, so no more lost toys, missing homework assignments, or junk shoved under the bed when it's time to clean up!

The overall height of the frame is only 40 inches and mattresses can be slid on and off easily if desired, so making up the beds is much easier for kids than it would be on a typical bunk bed frame.

The frame is made from a single sheet of 3/4" plywood, along with two boards that are used for the mattress platforms.

The total cost for all materials was $130.

Alright, let's do this!

<p>Fantastic and wonderful project. Really easy to make, a big hit with the kids, very cheap and robust, and not too high off the ground!</p><p>I live in the UK and bought one large sheet of ply from a DIY shop (Homebase) who offered 16 (yes 16) free cuts using their in house giant machine so I was able to get most of this cut to size for free. (They might change this free policy after this as it took the chap 40 mins to cut all and the piece of wood was only $40. Not including matresses I think this cost &lt;$100 and when my boys are wanting seperate rooms I can dismantle and have 2 single beds. Thanks for taking the time to explain all this, I'll need to take more photos of my projects!</p>
<p>Excellent! This totally makes my day to see. Glad you found this and were able to make a similar bunk for your kids!</p><p>The design is deceivingly strong and solid. Ours is just as solid as the day I bolted it all together. Thank you so much for sharing these photos! </p>
Ok, I made this bunkbed!<br>While doing so I learned a lot about Japan, woodworking and myself.<br>I live in Japan and I make stuff in my freetime. This is the most complex project I have ever done. I consider myself a DIY guy. I don't have a shop or a lot of expensive tools, nor do I have a space to do procects. I do my procects outside on my folding workbench. Back to this build. Seamster's PDF and instructable are excellent, super easy to follow and loaded with great advice. What I learned about Japan is you can't buy a full sheet of plywood or particleboard in a homecenter. And if you find some it is extremely expensive. So I went with pine. The measurements are all in centimeters. The boards I used were close to 8.9 x 2.5 centimeters. Other than the wood I followed this instructable like a guide, I didn't have any trouble with this build. It took me 3 months to complete, working on sunny Saturdays only. What I learned about myself is that I love woodworking. It was challenging building this but the feeling at the end was great. This is a solid bunkbed! No wobbles here. Thanks to a strong frame that was well thought out. The pictures show some of the build and my little helper sitting on the top bunk. I still need to sand it all down and paint it, but for now I'm done. Seamster thanks for sharing this great project!<br>( &lsquo;-^ )b
<p>Awesome! I'm so glad you found this guide useful. Ours has been through quite a bit in just a half-year, and it's holding up perfectly fine.</p><p>The only thing I'd add is to make sure those corner connections are solid. That's what keeps the whole thing safe. Looks like good work to me. Thank you for sharing your photos! </p>
Thank you for the design! I took your advice mass quantities of glue and lots of screws. The screws in the legs are nice and long. I don't believe I'll have any trouble. If something comes up I'll post it here. I recommend this to anyone who needs a bunkbed, it's a great design that is very easy to customize. I'm going to be adding a ladder.
<p>Great minimalist design and well written up. I'd be a bit concerned it would rack though as there's almost no diagonal bracing and a lot of joints. Any feedback on how well it's holding up after a bit of use?</p>
<p>It is completely solid. I had the same concern about racking when I was drawing out the design as well, as it certainly appears it would have that flaw.</p><p>However, the right angle design of the legs and the nature of their union to the frame x8, results in a completely solid structure. I'm happy to report it is still rock solid, despite certainly getting abused by a couple of rowdy boys. </p><p>This concern is actually something I put a lot of effort into resolving, so it's kind of reaffirming that you saw it and asked about it. Great observation!</p>
<p>I assume by 'racking' you mean, well see photo below? That was my first thought too, which is why I looked through the whole thing. I'm very impressed by the whole Instructable though and they look great. I didn't read the whole lot since I don't have kids so won't be making it. :-) I assume they split to become two regular beds as in the photo of one. Cheers!</p>
<p>Yes, that's what we meant. Just a couple of angled pieces would remove that potential for sure, but doing it securely without was part of the challenge with this. Thank you for taking a look, and for the thoughtful comment!</p>
<p>Yes, that's exactly what I meant. I've always called it racking and it seems to be a common term in woodworking but the dictionary is silent on the matter.</p>
<p>The design of this is just spectacular. I mean the end result is cool, very minimalist, space conscious, etc. but the thought that went into the actual build part of the design... the cut layout all on one sheet of plywood, the joinery on the frame, the two part functionality... it just makes me want to fan-girl squee.</p>
<p>Thank you! That's a very thoughtful comment, and I sincerely appreciate it.</p>
<p>I LOVE the idea about being able to slide the mattresses off to make them up! (we use zip sheets so making the bed will be so simple!)</p><p>Were going to give this design a try as a triple bunk bed, and will include some safety rails on the middle and top bunk (still allowing the mattress to be slid out).</p><p>Any tips or suggestions?</p>
<p>Hmm. The way I did the joints on mine was very specific to ensure that it was stable.</p><p>If I were doing this triple-high, I'd probably consider cross braces for additional support (depending on the final plan). </p><p>But I'd just suggest applying a healthy dose of common sense to make sure the structure you build is sufficiently strong.</p><p>(For the joints on mine, they've proved sufficient . . but for the forces that might come from a taller structure, I'm not so sure.)</p>
<p>How can you climb up to the top? With the stool?</p>
<p>Yes, if needed. I have a 12 year old son that sleeps on the top bunk, and he just kind of jump/climbs up there without needing the stool though.</p>
It just needs a little ladder and a railing to finish it off.
<p>Nice! That looks great!</p><p>We've gotten by without those two things, but they'd definitely be useful for littler folks. Glad you found this and were able to make one!</p><p>Thank you for sharing the photo, too!</p>
My kids love their new bunk bed. Thanks for the great plan.
<p>Awesome! Got a photo? I'd love to see how it turned out.</p>
<p>I would love to make one of these with the bed on top, and a worktable underneath as I only need one bed. Would it be sturdy enough to just put it atop higher legs or would that make it &quot;rack&quot;??? </p>
As usual, this is an awesome build and excellent write up. You are getting really good at building things from one board. I am very impressed by your layout for the cuts. It must have been fun to figure out that puzzle.
<p>Thanks man! This was a fun project, and is holding up rock solid.</p>
<p>This is awesome!</p><p>However, could you tell me why you went with a solid mattress platform and not with a few beams? ( these would allow ventilation and more air flow )</p>
<p>I really love how this looks. My son has a loft bed that was put together by my dad...and it is functional but doesn't have that added style like yours! :) Yours turned out amazing. </p>
<p>Thanks! It's pretty simple, but stronger than it looks. </p><p>My boys have really been enjoying the extra space, plus it's a ready-made fort if you hang a couple blankets over the top edge to close in the bottom bunk! That was not a design consideration, but something they just started doing. Good times.</p>
<p>VERY Nice. One suggestion, Even for kids being RIGHT on the floor every day and night can get drafty and old. Four 8x8 concrete blocks, with some nice wood around the front two would raise it just enough. </p>
<p>Depends on where they live. In other parts of the world, people sleep with a mattress right on the floor with maybe a mat underneath (as do I).</p>
<p>Yes I have come to prefer this - closer to the floor the better for me. I used to live in Thailand and floor sleeping was common also. </p>
<p>Very nice instructable, i appreciate the hard work and effort put into this, not to mention its functionality. I just have one question: Around how much weight can the top bunk hold? My oldest weighs 150 lbs and I wanna make sure it wouldn't buckle under his weight. </p>
That's a great question! But I really don't know how much weight this could hold. My oldest only weighs about 80 pounds, and I'd feel safe having him up there for several more years. <br /><br />However, at 150 I might get a little nervous, considering some of the concerns voiced here by other users that probably have a bit more engineering experience than I do.
<p>Very nice indeed! And now they'll have so much more room for activities.</p>
<p>Awesome design &amp; build! </p><p>And using those little triangles is just super trick! </p><p>One thing I would change is the way the two beds meet. Instead of using screws to join them try T-nuts and bolts to make a more durable connection (installing &amp; removing those screws will weaken the connection over time). </p><p>Other than that I got nuthin' but love!</p>
<p>Ah, brilliant suggestion! I will certainly upgrade to T nuts. Thank you!</p>
<p>Looks very sharp and clean. What gives lateral support? Looks like the design would be prone to wobble over time.</p>
<p>The right angled legs and the way they are bolted to the frame provide lateral the necessary support. Each frame alone is completely solid, but when the two frames are connected, the lateral support is compounded (being connected as they are also takes away most of the potential for sagging frame and splaying legs over time).</p><p>Great question!</p>
<p>This is one of the best instructables I've ever seen. Very well done and I appreciate the detailed cut sheet. I am planning to build a &quot;bunk house&quot; for the grand kids and this is exactly what I had in mind. Thanks for a great plan.</p>
<p>Thank you for the huge compliment! I tried to make this as detailed and reproducible as possible. When you finish your project, you should share a photo or two of it here. I'd love to see how it turns out!</p>
<p>I don't think people understand the amount of labor that is ivolved in this project. A very good build and very well constructed. Great Job! 2 thumbs up!</p>
<p>Thank you! </p><p>I appreciate your comment and thoughtful observation very much. </p>
<p>Well built, very practical and awesome detailed instructions. </p>
<p>my room is too small, this'll help my home office!</p>
I cannot wait to build something this size! <br><br>Hopefully it will look as great as all your woodworking stuff......<br><br>I just started with woodworking and I am definitely going to be asking a lot of questions to you pro's.<br><br>Thanks for the detailed and step by step instructable. Awesome job!
<p>Dude, this thing is beautiful.</p>
<p>Like the design! It is perfect for a growing family! Charming and Simple. </p>
I was going to ask y not use 4x4's for the corners and then read the separate part.....nice work....only thing I might have done different and it's for personal preference is add detachable legs on the bottom to get them off of the floor, but like I said personal preference. ...again nice work
Nice Ible ....
<p>Nice Joinery; Even better Design :)</p><p>Love that you can flip the bottom bed around and have two single beds; Great job !</p>
Nice design!!
<p>love this! your kids are so lucky! it's so neat that they separate - I think all bunk beds should be built like this. once again, awesome work seamster! </p>

About This Instructable




Bio: I got an old sewing machine when I was just a kid, and I've been hooked on making stuff ever since. My name is ... More »
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