This humble little toddler bed was the product of desperation. As married students we had little money for our growing family. Our second son was outgrowing his bassinet and our #1 son was to the point of crawling out of the crib. This was the result of invention with little money and few tools.
Advantages: For a toddlers first bed it is nearly impossible to fall out of. The closer a child rolls to the edge, the steeper the climb to fall out.
Durable: This bed has been used as the first bed for most of our 9 children. It has gone to Grandma's and has gone camping with us.
Portable: Packs up and stores easily- no tools for assembly. Just two ends, two dowels and the cover.
Materials: 2 - 8' 2x4 ( one for each end)
2- 4' x 11/4 inch dowels
1 - 4' x 1/2 inch dowel
Fabric: 45 x 40 inches
Tools: Saw (hand or electric), drill, 1 " and 1/2 " drill bits, a square, belt sander or pocket knife, sand paper, paint (optional) sewing machine and supplies - pins, scissors etc.
Step 1: Step 1 - Build the ends
Horizontals are 30 inches long - cut 4
verticals are 14 inches - cut 4
Outside edge for the verticals is 4 inches from each end even with top and bottom edges. Make sure the verticals and uprights are square. Drill holes as close to vertical as possible.
Drill 1/2 inch holes one at a time. Coat a 3 inch piece of 1/2 inch dowel with white glue or carpenters glue.Hammer into place. Now re-check for square and drill the second hole for the 1/2 inch dowel before the glue sets on your first dowel.
Place dowels on diagonal for maximum strength.Repeat for each corner of the bed. Bolts would work but this bed has been actively used for about 18 years and is still solid.
When I built this I just coated a few inches of dowel and pounded it in the hole until it was flush with the bottom 2x4 and cut it off flush with a hand saw.
Just a quick note here: This bed is for a TODDLER not Martha Stewart! Yes it would look better with legs instead of a 2x4 across the floor. When you are done the base for the bed will be wider than the actual sleeping surface available to your child. That means that while sleeping they can't tip it over!