How to Build a Bunk Bed

by Admin

Whether you’re looking for a weekend project or sending a child off to school, this guide on how to build a bunk bed will come in handy. Bunk beds are most kids dream play house and also a practical solution for smaller bedrooms. These plans are for a simple and sturdy bunk bed. You could always take it a step further and dress it up with some higher grade woods but I purely wanted this for a college dorm room. After you have purchased the materials you can build these bunk beds in a matter of a few hours.

Tools Needed

  • Power saw
  • Pencil
  • Square
  • Drill

Building Supply List

  • 4 – 2x6x80″ (stretchers – PART A)
  • 4 – 3/4″ Plywood Sheets (PART B)
  • 4 – 2x6x34″ (cross pieces – PART C)
  • 8 – 2x6x48″ (legs – PART D)
  • 60 – 1 1/2 ” Wood Screws
  • 36 – 3/8″ Lock Washers
  • 72 – 3/8″ Regular Washers
  • 50 – 3″ Wood Screws
  • 32 – 3/8″x4″ Carriage Bolts and Nuts
How to Build a Bunk Bed

Bunk Bed Construction Tips

You may have to adjust your construction plans depending on the exact type of bunk bed you plan to build. Make sure to follow these tips.

  1. Make sure to install railings for the top bunk, especially for younger kids. I built these bunks for a college dorm room, but you should have guard rails installed to prevent falling out of the bunk.
  2. Measure your mattress prior to construction to make sure the frame will fit your mattress. If your mattress is wider than these plans adjust accordingly.
  3. Use a higher grade wood if you plan on staining the bunk.
  4. You should have a minimum of two feet of clearance from the top bunk and the ceiling to prevent bumping your head.

Building and Assembly Directions


  1. Cut the 2×6 lumber to length. You should have 8 at 48 inches for the legs (Part D), 4 at 80 inches for the stretchers (Part A), and four at 34 inches for the footers and headboards  (Part C) . Remember that these can change depending on the width and length of the mattress you will be using.
  2. Next cut the 3/4″ plywood (Part B). It should be about 9 inches wide by the length of Part C. Remember to measure the width of your mattress!
  1. Figure ANow that you have everything cut we need to begin assembly. Start with the legs (Part D) and begin screwing them together using about ten 3 inch wood screws in each. I suggest you predrill the hole to prevent any splitting.
  2. After you have assembled your legs measure up from the bottom of the leg 12 inches and draw a line. Next measure down 3 inches from the top and draw a line. The line measure where the top of your cross pieces will be.
  3. Place the legs and cross pieces together as seen in Figure A. An extra set of hands will be handy here.
  4. Figure BNext we will drill our bolt holes that will attach the cross pieces and stretcher to our legs. Drill two offset 3/8″ holes through your legs, cross pieces and stretchers as seen in Figure B.
  5. Attach the legs to the cross pieces and stretchers using your carriage bolts along with the washers and nuts. Use a regular washer on both sides and a lock washer in between your nut and washer. Tighten them firmly until the washers inset into the wood a bit.
  6. Finally we will apply the plywood on the two ends of the bed using 1 1/2″ wood screws. If you aren’t using a bed frame you will have at least two more of these for each bed level.

This bunk bed is very convenient for a college dorm room because it can be disassembled for easy moving. Remember that you should design and install some guard rails for the top bunk. If you plan on using this bunk in you’re home you can stain or paint it to match your room and furniture. You may also want to eliminate the bottom bunk to allow a place for a futon or a desk. If you do this simply remove one of the stretchers on the bottom bunk.

Bunk beds for kids are great. You can paint a theme on your bunk beds of the favorite cartoon character, fire trucks, race cars, or their favorite super hero. Your kids will love their bunk beds for sleep overs and the fact that they can build a fort on the bottom bunk with some extra sheets hanging over the sides.

You can also find bunk beds for sale online for a pretty reasonably price if you’re not that handy. You should know what you’re doing as bunk beds can be dangerous if not constructed properly. If you haven’t built any furniture before I highly suggest you purchase a bunk bed online. You can find some pretty reasonable deals on metal bunk beds.

Feed Your Brain

Our Fun Weekly "How To", Your Inbox...

Previous post:

Next post: