Thursday, August 8

The Stack-a-Bed (converts from twin to king!)

To quote my three-year-old:

"THIS IS MY BEST MOMENT."
 
Because it's a clever design?
No.
Because it's super easy to build?
No.
Because it's affordable?
Also no.
I mean, sure, it is all those things. But here's the deal: all on my own, with no help from my lead advisor (a.k.a. husband), I, Georgia of the More Like Home, came up with the name "stack-a-bed". This is my best moment.


And now it can be your best moment when you build your own stack-a-bed. Why is it called the stack-a-bed, you ask? Well I'll tell you. The whole system is based on two of these super simple (and easy to build) bed frames:

 

When you just need a twin bed, you can stack the two bed frames (with their mattresses) to save floor space! This makes it great for a small guest room, a guest room/office combo, playroom/office combo, a kids room for sleepovers, or even an air bnb where you need a flexible sleeping area:


Then when you have guests and need a bigger bed, the beds unstack and sit side-by-side to make a king size bed! Just like that, you have a real, comfortable bed with room for your guests to stretch out:

Don't worry about the gap between the mattresses! Amazon sells a converter kit that fills it in to make a seamless bed!

Then when the guests leave? Stack it back up and regain your floor space! Ikea just came out with a stacking bed and it's genius, but I thought you guys might like a DIY version that's:
  • super easy to build and doesn't require any special tools (just a saw and a drill!)
  • affordable (all the lumber at my local Home Depot would be under $100 for two bed frames, or even under $80 if you use 1x6s instead of 1x8s for the sides!)
  • accessible for anyone who doesn't live near an Ikea
Ready to build your own?



Single bed dimensions: 79 1/2" long  x  39.5"  deep  x  13 1/4" high (including 6" mattress)

 

Dimensions when stacked: 79 1/2" long  x  39.5"  deep  x  22 1/4" high (including 6" mattress)


Dimension when king: 79 1/2" long  x  79" deep  x  13 1/4" high (including 6" mattress)


Measure twice, cut once (seriously, though). Use glue in every step (be careful to clean up any drips). Read through all the instructions before you begin. Use 1 1/2" screws unless otherwise indicated. Pre-drill and countersink all your screws. Be safe, have fun, and let me know if you have any questions! Please note I have not built from these plans myself (you might be the first!), so double check all your measurements as you go. 

The shopping list and cut list are to make a pair of stack-a-beds, since they are better together! But if you're looking for a single bed that is super simple, modern, and easy to build, just cut the lists in half. :)

Shopping List:
4  -  1x8  @  10' long (or use 1x6's to cut your cost!)
1  -  2x2  @  8' long
4  -  1x2  @  8' long (furring strips are much cheaper than regular boards)
17 -  1x3  @  8' long (furring strips are much cheaper than regular boards)
2  -  6" thick twin mattresses
1  -  twin-to-king converter kit
1 1/2" wood screws
wood glue
wood filler
sandpaper and finishing supplies
finishing nails (optional)

Cut List:
(A)  4  -  1x8  @  38"  (ends)
(B)  8  -  2x2  @  9"  (legs)  you could swap for 2x4s to cut your cost!
(C)  4  -  1x8  @  79 1/2"  (sides)
(D)  4  -  1x2  @  75"  (supports)
(E)  34  -  1x3  @  38"  (slats)

Start by attaching two legs (B) to each end board (A). The legs should be flush with the outside edges and set down 1.5" from the top edge. Attach the legs by drilling through the end board into the leg with 1 1/2" wood screws. Don't forget the glue! 


NOTE: for easier stacking, you can use a sander or saw to slightly taper the bottom of each leg. You can taper all four sides if you want, or you can just do the sides that face toward the end board and the sides that face toward the ends of the end board. Most confusing sentence I ever wrote. Hopefully this helps:


Attach the side boards (C). Line them up flush with the top of the end boards and with the outside edges of the legs. Drill through the side board, being sure to hit both the legs and end boards with a few screws each.


Add the support boards (D) along each side. They should be set down 4" from the top of the side board (if you swapped for 1x6 boards, just make them flush with the bottom of the side board). Attach the supports by drilling through the support board into the side board (careful not to poke all the way through).


Add the slats (E) across the support boards. You should follow the slat recommendations for your mattress to determine slat size and spacing. For a heavy load, you can use 2x4's instead.

I've drawn the bed using 1x3 slats spaced 2" apart. Normally I would just lay them in place and call it a day, but if you plan to stack very often it would be better to secure them in place so they don't get knocked out while you move it. You can use a little glue and finishing nails to nail each slat to the support board, or even use a strap to attach the slats to each other like we did on our camper van bunk system.


You're almost done! To finish, fill any visible holes with wood filler then sand everything down really well. This is the most important step for a professional finish! Start with a rough sand paper, then go over everything with a medium paper, then again with a fine paper. Once it's super smooth, finish it with whatever paint or stain and sealer you like.

This bed is designed to accommodate a 6" thick mattress. A thicker mattress may prevent your beds from stacking properly, while a thin mattress that sits below the top of the side boards cannot convert to a king size. Don't forget to use the converter kit when you switch to a king size!


And that's a wrap on the stack-a-bed. Now I've gotta know:

What's YOUR best moment?

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