Boys Room Makeover: DIY L-Shaped Loft Beds Part I

Over the course of two weekends we disassembled the boys cheap bunk beds (and by cheap I mean in both price and quality- why we thought a set of $200 bunk beds would be able to stand up to our boys is nothing short of a complete brain fart on my part), emptied out the room, mashed together Ana White loft bed plans, shopped for supplies, and constructed two loft beds that meet together in a L with a bookshelf supported loft shelf. It has been a busy two weekends and we are not done yet. However the progress we made is so exciting that I couldn’t wait to share it.



We based our plans off of two Ana Loft plans can be found  here and here.

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And by “based” I mean we looked to them for inspiration and for weight load, structure support and general assembly information. I am sure Ana would laugh at the design we ended up with, but we worked with the dimensions we had. I don’t know how many times I shouted muttered under my breath “Why can’t this room be 8 inched wider?!” We built some solid, custom loft beds that Tim and I are both proud of. Last night, Tim Said, as he took a big (and well earned) swig from his Corona, “That was probably the most complicated project we have built because every measurement had to be exact or it wouldn’t fit in the room.” He was right, but we both agree it was the most fun we have ever had on a project too.

I don’t have a cut list or plans with exact dimensions to share with you because as much as Tim hated it, a lot of this project needed to be measured and cut one 2×4 at a time. We literally had no room for error.  Add an extra 1/2 inch on Michael’s loft and Patrick’s mattress wouldn’t have fit on top of his loft.

There were a few cuss words, a lot of coffee and even more “back to the drawing board” moments.

I measured and taped off everything with painters tape to try to visualize the scale of things. This was necessary for me because knowing what 71 inches is and seeing 71 inches is very different for me. If we wouldn’t have taped off the height we would have ended up with beds that were unnecessarily tall or a loft that was so short that the boys wouldn’t have been able to walk under them. We found a happy medium between the two Ana plans above, which (by a moment of unusual foresight and planning on my part) left enough head room for Tim or I to sit on the “reading couch” comfortably without hitting our heads.

Here you can see the supports Kreg Jigged together waiting for Tim and I to grow an extra set of hands so we could hold up all four corners and piece it together. We didn’t grow the extra hands but Tim’s logical mind was able to figure out the best order of assembly without compromising any of the support by putting pressure on the boards at the wrong angles. Even typing that out didn’t make sense to me but I didn’t pay attention in Physics… come to think of it, I am not sure I ever took physics.

I took a coffee break and worked on my photog skills while he figured that out.  Check out the depth of field while dealing with extreme mid day back lighting. I am getting better folks!

I think this is the first photo Tim has ever taken with the camera. Not bad for a newbie. And yes, we work with power tools around our kiddos all the time. They love it, we are safe (except for the large support beam lazily resting against the wall above my 2-year-old)

Once we got going, things went together relatively quick. I am positive we could have finished the construction in one weekend if we didn’t have three kids to get to swim lessons, feed and put to bed. Not a lot of progress can be made past 7 pm in our house.

The boys were kind enough to share a room with Elise for the night and Elise was beyond excited to have some sleep over guests in her pink room. Notice all the stuffed animals. I don’t think she needs any more. We have a full-on plush zoo happening at our house.

We made it to this point and I sanded the wood with 80 grit paper to get it to a safe-to-touch level of smooth, and the boys slept with their mattresses under their unfinished lofts for the week with a promise from Dad and Mom that they would be sleeping on top of the lofts by Sunday the following week.

Patrick was involved with as much of the construction as we would let him. He helped Kreg Jig and even helped vacuum up after I sanded so the boys would have a clean dust free room to sleep in for the week. The kid is never volunteeringly helpful, so this is a rare moment and needed to be documented.

We went from this point on Saturday morning (after I cleared out the room again)

to here:

All of the in between pics are on my awesome new phone, and as soon as I figure out how to get them from phone to blog I will share Part II with you. We couldn’t have made as much progress as we did this weekend without Beth. She played with the kids all weekend so we could work guilt free.Thanks Beth! More pics here. 

Part II

35 thoughts on “Boys Room Makeover: DIY L-Shaped Loft Beds Part I

  1. Ron Thompson

    Very nice plan. YOu wouldn’t happen to have them available for downloading would you??

  2. Megan Post author

    No sorry. So much of it was measure and cut as you go. Check Ana White’s site for great plans that are adaptable.

  3. Katie

    I love what you did. I have been looking at the mid height loft bed plan from Ana’s site myself but I am worried because my daughter has a ceiling fan in her room. It looks like you have one too? Is there any issue with having it?

  4. Megan Post author

    The only issue we had with the ceiling fan was the boys trying to whip their blankets or stuffed animals. We threatened to take the lofts back down and it hasn’t been a problem since. They have had them for a few months now and they still love them and we do too. I find that they spend a lot more time playing in their room which is great for everyone 😉

  5. Meg

    Nikki, not taking into account the bookcase we built out of the old bunk bed head boards to use as support, we spent under $100 on lumber. I would have to do some calculating but I think we spent about $70… Not positive on that though. The bunk beds we bought for $200 don’t even begin to compare to the ones we built in terms of quality, sturdiness and looks. I wish we would have never wasted money on the original bunks and just built something to begin with. Hope this helps!

  6. Amy

    I also would like to know the size of your room and the measurement of the loft beds. My boys’ room is 95″ x 121″ so I don’t have a lot of room to do much. I saw what you did and just love the idea and want to do the same for my boys. Thanks.

  7. Meg

    @Amy and @Kimberly Theboys room is 117 inches x 145 inches.
    The loft beds are 116 1/2 (the baseboards account for the 1/2 inch) by 100 3/4 inches.
    I will write up another post with more details about the specifics with more photos. Hopefully that will help!
    For now here is another post with a few more photos
    The boys have been in the beds for 7-8 months and love it and I love it too. It gives them so much more room in their room 🙂

  8. Mario Cappellano

    what a great job! I started drawing up similar plans for these for my girls a little while back. Just waiting for my toddler boy to learn that he can’t actually fly before I build them!

  9. Megan Post author

    @Mario Our now three year old daughter loves to hang out with her brothers on their loft beds. 🙂 She can get up and down no problem.

  10. Esther

    The beds look amazing. Great job! I was wondering how you did the planets on the wall. My son wants something like that in his room, and I’m not sure how to go about it. Thanks!

  11. Megan Post author

    the planets are wallpaper cut outs that I bought at Michael’s a few years back. I think I have seen them in the store recently though. Good luck!

  12. Beth

    I love Ana White’s site. I was looking for ideas on pintrest for her kid bed designs and your post came up. Thanks so much for posting all of this. It is exactly what I was looking for for my two boys! We, too, bought bunk beds that (at the time) worked well for us. But now they are 12 and ll yrs old, we need something where they can get more space out of their room. I really LOVE the table between the two beds. My boys are avid readers and the table would be great for them. Again, I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to put this up to share with us! It has made what I concidered to be a “big job” much easier! 🙂

  13. Vanessa Parker

    I am so glad I came across this on Pinterest. Hubby just said he wanted to make L-shaped loft beds for our boys. We are excited to do it, especially now seeing a picture of one already done.

  14. Megan Post author

    That is wonderful! Good luck with your build. Our boys love there bed and the couch underneath is the official reading couch now. We all curl up under the loft for bedtime stories 🙂

  15. Lisa

    I love this! I recently made a full over full bed for my girls who share a room, but it isn’t what I wanted it to be. This is such a great idea! They share a rather small room also and this would be a great way to allow for them to have individual dressers. Thanks for showing so many pictures!! I think I can form my own design based on them 🙂 The room you made for your boys looks AMAZING!

  16. Andrea

    Really these two lofts only cost $100? How is that possible?? Did u use ur old lumber are all other than the shelf? That seems sooo cheap

  17. Megan Post author

    @Andrea We are in MN so our lumber prices are cheaper than in some other areas. All of the lumber used on the bunks were white pine. The stain makes it look like a better and higher grade lumber. We buy our lumber at Menards and when possible we used “stud grade” 2x4s. If you have time and there is enough stock you can usually find really good, straight boards in the “stud grade” piles.

  18. Andrea

    Wow, that’s great!! I’ve never heard of the stud grade, we will have to ask about it. Great job, hope to copy this weekend, thx

  19. Megan Post author

    No sorry I do not. I just have the two posts I wrote about the beds. There are many questions I have answered in the comment section. I hope that helps.

  20. Jaquelin Farias

    You’re my new favorite person. My dad’s work dictates we (my brother, sister, and I) share a bedroom (a tiny one I might add). Space is nonexistent especially when sharing with a 14 and 9 year-old. This is definitely going to be made by my dad for us. I’m going to make sure of it. Thanks so much for sharing.

  21. Steffani

    I absolutely love this and want to build this with my husband for my 2 boys. Thank you for the great pictures and idea!!

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