DIY L-Shaped Bunk Beds Part II

Part I

And here are the phone pics I snapped haphazardly in between coats of paint and finishing up the construction with Tim.

We tried to buy as little as possible to keep the cost down (I really want to put up new curtains 😉 ) so we reused the shelves from the old bunk beds for shelves in the new book-case. The previous bunks were held together with a bunch of dowels and a few bolts. The lumber was still good so we were able to upcycle the shelves into the bookcase. Since it was going to be painted it would turn out fine. All we had to buy were to 6 foot 1×12 pine boards.

The size of the upcycled shelves dictated the design. I think it turn out pretty cool to have the different length of shelves.

The bookshelf looked kinda cool in the above two toned state but the shelves were so banged and scratched up that in person they looked more like a recycled hot mess than upcycled custom bookshelf. So I pulled out the primer and went against my norm and chose blue paint we had left over from another project. The paint finish was Satin so it will stand up to abuse once the final coat is on and it has enough time to “cure.”

after two coats.

The bookcase is multi-purpose. Yes it will hold books and whatever else the boys over crowd the shelves with, but it also is the main support for the shelf that will cover the area in the corner that is open between the two lofts.

Tim used his mad math skills to adapt  Ana White’s ladder plans to make this ladder. He secured it in place with some heavy-duty bolts.

After the ladder was in place we put up the 1×4 braces for the rails and attached the top rail. We decided to wait on the bottom rail to see what the best height would be with the mattress on top of the lofts.

I was uncharacteristically meticulous about the placing of the screws. Because the screws were going to be seen I wanted them to be at consistent heights to look more polished. Their beds will never be made and clothes will be all over the floor but, damn it, the screws will be evenly spaced and look good. Below is not a phone pic. I took this with my good camera after the room was put back together. I love my camera too much to put it in harm’s way in a 12×10 construction area.

We were able to reuse most of the slats from the bunk beds. Tim redrilled pilot holes and screwed them into place. Now the slats are sitting on a 2×2 that has been wood glued and screwed into 2×6 rails instead of the previous bunk beds that the slats were attached to a 1×1 that was glued and nailed into a 1×6. You see how we up’d the sturdy factor. These things are solid.

Then came the mattresses so we could put in the final rails. Again with screws placement perfectly measured.

Once the final rails were in and we cleaned up our construction supplies, the lofts were ready  for the boys to sleep on their new beds for the first time. Just in time too, because while I was running the vacuum and putting the mattresses back in place Tim was pj-ing the kids and singing Twinkle Twinkle while they brushed their teeth.

They loved it. To say that Elise was upset when she was told to go to her room for bed time is an understatement.

The boys have plenty of head room both under and on top of the lofts.

The reading couch fits perfectly into place.

I am kicking myself for not having my good camera for the “reveal” to the kids but since the project is far from complete I can solace in the fact that I will have another chance once everything is stained, final coats of paint are on, and I put a few personal touches into their space.

Sneak Peek at the bunks stained with the DIY curtains up:

Don’t tell Michael and Patrick but Elise was the first one who got to play in the “loft fort”

21 thoughts on “DIY L-Shaped Bunk Beds Part II

  1. Hannah

    Just wondering…so that our bed may turn out as “totally awesome” (our 4 and 5 yr olds words) as yours

    How many inches are from the ceiling to the top of the mattress? You may have already answered this… we have what looks like slightly higher ceilings just by looking at your pictures however we have close to the same size room in width.

    Thank you! Hannah

  2. Megan Post author

    Hannah, I am glad your boys like the bunks 😉 Tim just measured and it was 3 feet from the top of the mattress to the ceiling. Hope this helps!

  3. Megan Post author

    Andrea- It does fit two twin mattresses. They are inexpensive foam mattresses. Nothing fancy.

  4. Kendra

    Would you be willing to share what this cost you to make? Trying to get an estimate for our own version!

  5. Meghan F

    Y’all did a beautiful job! I’m about to build 2 of the loft beds for my own kids. Would you mind telling me what stain you used?

  6. Abby

    Would you be able to measure the length and width of an individual bed as well as height off the floor. Moving to an apartment for a period of time. My 5 yr old twins and three yr old will all be sharing a room… I can make your design work great w some adaptions for a third bed.

  7. Megan Post author

    You can find more info about the measurements here and also if you read through the comments on both posts there is even more info. I need to write up a post about the exact dimensions because I get a lot of questions about them! Thanks for the comment. I will check the width of the beds to be sure but the mattresses are standard twin mattresses and they fit snugly between a 2×4 on each side. The height is about 71 inches off the ground, you can read about are reasons for that height by following the link above. Good luck building!

  8. Jenn Lewis

    I cant help but notice the 2×6 anchored to the wall is slightly lower than the outside one….could you provide those heights…its the only thing i am having trouble with.

  9. Megan Post author

    The 2×6 against the wall is what the bed slats that hold the mattress are screwed into. The 2×6 on the inside of the room has a 2×2 screwed flush to the bottom lengthwise of the board. This means that the height of the top of the wall 2×6 is the same height as the top of the 2×2 that is screwed into the inside 2×6 so that the mattress can sit level. You can measure the top of wall facing 2×6 and then subtract 1.5 inches and you will have the height of the bottom of the inside 2×6 OR add 4 inches to the measurement of the the top of the wall 2×6 to have the top height of the inside 2×6. Please let me know if this doesn’t make sense!

  10. Nickie

    Hi great job! Do you have a written or drawn plan with a list of parts needed. We’re thinking of making this for our teen girls, they have a small room they share it this would help provide them with some room! I can be emailed at

  11. Nicholas Richard


    My wife and i love this design but im having trouble loading/finding the plans could you or would you be willing to email them to me and a parts/materials list if you have that as well…please and thank you

  12. Megan Post author

    We do not have plans or a materials list written up, sorry. It is all made from stock pine lumber.

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