Build A Built In Twin Loft Bed

Back in May of 2013 I was contacted by someone who saw my loft bed videos on YouTube and asked if I had any plans for a wall mounted loft bed setup. Unfortunately I did not have any at that time. However, in high school I made a built-in loft bed via two tall bookcases and some 2x4s and after moving out on my own I made an additional loft bed in my new home so I had some experience with how easy they are to construct. I told her if she could get some measurements and a few details to me I could throw together a few diagrams in SketchUp to help her out. Building built in furniture may seem a little frightening at first but a project like this is one that practically anyone can make. I hope this post may be of some inspiration for you to create a loft bed too.

She gave me a few pictures of her daughters small room and some measurements.
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With the information I needed I came up with a quick SketchUp model.
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After approval I turned the model into a few diagrams
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And gave her a shopping list:

  • 2x4x8′ quantity 9
  • 1/2″ plywood 4’x8′ quantity 1
  • 3″ screws – totally guessing here but I would say 1 or 2 pounds
  • 1-1/4″ drywall screws – 1 pound (for attaching plywood on top)

A cutting list:

Each line represents one 2×4. Cut the lengths as stated

  • 87-1/2
  • 87-1/2
  • 38 38 22
  • 38 38 22
  • 38 22 22
  • 22 22 16-1/2 16-1/2 16-1/2
  • 75-1/2
  • 75-1/2
  • 66

A piece list:

87-1/2 = front and back rails
38 = connecting rails (joists)
22 = ladder rungs
16-1/2 = guard rail vertical pieces
75-1/2 = ladder vertical pieces
66 = guard ral horizontal piece

And some info:

Most all the joints are simple screw together joints. I recommend pre-drilling all of your wood for the screws (except when attaching the first 3 pieces to the wall). This will prevent the wood from splitting. Also I recommend cutting some of your scrap up into 3-1/2″ long pieces to add as screw blocks. You can either “toe screw” your interior 38″ pieces or you can use these screw blocks to screw to the 87-1/2″ pieces and then to the 38″ pieces. Here are a few diagrams to help with the build. Total cost should be around $60 for this build. Remember that you don’t need to get “pretty” plywood unless you just want to. The ladder should be attached to studs if possible. If not you may need to add some type of anchor in the drywall.

I have the height of the bed at 50″ off the floor. That is ultimately up to you! Also, verify the 87-1/2″ back wall measurement before you cut!

I made this same style bed (made the exact same way) and used it through all of high school. It held up just fine and I used OSB instead of plywood as a platform. Let me know if you have any questions!

With the information in hand and some helpful handy family members she was able to get the bed made (no pun intended)
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Confirmation on it’s strength.
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A little feedback at this point:

Christina: The loft bed is finished! I need to sand the heck out of it. We made a couple of changes. For some reason the studs on the wall weren’t where they should be. Made it difficult but we made it work!

Me: That is AWESOME! Makes me feel young again. Judging by her smile I would say she likes it?

Christina: She loves it! I’ll send another picture after the sanding and (possible) painting. Thank you so much for the plan!

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Christina: Here it is! I added rug to the ladder steps to make it more comfortable on the feet. And I stained the wood. I’m a little unhappy with the dirty wood look but it’s my fault for not picking out better pieces. Thanks again for the design! A friend of mine loved it so much, she built one for her son. She couldn’t get over how easy the instructions were. I also used a piece of counter top to make my daughter a floating desk. Not the most professional job but she loves it. Hope you had a great Christmas and New Years!

So to recap, a kid got a cool new loft bed, greatly increased floor space, and a mother who was nervous to start a project of this type was able to complete it and add a few additional touches…mission accomplished :) This is another great example of how creating instead of buying is incredibly rewarding. I hope this can serve as some inspiration for others out there who may be in a similar situation.

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6 Comments

  1. Nichol Garrison

    Hello, I found your loft link on pinterest, I am dealing with the same issue at this time only our space available is 73 inches, the size of the mattress, I saw you mentioned about using two book shelves. can you give me more info on that? as we need storage as well.

    1. Jay Bates

      I’m not sure it would work for you as you say you only have 73″ to work with. Basically I had a pair of 7′ tall particle board bookcases in my room on opposite sides facing each other. I screwed a 2×4 to each side of the bookcases to connect them across the room. Then I laid some slats across the top to form a platform and threw my mattress on top. It was extremely simple and worked for several years until I moved out on my own.

  2. Kama Suddath

    This is exactly what I am looking for! Would you need to do anything differently if the space is 105″. I’d like to build my son’s loft the entire length, but want to make sure that would work and be stable. Thanks!!!

    1. Jay Bates

      I wouldn’t do anything differently. Just make sure you get at least two screws through the horizontal wall pieces and into each wall stud. Good luck!

  3. Audrey Dean

    Would this work for a full sized mattress? Or would I need to use different sized boards to carry the extra weight?

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