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Doll Trundle Bed


Kristen from Lipstick and Sawdust didn’t waste any time working her magic to create an item for her daughter’s spring auction.

She rightfully knew all the girls would go gaga for this adorable daybed made to fit an American Girl doll.

Kristen went completely “green” for this project and used all scraps she had on hand for both the bed and linens! Perhaps you have some leftover materials to make your own.

american girl trundle doll bed

This little bed is a nice, compact project. You can go the extra mile and create a canopy version but it will take up a bit more room.

This bed costs about $100 to buy, plus around $35 for the bedding (and pillows!), so it’s not an outrageous price. That said, nothing beats your own DIY creation using your own tools (sweat and tears!).

Making the Bed Frame and Trundle

The whole bed is essentially a small wooden box made with three sides and a small tray (drawer). Now too intimidating, right?

Start with the Bed Frame

The bed’s back and sides have curves to them, giving this cute toy bed even more personality.

How to make curves?

Kristen went with the convenient method of tracing a piece of curved furniture she had at home.

If you don’t have something on hand to trace a good idea is to pick up a flexible curve ruler just like this. Then you can truly get a custom profile to the back and sides of your bed frame. You could even use it to copy the curve profile of something you like but can’t easily trace.

Cutting curved back for doll bed

Once you have your curves penciled out, clamp down each of your wood pieces and cut with a jigsaw.

Kristen then sanded down both of the curved sides so that they would match perfectly in appearance. Start with 80-grit paper, then finish with 120-grit.

To complete the frame, simply attach the two sides (which are your shorter end pieces) to the back using a quality wood glue, Plam nailer gun for woodworking, and brad nailer.

Make the Trundle

The trundle portion of this sweet doll bed is basically a tray for the tiny mattress to sit in.

Trundle bed pieces

You’ll be joining the bottom and four sides together with your wood glue and brad nailer again.

Next, add support rails for your trundle piece. These will go on the sides and in the front. Kristen added a trim piece to give it a nicer, finished look

Finishing the Wood Surfaces

This will be familiar territory if you’re used to working with wood projects. You know the drill… sand, prime and paint (in this case).

Kristen sanded with 120, then 220-grit sandpaper. She even used her Dremel tool to get into the corners and smooth out those hard to reach areas too.

To make priming easy, you can use a spray primer like Kristen did. This ensures a nice, even primer coat covering all the little nooks and crannies.

Primer your trundle bed frame

Before painting, you can really up the quality of your finished product by calking all the seams with a DAP sealer and wiping down with a damp sponge.

Finally, have some enjoyment by painting your mini-bed with whatever color you want. Keep in mind what linen colors you plan to use as the two should go together.

Okay, the real finally…You can spray everything down once the paint is dry with Minwax Polycrylic spray, which gives it a nice protective finish.

As a final touch, Kristen added a little knob to the front of the trundle portion for both usability and a cuteness factor.

A great tip:

Use Paste Wax on the rails so that the bottom of the trundle slides easily. Just don’t pull too quickly as the sliding action really does work, and the trundle does come all the way out with these building plans.

Making the Mattress and Linens

Like any bed set, there are a few pieces to put together, including the mattress itself, the sheets, the quilt and a set of pillows. Whew… Here’s how you get these made:

Construct the Mattress

It really doesn’t matter what material you use for the mattress. For Kristen’s bed, she cut high density foam to the size of both the side of the top and trundle frames. Any kind of foam that is around 3/4″ thick will do the trick

The Fitted Sheet

As Kristen puts it, this is basically a pillowcase as far what you’re sewing together. She sewed an L-shape after folding the sides together to make the case. The “L” means one side will be left open.

To finish, cut off excess fabric you don’t need beyond what covers the mattress padding. Finally, iron it all really flat to neaten it up.

Kristen says to make sure you get a tight fit here, as any looseness just isn’t going to look very good.

Fashioning the Quilts

To construct your two quilt pieces, you’ll need to have:

  1. Basic cotton fabric
  2. A heavy insert like canvas material

Quilt fabric

Kristen covers how to put these two together in order to form the foundation of your “quilts”. You can check out her special tutorial here.

Getting the Quilted Look

To get a nice quilted pattern, Kristen sewed some straight stitching along the width of her fabric. She used pins set ahead of time to space each stitch out evenly.

The stitching goes into your heavier insert material to keep everything in place and give the heaviness effect that a thicker quilt provides.

Finally, the Pillows

For the pillows, it’s similar to what you did for the quilt, except you can just use regular stuffing as your insert material. Kristen even suggested just going with a bunch of cotton balls.

Finished trundle doll bed

Kristen was inspired by the American Girl Dreamy Daybed. I don’t think you’d ever know the difference between the inspiration product and what you can make by following Kristen’s awesome guidelines.

american girl dreamy daybed

Find all the steps and the must-have dimensions of each piece in detail to make your own trundle doll bed at Lipstick and Sawdust. And most of all, have fun!

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Hi Emma, If you click on the link in the post, it will take you to Lipstick and Sawdust where you can find the complete tutorial.

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