Free Baby Doll Bed Plans

When my daughter asked if I could build a baby doll bed for her doll, Bella, I was thrilled.

This was such a fun project to build, and I was even able to involve her in the whole process.  This design was selected by Sophia; she picked one from a catalog that she liked.  Then, she sketched some crayon schematics (basically, taller headboard than footboard).  Finally, she sketched the double heart that she wanted on each board.

I am making these drawings and designs 100% FREE so that you can build one with your child.  The templates for the head and foot board are here: baby crib plans.  If you print each one on a full sheet of paper, you’ll be able to trace out this exact design.

The template shows the location of each shallow mortise.  Here’s what it looks like.  I found the best way to do it was to make the mortises on the footboard, clamp it to the headboard so the bottoms line up, then drill a hole through to locate them on the headboard.  Cut the heart with a scroll saw or jigsaw.
I used a chisel to create a groove for the bed bottom to sit in.  1/4 inch wide, use a chisel to pare it out.  This is sloppy along the bottom, and that’s OK.  Making the top line of the groove as clean as possible is more important, since it gets seen.
The groove in the bottom rails has to be cut at an angle.  Use an angle finder, bevel gauge, or protractor to figure this part out, then use a table saw to cut the groove. 
To locate the sprindles, I drew a line 3/4 inch from each end.  The rails are about 17″ long.  Then, use dividers, start on one line, and mark out 9 equally spaced points.  I used a 5/16 drill bit and 1/4 inch dowels.  If you have a 9/32 bit, that might be better; these were a bit loose.
The 1/4 inch thick bottom slides in those grooves, no glue.
As a woodworker, do I love the visible screws?  No.  As a father, totally.  This was a really accessible thing for Sophia to do.  And, since they’re visible, she’s always reminded of one of the parts she played in building this.  Use glue on each rail joint, but not on the dowels.
Canned spray paint is your friend here.  Take light coats.  Sophia is going to use acrylic paint to draw flowers on this, and then I’ll seal it with a water based poly.

 

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