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playhouse loft bed woodworking plans

Added/Modified on October 6, 2016
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Shopping List:

2 sheets of 3/4″ MDF, particle board or plywood (sanded to reduce splinters)
7 – 1x2s, 8′ long
15 – 1x3s, 8′ long (not including 1x3s for mattress slats)
6 – 1x4s, 8′ long
3 – 2×2, 8′ long
1 1/4″ pocket hole screws
2″ Screws
1 1/4″ finish nails
2″ finish nails
wood glue
wood filler

Finishing Supplies

wood glue
wood filler
120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
paint brush


measuring tape
safety glasses
hearing protection
Kreg Jig™
circular saw
countersink drill bit

Cut List:

53 – 1×2 @ 11 1/2″ (Rails)
4 – 1×4 @ 80″ (Top and Bottoms of Rails)
4 – 1×3 @ 11 1/2″ (End of Rails – Front and Back rails)
1 – 3/4″ Plywood or MDF @ 48″ x 80″ (Front Plywood)
8 – 1×3 @ 68 1/2″ (Legs)
1 – 1×3 @ 75″ (Top Front Trim)
2 – 1×3 @ 36″ (Door Trim)
1 – 1×3 @ 31″ (Door Trim)
1 – 1×3 @ 38″ (Front Trim)
1 – 1×3 @ 6″ (Front Trim)
6 – 1×3 @ 21″ (Window Trim)
2 – 1×3 @ 26″ (Window Trim)
4 – 1×3 @ 2″ (Top Leg Filler Pieces)
2 – 1×3 @ 45 1/2″ (Back Leg Filler Pieces)
1 – 1×3 @ 80″ (Back Base Trim)
2 – 1×4 @ 37 1/2″ (Top and Bottom of Side Rail)
2 – 3/4″ Plywood @ 48″ x 37 1/2″ (Side Plywood)
4 – 1×3 @ 37 1/2″ (End Trim)
2 – 1×3 @ 25 1/2″ (Window Trim)
2 – 1×4 @ 21 3/4″ (Ladder End Rail Top and Bottom)
1 – 1×2 @ 66 1/2″ (Ladder Inside Support)
2 – 1×2 @ 43″ (Ladder Spacer)
2 – 2×2 @ 48″ (Ladder Sides)
5 – 1×2 @ 15 3/4″ (Ladder Rungs)
2 – 1×3 @ 13 1/2″ (Ladder Side Window Trim)
2 – 2×2 @ 75″ (Cleats for the mattress support frame)
1x3s @ 39″ (Mattress Slats, as recommended by the mattress company)

Step 1

Front and Back Railing

Build two of these – one for the front, and one for the back. Simply drill two pocket holes on both ends of all of the rails (blue) and ends (yellow). Mark the top and bottoms (pink) with 3″ spaces, remembering that a 1×3 is actually 2 1/2″ wide and a 1×2 is actually 1 1/4″ wide. Use glue and 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws to attach the rails to the tops and bottoms, as shown above. Set aside.

Step 2

Front Plywood

Mark out your front plywood as shown above. Use a jigsaw to carefully cut out the windows and doors.

Step 3

Front Legs

Use 1 1/4″ screws and glue to attach the plywood and the rails to the legs, as shown in the diagram. Keep bottom and outside edge flush.

Step 4

Top Trim

Attach the 1×3 to the front of the bed. Use 1 1/4″ screws and glue,overlapping the rails by 1″, hiding the joint between the railing and the plywood.

Step 5

Door Trim

You can get your nailer out now. Or continue to use 1 1/4″ screws. And glue. Keep inside edges of the door as flush as possible.

Step 6

Front Trim

Add the remaining trim, as shown above. Use 1 1/4″ nails and glue.

Step 7

Window Trim

Add the window trim as shown in the diagram. Use 1 1/4″ finish nails or screws and glue.

Step 8

Window Trim

Trim out the window as shown above. You can alternately build your window frame with a Kreg Jig™, and then attach to the plywood front.

Step 9

Top Fillers

Add the top pieces to the tops of the legs to fill in the gaps. Avoid overnailing and splitting the wood. Use 1 1/4″ nails and glue.

Step 10

Legs and Railing

Attach two legs to the railing as shown above (on on each side – you should still have four legs left). Use 1 1/4″ screws and glue. Leave 2″ at the top of the legs. Adjust for square.

Step 11

Back Bottom Trim

Attach with 1 1/4″ screws and glue the back bottom piece as shown above.

Step 12

Back Trim

Fill in the exposed gaps with 1×3 trim boards as shown above. Use 1 1/4″ fasteners and glue.

And now we have two of the wall built!

Step 13

Build the Side Railing

For the side without the ladder, build the railing as shown above with a Kreg Jig™. Drill two holes in each of the rails ends, and use 1 1/4″ pocket holes and glue to attach the rails to the tops and bottoms of the rails

Step 14


Attach the legs to the sides of the plywood and the railing. Your best bet is to use pocket holes, drilled from the plywood, screwing into the legs (same with the railing). Use 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws and glue. Center the plywood and the railing on the legs.

Step 15


Attach the trim to both the legs and the plywood,overlapping and attaching to the railing also (as you did the front,overlapping 1″). Use 1 1/4″ screws and glue, 1 1/4″ pocket holes and glue to attach to the legs.

Step 16

Window Trim

The best way to go on window frames is to build them separately with 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws, and then tap on with finish nails and glue. You can alternately attach with 1 1/4″ finish nails and glue.

This completes the end wall without the ladder.

Step 17

Ladder End Rail

As you built the other rails, build the ladder end rails as shown above.

Step 18

Ladder End Plywood

Cut your ladder end plywood as shown, carefully cutting out the window.

Step 19


As you did with the other sides, add the legs to the plywood and railing. Best option is pocket hole screws (1 1/4″ pocket hole screws) or 2″ screws and glue from the outside.

Step 20

Ladder Railing Support

So I tossed and turned on this one, knowing that little hands are going to be pulling on the top of this railing and knowing it needed to be sturdy. The best bet was to run a support down the entire length of the inside. Use 1 1/4″ screws and glue to attach the 1×2 to the inside.

Step 21:

Ladder End Trim

Just like you did the other end, add the trim boards. Use glue and 1 1/4″ screws or nails. Overlap the railing by 1″ to keep the railing in place.

Step 22:

Ladder Spacer

You’ll need this as a spot to secure your ladder too. Use 1 1/4″ screws and glue.

Step 23:

Window Trim

Best bet? Build the window frame separately with a Kreg Jig, and attach the window to the plywood with finish nails and glue. You can also attach each piece separately.

Step 24:


Build the ladder with the 2x2s and 1x2s, using 2″ screws and glue. Space the rungs 7″ apart, leaving less room at the top. Screw to the end with 2″ screws and glue.

You have built all four walls!

Step 25:

This bed is built in such a manner that you can attach the four walls easily, creating a leg that looks like a solid post. Use 2″ screws from the inside and leave off the glue for easy dis assembly. Adjust the entire playhouse for square.

Step 26:

To allow your mattress to “breath” slats are the best way to go. You can purchase metal brackets, or use a 2×2, glued and screwed to the insides of the rails.

Step 27:

Install slats by laying on the cleat and screwing down. Leave the glue off so you can remove the slats. Place the slats according to your mattress recommendations.

VN:F [1.9.21_1169]
Rating: 6.1/10 (12 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.21_1169]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
playhouse loft bed woodworking plans, 6.1 out of 10 based on 12 ratings



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