• Shelby

DIY Antique Bed


We made this! I still can't believe it and it just gives me heart eyes every time I go in Graham's room and see it.


So I wanted to give the breakdown of what we did for those wanting to try something similar!


First off, here was my inspiration piece that I saw on Bri's instagram. I had searched lots of local antique stores and scoured Facebook marketplace for over 6 months and still came up dry so I knew we could make a similar style ourselves if I just found the vintage headboard and footboard. Which after scouring the internet for so long, I can tell you they are much easier to come by!


So when I saw this vintage twin headboard/footboard pop up for $30, I snagged it. The main thing you'll want to look for here is that the headboard/footboard are the same size. Oftentimes the footboard will be shorter so watch for that.

So, you'll want to take the type of wood into consideration as well because you'll want a wood that will be able to be sanded down completely and the original wood be light in color.

I used an electric hand sander to do the bulk of the headboard/footboard. But then I thought I'd try CitrusStrip on the spindles to help take off some of the finish for me. And that was a terrible decision. It left them looking terrible.


The best things that worked for the spindles was a sanding block and a dremel with sanding attachment.


Once I finished my part of sanding, I handed off the build and design part to my husband who has some experience with woodworking.


Because Graham's room is small and because I love his Newton Baby washable mattress that we had in his crib, I wanted to make a toddler sized bed instead of a twin.


So the first thing he did was measure the mattress to know what size to make the headboard and the side rails. If you'll be making to fit a twin, you'll just want to adjust your measurements based on a twin sized mattress.


Watch this video to watch the building process take place!



We already had some white ash so that is the type of wood we used to make the side rails on this bed. So starting with unfinished boards, he planed the pieces to make the side rails and jointed them together.

Josh then freehanded the sideboard arch based on the inspiration picture I showed him. He used one as the template for making all four to make them look symmetrical.

Next, he routed a tongue and groove design for the arch pieces to fit in the side rails and then for the side rails to fit into the headboard/footboard for a seamless look.

He used a rubber mallet and glue to secure and clamped together them to dry over night.

He made a slat railing and used 5 slats for the mattress to sit securing it with a nail gun attached to a compressor.

Finally, he filled all the holes and jointed pieces with wood filler and sealed the entire piece with matte finishing wax.



The finished piece is stunning and our boy has been loving it!







Almost all the tools we own and used are hand-me-down or yard sale finds but I've tried to link a version of the tools used here for you to get an idea.


Feel free to message me if you have any other questions and definitely tag me if you make a version of your own!