Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Inexpensive American Girl Doll Bed Instructions

This is an American Girl collapseable bunk beds made by upcycling a shoe rack purchased at thrift store for $3!!

I started with a collapsible shoe rack I got at thrift store this past summer for $3. I actually purchased it with shoes in mind but it just sat by my door and shoes accumulated all over the house anyway. I had been mulling over what I might upcycle into a bed to accommodate the bed mattress I've been working on. I am upcycling it from a crib bumper pad. I kept thinking if I just kept my mind and eyes open, something would come to me. 

I'd sort of gotten idea that a shoe rack would work from MyFroggyStuff on YouTube tutorial about how she made a bed from some DIY assembly shoe shelves from Target and I measured my mattress to make sure it would fit that in case no other option presented itself. So then today I was sweeping kitchen and moved the shoe rack out of the way to sweep, all of the sudden it looked just like bunk beds! I don't know why I didn't see it before? Anyway, so here is the story in photos of how to assemble yours! 
Leave out second rack from top when you put it together.
Take that rack and fit it into the back of the 'bed. Zip tie it into place.
Cut ends off zip ties. Add mattress' (the top tier ironically enough fit these mattresses we had for another doll bed we no longer have but you can improvise both mattresses with towels in pillowcases tucked in nicely.) and bedding.
Don't mind my unfinished mattress. I've been working on it but other projects are holding my interest more. If you can't tell, it's being made by upcycling a baby bed bumper. Just measured twice the length of bumper, cut it off, finished raw edges and am in process of making tucks in edges like you see on far left. Will likely add cute buttons at each tuck. Will post an edit when it's all done and show you how it comes out. How can I afford to chop up a baby bumper pad? You can nearly always find one at Goodwill for less than a few dollars or, like me, you can watch the 99c color and find one for that much. I still have loads of bumper left too so I'll eventually make a mattress for top tier. 
Regarding tiers, there is a lower tier and feasibly you could use it as a third bunk but it's pretty tight quarters for the poor doll. So we love idea that you can put your dolls things in her box and slide it in like a drawer. 

As a side note, the doll quilts on the beds were made by my Grandma for my dolls when I was a girl. Made me smile to make beds up with them!

I found a link to where you can purchase one of the racks new. 
Naturally they are not $3 like I paid but still not too terribly expensive for American Girl Doll Bunkbeds. 

Also I love the fact that it is collapseable by just taking out the zip ties  and unfolding it. As a military brat, I always consider how will I move it when move? So it's a good option if you want something that can be packed away sometimes. 

Here is the scene after my daughter played with it a while. She added her old smaller doll bed and replaced the shelf in the scene with the flat screen. It appears even in doll world, I am a bit old fashioned. Haha! Anyway, happy bed building!


  1. Wow - what a great idea! Love it ^_^! Although, knowing me, I might squish in another smaller doll in the bottom space (too many d-o-l-l-s!!). Thansk so much for sharing - take care ^_^!

  2. So glad you liked! I've really enjoyed the bed and we made the lowest bunk into an actual bunk eventually too. LOL Dolls, they tend to find friends and bring them home! (Oh, wait, maybe that's me. Heehee.