Plans for a child's boat bed

Written by philippa jones
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Plans for a child's boat bed
Use a standard child's bed frame as the base for your boat bed. (KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock/Getty Images)

Building a child's bed in the shape of a boat will add a personal touch to a bedroom while the novelty might encourage your child to go to bed on time. Making a plan of how to approach the task will help you execute it more effectively as you have all the necessary equipment, measurements and materials ready to go. You can make a boat bed by using a simple framework and attaching a plywood boat base to the side of the frame. With a touch of paint you'll have a unique boat bed.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Ruler
  • Tape measure
  • Plywood

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  1. 1

    Determine the length and width of the bed frame. Adjust the size depending on the age of your child. Go for a bed of 163.8 x 76.2 cm (64.5 x 30 inches) for a 10-year-old. For a toddler, plan for a bed measuring 141 x 71.1 cm (55.5 x 28 inches).

  2. 2

    Draw a diagram on a piece of paper of the wooden frame including its dimensions. Include height, width, length and number of required slats. Alternatively, print a completed diagram of a wooden bed frame with measurements from an online resource. This is easier because it eliminates the need to take precise measurements such as for bed slats or the height of bed posts.

  3. 3

    Clear the area of the room for the bed. Choose a space that is big enough for the bed. If the door opens into the room, make sure there is enough space to allow the door to swing open without hitting the bed.

  4. 4

    Draw the outline of the bottom of a boat on the paper. This shape will be cut from plywood and attached to the side of the bed frame. Use a ruler to draw a 15 cm (6 inch) long horizontal line. Beneath this line draw a 10 cm (4 inch) horizontal line.

  5. 5

    Join the left end of the top line to the left end of the bottom line using a diagonal line. Repeat for the right hand side.

  6. 6

    Label the boat shape with measurements. When you build the bed, you will copy this diagram onto a piece of plywood and cut it out. The top line you drew will be the same as the length of the bed frame, the bottom line will be two-thirds of this length. The height will be 90 cm (3 feet).

  7. 7

    Add five evenly distributed circles across the centre of the boat base. These are portholes for the boat bed which will be cut out of plywood board.

  1. 1

    Take a trip to a builders' merchant and buy the necessary amount of wood to build the wooden frame. Buy the appropriate amount of slats and planks as required by your diagram to create your boat. You'll need four corner posts, four timbers for the bed frame plus a suitable number of slats to place across the bed frame and enough wood for the headboard.

  2. 2

    Buy a sheet of 90 x 1.25 cm (3 feet x 1/2 inch) plywood measuring the same length as the bed.

  3. 3

    Obtain the correct equipment. You will need screws, nail, hammer and saw to construct the wooden frame. You will need a paintbrush, paint and varnish to decorate the side of the wooden boat and a pirate flag to hang from the side of the wall as a neat accessory. You will also need brown paint to paint a faux steering wheel on the wall above the pillow, so that the child sleeps at the helm.

  4. 4

    Prepare the wood by measuring the length of each part and make sure you have enough nails and screws to put the frame together. Draw the outline of the bottom of the boat on the plywood and cut any lengths of wood you need to the required length.

  5. 5

    Plan the order of work to be done. Build the bed frame first, then add the slats and then attach the bottom of the boat to the side. You can paint the bed last and allow to dry overnight. Get your child to help and make a day of it.

Tips and warnings

  • Paint the bed any colour. One idea is to use dark blue for the bottom of the boat with white edging around the portholes.
  • Enhance the boat theme by using boat or sea-themed linens.
  • Hang the flag above the bed using a hook. You also can attach it to the blinds so that it moves up and down during the day.

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