DIY: How To Fix Your Toddler’s Bed

When we first brought our sons crib we did some research and shopped around. We found one that we really likes for a few reasons; it was wood that would last, turned into a convertible toddler bed and infant bed. Plus it also had a changing table – for when he was an infant. Win!

However, when we went to put together the toddler bed with the pieces, they didn’t match up! We went to the store and they didn’t have any in stock since they gave us the wrong one originaly and stopped making the bed rail that we needed for the toddler bed, so my husband being the handy man he is, said I will do it myself.

We looked at the pictures from the original bed and we looked at the materials that we already had. Primarily we bought the bed because of the expandability and versatility; we knew it was modular so it shouldn’t be too hard to do!

We removed the front pieces (the front bed for the full size) then looked at the mounting points that remained. We took our primary measurements from side to side, how tall we wanted it to be with the mattress at it’s lowest adjustment for safety reasons.

Then we figured out how much and what kind of wood we needed based on the wood already used to match the thickness and the current spacing of the vertical bars ensuring the gap used would be safe. We went to Lowes and got 1″x3″ inch prime pine in 6 foot sections.

Starting with were it screwed in on the lower half we took all the measurements so we could use all the same screw holes. Made a quick rough sketch and cut all the pieces of wood to size. Before putting everything together I discovered that I would need longer bolts and a a couple of the holes weren’t holes, they were countersunk nuts (t-nuts) that goes into the new toddler bed. I went to Lowe’s and Home Depot for hardware that would fit before committing to those mounting points. We found that they have a very large furniture hardware selection and got the right length based on my measurements that were the same thread using the old hardware for measurements. We found shorter and longer bolts in addition to t-nut required to mount it using all the original bolts and holes.

After laying everything out, I didn’t want to have screws and nails in it so I decided to use dowels and glue. Using a dowel jig, 2 dowels per joint to stop twisting in addition to wood glue, I made the marks of where I needed to use the dowel jig and went to work. Assembled it all using the dowels with glue on them then I just wrapped rope around it to hold it together. Once everything and it was dry, went over with a palm sander to even out any un-even joints since it never turns out perfect.

We bought Stain and poly in one spray paint for the railing in almost the same finish as the bed. We matched the color based on coats. Once that was complete we let it air out for about 3-5 days as it does stink and give off vapors even after it’s dry. Additionally we removed the lower footer from the original front panel and attached it to the bottom of the new panel for extra stability since it was low enough and closed the gap under the bed.

Here’s the supplies we used:


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