When our daughter was born, our son was still in a crib. We needed another crib, but we didn't have enough money for one. To make the most use of our money, I decided to build a bed for our son that would work as a crib/playpen until he was old enough to use it as a regular bed.
I settled on standard twin as the mattress size, and made careful plans based on the mattress measurements. Using these plans, I went to the local lumberyard and had all the pieces precut for later assembly, since I didn't own a saw at the time.
As you can see in the picture, the back of the bed forms a rail. This acted as the front of the bed, and the open side was placed against the wall, allowing it to act as a perfect intermediate bed. He loved the extra space, and used to walk all around the three sides of the bed, holding on for support. When he was old enough, we turned the bed around and used a foldable safety rail from the store to keep him from falling out, something he doesn't need now.
The bed is built out of 2" and 1" lumber. The ends of the bed form independent subassemblies. The bed rails rest on its bottom board and are attached to the 2X6 vertical posts for superior structural strength. The back rail is also an independent assembly, so that the bed can be broken down quickly into three sections. 1X4's resting on 2X2 cleats form slats under the mattress.
Everything fit together perfectly when I assembled it. All corners and surfaces were sanded smooth to avoid the possiblity of splinters. It has served our son well, and the ends and rail offers protection for the walls, and provide a place to attach a light and to display a part of his Beanie Baby collection. I have had several people look it over and ask to copy for their own kids. If you are interested in plans of the convertible bed or any other projects, contact me about any of the projects you see on this page.
This page was last updated on December 5, 2001.