Learn how to make your own DIY Montessori bed with style! Instead of just throwing a mattress on the floor, why not add a frame to make things fun? Download the free plans here!
DIY Montessori bed plans
I have been meaning to do this post for a while! Ever since we did a DIY house-shaped big girl bed for our daughter, I have wanted to do a floor bed version. We debated over doing a floor bed for a while, but ultimately we decided to do a twin-sized regular bed frame she could use for a while.
And we have loved it! I love having something that is big enough for an adult and a kid to be in at bedtime. And the headboard, footboard, and side railings we added have been really helpful for Ms. Roly Poly.
But this plan—this one is for a house-shaped bed that sits on the floor and is sized for a crib/toddler mattress. It should fit most standard crib/toddler mattresses, the minimum size for which is 27 1/4″ wide by 51 5/8″ long. That is the exact size this frame was designed around.
So what’s a floor bed?
A Montessori floor bed is just a mattress on the floor. Those who like the Montessori parenting style generally follow it for a variety of reasons, and one of them is the fact that it encourages independence in small children.
I like a lot of the things that people generally refer to as “Montessori.” We had our daughter at a Montessori infant daycare for a few months, and we loved it—the only real reason we left is because of the cost. We moved her to a wonderful home daycare that followed a lot of the same principles.
Now our daughter is in a preschool that also follows a lot of things people consider “Montessori.” Self-directed activities in the classroom, hands-on learning, and learning through collaborative play. And one thing that some Montessori parents use is a floor bed.
Floor beds encourage independence in children by giving them ownership of their environment. Some parents transition their children to floor beds very young…but we followed official safe sleep guidelines, meaning infants should be alone, on their backs, in cribs. And I always recommend the same.
However, once kids are walking about and are no longer infants, I think that floor beds are a great choice! We have loved giving R a bit of independence—if everything in her room is safe for her to get into, why not?
So here’s what I used for this bed—
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- 2″ x 2″ lumber
- Miter saw
- KregJig 720
- 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws
- Fine-grit sandpaper
- Wood filler
- Measuring tape and pencil
- Crib mattress, plan sized for a mattress 27 1/4″ x 51 5/8″
And here are the cuts we made—
- A pieces (4) cut to 46″ at 45-degree angles on one end only (tall corners)
- B pieces (4) cut to 27 3/4″ (stretchers)
- C pieces (4) cut to 21 3/4″ at a 45-degree angles on both ends (roof pitches)
- D pieces (5) cut to 52 1/4″
And here’s how I made a DIY Montessori bed!
Step 1: Cut pieces & drill pocket holes
First we cut all pieces according to the cut list. All of the lumber we used is 2″ x 2″ pine. With price of lumber now, it cost me about $100—kind of unbelievable 🙁 (Writing this as of December 2021.)
After cutting all pieces, some of them needed pocket holes. We used our nifty KregJig 720 to drill all of the pocket holes as follows:
- B pieces: (2) pocket holes on the ends of all (4) pieces
- D pieces: (2) pocket holes on the ends of (4) D pieces (the 5th is the top connector at the roof’s apex, and we didn’t use pocket holes for that)
Step 2: Begin assembling the house-shaped frames
Next we started assembling the house-shaped frames. Each house-shaped frame uses (2) A pieces, (2) B pieces, and (2) C pieces. However, to get started, we used (2) A pieces and (1) B piece.
Make sure the 45-degree angled ends are facing right right way too! That created a U-shaped frame that gave us some additional stability to work with. Another pocket hole tip—since I knew the mattress would cover the bottom pocket holes, I made sure they all faced inward throughout the whole build.
Step 3: Add the second B piece
Then we added the second B piece near the top, 1 1/2″ down from the top of the angled ends. Although I would have liked a frame without this piece, I wanted it to help further stabilize the frame.
Step 4: Add roof pieces
Next we added the roof pieces. This was definitely a two-person job. We decided to use wood glue and our nail gun to attach these pieces. Pocket holes would have been nice, but they also would have been tricky on 45-degree-angled 2×2 pieces.
We used two different nail sizes for this. We used a smaller nail size to attach the base of the roof pieces to the longer A pieces. Then we used a larger size to finish off the apex area. Make sure to use glue and nails if you go this route. You could also drive a few screws instead.
Step 5: Connect the two sides
Next it was time to connect the two house-shaped sides with all of the (5) D pieces! First we grabbed the (4) pieces with pocket holes and attached them to one of the house-shaped sides. And then flipped the whole thing over and attached the other house-shaped side the same way.
Step 6: Add the last piece on the “roof”
Finally, we used glue and two 3-inch wood screws to attach the final D piece at the roof’s apex point. We decided against pocket holes on this for no particular reason; driving two 3-inch screws with glue just seemed easiest.
Safety note: This piece is design for sleep, not climbing. Your child’s weight and the quality of the construction will determine whether the top 3 longer D pieces can hold their weight, because they are probably going to want to climb on or hang from them. I would recommend against allowing them to climb on or hang from them in all cases, though. I also recommend anchoring the piece in place, either to the wall or to the floor. Safety first—always.
And here is the finished house-shaped DIY Montessori bed!
The finished measurements on the inside of the bed are 27 3/4″ by 52 1/4″ to accomodate a crib mattress up to that size. We threw a few pillows in ours and made a reading fort for R 🙂