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building teepee big kid beds! part 1

This will be a two part blog - this week I'll be sharing pics and notes on how J built the girls AWESOME big kid beds, and next week, I'll talk more about the process of getting them to actually sleep (and stay asleep) in them.

New Year new big kid beds!  CONFESSION: We actually moved the girls to big kid beds in the fall, but I thought I'd share it this month since it's a time of new beginnings and things.  I will be the first to admit that I was in no way excited about moving the girls to big kid beds - they were never the kids that tried to climb out of their cribs so I got real comfortable with the fact that they once I put them to bed that was exactly where they stayed until morning.  That said, we knew that we had to make it an exciting event and something fun so that they would want to buy into the whole idea of a) making the move and b) actually staying in the big kid beds.  More on that next week.  BUT - to do that J and I decided to make their beds, which probably really shouldn't be a surprise because we are pretty particular about things and also we pretty much always pick the most difficult/annoying way to do anything.  It's like a gift.  ANYWHO - we both headed to Pinterest and ultimately compared our boards.  We had a few similar pins, but we honed in on this teepee bed - our link was from a post at, but you can also read it at Hello Bowsers  - as she's the blogger behind this AMAZING DIY project.  And btw we also opted for the DIY version because the price tag on one of these babies is over $2,000.  For one bed (and we of course have twins - yay! :)) ... 

Hello Bowsers' tutorial is really great and I HIGHLY recommend it...but OF COURSE we just had to make some changes (see earlier note about doing everything the hard way ;))  But really what it came down to was that we wanted to use twin size mattresses instead of the smaller Ikea ones she uses in the tutorial.  We also didn't do the trundle bed because the girls share a room currently (which again I'll talk a little more about next week), and we thought four beds in one room was probably excessive.  Maybe...Probably.  At any rate, that required some re-measuring and MATH (which I think I've mentioned a time or two before is NOT MY JAM).  But he and the girls worked it out and built the bases first.

J was concerned about the heavier mattress and added weight of the larger top so he reinforced the base with L braces at the corners on the bottom and inside.  He also set it up to drop a flat plywood base in to support the mattress and reinforced the legs for extra support. 

 He cut the plywood for the top of the teepee and measured/cut the cutouts with the jigsaw.  We ultimately decided that since we move a lot - it would probably be smart for us to make the beds so that they could be broken down into two separate parts.  We figured this would make them less heavy and awkward to move and therefore (hopefully) less likely to break/get banged up.  To do that, J planned to bolt the top part of the teepee into the base so that it could be removed easily.  He also put rails along the outside of the base so that the larger plywood sides could rest on them and ultimately bolt in there as well.  As it turned out it was a good thing that we did that because we realized that if we had left it as all once piece, it would not have fit in the girls' room in our current rental home.  Whoopsies!  

Once the teepee top was assembled, J cut and added the finishing pieces.  Then he sanded the bejesus out of all the corners so the kids wouldn't catch on anything.  Most of that was done at night after they were asleep in their cribs (one benefit to living in BF nowhere is there are no noise ordinances ;)).

Once that was done, we took them back apart to paint (which took about a week btw because we did it in small blocks of time at night after the kids were sleeping).  We stained the crossed finishing pieces on the end and painted everything but the inside of the top part of the teepee white.  We painted the insides of one teepee turquoise and the other purple.  We thought it would add a pop of color which the girls' room could certainly use now that we are in a BEIGE rental and also we let the girls pick the color the wanted their bed to be (we narrowed them down, but these are ultimately the colors they picked).

 FINALLY we moved the finished and painted pieces into the girls' room and reassembled them.  Check back next week for me getting realsies on the transition from cribs to big kid beds with twins! 

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