DIY | Upholstered Bed {Update}

Remember the DIY bed I upholstered for the little man back last year?

How to Upholster Bed Frame Ikea Fjellse - Tutorial

Well, when we moved, I had to take bits of it apart so we could get it through the doorways. It was an easy process – I just pulled out the staples and peeled the fabric back around the corners so that I could get to the screws (and around the middle of the foot board, because that’s where the support beam is attached).   It had been working out really well, but there were a couple of things that weren’t perfect. So, before putting it all back together, I made a few tweaks.

The Bed Base

I initially bought the cheapest bed base Ikea sells – the Sultan Lade. The slats are solid pine, it costs $30, and it’s absolute sh*te. Need to move the bed to, say, tuck the sheets in? Don’t. This happens:

Ikea bed frame slatted base

Gah. I tried screwing them to the bed frame periodically along both the sides and the middle, but it didn’t help.

I exchanged them for the $50 version instead – called Sultan Luroy. When I took them to the returns desk, before I even said anything, the girl asked, “Did they keep falling off?” So it’s obvs not just me!

Anyway, the new slatted base makes a massive difference – the whole bed is nice and sturdy now. Problem solved.

The Head Board

I found out after I put the headboard together first time around that cheap plywood contains formaldehyde and can off-gas something chronic. It’s not something you want your baby to spend 50% of his life inhaling, and it’s another reason why we never moved S into his old big boy bedroom.

So I took the entire headboard apart, pulled the cheap plywood off and replaced it with formaldehyde free birch plywood. It was more expensive – $45 versus $15, but kinda worth it to avoid sleeping next to a known carcinogen. As a bonus, it looks more presentable from the back now.

Finishing Touches

I considered putting the bed up against a wall of windows in our new home, meaning it would be visible from the balcony. If I had done, I planned to cover the entire back of the bed with fabric so it looked less DIY and more polished from all angles. If you’re thinking of doing your own take on this project, it’s an idea you might want to consider.

Finally, I gave the legs another coat of paint – this time using high gloss white. It’s not a very noticeable difference, but it makes it feel that much more finished.

The bed has held up very well so far, and still looks great. It’s perfect for a hyperactive an energetic three-year-old – there’s been more than one occasion when the padding has avoided injury.

Here it is in it’s new room…

DIY Upholstered Ikea bed in loft bedroom
DIY Bed in loft bedroom with concrete  accents
DIY Upholstered Ikea bed in loft bedroom

The plastic bins peeking out from under the bed are toy storage, in case you were wondering.

Underbed toy storage in plastic bins

DIY Upholstered Bed | Reader Features

I’ve had a couple of readers send me photos of their take on this project. I love that a few of you have had a go, and thank you for sharing the results!

Joyce made this one for her daughter – I love the fabric they picked out.

DIY bed with yellow and grey toile fabric

Her daughter also made the pillows herself – super cute.

DIY upholstered bed with yellow and grey toile fabric

And Sona made a twin bed for her little girl too. She opted for a colorful corduroy fabric – perfect for a fun five-year-old!

DIY bed in red corduroy with tufting

I love the tufted detail she used.

DIY bed in red corduroy with tufting - detail of headboard

I’d love to see the results if anyone else gives this project a go. It’s a super easy DIY to get a custom bed for a fraction of what a store-bought one would cost.

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1 Comment

  1. January 16, 2013 / 11:32 am

    Upholstering the bed frame is such a great idea in a kids room. We haven't done this project (yet) but we injure ourselves on the bedframe at least once a week (Lucy just knocked her head into it yesterday!) Thanks for the great idea!

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