Hi friends! I’m so excited to share our latest DIY project with you: a DIY Triple Bunk Bed! We built this triple bunk bed for our sweet neighbors, who have triplet girls! I know I’ve been posting teasers of this build on Instagram stories for months, so thank you for being patient with me as I took my sweet time getting the tutorial and plans up. We had good reason though – we were too busy snuggling their brand new baby – Tamra, the mother of the triplets just had a baby girl! This bunk bed photo shoot could certainly wait.
This DIY triple bunk bed is such a huge space-saver – the girls’ have so much floor space in their room now that their beds are tucked away in one corner. This is also a smart solution for grandchildren or multiple kids sharing a room. These beds fit a twin size mattress and with the total cost of lumber ringing in at just under $200, building it was not only fun, but cost-effective too! Pretty awesome, right? I just love DIY.
So, are you ready to make your own DIY triple bunk bed? You’ll build these components separately, before assembly:
- (1) Front panel
- (1) Back panel
- (2) Side panels
- (3) Mattress boxes
- (1) Ladder
Once you build all of the components, you’ll take all the parts into the room for assembly. We built the bed custom to the triplets’ space – if you’ll notice in the photo above, there’s a slant in the ceiling. The ceiling at the tallest point is 9 feet and the ceiling slants down 1 foot along the back wall. Because of this ceiling slant, I designed the bed accordingly. The triplets’ mother wanted to hang curtains on the bed, so I had the panels go all the way up to the ceiling, so that we had a place to screw the curtain rod to. The front panel is 9 feet tall and the back panel is 8 feet tall. Just FYI: the plans don’t reflect this custom feature – all of panels (front, back, and sides) are the same height at a little over 7 feet tall.
How to Build A DIY Triple Bunk Bed
1. Build the Front Panel
Drill pocket holes into the rails and attach them to the legs with pocket screws and wood glue. All of the measurements are listed in the plans.
2. Build the Back Panel
Once again, drill pocket holes into the rails and attach them to the legs with pocket screws and wood glue.
3. Build Two Side Panels
Same song and dance here – drill pocket holes into the rails and attach them to the legs with pocket screws and wood glue. Again, the legs for our triple bunk are different lengths because of the slant in the ceiling. Disregard this for your build and follow the plans.
4. Build the Mattress Boxes
Build three mattress boxes and attach the mattress slats. Be sure to pre-drill all pilot holes to minimize the risk of wood splitting.
5. Build the Ladder
I’m not sure how I missed taking photos of the ladder construction, but I did. Must be sympathetic pregnancy brain – is that a thing? After all, Tamra and I spent quite a bit of time together – she helped build and paint the whole thing – 9 months pregnant and all! At any rate, the ladder section is pretty straightforward in the plans.
Now that all of the components were built, Tamra and I sanded and painted all of the parts Benjamin Moore Simply White.
After all of the parts were fully dry, we brought them into the room for assembly. I made a quick template out of cardboard so that the bolts were all attached in the same place for each bed. We attached the bed boxes to the panels like we did for my daughter’s sliding barn door loft bed. We used 3 1/2-inch carriage bolts, flat washers, split locking washers, and cap nuts. We pre-drilled the holes through the 2x4s and 2×6 bed boxes and inserted the carriage bolts, washers, and cap nuts.
We attached the back and two side panels to the bottom bunk first, then moved onto the middle bunk, and finally the top bunk. After that was constructed, we attached the front panel.
*Pro Tip: cut a couple of scrap 2x4s to 29 3/4 inches long and clamp them as shown below, to support the mattress boxes in place during assembly. This will also ensure equal spacing between the bunks.
Finally, it’s time to attach the ladder. Adam and Tamra attached the ladder to the bed by pre-drilling pilot holes driving wood screws from the inside of the railings. We chose to place the ladder on the side for the most streamlined design.
You may notice we’re missing some railings – I added an additional railing to each bed after we discovered the triplets were squeezing their tiny bodies through the sides of the beds. I revised this in the plan, so when in doubt, follow the plan!
Last but not least, Adam is doing a quick strength test – he weighs a little over 200 lbs.
Another thing worth mentioning: we didn’t feel comfortable having those ceiling fan blades so close to the top bunk bed, so we switched out the standard ceiling fan for this remote control LED fan from Stile – the blades aren’t exposed and it’s a much smaller profile, which works best for this room. We have 3 of these fans in our own home and we love them!
Huge thanks to the generous folks at Beddy’s – they provided the bedding for this project. We have the same all-in-one bedding on my daughter’s loft bed and it makes changing the sheets and making the bed so much easier. We just knew they’d be perfect for this triple bunk bed too!
We attached a curtain rod at the top and hung these 108″ white curtains. Tamra made the curtain tie back bows – aren’t they cute? We love how it turned out and the girls absolutely adore their new beds! We finished this project just in the nick of time, too. A few days later, the triplet’s baby sister arrived!
If you build this DIY Triple Bunk Bed, we’d love to see it! Be sure to tag me (@jenwoodhouse) on social media so we can see your projects!
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