The Bunk Bed - Part 3 (the end!)

{ Find Part 1 of this Ikea Mydal bunk bed project here. Find Part 2 here. }

Now we can get to the fun part. The bedding. If you had me asked me as a girl growing up in Alaska if I'd have thought I'd be consumed by making custom bedding on boats, studios, closets, and bunk beds, I'd have.... well, I'd have been intrigued, that's what. 

Bedding. The mattress I used for the bottom bunk is the twin mattress I purchased at Ikea and used for our family's floor couch in the San Diego house. The upper bunk's mattress is the longest portion of the mattress I made for the girls' closet/floor beds. (Closet bed 1, Closet bed 2, Floor beds). That's why it is shorter than a traditional mattress, but unbelievably (there have been a lot of 'unbelievably-s' with this project), the headboards I also made for that project rounded out the length of the top mattress, perfectly. 

Before we left San Diego I grabbed another twin-sized waterproof mattress cover from Ikea so that I had extras all around for both mattresses.

Each girl got one of the custom starfish head boards from their San Diego house floor bed. Here you see C's on the top bunk and Lyra's on the bottom bunk. Lyra also wanted space for books in her bunk, so I added those wooden boxes for her board books and other treasures.

Are those unicorn pillowcases you are asking yourself? Why yes, they are. But before I go crowing about unicorn fabric, let me tell you about the new sheets. Like in the San Diego house, I wanted to have two sets of sheets, because you never know when you'll need to quickly change them. This is real life after all.

With the help of a 50% off sale and a gift card to Macy's, the girls and I picked out two sets of Martha Stewart's children's line sheets. One set had pink flamingos, the other, tiny aqua dots. I had to custom fit the fitted sheets to fit Lyra's Ikea futon mattress and I turned the flat sheets that came in the sets into fitted sheets for C's mattress.

I cut up the pillowcase that came with each set and used the fabric for the backing of the unicorn pillowcases for the girls. This fabric is from Sarah Jane's 'Magic' line. It's Unicorn Parade Double Border in Mint Metallic. We have one pillow case backed in pink flamingos and one in mint aqua dots.

Are you in love with all of this yet? I AM!! I always had pretty sweet bedroom set ups as a girl, and I still wish this could have been mine as a kid!

Now, for the pièce de résistance, the privacy curtain I made for Lyra's lower bunk. Because the girls will share a room the entire time we live in this house (there are no bedrooms to spare), I really wanted to create spaces with their bunks that were similar to berths on a boat. Little nooks that are completely their own. 

Over the course of this blog (and our time living here), you can watch  me add more to each bunk, as they grow, and to meet their needs and desires.

For now, let me show you this. Eric and I added two square pieces of wood to either end of the top of Lyra's bunk. I painted them white and then we added a tension rod. Next up, the fabric.

The fabric for the privacy curtains is all from Sarah Jane's 'Magic' line. I'm a sucker for Sarah Jane fabric. When you see the mermaid decals on the walls in their bunks, they are from Sarah Jane's 'Out to Sea' line, and were a gift from our friend John. John, we brought them with us to Mammoth. Thank you!

I used Magic Parade Double Border in White Metallic and Lucky Stars in White Metallic to make the panels. I wanted these to be double sided so Lyra could enjoy the beauty of the fabric both in and out of her bed.

For the outward-facing panels, I put the stars on top and the Magic Parade on the lower portion. For the inward-facing panels, I put stars on both the top and bottom of the panels, effectively bumping up the Magic Parade just above the 4" width of her mattress. This way, Lyra could see all the little children in the parade from inside her bunk too.

Outward-facing panels:

Inward-facing panels. See how I raised the parade fabric up by a few inches by putting the star fabric beneath? I kept the selvage edge fabric information to create curiosity in Lyra about letters and words. I hope one day she'll have those words memorized.

There is a layer of batting between the panels for form and so the fabric wouldn't show through on either side. I sewed button holes along the top of the panels and used clear shower curtain rings to hang the panels. I even found RV sized (mini) curtain wands on Amazon for the girls to open the fabric panels (to keep dirty hands from getting the white fabric soiled. They LOVE the wands.)

I'm really proud of how this project turned out. I had a vision, and I made it happen. I have more plans for this part of the girls' room. I want to create privacy panels for C too, and all kinds of built-ins, but all in good time. For now, I'll enjoy their appreciation.

The bunk bed project for now is officially DONE. Thanks for tuning in to watch it unfold. My parting photos highlight first the pink flamingo bed sheets and then the aqua dots. Enjoy!

Find Part 1 of this Ikea Mydal bunk bed project here. Find Part 2 here.

The Bunk Bed - Part 2

{ Find Part 1 of this Ikea Mydal bunk bed project here. Find Part 3 here. }

Still reeling from the election of a bigot to be our next President. I'm not surprised, but the confirmation makes me feel sick. You can follow my commentary on my Facebook page here.


Initially I said that part two of the bunk bed chronicles would highlight the bedding and the privacy panel I made for Lyra's berth, but I lied. Upon reviewing the photos, I must share some of the work I did prior to sorting out the bedding. I'm too type A to skip this part. 

After all the time I spent painting the individual pieces of the bunk bed, there were still random bits I missed. C pointed them out almost immediately, because she thinks like me. 

I set out to remedy that as quickly as possible. Oh, those red, blue, and yellow stick things are magnets. The girls figured out they could stick them on the hardware of the bunk bed.

I was also one board short on the top bunk. I cut out a piece to match the length and approximate width of the other boards and installed and painted that too.

Once I got that last board installed, I popped one of the headboards I had custom made for the girls' last bed in San Diego into the space between the mattress and the bed. This worked out well because the mattress I had on the top bunk was 8" shorter than a traditional twin. Here you can see the 4" gap on either side of the mattress.  

C wanted the headboard on the east end of the bed, but on the west end, where the ladder led up to the bed, she didn't want a mirrored version of the other headboard. No, she needed space for books. ALL THE BOOKS. To enable this, I cut out, painted, and installed a board to fit over the last two slots, creating a nice nook for her to put whatever series she is reading currently.

Speaking of books, next up was reading lights for each girl's bunk. I had an Ikea Fillsta lamp already, so I took out the legs and flipped it upside down. That one went in Lyra's berth. I mean bunk.  

I wanted a similar style lamp for C's berth. I mean bunk. However, the nearest Ikea to me is in Los Angeles, or maybe Sacramento, when the Tioga Pass is open. Of course, Amazon saved the day. I got this Lightingsky Ceiling Pendant lamp and went to work.

{ Find Part 1 of this Ikea Mydal bunk bed project here. Find Part 3 here. }

The Bunk Bed is Done!!

{ Find Part 2 of this Ikea Mydal bunk bed project here. Find Part 3 here. }

Words cannot describe how happy I was when the girls' bunk bed was finally put together and ready for them to sleep in. Someone asked me why I was spending so much time on this project. Here are the reasons I worked my ass off:

  1. This bed was given to us for free. As no one else was lining up to give us a bunk bed, and I wanted a white one, I took the time to paint the one we got. We were given an Ikea Mydal bunk bed.

  2. I knew a white bed would brighten the entire room up.

  3. There was no way I was going to go through all the trouble of putting primer and and paint on the wood and then NOT follow it up with a sealer of some sort. I knew that little hands would start to leave dirt/grease marks in high traffic areas, so I added additional time to the project to include two coats of a polyurethane sealant.

  4. This was going to be the girls' room for possibly years to come. I really wanted to do a bang-up job so they'd love their room and I could feel proud of it too.

These photos were all taken on different days. (I kept changing into those specific clothes since I didn't want to get paint on everything I owned.) Time and weather were the biggest constraints in getting this done quickly. Well, that and having the rest of the house to unpack and two small children.

In the mornings it was too damn cold to go out and get started early. I'd get a coat on by 10 or 11 in the morning and then I'd need to wait 3 hours or so to do another coat (and remember I had to do the front AND the back of all the wood pieces. I'd need to be done by 5ish each night because the craziest winds would start up every evening. They were powerful and made it a nightmare to try to paint anything during them. If you've experienced the Coromueles of La Paz, they reminded me exactly of that type of wind.

Finally, 13 days after starting, I was done and ready to assemble it all.

Here's a quick round-about glimpse of the girls' room before starting.

And here's a before pic and all the parts and hardware assembled, mise en place.

It took me several hours, and having to call Eric and his muscles in a few times, but I got that sucker assembled.

A man at work, with biceps like that, is a thing of beauty, no?

A man at work, with biceps like that, is a thing of beauty, no?

My joy at a project well done was palpable. And the best part? The bed fit exactly into the space I had hoped it would. I thought for awhile that we'd need to saw off some of the ends, but it fit with about a 1/2" of space on either side of the wall. Eric told me to enjoy that, because I'd never get that lucky with a project again. LOL

Seriously, look, we slid a piece of folded cardboard into the gap between the bed and the wall and we were good to go.

Part two of this project is bedding (of course!) and a sweet privacy curtain I made for Lyra's bottom bunk.

{ Find Part 2 of this Ikea Mydal bunk bed project here. Find Part 3 here. }