Spring is technically here. But not actually, because we are supposed to be getting snow this week which makes me want to scream and smash things.
I quashed the urge to throw a tantrum and instead focused on making my little baby Sharkie a new bed. The chair that she sleeps in is going out to the curb come cleanup day because guys, it’s got the SCUMS. Seriously, it’s really old and stained and fugly, but holy moly if she doesn’t love that chair.
I can’t in good conscience throw out her sleeping spot without making her a new one, so I put this easy box bed together in an afternoon and here’s how I did it.
What you’ll need:
3/4″ Plywood (1/2 a sheet or so, depending on how big your bed is. Sharkie’s is 2 feet by 2.5 feet.)
Compact circular saw
Kreg Jig or nail gun
Random orbit sander and 120 grit sanding pads
Stain (I used Minwax Ebony)
Clear coat (I used Minwax Fast-Dry spray poly)
Furniture legs, and paint (paint for the legs is optional)
If you don’t have a saw, you may be able to have your pieces cut at Home Depot. (I think this is more typical in the States, as a lot of the stores around here say that they won’t do precision cuts, but I really think it depends on who’s working.) First decide how large you want your bed. Sharkie isn’t very big, but I wanted her to be able to stretch out and get pretty comfy in there, so I decided on 2 feet by 2.5 feet. I cut the base out of the sheet of plywood using my awesome new compact circular saw, which is a total game changer for me.
This thing is a-m-a-z-i-n-g and perfect for ripping large boards that are too unwieldy for the table saw. Matt has a regular circular saw and to be honest it is just too heavy and too big for me to maneuver comfortably and to be able to get a straight line. I am pretty intimidated by power tools (saws especially, maybe not such a bad thing?) but this little guy is small and light enough for me to control easily but still really powerful and slices like a dream. Like a beautiful dream. I never thought I would get so excited about a tool, but here we are.
In order to make sure I’m cutting square, I clamp a straight edge 2.5 inches past my cut line (that’s the distance from the blade to the outer guide) and just give ‘er.
It is really nice not having to bug Matt every time I want to cut something, and becoming more and more independent with my building is a good feeling. Soon I won’t need him at all and will happily file for divorce. #independentwoman ANYWAYS this saw was a great investment and will come in really handy when I do the bedroom floor.
The base of the bed is 2 by 2.5 feet, so I cut the two short side pieces at 2 feet long. I cut the back piece at 31.5 inches long; 2.5 feet plus an extra 1.5 inches to account for the 3/4 inch thickness of the wood. (The sides will be attached to the outer edge of the base, so you have to account for the thickness of the two short pieces and add the extra length to the long back piece.) All the side pieces were 9 inches wide/high. Here are the base, sides, and back piece:
I really took my time and sanded everything down to a nice smooth finish so that Sharkie wouldn’t get any splinters from the rough plywood. I used my power sander and 120 grit pads. When I was finished sanding, I attached the side pieces together with my awesome Kreg R3 (which I am also obsessed with) by drilling pocket-holes in the short pieces, then screwing them into the longer back piece to form the corners (I kept everything tight and square with my right angle clamp). If you don’t have a pocket-hole jig, you can use a finish nailer and glue instead.
I also drilled pocket-holes all the way around the base piece (except for the front), and then fit the three sided piece around it. I clamped it to make sure everything stayed nice and flush, then attached everything together with pocket-hole screws. Here is one corner of the bed, with everything joined:
The whole process took an hour, maybe a little less. Here it is with all of the pieces joined together to form the bed. Perfect!
I didn’t bother filling in the pocket-holes (except for the two in the top corners) because they will be covered by the pillow and you won’t be able to see them anyways. I went with Minwax stain in Ebony, and only needed to do one coat since I wanted a lot of the wood grain to show through. This was my first time using this color and I am really happy with how it turned out! The wood grain keeps it looking natural while the black hue of the stain is kinda edgy. Just like Sharkie! (Read: she’s a sassy betch.)
I let it dry overnight and then sprayed the whole thing with Minwax Fast Dry Poly in satin.
I had some 4 inch furniture legs and the hardware to attach them on hand from another project that went horribly awry, so I flipped the bed and screwed a leg into each corner.
They were already sprayed gold from before (I used Krylon Metallic gold spray paint) and I kept them as is. I’m lovin’ the contrast of the gold with the ebony stain.
I made a cushion to fit the dimensions of the bed, and sewed a quick cover for it so that I can take it off and wash it whenever. (Pro-tip: buy $3 bed pillows from Walmart instead of batting — it is way, way cheaper and you get more bang for your buck! Plus, you can use the fabric from the pillow to sew your cushion, which is what I did. I used 2 pillows.)
I love the finished result!
Jack loves it too. So much so that he was not into letting Sharkie try it out.
Come back later, Tank.
After a little while, Sharkie was able to sneak her butt in for a sit (under Jack’s watchful eye). I think she’s pleased.
Hard to believe she used to sleep in a cage on the side of a mountain 24/7. #ragstoriches
Next up — that carpet. It’s time to say goodbye forever. Stay tuned!