The best thing about DIY is with a little courage and practice you can have West Elm taste on a Kmart budget. Last year I fell in love with the West Elm Outdoor Sectional, and saved over two thousand dollars by building it myself. So I did a little happy dance when I found these plans for the West Elm Rectangles Daybed on Ana-White.com, which I wanted desperately for our Nursery. I'm not going to walk you through every step of the building, since Ana does it so clearly, but I'll give you the general process as well as some notes I would add to make the process a little simpler if you plan to build this daybed yourself.
First I started with this pile of wood. I've noticed that a lot of Ana's plans call for x3s (as in 1x3s or 2x3s...), which are hard to find in Minnesota. I ended up finding x3s at Menards in the framing lumber area, which meant it wasn't great quality, but I figured since I would be painting it all, it would be fine. All the wood cost me just $53.
And after 45 minutes of cutting, I had this:
*Note*- I thought I had an extra 1x2x8 left over after all the cutting, but turns out she forgot to include the (24) 2.25" 1x2s on the cut list. She accounts for it in the materials list so you buy enough, but don't forget to cut these little 1x2 pieces as well.
Ana has a smart plan for making H's and T's instead of rectangles so that you can easily nail the pieces together, (rather than trying to fit your tools within the small spaces. My little man was a super helper on this project, he put together the H's for me and then brought them over to me to assemble. Best. Project. Partner. Ever.
*Note*- Ana's plan has you using a Kreg Jig and pocket screws for all of these connections. I can't imagine how much filling that would be, and personally I bet it would look quite messy. For all my decorative pieces I just used my finishing nailer and wood glue. I found 2 small nails close to each other in the center prevented the wood from cracking, but also made it so the pieces couldn't rotate or spin. Once the glue dried, the joints were strong.
After you make all the H's, and T's you fit them together with precut pieces on the top and bottom.
*Note*- Ana doesn't have you attach the 2.25" pieces to the 6.5" pieces first that connect the H's and the T's together. I highly recommend you put these together first in little Ts so that you don't have to try to get your tools in the small rectangle later. As you can see in the photo above I didn't do that for the back piece, but got smart for the sides.
I did use my Kreg Jig to firmly secure the structural parts of the bed, the legs, arms, top bar, and the arms to the back of the bed. To keep a low profile on this daybed (and to give maximum exposure to those sexy details along the back) I opted to install wooden slats along the bottom of the bed instead of using a box spring.
*Note* Ana gives you a visual on how to install the slats, but doesn't tell you how much wood you will need. Add (17) 1x3x8s to your shopping list if you plan to go this route.
Once again my little man helped me by placing the 34 slats on the bed and I measured and secured them. Ry loved helping make this special bed for Boomer, and I love that he'll have the memory (or at least the photos) of him creating something special just for his baby brother before he was born. *Tear.*
Put it all together and what have you got...
My inside decorative pieces are already white, since I found a pre-sanded, pre-primed 1x2x8s. They were really affordable, and they saved me a lot of time on the finishing stage. I did still have to go and apply wood putty over all my nail holes and joints though.
It was nothing that a couple days of sanding couldn't cover up though. I started with 120 grit on an electric palm sander (since my wood was so rough to begin with), and finished with a 320 grit on a hand sanding block to make it baby smooth. It was a bit pricier, but instead of hand painting, I went ahead and purchased primer and white gloss spray paint, for a smooth and even finish. (The spray paint cost $21 total.)
It took about 7 cans of spray paint in all, but it was totally worth it in time (and frustration) savings.
After a few days outside to cure, the Hubs and I finally hauled this beast inside. Then I had a preggo dance party.
I will say, if there is one thing that I've learned from this house, (and seem to keep forgetting) is that your project is only as good as the lumber you use. While the bed looks great, I can't help but wish I hadn't purchased a slightly higher quality lumber to achieve a smooth and shiny finish. The vibe for this room is supposed to be rustic though, so I'm going to give myself a little pass.
Now that all the tricky details are done, I can't wait to start decorating this room. More on that soon!