This is not a story about homeschool, but it’s going to start with an example so stick with me please and thank you.
Second grade math is hard. It’s especially hard when you look at a lot of numbers (i.e. triple digit addition and subtraction) and realize you have to do something with them. Sure, there are some people who can do all the math mentally in 1.3 seconds but no one (me included) in our homeschool is one of those people. You look at all those numbers and think how it’s just a lot.
But if you break it down. Piece by piece. Simple chunks. It all happens. Suddenly it’s not so daunting and impossible. It’s actually quite simple.
Most of us are beyond 2nd grade math and have much more challenging things in our paths but isn’t it all the same? Isn’t everything difficult before we understand it? Aren’t most things overwhelming when you aren’t sure what to do with them?
I think we can say yes to most of those. It’s easy to look at the big picture or end product but it’s not always easy to get there.
This is exactly what happened with the bed. I found the plans and even collected the materials but it all seemed too big of a project. I felt like I couldn’t do it by myself and even doubted how I could do it with help. So many cuts. Actual precision. One side could not be just a little off. And if I messed up… what a waste.
I thought about it for weeks, maybe months. I studied the plans, watched videos and royally overthought it. It’s what I do but one day, I decided to take it step by step.
I drew out my cuts.
Then I cut them.
Then I laid it out.
And I might as well try to cover it.
And in a half a day, I did it. Then I started thinking, “I’ll never get it in there and set up by myself,” but I moved the mattress, then the box spring, then I scooted it in there… and next thing you know she was installed!
Everything is hard if you look at the big picture, but all the little steps and inches add up. I’m proud of myself and you should be do for your inches and your miles or accomplishment.
So let’s talk details….
Why didn’t you just buy something?
I know you’re thinking it, but I have my reasons…
- I’m cheap
- I’m picky
How much did it cost?
- 1 4X8 sheet of MDF $60
- 3 1x4s $15
- 1 mattress pad (twin XL) $25
- 1 pack or batting $ 15
- 2 curtain panels (Threshold brand from target but I got them at Dirt Cheap) $30
$145 and guess how much I sold our old bed for? $150
You cannot find a dinky little headboard for under $150 and it took me less than a day to put it together.
How did I do it?
I followed the plans from Angela Rose Home really closely. I measured 97 times and cut once and thankfully didn’t make any mistakes with my cuts. Mine is actually a little taller than her plans because I eliminated a couple of cuts (also eliminating more margin for error) but this was my starting point. I also used MDF instead of plywood because right not it was a bit more affordable and easy to find.
It’s actually pretty cut and dry. The cuts were the easy part, the upholstery was the challenge and the part I had to go back and repair many times. 2 curtain panels just barely did it. It was actually miraculous.
- Circular saw with Kreg Rip cut
- (this is the best alternative to a table saw! I feel like it’s much safer plus if you’re working with big heavy pieces of MDF like this, it would be impossible to get them on a table saw plus feed it through solo. This makes it doable.)
- Miter saw (for trimming the 1x4s. you could use the circular but I prefer miter for those smaller cuts)
- nail gun
- impact driver
- electric stapler
- lots of little things to fix my issues and tweak it
While it’s doable, I would not let this be your first power tool project unless you have some help. Angela mentioned on her blog the she let home depot cut hers for her and that might still be an option, but I felt more comfortable doing it myself to ensure the cuts were what I needed.
As I mentioned the upholstery was actually the tough part. It’s not like real upholstery where you have to sew and such but it’s a bit more complex than recovering a chair cushion. If you’re slow and meticulous you’ll have a much easier time than I did.
And that’s it. I’m just as shocked that it did it solo as I am that it did it at all, but I hope this encourages you to give something a try. It’s certainly ok to ask for help (as one probably should when using saws and such.) Send me any questions you have and go out there and make something!