11 of 52 Weeks Beautiful and Useful

Seem to be missing a week…not sure where it went. 2012 is buzzing along quite merrily.

This week’s William Morris Beautiful and Useful has been on my to do list for quite sometime. When we bought this house, we knew that the kids would have to share a bedroom. Initially we had a bunk bed like this Kura from Ikea. I had painted it all out in a light green, Little O on the bottom and Little S on the top.

KURA Reversible bed   Turned upside down the bed quickly converts from a low to a high bed.

They were happy for a short time. Little O really disliked being on the floor. He felt like his head was too close to the top bunk. So I started scouring craigslist for a replacement set of beds. I didn’t really care if they matched, but I was really hoping for something a little narrower than the standard North American single bed size, because their room is not big and neither are they, so why not have a slightly narrower bed?

Then one day, a listing popped-up for two antique beds from England, measuring 30″ across. The seller was asking $50 for the set (!). The only problem was that they were missing the bed-rails. Seemed fair enough, I’m a crafty kind of gal, and figured it wouldn’t be too difficult to rig something up that would work for the long term. This is what I did, I went to the hardware store, picked-up four 1x4x8s and some 1x1s, and some fence hardware. Then I proceeded to mis-measure twice, and cut down the slats too short, so hiked back to HD and bought four more 1x1s.

This is the bed all made-up and being used…yes, yes, I realize that the room is messy – there are children living here, they make messes, and they don’t really clean-up. The cleaning and sorting of the bedroom continues, and might be found in a different post, but for today, let’s just concentrate on the bedrails.Here’s the bed all undressed, showing the slats and bedrails.

Tools for the project (the stapler seems to be missing from this photo).
I used a large piece of faux leather on the rails. The reasoning behind the use of this particular material, is that it could potentially get messy, spilled on, or used in general. I wanted it to be something that would last and would be fairly hardwearing. It would have been nice to use leather, but honestly, that was not in the budget, so pleather it is. Before securing the pleather to the rails, I backed it with some quilting material, to add a little softness to the overall project.New bed hardware. Actual bed hardware, not fence hardware, from Lee Valley Tools.I didn’t get any photos of the project in mid-swing. It was fairly quick to do – less than an hour. Here’s the bed all put back together with its new hardware and fancy new bedrails.Beds are all made, just in time for bed. It was a bit of a rush at the end. I still need to polish the beds, but will do that this weekend. 
The new window frame/moulding is almost done, once it is finished, a new coat of paint will be applied, and I’ll actually finish making a proper blind, instead of stapling a make-shift one up for the interim! The kids are happy with their beds. They are about 4″ higher now, and all of O’s larger toys just skirt under the rails. One more item crossed off the list. Hope your week went well too.

These series of projects are all linked to Pancakes and French Fries, and the wonderful Jules – making her world beautiful and useful.
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11 thoughts on “11 of 52 Weeks Beautiful and Useful

  1. The room looks great! And those beds look like something one might find in Hogwarts Castle…What’s next? A talking portrait perhaps?

    • You’re a funny little monkey Steve Mills.
      Maybe I should put a portrait of the fat lady on the blind? Or a photo of what it would look like to peer out of a window at Hogwarts?

    • Thanks May! I love the wallpaper, just need to get a little more to finish the room. And then there’s the blind, and window trim, and rug, and floor, and baseboards, and furniture…

    • Thanks Alice. Love the beds. My daughter thought they looked straight out of Hogwarts (there’s a little burl inlay at the top). Maybe we’ll go with the magic theme – at least it works for both a boy’s and a girl’s shared room.

  2. Nice! One of these days my knowledge of tools will hopefully move beyond knowing how to use a hammer and a screwdriver.

    • Nothing wrong with knowing how to use a hammer and a screwdriver – pretty fundamental. Think most of the things I do revolve around those two things and a staple gun (someday I’ll get an electric one, now that would be glorious to behold). Don’t be afraid of the tools, it can be fun, even if you don’t use them for their ‘proper’ application, they can still be carefully used to create great things. Good luck with your projects.

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