Luciana's Space Loft...and the empty box we gave Lu for Christmas...

Hi friends!
It's been a while!  I feel a little bit like my blog is turning into a blog about American girl dolls lately!  But that's just where our crafting has been taking us lately, so I hope you don't mind too much.
For Christmas we gave Lu an empty box for Christmas.  Inside there was a note which said we'd help her make anything that she'd like.  At first, she really wasn't too sure about this gift. Let's just say an empty box is maybe just a little bit disappointing to get for Christmas.
The husband and I have been talking a lot lately about how the only way you ever really become comfortable doing something is by actually trying out how to do things.  We've been trying to take a step back and have been asking ourselves what an 8 year old is capable of doing, and then letting her try.  Even if that means a messy kitchen (when she tries to make herself lunch) or seams that need to be pulled out when she tries to sew. 
This project was a lot about learning how to make something, and to let her try some new techniques.  It didn't take long for Lu to get excited about planning what she wanted to make. 
This project ended up being her absolute favorite gift.  She was so excited about the possibility of designing a bed for her doll that she could make HOWEVER she wanted! 
At the end she said to me, "Did you know that when you gave me that empty box you gave me the best gift ever?  It was so much better than you buying me a doll bed, and I got to spend time with both you and Daddy!"
That totally made it worth it.
Let's talk about this creation!!
It's a loft up top, perfect for star gazing with her homemade telescope (tutorial for that on another day)...and a bed on the bottom.  I like to think of it as a reverse loft bed.   Lu has two dolls though, so she really wanted to be able to convert the top into a bed as well, and we thought a sleeping bag would be the perfect solution!
We'll save the tutorial for the sleeping bag for another day...but this is a really great sleeping bag for someone just learning how to sew.  I had Lu figure out how to make it herself (which she found frustrating at first, but then was so excited when she figured it out herself!
It rolls up for easy storage. On the top loft part of the bed we put the bean bag chair that we made.
And we made some simple bedding for the bottom part:

 We made the telescope, a space helmet, and the sleeping bag too, but I'll save those tutorials for another day.

 Let's talk about this bed and how it came together!!

Here's what  the dimensions are: 

and here's what you'll need:
  • 4 posts: 24 inches each, from a 2x2 (actual dimensions are 1.5 inches x1.5 inches)
  • bed sides: 4 20 inch pieces, 4 10 inch pieces (.5 inch craft board, 2.5 inches wide)
  • headboard: 1 10 inch piece (.5 inch craft board, 3.5 inches wide)
  • steps: 3 10 inch pieces (.5 inch craft board, 1.5 inches wide)
  • upper railing: 2 10 inch pieces and 2 20 inch pieces (.5 inch craft board, 1.5 inches wide)
  • bed support: 4 20 inch pieces (.5 inch craft board, 1.5 inches wide)
  • bed base: 2 20 inch x 11 inch pieces (1/4 inch plywood)
  • 1 inch screws (follow the instructions on your kreg jig)
  • spray paint

 *You'll notice that above the headboards we have some shelves.   They weren't originally in the plans, and they aren't super sturdy the way that we made them, so I left them off the plans here.


We used a kreg jig to attach the pieces:
You'll notice that their are a couple of "hidden" pieces to support each of the bases.  We just glued and nailed in the support piece to hold up the plywood. 

We used other pieces of craft wood to make sure that the pieces all lined up.  I know it's not a full tutorial, but I hope it's enough to help you if you want to make your own bed for Luciana.  Lu's excited an totally over the moon!!  More Luciana crafts coming soon!
I hope you all have a fabulous week!  I hope to be back here soon when some of the other tutorials!!
PS:  If you liked this post, you might also like these posts:
This tutorial for a Doll bean bag chair:
and these doll cots  and the bakery treats and stand.  

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