This post contains affiliate links.
You guys have been clamoring for a post on the boys’ bunk beds. And I finally have the time to sit down and write this out! I’ll probably come back and update pictures as we finish their room. But for now, these will have to do!
A few things to note:
This was ridiculously easy. We Googled all sorts of Ikea Hacks for the Kura bunk bed, and kept falling in love with every new idea we found. So, we left it up to the boys! I was really surprised, albeit a bit relieved when H said he wanted to keep it simple. That meant I didn’t have to be the one struggling with decals or wallpaper. And Zach wasn’t going to have to try and create anything crazy.
Our style is kind of a jumble. I like to describe it as a Scandinavian / Boho mix, with a little eclectic mid-century thrown in for good measure. I LOVE color and jewel tones and everything lush and velvet. Meanwhile, my husband is very drawn to black and white and minimalism. The boys room, I think, is a great melding of all of the above.
DIY Ikea Hack: KURA Toddler Bunk Bed
Because their favorite colors, favorite characters, animals, etc change weekly, we wanted to keep it very neutral. The main colors we’ve stuck with are black and white and natural wood. I have another post coming up that’s all about their whole room, so I want to stick to the bunk bed right now. But all this to say that this super easy DIY Ikea Hack for the Kura Toddler Bunk Bed is such a beautiful and simple way to transform a very inexpensive piece into something a little more impactful.
We had all the tools and everything here at home already. So the only thing we had to purchase was a sheet of plywood! That means the total for this DIY Ikea Kura Toddler Bunk Bed Hack was under $30!!
What you’ll need for the DIY Ikea Hack: KURA Toddler Bunk Bed
1 sheet of 1/4 in. x 4 ft. x 8 ft. PureBond Birch Plywood.
You *can* use any plywood you like. We wanted to find a super thin plywood, so it wouldn’t make the bed appear bulky at all and keep a streamlined look. I also vainly wanted to try and find a wood that matched the Ikea Kura Bunk Bed wood. We found this PureBond to be a perfect match. Plus, it’s finished Little tip: Take a piece of the bed with you to the store!
1 140 Tooth Plywood Finishing Saw Blade.
Yes, before you ask, you NEED a finishing blade. Because plywood is made up of so many layers, a normal hardwood blade will split up the ends of the plywood. For a nice, even cut and finish, just get the finishing blade. Seriously. The more teeth, the smoother the finish cut. The less teeth, the more rough it will be. I would use the 140 as a minimum!
A Circular Saw Guide.
This 24 in. Rip-Cut Aluminum Circular Saw Guide has been invaluable for Zach. It allows you to cut a perfectly straight line, seamlessly. With all the straight cuts you’ll be doing for this DIY Ikea Kura Toddler Bunk Bed Hack, I promise you it’ll come in handy!
A cordless power drill.
No way would I want to do any of this by hand. A cordless power drill makes life so much quicker and easier. I highly recommend the DEWALT, as that’s what we have experience with and love. However, I’ve heard great things about this Ryobi 18-Volt ONE+ Cordless Drill and it’s under $100!
1/2 in wood screws.
Because the plywood is so shallow, as is the Ikea Kura wood, we stuck with 1/2 in wood screws. They’re long enough to secure the plywood panels to the Ikea Kura bed frame, without being too long to come out the other side.
How to: DIY Ikea Hack: KURA Toddler Bunk Bed
Are you ready for how easy this is? I don’t know if you are, ha.
Assemble the Kura bed frame. Attach all the *wood* pieces together, securely. We found this definitely went faster with two people! And be sure to not over tighten the screws. Especially the first time around! You can always go back after the Ikea Kura Bunk Bed is all put together and retighten any that may need it.
Those white panels? Don’t install them! TRACE THEM! Say whaaaaat? Yep – that’s basically all this Ikea Hack for the Kura Bunk Beds is! Tracing the white panels and replacing them with plywood panels! How easy is that?!
A note about this part: we only did 3 panels, not the full 4. Looking at the photo above, we added the plywood to the tallest left most panel, the front long panel next to the stairs, and the shot little panel behind where H puts his head.No *real* reason, other than that longest back side is always against the wall. And having that open makes changing the sheets on the top bunk way easier. One less step is always a good thing in my book, and it doesn’t impact how cool it looks at all.
To install the plywood panels:
Note the picture above. For all except the left most panel, screw in the panels from the inside. The only exception is the tallest panel that covers the left side from top to bottom. For that panel, you’ll attach the new plywood panel from the outside.
*If you don’t want to screw them in, and would rather them sit inside the frame like the white ones do*: You’ll have to take the thickness of your plywood into consideration. As well as how close you’re trimming the wood, to ensure they’ll fit. Honestly, this was way more work than Zach or I wanted to take on, and I actually really like the dimension the plywood gives when it’s attached to the back versus inset.
Best mattress for the Ikea Kura bunk beds?
The maximum mattress thickness according to the Ikea Kura bunk bed’s packaging is 5 1/8 “. We weren’t having any luck in stores with a slim enough mattress. So we ordered two of the 5 Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattresses from Amazon. They are PERFECT. We end up sleeping with J on the bottom bunk most nights, and it’s definitely comfy enough for us. H was so happy to get a new mattress, and always tells us how nice they are for sleeping.
So if you’re wondering: 5 inches is the maximum Kura bunk bed mattress thickness.
Both boys are still in diapers at night. H is PT’d during the day, but I’m just not pushing the night time for now. We grabbed two waterproof sheet protectors to layer under their sheets, just in case. The 34″ x 52″ is the perfect size for the boys and their mattresses.