Ah, the terrible twos. I don’t remember them, but I bet I had a lot of fun!
However, I don’t believe that my lack of memory has anything to do with me falling out of bed a few times. That being said, it’s not a good idea to let toddlers fall out of bed.
If you’re looking for a safe and affordable way to keep your toddler in bed, you may want to consider making a DIY toddler bed rail. Bed rails are an important part of keeping your child safe while they’re sleeping, and they can be expensive to buy. That’s why we’ve put together this tutorial on how to make a DIY toddler bed rail. With just a few simple supplies, you can create a bed rail that is both safe and affordable!
To make a DIY toddler bed rail, you’ll need:
- A piece of wood that is at least 48″ long and 12″ wide
- Tape measure
- Circular saw
- Plywood or MDF board (at least 24″ x 36″)
- Stain or paint to finish the wood
- Paintbrush or rag
- Ruler or straight edge
- High density foam (at least 24″ x 36″)
- Scissors or a sharp knife
- Velcro strips (optional)
Step One: Measure and Cut the Wood Board
Use a tape measure to find the length and width of your child’s bed. Add an extra inch to each dimension to allow for the thickness of the wood. Cut the board to these dimensions using a circular saw.
Step Two: Stain or Paint the Board
If you want, you can stain or paint the board to match your child’s bedding or bedroom decor. Use a paintbrush or rag to apply the finish and allow it to dry completely.
Step Three: Cut the Foam Pad
Cut a piece of high density foam that is at least 24″ x 36″. You may need to trim it down if it is too large. Be sure to use scissors or a sharp knife so that you don’t damage the foam.
Step Four: Assemble the Bed Rail Frame
Using a ruler or straight edge, draw a line down the middle of the board. This will be your guide for assembling the bed rail frame.
Using a drill and screws, attach two pieces of wood at each end of the board to create a rectangular frame. If you’re using MDF board, make sure that the screws are long enough to go through both pieces of wood.
Step Five: Attach the Foam Pad
Center the foam pad on top of the bed rail frame. Use scissors or a sharp knife to cut slits in the foam so that it can fit around the corners of the frame. Then use Velcro strips (optional) to secure it in place.
Your DIY toddler bed rail is now complete!
More DIY Toddler Bed Rails
Here are 17 more plans and tutorials for toddler bed rails. Let’s get straight to it!
1. A simple PVC pipe rail
Let’s start with something simple. PVC pipes are easy to work with, and they allow some wiggle room for mistakes. All in all, great for beginners and people who are not used to DIY.
However, it’s not the prettiest project out there. We’ll solve that with the next one.
2. A prettier PVC pipe rail
This one is even easier to put together, and it’s easier on the eyes. You can use any firm fabric that matches the rest of the decor in the room.
Though, you will need some basic sewing skills so you can hem the fabric and make the channels.
3. A 1-hour toddler bed rail
The work process boils down to cutting the plank, sanding and smoothing it, and attaching hardware. Unless you are doing everything by hand, you could be done in about an hour. It will take you even less if you are using a piece of wood that’s already smooth and nicely shaped (i.e. recycling a bed board).
4. Vintage bed rail
I love everything about this room and how it looks like a dollhouse. And I adore how the rail doesn’t clash with the rest of the decor.
This is a simple build that you can probably do with things that are already laying around, but that will look like million bucks.
5. The red rails
This one’s my favorite, but I don’t know if it is because I love the build, the custom name, or the color scheme.
In any case, this is a simple set of rails that can be attached and removed easily. Something to consider if your toddler sometimes steals your bed.
6. Corner bed rails
For a very active sleeper. This build is a must-see if you have a bed without foot rails as well.
It’s another simple build that can be done with basic carpentry skills. Even if this is your first project, you’ll find your way around it.
7. A screw-on bed rail
A very simple plank design, but this has screws to hold it in place. The screws don’t go through the bed but clamp onto it. Should not leave any marks once removed, but you can glue little pieces of felt on the screws to be on the safe side.
8. Toddler bed rails from an old crib
Using an old crib doesn’t only save you materials, but time as well. Plus, it’s good for the environment and your budget to recycle and repurpose things.
If this idea catches your fancy, just wait for it. I have another way to reuse a crib further down the list.
9. Beginner-friendly rails
Once you install these rails, they are going nowhere. They go completely under the mattress so they are more than 100% safe.
But the best part about this tutorial is how they got all the timber cut at the shop. You should do it as well so all it takes lees time for you to do at home is to put it all together.
10. Another take
Here’s almost the same project as the one above, but this time even simpler. They are made completely from 1x4s, and if you know how to make a crate, you’ll know how to complete this build.
11. Classic with a twist
You’ve seen this concept before, but here’s a quick refresher and a look at how it can be adapted to your wants and needs.
The tools and materials are also slightly different, so you get to see another way to complete this project. I like how this design looks more natural when adding the bed rails to the bed. However, I’m sure a lot of it has to do with paint and that can easily be done with all these ideas.
12. A whole new bed
It’s time to raise the stakes and make a whole bed from scratch. If you’re ready for a challenge, you can try this one.
This can be both a nap and a sleeping bed, and it’s perfect for this traditional period. You can make it to march the crib so you can use the same bedding, pillows, etc.
13. Raising the stakes, and the rails
Let’s kick it up a notch. This bed looks like it should be on the show floor of a furniture store, but you can make it happen with a bunch of 2x4s.
It’s another straightforward build you can finish in one day alone, but you may need an additional pair of hands to hold stuff.
14. DIY floor bed
Another idea for a big boy or a big girl’s bed. And another project that uses very little but 2x4s and some wooden dowels. If you like this idea, check out some more fun ideas we have for toddler boy’s room.
Most Montessori beds also follow this format, so if that’s something right up your alley, this bed will become even more interesting to you.
15. A house bed
I hope you’re ready for dessert. This bed is what ultimate kids’ bedrooms need. And all it takes are some 2x3s.
I’ve seen tutorials for this same type of bed elsewhere, but this one is the clearest. You’ll find detailed instructions and clear graphics that will guide you along the way. This design reminds me of some fun DIY tent beds that could also dual as a bed rail with the correct build.
16. Upcycling a crib
Here’s a great idea. Why not upcycle the crib? On one hand, you don’t have to buy a whole new bed, on the other you have most of the materials already.
This is a 2-in-1 tutorial that will show you 2 ways how to complete this project.
17. The bunk bed project
Okay, it’s early to think about bunk beds now, but this bed is here for a reason. Now, you can copy the top bunk rail and add it to a classic toddler’s bed. Then file this project for a later date, because you will surely want to come back to it in a few years.