How to Build a Toddler Sized Car Bed

What You'll Need
Table Saw
Wood Glue
Nail Gun
Non-Toxic Acrylic Paint
Slow Closing Hinges
Plastic Steering Wheel

Sometimes when toddlers’ need a little bit of an incentive to sleep in their own bed. A perfect encouragement for toddler boys is a car bed. A car bed is a bed with the frame shaped like a car and painted in bright vibrant colors, with illustrated door handles, head lights, etc. Many car beds will also have a working stirring wheel at the foot of the bed, so toddlers can drive themselves to sleep.

Step 1 – Plan the Design

There are two options for planning the design. You can either purchase a set of plans online or you can design your own. The advantage of purchasing your plans is that you know they will fit together well. However, if you design your own then it will be unique to your toddler.

Step 2 - Cut the Pieces

The best material to use for the bed is plywood. Some store bought car beds are made of plastic, but plastic is harder to manipulate if you are building it yourself. Your plan should include the dimensions of the pieces. You will need to draw the shape of the pieces onto the plywood and then cut them out using a table saw.

Step 3 – Join the Pieces

The pieces of wood need to be connected together using wood glue. Most plans will involve 4 key pieces: the 2 sides, the rear of the car and the front of the car. The advantage of wood glue is that you can move the pieces slightly until the glue dries. However, for added security, you will need to  use nails once the glue has dried.

Step 4 – Paint the Car

Now that the pieces are assembled, you can paint the car design onto them. To make the job easier, draw the windows, wheels and door handles, then paint. Pencil marks are easier to erase and alter than paint. Acrylic paint would be suitable, but it is important to choose one that does not emit toxins as these can be harmful to your toddler.

Step 5 – Adding a Steering Wheel

In order for the steering wheel to be functional, it is best to buy a cheap plastic wheel that your toddler can rotate. Alternatively, you could cut out a circular piece of wood and paint a steering wheel onto it, but this is not as much fun. If you choose a plastic wheel, drill two holes into the base and secure them with screws into the wood at the foot of the bed.

Step 6 – Optional Additions

If you want to make your toddler’s bed a bit different or a little more practical, you can add a chest to the front of the bed, which will imitate the front of a real car. However, rather than finding an engine, you use this as a storage location for toys. If you do decide on this then make sure it is included in your plan and use slow closing hinges to make sure your toddler’s fingers do not get trapped.