The Journey Into DesignWoodworking

Bailey’s Bed

Bailey’s Bed

Custom made Mission Style BedWhen my daughter started to outgrow her toddler bed, I decided it was time to build her a new twin-size bed. When I told her what I was up to, I wasn’t sure who was more excited; myself for having a new project to build in the shop or her because she was getting a new big girl bed. Every day she would ask me if I would work on making her big girl bed today.

With pressure from my daughter, I needed to make her something special. I didn’t want to build something from a plan; I wanted it to be of my own design. My wife and I looked through several furniture design books that I have collected over the years for inspiration. Once we had picked out several we liked, I sat down with SketchUp and started to draw my own version.

Custom made Mission Style HeadboardMy final design is based on the mission style. The main body of the bed is made from hard maple. The accent spindles are walnut, and the panels between the walnut spindles are figured maple. I used all traditional mortise and tenon-style joinery to build the headboard and footboard. The rails that hold the mattress up are mortise and tenon as well but are not glued so that the bed can come apart. Those mortise and tenon joints are held together using bed rail cleats I purchased from Rockler.

Custom made Mission Style footboardBeing the over-protective father I am, the finish had to be non-toxic. I went with “Tried and True Danish oil and Varnish blend,” which is a zero VOC and food-safe finish. If I had to do the finish all over again, I think I would probably use a wiping varnish or more coats of the tried and true to build a thicker finish. As it is now, once the finish has completely cured, the maple has lost its depth and looks dry. Oddly enough, the walnut still looks great with that finish.

Handmade bed with handmade quiltHandmade products are a big deal in my family; my wife was involved in the project and made the quilt featured in the picture. It is from her own design, representing a rainbow under the sun.

Please visit my Custom Furniture website if you want me to build you a piece of furniture or a custom bed similar to this one.

Support For This Blog


Subscribe! • Like! • Share!

I’m the owner of Benham Design Concepts, a mixed media art studio where I design and build custom furniture and other works of art using wood, glass, stone, and various metals.
In this blog, I talk about the art I create, my journey, and the things I learn along the way.


  1. Simple, elegant and easy to make. Good job, Brian!
    P.S. The rainbow blanket is soooo cool. My daughter’s gonna love it. Can you tell me where did you buy it from?

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: