Make this Quick-and-Easy Doll Bed for Your 18 Inch Dolls

Basket Doll Bed

Here’s a easy project that you’ll love. Now you can quickly make a doll bed for your 18 inch dolls without using tools.


Step 1: Buy a single piece of garden border.
These are the small sections that clip together to form the decorative edging around an outdoor flower bed. They are available in many different styles.

Try to find one that looks like a mini-headboard.

  • I purchased mine at Michael’s craft store. Any store with a garden center, or gardening area may have this type of border. This item is seasonal. You will probably only find it in the stores during gardening season. For best selection, shop early in the season.
  • There is a small loop on the right side for joining this piece of border to the next one. If it bothers you, just cut it off with your wire cutters and file any sharp edges to prevent injury. I left it on my bed, so you could see it.

Step 2: Buy a basket.
This basket was purchased at Michael’s craft store
for $14.99. It’s part of their “Natural Storage Solutions.” It has a metal support structure inside that makes the basket quite sturdy.


  • Look for a basket that’s about 19-inches long and at least 9-inches wide. Mine is 19-inches long by 13-inches wide by 5 inches tall.
  • Turn the basket upside-down. To create the ‘headboard,’ stick the garden border through the basket on one of the short sides. Anchor the border’s ‘legs’ with metal twist ties to prevent movement.

Step 3: Spray paint the bed.
You may find it’s easier and requires less shopping time if you select your bedding fabrics first. Then select your paint color to coordinate with the fabric colors.

  • I made my mattress from 1/2-inch thick foam. If your basket is shorter than 5-inches tall, you may want to use a 1-inch thick mattress to add height.
  • Next, I’ll be adding the instructions to make the bedding, along with some cute matching pajamas for your American Girl doll.

Remember, the early shopper gets the best seasonal selection.

So have lots of fun!
Please leave a comment and let me know if you like this idea.

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73 Responses

  1. Joyce Says:

    How adorable,can’t wait to get started !!!

  2. Pat Says:

    That is too cute. Thanks for the idea.

  3. Nicole Says:

    What a super cute and easy idea!

  4. Robyn Says:

    Very clever project! If you can figure out how to attach a “door” to the open part of the basket, it could be used to store the bedding.

  5. Teresa Says:

    Brilliant! I love it.

  6. Virginia Says:

    This is so adorable…can’t wait to make it for my granddaughter. Its a very clever idea. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Meagan Says:

    This is such a cute idea. My older daughter and I are going to make it for my younger daughter for her birthday in March. We have already made all the other ideas you have, to give her a whole box of doll items. I don’t know who is more excited!! Thank-you for the GREAT ideas!

  8. Carol Says:

    This is so adorable. Thank you for such a awesome project. Can’t wait for the bedding pattern.

  9. Ipodgrannie Says:

    Absolutely darling idea,. You are always thinking outside the box.

  10. Denise Says:

    This is so cute! My Granddaughter will love it. I’m heading to Michaels right away.

  11. Debbie Says:

    I have had fun making doll clothes for a few years now… My granddaughter had an american girl tea party for her 8th birthday… I spent the year before making enough outfits for a fashion show!! Each girl’s outfit was her “gift” for attending the party! I did learn (the hard way) that not every 18″ girl is created equally!!

  12. Julie Says:

    This is ADORABLE! What a creative idea! Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness in sharing your free ideas with us! My daughter is going to be so happy… Watch out Michael’s here I come! Thanks again!

  13. Pamela Cordova Says:

    My little girl has been begging for a bed for her AG doll. This should do the trick. Thanks

  14. Aqua Says:

    I love this idea! How cheap, cute and crafty! I can’t wait to get started, but does anyone know where I can get the basket and “head board”? I don’t have a Michaels : (

  15. Nancy Says:

    What a great idea! Thanks again for something very do-able!

  16. Colleen Says:

    Oh how I wish I had these directions before buying the American Girl doll bed for my little girl.
    I might make one for my new niece and put it away for when she gets older.

  17. Sandi Says:

    This is really clever; can’t wait to set up a date with my granddaughter! Isn’t it great to have children as an excuse to remain one yourself!!

  18. Rosalind Says:

    What a great idea ! Very crafty !! Thanks !

  19. Kay Says:

    I love this idea. I can’t wait to try it.

  20. admin Says:

    Aqua,
    I saw some nice looking garden border (the headboard) at Big Lots. Check your local garden center, discount stores and fabric and craft stores. Don’t forget JoAnn fabrics and Hobby Lobby. What about Pier 1 or World Market for baskets?
    Peggy

  21. Joyce A. McLeod Says:

    I love this idea. Thanks for sharing. I have to make six doll beds. I really love this one and I’m going to try it. I’m also going to try the triple bunk beds I saw online as well. If you have a great idea for multiple beds let me know. Thanks again.

  22. VickiT Says:

    OH my gosh! That is just TOO CUTE! Thank you so much.

  23. Alina Says:

    Peggy, You are amazing!!
    Thanks for sharing your fabulous ideas. My daughter and I always look forward to your emails. :)

  24. Barb Says:

    Thanks Peggy. AG storage is always a problem for me, so this solves two issues at once! Running off to the craft store…

  25. Robin Says:

    This is adorable! I have two dolls these beds would be perfect for. Picked up the baskets and spray paint today… now I just have to find some garden border somewhere. Thank you for this tutorial!

  26. Suzi Says:

    It’s jaw dropping cute. My grand-daughters will be visiting me for a week in June. The high point of their visit will be a Trip to the AG store to purchase their first dolls. In the meantime I am working on making clothes, so they will go home with tons of stuff. We will make 3 of these beds for sure; one for each of them and one for Grammy. Thanks for the great idea…

  27. Erin Says:

    This is such a fabulous idea! My daughter has been wanting beds for her 2 dolls and now she is going to be able to have 2! The design is super cute and I like how you spray paint them so you can make it your own! Thank you for the idea!

  28. Nancy Says:

    What an awesome idea. I’ve been trying to come up with an itea to make my granddaughter a doll bed. She will absolutely love this. Thanks so much!

  29. Barbara Says:

    FABULOUS! I too wish I had this pattern before buying a bed from American Girl. I will now make one to keep at her house so she will have a place at her “great grand ma’s house. Thanks for the pattern.

  30. Mary Says:

    Great idea!! My two granddaughters and I made two of the beds this past weekend and they loved them. They are darling. Thanks

  31. Vicki Says:

    Thanks so much! So glad I found this site!

  32. 18 Doll Clothes Says:

    Hello all,

    I have been searching for this information and finally found it. Thanks!

  33. Karen Says:

    Thank you! My 8 year old has a metal bed, and this will be just the thing for her AG doll!

  34. Phaedra Says:

    I love the bed idea. I can’t wait to make it. =D

  35. Judith Watson Says:

    I have not been able to find a basket long enough in the right shape. I have searched, with tape measure in hand, at Walmart, The Dollar Tree, Big Lots, Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, and JoAnn Fabrics. I have even searched on line. I need to make three doll beds. I can find everything else and I have sewn since I was a young girl. So I can make the bedding for the beds, no problem. Any suggestions anyone? I have even looked for other items to make the bed out of and no luck!
    Judith

  36. admin Says:

    Judith,
    Sorry to hear about your shopping challenges. I’m going to be introducing patterns to make wooden beds soon. Maybe that will be easier for you.
    Peggy

  37. Hannah Says:

    So cute! It will look great in my daughters AG Doll room!!!

  38. Sara Says:

    Very cute idea! I found the exact basket. “Storage Solutions” is the brand name I think-at Michaels. Had a harder time finding fencing that fit. I did find some at Menard’s but not as cute.
    Hoping you will publish your bedding ideas soon. I have foam for the mattress but am wondering if it is glued to the basket after covering with fabric, or how does it stay on the bed?
    I was thinking that a flounce of eyelet trim might be nice to cover the basket sides like a bed skirt.

  39. Gillian Fisher Says:

    I am still waiting for the pattern for bedding for the dollbed.

  40. admin Says:

    Gillian,
    Thank you for being so patient. I have not forgotten. It is coming.
    Peggy

  41. jeanne Says:

    Well I ran out the first day I noticed this project and was able to find lots of baskets at Michael’s. Now I can’t find the headboard. They are all too wide. I thought I would get a wide one and put it long ways to make a day bed but it didn’t look right. Still shopping for the headboard. I make lots of beds but this one will be a little quicker to make. Thanks for the idea.
    Jeanne

  42. Jennifer Says:

    -I too love this idea but can’t always find exactly what I’m looking for, so…off to the 2nd hand store I go. It’s pretty amazing what you will find.
    -Great ideas.

  43. Kailyn Says:

    Thanks for the idea! So easy!! I made it into a YouTube video. :) I also linked back here. Thanks again!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5a2-_bVfpyk

  44. KR Says:

    Not all beds have to be rectangular. Take a thick (5″)piece of seat-cushion form and cut it into a round or heart shape. Make a cover for it with heavier material and add matress, blankets, etc. On the heart shaped one, add narrow pockets on the lobes at the top and slip the posts of the headboard into the pockets.

  45. Nancy Says:

    I love this bed…but did I miss your patterns for the comforter, pillows etc for this great bed???
    I’d love the instructions for that
    thanks
    Nancy

  46. admin Says:

    Nancy,
    You have not missed it. When it’s ready, I’ll send out an email.
    Peggy

  47. Debbie Says:

    Wow, I am so glad I found this website. This bed will be so much fun to make with the girls.

  48. Lisa Says:

    I love this. I found my basket on sale at Michaels and I can’t wait for the bedding patterns. Thanks so much for sharing this idea!

  49. Makenzi Says:

    I have the bitty twins and I need a bunkbed for them can you find a way to make a bunkbed that is really easy?

  50. Shannon Says:

    Hello,
    I really think that is cute, however I am wondering if you can make bunk beds or a triple bunk bed or bunk beds with a trundle. Wanting to make a bunk bed or a triple or one with a trundle underneath for my niece. For 18 inch doll. If not this way, is there another way I could do it.

    Thanks
    Shannon

  51. admin Says:

    Shannon and Makenzi,
    I am planning to add some bed patterns in the future. To make bunk beds you need some kind of vertical support to make them stable. So, they’re not as easy as a single bed. But, I’ll work on it.
    Peggy

  52. Makenzi Says:

    I have the bitty twins from American Girl and I need a bed for them. Can you find out a way for me to make them a bed? …Like a crib or a bunk bed. Oh, the bed above is very cute. I love it. My look-a-like sleeps in it.

  53. Jenn Says:

    Just seeing this today! It is amazing and I can’t wait to make on for each of my daughters. I am having trouble with the link to the quilt, mattress and pillow patterns though. Did I miss it? Thank you for sharing your wonderful ideas!

  54. admin Says:

    Jenn,
    The bedding patterns are not on the website yet.
    Peggy

  55. Janet Says:

    I think this is a very clever idea! My little girl will love it.
    Thank you for the idea.

  56. JULIE Says:

    My little girl will love to do this with me. I think it will make a good, easy craft for Christmas

  57. Jenni Says:

    You are BRILLIANT! What a perfect idea! This is EXACTLY what my daughter wants, and now I can make it myself, and save a ton of money! Thank you SO much!!!!!

  58. Susan Says:

    This is very clever. Thank you for the free hobo bag and cash. I am enjoying your site. Just getting started on outfits for granddaughter’s new 18 in Madame Alexander doll.

  59. Susan Says:

    Other doll pattern sites can’t hold a candle to your patterns and ideas!!!

  60. Robin Moore Says:

    Got the money today! Thanks!! I just printed it out and cut it,so now ijust have to make the wallet and the hobo bag! And I can’t wait to make the bed! It’s winter now tho so I’m not sure I’ll be able to find the headboard….time to go digging in my garage….there might be some hiding in there that I can use! My friend’s daughter is going to be absolutely thrilled with everything! Can’t wait to see what other neat things are to come!

  61. Ava Says:

    I love it. It’s sooo cute! I made one for my Blythe doll.

  62. Janette Says:

    oh, I just love the bed, what a neat idea, My great granddaughters will love them, cant wait to make them each one. thanks.

  63. Gail Says:

    Adorable! You are so full of great ideas!! Thanks and will be looking forward to the instructions for the bedding!
    So glad I found this site!!

  64. sharon Says:

    I’m making it with my dad this saturday! We bought everything and I am SO exited!

  65. sharon Says:

    I LOVE THIS WEBSITE! (lifesaver!)

  66. Kathy Schwartz Says:

    Can’t wait to make this for my granddaughter…and look forward to trying to find the headboard this spring.

  67. Joann Says:

    This is an amazing option!
    I cannot believe what the AG beds cost!!!!
    Super job.. :-)

  68. Janie Says:

    How cute! I am just seeing this for the first time and I can’t wait to get started for my granddaughter! Thank you so very much for sharing your joy with others!

  69. Dawn Says:

    This is a awesome idea! I can’t wait untill I see more ideas and share them with my friends!

  70. sharon Says:

    im almost done with the bed 4 my doll!!

  71. gerda Says:

    Adorable! You are so full of great ideas!! Thanks and will be looking forward to the instructions for the bedding!
    So glad I found this site!!

    Gerda

  72. Halley Says:

    love it
    cant wait to make one

  73. Moriah Says:

    This I am definitely going 2 make!!! Too cute! Now the bedding…

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