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DIY IKEA Hacks | IKEA Kura Bed & Kallax Platform Bed Hacks

At home foam projects

In the next instalment of our IKEA DIY hack series, we’re here to offer a complete guide on how to customise the ever-popular IKEA Kura bed and how to create a custom platform bed using IKEA Kallax units and a made to order foam mattress.

DIY IKEA Bed Hacks: Interactive IKEA Kura bed

The IKEA kura bed is increasingly popular with children as you can easily change it from a ground-level bed to a mid-sleeper solution. Of course, this also makes it popular with parents too as it is easily adjustable to a child’s ever-changing preferences!

Via IKEA, there are also several tent-like coverings that can be purchased to customise the bed. However, the online DIY hack movement is also promoting several other ways to change the bed depending on preference. With its four-poster design, the bed includes a full side panel piece – floor to top length – that presents a creative opportunity for children and parents alike.

Customising this end piece can be as simple as ordering a simple foam sheet to cover the end. Using our foam cut to size tool, a foam piece can be ordered in the exact dimensions and to your complete specification – as dense and thick as you’d like, and in any foam desired. From here on, the possibilities are endless. Here, we present three simple suggestions for creating an interactive panel board – one using individual foam shapes, another creating a ‘sticky’ puzzle, and lastly, another that incorporates a ‘routine’ style game.

Some similar suggestions online include the use of a blackboard placed on the end panel of the bed. However, chalk can still be messy, and foam offers an alternative mess-free activity. For example, an entire foam sheet can be ordered to fit the end of the bed panel, and another – usually in a lighter colour – can be ordered. Children can then stencil their designs and shapes on the sheet for these to then be cut out. Next, fastenings can be attached to the foam shapes, and in periodic places across the foam panel piece, each one can be swapped and ‘redesigned’ as a child wishes.

Alternatively, more structured activities can be made. For example, after ordering your two foam panel sheets, one can be affixed to the end of the bed, and the other used to stencil a picture. This can then be decorated with a range of things – from sequins and glitter to paint – and cut out in its entirety. Next, you can cut the picture into several unique pieces, per your preference, and affix Velcro pieces to the back of each one. As long as you ensure that the counterpart Velcro pieces are fixed to their corresponding piece on the foam panel, all parts of the puzzle will align when it is put together!

DIY Platform Bed & Foam mattress

Furthermore, the panel can be useful for making an interactive ‘routine’ style game. On the second panel, proceed to cut seven pieces in the desired shape and size and fix a Velcro strip to the back. These can then be decorated and assigned the days of the week, making a 3D educational activity that requires children to place the different pieces in order. That said, you need not use the days of the week – you could create the steps of their morning routine or a number timeline. The choice is yours!

DIY IKEA Bed Hacks: Kallax Platform Bed

The perk of creating your own platform bed is that you can truly customise this to your taste and specification, right down to the headboard's details and any additional wall cushioning if your bed is to sit flush against one side of a room.

To create a Kallax-inspired bed, you will need three of the four-section units to make a standard double. When constructed, your bed frame should measure approximately 190cm by 147cm; however additional units can be used or positioned differently to create a bed measuring an alternative size. In addition, you will need two large pieces of heavy-duty chipboard or two thin slats of wood that match the bed dimensions – strong enough to hold the weight of a mattress and the one or two individuals sleeping upon it! Likewise, you will also require a third piece of wood (147cm wide, and approximately 150cm tall, and no more than 1cm thick) to place up against the headboard-end of the bed.

Other materials you will need include eight angle brackets to fix the units to one another, including against the wall. Furthermore, you will need at least ten screws to attach the chipboard base to the frame once the Kallax units are assembled, though the exact number depends on personal preference.

First, lay two of your Kallax units parallel to one another roughly to the width of the intended bed width. Take the third unit, and place this horizontally at the bottom of the two units, creating a smooth U shape before adjusting the parallel pieces' placement to fit. Take two angle brackets to fix each parallel piece's inner corners to the bottom horizontal unit. Next, take your headboard piece of wood and fix this to your desired wall space using standard screws. Position the top two ends of the parallel Kallax units (the free end) to the wall, ensuring that the wall piece and units fit to size. It may also be worth checking several parts of the unit with a spirit level. Proceed to then fix the inner top two corners to the wall piece using four angle brackets (two on each side).

Platform IKEA bed

Next, take your two heavy-duty wood or chipboard base pieces, and fix these to the bed frame using standard screws. These should be placed on top of one other with two separate sets of screws to ensure added security. Next, it's time to order your custom foam mattress via our customer services or by using our dedicated cut to size tool. You may be after standard foam, memory foam, or a combination of both to achieve your preferred mattress firmness and density.

Likewise, you may wish to paint your headboard piece or look to upholster it using foam and a chosen cover material. Using our cut to size tool, you can order a single foam piece or multiple pieces to achieve your desired effect. To learn how to make your custom headboard, read our dedicated blog 'DIY Foam Headboards'.

For personal assistance, please contact one of our friendly and knowledgeable advisors.

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