Remember when I mentioned the antique bed that I repainted for our daughter’s bedroom makeover? We bought this bed before our daughter was born for $25 out of a barn that it had been stored in for who knows how long. It came complete with scrapings on the foot board from horse’s teeth- luckily on the inside.
It also was coming apart because the glue had been loosened from all the years in the barn. So…it sat in our basement for years before we decided to use it as sweetie’s “big girl bed.” We re-glued it, gave it coats of primer and paint and bought a used mattress and box spring set.
We set it up in her new room and set the box spring in position. It didn’t fit. It was a couple of inches too long. What? Obviously we didn’t know anything about 100 year-old beds. Come to find out, beds this old are mostly shorter than our beds now. Yes, people were a bit shorter in general, but also we’ve read that they often slept in a half-sitting position thinking it healthier.
Great. What to do? We could not figure out how to lengthen the side boards, so we bought some high-density foam and some plywood and put that in the bed frame. And the mattress? We used the one we bought and just squished it in place.
Seriously. It lumped up on a couple of sides, but wasn’t too bad. However, it was a pain to change the sheets. Everything got caught in the squished mattress, and some things even tore. What really bugged me, however, was that as my daughter got older and reached the age of being able to change her own sheets, she couldn’t because it was so hard to fit them around the squished mattress.
Something clearly had to be done. I shouldn’t have to be changing her sheets.
Enter the room-renovation. We needed to take the bed apart to get it out of the room while I did the floors, so this was a perfect time to explore ways to make the bed longer to be able to fit a standard-size box spring.
We’re still not wood-workers, but thankfully since moving back home we are near my stepdad who is one. Brian took the bed to his garage shop and this is what they came up with:
They made an extension with a 2″ x 3″ custom-cut piece of oak (for strength), bolted it from the other side so the shiny new bolts wouldn’t be visible on the 100-year old bed (love that) and cut a new slot for the original side boards to slide into (they have those metal arm-like slide-y things attached on the ends…and yes, I’m real knowledgeable about furniture-making terms).
I painted them to match the bed, although I was a bit worried that you’d see these blocks after the bed was made. However, after making the bed (which was a breeze- ya-hoo!), the bedspread covered the blocks completely.
Oh my goodness, it’s the little things folks! Amazing how something this small made such an impact on my psyche. I don’t dread making the bed anymore.
Not that I have to…now the girl has no excuses and there’s one less chore for me.
Maybe I’ll make it out to one of our new chairs yet…
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