Plans for a shared girls’ room with an awesome IKEA bed hack!

Do your kids share a room? A few months ago, I randomly decided it was time to put our girls in a room together. They seemed ready. They love sharing a room when we go on vacation, and they were always yelling chatting to each other across the hall from their individual rooms at all hours of the day and night. And there were many, many times I’d wake up in the morning to discover that our four-year-old had crawled into her sister’s crib so that they could start playing baby dolls together as soon as humanly possible.

But I wasn’t quite sure how to go about the switch to one room . Here’s what we were up against:

  • My youngest (age 2) was still in a crib.
  • My oldest (age 4) was too small for a top bunk, but I wanted bunk beds.
  • The girls slept realllly well in their separate rooms, and I was scared sharing a room would mess that up.
  • I was tired of their nurseries and wanted to make their new room fun and not-too-babyish.

Then one day a few months ago we were on a road trip, and we ended up at IKEA. Since we don’t live near an IKEA, I decided we just HAD to buy one of the KURA loft beds while we were there.  The KURA bed is much cheaper and much lower than the other bunk beds we had looked at, so I figured we could do something with it. Seize the day! Buy the Kura!

kura-reversible-bed-white__0179751_PE331953_S4So we bought the Kura and with it I officially decided that we were going to turn it into an airplane bunk bed. Why not? Both girls love to tell us that they’re going to be pilots when they grow up (my two-year-old insists she must wear a costume while she flies.) And it’s not too girly. I have nothing against girly, but I’m all for the girls loving “boy” things like construction, trains, and airplanes. So I don’t want to too many pink princess things in their room, KWIM?

Since Nate (my husband) is a pilot, I knew he could help with the bed design.

Since my dad (newly retired) is handy, I knew he could build an awesome bed.

And guess what? They did it!

IKEA HACK: Airplane Bunk Beds


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Ikea Bed Hack: Kura Loft to Airplane Bunks

As you may have noticed, the KURA isn’t actually a bunk bed. (It’s technically a reversible loft.) My dad added slats to the bottom to give support for the bottom bunk. I’ve read that many people use the bottom of the KURA as a bunk bed without slats, but I wanted to allow for a little airflow (to prevent mold). Also, the frame my dad added lifts up, which gives me room to store a few things UNDER the mattress!

Ikea Bed Hack - Kura loft turned into an airplane bunk bed!

My faaaaaaaavorite part of the bunk bed is that the wings are desks! Isn’t that awesome!? My girls LOVE them. We added hanging organizers (you can find theme HERE) to the ends to hold notebooks, colored pencils, and stickers.

IKEA hack -- airplane bunk beds out of KURA loft bed!

We made it a bit tall, so that there’s room to grow. I’m hoping this bed arrangement will stay with them for at least 5 more years.


The propeller actually spins. It was the final touch that turned it into a real airplane bed.

Ikea bed hack: Kura loft into airplane bunk beds

My dad also added spinning wagon wheels to the front–just like a real airplane would have. (The wheels spin, too!)

Ikea bed hack: Kura Loft to airplane bunk beds!

My girls are thrilled. They play airplane in it often–especially when friends are over.

Ikea Bed Hack: Airplane Bunk Beds

And it’s also our favorite spot for snuggling and reading books.

Ikea hack! Kura loft bed turned into biplane bunks.

Some days I’m still shocked that our crazy idea to have airplane bunk beds actually worked! And then other times I realize it’s so very “us,” and I forget that this is a new addition to our home.

If you’re feeling inspired to try your own IKEA bed hack, here are a few tips. Please keep in mind that building is not my God-given gift. All credit goes to my dad. These are all notes I took down while talking with my dad. Hopefully I got them right!

Tips for Building Your Own Airplane Bunk Bed

1) Start with the bed slats (if you want bed slats) and trim. My dad made these out of 1×4 boards, but you could also order bed slats (like these) from IKEA or amazon.

2) We used 2 x 4 boards for the wings. We ended up making a biplane bunk bed, so we needed four boards. The top side had white laminate (which we’ve already learned cleans up pretty well with a little help from a Magic Eraser.) IKEA bed hack! Loft into airplane bunk beds

3) After designing the wings, Dad made braces to attach the wings to each other and the floor. We decided the shape was an isosceles trapezoid. He secured everything with lots of metal brackets and bolts. It’s solid.

4) Nate made my dad a pattern out of the cardboard. My dad used a jigsaw to cut it out and then attached it with a pin and a bushing.

5) The wheels were 13 inch wheels my dad bought at a tool store.

Total price: $430

  • KURA bed — $200 from an IKEA store
  • Bed tent — $30
  • Airplane bed materials –$200
  • My dad’s time and skills — priceless

This is a wee bit cheaper than the airplane bunk beds I’ve seen online. This one retails for $3000. And this one is $8000. And then there’s this one that goes for 25,000 EUROS. Excuse me while I calm down and try not to hyperventilate after reading those price tags.

Didn’t my dad do a great job?

If you have questions, email me or message me on facebook!

Ikea hack: airplane bunk bed from KURA loft

17 Fun and FREE Things to Do in Vegas with Kids!

Back in the day, it seemed like Vegas was the place to go for cheap fun. And no, I don’t mean cheap, sleazy fun. I mean killer flight deals, $4 steak dinners, and strip-view rooms that could be picked up for a song. But these days buffets are $20 per person and hotel discounts are only given to the biggest of gamblers (a class of people with whom I don’t belong. I barely gamble enough to warrant a free drink.)

With that said, kids are easily entertained and don’t need expensive entertainment options. My fellow family-travel cheapskates will be glad to hear that the Vegas freebies haven’t disappeared completely. Rather than wasting time hunting down free entertainment options, check out this list of 17 FREE things to do with kids in Vegas! (Most of these options are right on the strip!) So bring the kids to Vegas, have a blast, and save the money you would have spent on entertainment for one of those $20 buffets! ;)

(Those of you who stick with me until the end will be rewarded with options that are free for babies and younger toddlers.)

17 FREE Things to Do in Vegas with Kids

Show times were current as of November 2014. Click on the links for more information.

1) Visit with the parrots, koi fish, and flamingos in the Flamingo’s Wildlife Habitat. There are two live feedings to watch per day. Bring your camera to take advantage of the colorful photo ops! flamingos

2) Walk through the hotels. Don’t discount the simple things like watching the sun set at Caesar’s Palace or looking up at the Eiffel Tower at Paris Paris. These things are magical to me as an adult; imagine how they must look to little kids!

3) If your local science museum is part of the ASTC passport program, then your membership may provide your family with FREE admission to the Las Vegas Natural History Museum

4) See the fall of Atlantis at Caesar’s Palace. Roaring fires. Splashing waters. Thunderous sounds. A huge, horrific beast. These all come into play in the free 11-minute show. (This could be intense for little ones. Stand towards the back if you think your kiddos might be startled.) The show starts running at 11:00 a.m. While you wait for the show to start, your kids will probably like watching the fish in the aquarium.

Free things to do on the strip with kids!

5) While a boat ride will cost you a pretty penny, it’s free to watch the gondolas and listen to the songs of the gondoliers as they float down the canal in the Venetian.

6) The circus shows at Circus Circus are perhaps the most famous examples of free things to do in Vegas with kids. Different acts perform at various times throughout the day. We saw the BMX bike riders and a clown show. Now our bike-loving four-year-old has dreams of one day having her own BMX act.

Fun and free ideas for things to do with kids in Las Vegas!

7) We’ve never made it to Fremont Street, but I hear the Viva Vision Light Show is pretty fabulous. The show lasts about six minutes and runs every hour beginning at dusk.

8) Since you’re paying for a cool hotel, don’t forget to swim in the cool hotel pool. Our favorites are Monte Carlo and Mandalay Bay because we love the lazy rivers! Mandalay Bay also has a pretty cool wave pool if your kiddos are tall enough.

Family-friendly Las Vegas: 17 fun and free things to do with kids!

9) The airport isn’t far from the strip. My girls are airplane crazy, so they thought it was pretty cool to be able to simply sit in the room and watch airplanes take off and land.

10) If you’re up for a presentation, you can use a time-share presentation to get free or reduced entertainment tickets. We had grandparents with us to watch the kids, but we were told that there is childcare for kids during the presentation. We’ve used these presentations to get reduced tickets to things like Blue Man Group, Chris Angel, and Tournament of Kings.

11) Watch the Bellagio Fountains. You’re no doubt familiar with the famous fountains, but make sure your kids get the chance to linger and watch at least a song or two. They are incredibly impressive.

17 free things to do in Las Vegas with kids!

12) While you’re near the Bellagio, stroll through the Bellagio conservatory and botanical gardens. The exhibit changes seasonally.

13) Have your heirlooms looked over at Pawn Stars. My parents did this, and I think it could appeal to older kids. If you’re lucky, you could end up on the show or make a quick buck!

14) In the evening, make a point to stop by to see the erupting volcano at The Mirage. The combination of fire, smoke, and over-tired girls (due to the time change) resulted in tears from our girls. Next time we’ll stand further back and not in the front row. Live and learn, right?

Things to do in Vegas with kids for free!

15) Ride the tram. The Strip looks like a short, easy walk. But The Strip is most definitely not a short, easy walk. It’s exhausting. Our girls were four and two when we visited, and we made the mistake of bringing only one stroller. (We ended up driving to Target for a cheap umbrella stroller.) The good news is, there’s a free tram that runs from Mandalay Bay to Excaliber, and The Luxor. It’ll give your feet a little break, and kids love trains and trams.

17 fun and FREE things to do in Vegas with kids!

16) Park the car. If you’d like to skip some of the walking, then you’ll be glad to hear that most of the hotels in Vegas offer free parking. They want you to hang around awhile, so they’re willing to let you park for free to get you in the door where you can do fun things like #1 , #4, and #6.

17) Watch the street performers. You’ll see super heroes, statues, and robots on The Strip and inside the hotels. A tip/donation is expected if you’d like a picture.

Things to do in LAS VEGAS with kids for FREE.


There are also several things in Vegas that are free for babies and young toddlers. So bring the babies! They won’t break the bank.

Babies and Young Toddlers are FREE at These Vegas Attractions:

One final budget-saving tip, check out this list to see which Las Vegas buffets allow kids to eat for free!