My daughter is currently in the American Girl phase. I'm not sure how long it will last, but boy is her current wish list expensive! For Easter I decided I'd make her a DIY version of an American Girl bed. I found complete plans to make a the bed here on Ana White's website. The goal with this project was to spend as little money as possible so I didn't follow the plans exactly.
The entire bed was constructed out of wood from my scrap pile in the basement with the exception of a 2x2 that I had to purchase. The plan calls for a 3' length and rather than buy a whole 8' length at the local lumber mill I bought a 4' stake that is sharpened to a point at one end (I think it's used for fencing?). According to the man at the shop it was cheaper - it came in just over $1. I ran out of 1"x3"'s partway through and omitted or substituted different dimensions instead. I had no suitable plywood scraps and although I have some 1/4" masonite lying around I had no desire to have to cut it down to size. I decided I'd make it a rope bed. My daughter has an antique rope bed at her Dad's house so I thought it would be cute if her doll did too.
I drilled 9 holes down each of the sides of the bed then 6 holes across the ends. You just thread the 'rope' (leftover from a dollar store project) through the holes, weaving in a basket weave pattern (over and under). Knot off each end after pulling tight and it will happily hold a mattress.
The mattress I made was constructed from fabric scraps which are on their third go around now - first as sheet, then a craft project, then as lining for my office curtains and now a doll mattress. I still have some left and I'll probably make a pillow since I only just realized I forgot about that small detail.
Since I used paint and primer I already had in the house, all told the bed cost me less than $2. Not a bad deal and I'm sure my daughter will love it. Next project? Doll bedding of course :)
Happy Easter Everyone!