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Building the Stairs and Installation

Posted by on June 16, 2012
This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series X-Men Bunk Bed

Building the stairs

With the main bunk bed complete, it was time to turn my attention to the stairs. For safety reasons, mom insisted the bunk bed have stairs instead of a ladder. The original design featured drawers on the end and paneled sides. Upon further reflection (and measuring) it was clear that this placement wouldn’t work – there simply wouldn’t be enough room to access them. Many commercial beds feature drawers under each step, so I figured this could work here. The final design was based heavily around what materials I had on hand. The stringers and back would be stained cherry ply. I’d always intended to treat the treads with the same faux concrete finish as the “X”es. I decided to use concrete-finished OSB for the side basically because I was out of cherry plywood and the left-over OSB has been taking up space in my shop since it’s construction. One more sheet gone!

Building the stairs


Assembled with drawers; treads ready for shaping


Drawer pulls

I really wanted to make custom X-Men logo drawer pulls. After much searching and a discussion with my very talented and craft-y sister-in-law, I made a run out to Hobby Lobby and picked up a box of Sculpey III polymer clay. This stuff is very cool. You can sculpt or mold it like Play-Dough, then bake it for 15 minutes and it hardens nicely. Armed with some metal commercial pulls, I formed the “X”s, applied them to the tops, and baked ’em. A quick coat of paint and some clear acrylic top coat, and they were ready to go.

The Sculpey III X-Men logo added to the pulls

Baking the polymer clay drawer pulls

The finished pulls


Faux Concrete

This is the fun part! I repeated the same steps as with the earlier pieces. Dry-brushing on the paint and stain is a blast. For the stairs, I let some stain run down the side and pool on a step. The results are very cool and it’s difficult to screw this part up. I thought it might be fun to carve Wolverine’s claw marks into the side…I think he may have slipped while climbing the steps or something.

Wolverine was here!

Stairs complete!



I installed the bunk bed and let them at it. Happily the results did not disappoint. The most heard comment was “awesome!”

Attaching the back "X"

Finishing the assembly

Ready for unveiling



Next up…

Next up, a backyard Tree-house Playhouse, and then “A Midsummer Night’s Bunk Bed” featuring butterfly fairies and tree-trunk posts for the girls.


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3 Responses to Building the Stairs and Installation

  1. apliler2324

    Hey there! That bed that you built for your son is AMAZINGLY COOL!!!! My husband and I are building a loft bed for my soon to be 7 year old for his birthday. I too, like your wife insist on the stairs versus ladder. I have searched and searched the internet and even purchased a “16,000 woodworking plans” program trying to find plans to build the stairs with drawers in them for the bed, with absolutely no luck. Your stairs are by far my favorite I’ve seen to date! Is there anyway at all that you will share your plans with me? PLEASE!!!! I’ll buy them or send you cookies or I don’t know… something! 🙂 LOL!!! My email address is xxxxxxxx. Could you please let me know what you would be willing to do?

    Thanks a million,

  2. Patrick Jaromin

    Unfortunately although I have a construction drawing for the bunk, I didn’t build the stairs as pictured…I basically designed them in the shop. That said their construction if fairly straightforward. The sides are simply cut from a sheet of 3/4 ply, edge-banded in the front (iron-on banding from a big box) and the treads get attached to the tops. The drawers are standard box drawer construction – and really can be built any way you like with the rails mounted directly to the plywood sides. This photo I think shows it fairly well:

    I’m sorry I don’t have a measured drawing available and hope this helps – let me know how it comes out!

  3. apliler2324

    Thank you so very much! I’ll pass this along to my hubby & hope he can make heads or tails of it! LOL! I’ll be sure to share a pic or two if they turn out well!! 🙂

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