When you like to co-sleep with your youngsters, worrying that he or she might fall out of bed is typical. As parents, we want to avoid sleeping incidents that might cause injuries and other troubles. One effective way to keep kids from falling is to learn how to make bed rails for toddler beds.
There are many possible ways and materials to utilize on how to make bed rails for toddler beds. However, in this article, we will on using PVC pipes. This option is durable, safe, and cost-effective. It’s also quite simple to complete.
A PVC bed rail can slip between the box-spring and mattress on one side of the bed, and it can also be easily removed when needed. Using PVC also makes a versatile rail you can use for other purposes. What’s also great about this bed rail is that you can expand it when your kids transition to an even bigger bed.
What You Need
How to make bed rails for toddler bed requires the following:
- 3 x 10’ sections of 1-1/4″ PVC pipe
- Device to cut the PVC
- PVC Cement
- 3/4” Wood Screws
- Drill bits
There are two options on how to make bed rails for toddler bed. You can opt to do a bed rail for larger kids (Option A), or a more narrow one for small kids, infants, and babies. Here are the additional materials for each option:
- 6 x 1-1/4″ 90 Degree PVC Elbows
- 8 x 1-1/4″ PVC Tees
- 3 x 1-1/4″ 4-Way Tees
- 6 x 1-1/4″ 90 Degree PVC Elbows
- 15 x 1-1/4” PVC Tees
- 3 x 1-1/4″ 4-Way Tees
- Steel Wool
- Paper Towels
- Mineral Oil
Step by Step Process
Preparing the Parts
To perform how to build bed rails for toddler beds, you’ll need PVC fittings. You can opt to purchase one from Home Depot; however, using furniture grade fittings is much more effective than the standard plumbing-grade fittings since configurations such as 5-Way, 4-Way Tee, and 3-Way elbows/corners are available. The fittings look nicer too, thanks to their fancy smooth edges that are covered with gloss white.
For this design, you’ll need 90 Degree Elbows, Standard Tees, and 4-Way Tees. If you want to save some bucks on shipping, just use standard plumbing grade fittings from your local home depot stores for the 90s and Tees.
Cutting the PVC material
A miter saw cuts PVC pipes better, so we recommend using this type for this step. However, if you do not have one, you can still cut the pipe using a hacksaw or a plastic pipe cutter. The ratcheting type pipe cutter does the job. If you plan on making more PVC items in the future, getting one is definitely ideal.
For Option A, the measurements are basically (12) 17″ lengths and (12) 5.5″ lengths. For Option B, however, use (14) 17″ lengths and (20) 2.5″ lengths. Cut your pipe up accordingly and toss them in a box with your fittings and take them somewhere convenient to dry-fit them.
Dry-Fit the Pipes
Take your fittings and cut up pipes to a place where you can dry-fit them together before gluing them on. Do not attach them to the fittings just yet and keep them loose. Make sure that you have the correct cuts before you using your PVC Cement on them.
Lay all the parts down on a flat surface, and loosely assemble them. When you feel comfortable with your setup, move onto the next step. For Option B, connect the PVC to the first fitting and the second fitting, this will make them very snug. Wait on the final assembly before you dry fit Option B.
Clean the Pipes (Optional)
If you don’t want any ink markings all over your PVC pipe and want your bed rails to look nice and clean, consider this step. Use steel wool and Acetone to clean the pipes thoroughly. Here’s how to do it:
- Take your steel wool and put a generous amount of Acetone into it.
- Using a circular motion, rub the steel wool with Acetone into the pipe and wipe away the excess ink and dirt with paper towels.
- Repeat this process for all pipe segments.
Cement the Parts Together
After you dry fit your cut pipe and fittings, take them apart and prepare to use the PVC cement to put them together. PVC cement has a strong odor and can make you dizzy, so find a space with enough ventilation when you do this step.
Apply the PVC Cement on the outside of the pipe and the inside of the fitting. Next, insert the pipe into the fitting and hold for about 30 seconds. Repeat this for each segment point as per the design assembly.
Screw all Parts
If you’re after durability and want a sturdy bed rail, consider not only to cement the parts but also to put screws into each of the fittings for added protection. Drill holes at each point where the fitting meets the pipe, and using a drill and a Phillips bit, put small ‘set screws’ (3/4″ Wood Screws) into each of the holes on each side of the fitting.
Use a Mineral Oil for a Glossy Look
Off the shelf, PVC pipe is not pure white and has a dull finish, so if you prefer a glossy look, the best solution is to apply a very light coat of mineral oil to the PVC pipe. Then buff thoroughly with a dry paper towel.
You can use ‘tire-shine’ or car wax, but we don’t recommend them since your kids will use this bed rail, and they contain strong chemicals that may harm your kid’s health. Mineral oil is organic and works just fine.
To show that you know how to make bed rails for toddler bed, use it by slipping the lower PVC segment between the mattress and the box-spring. The PVC will easily slide right in. When not in use, you can remove it and set it up against a wall.
Creating your own bed rail enables you to customize it according to your kid’s needs. You can also choose any material you prefer. Creativity, some basic tools, and a bit of patience are the only things you need to complete this project. The outcome will surely be rewarding. Here’s how to learn more about Bed Rails.