Monday, November 21, 2011

IKEA Hack: Fjellse Trundle Bed

This is probably the thing I made recently that I am most proud of (thus the many photos).  I had been searching for a trundle for a while.  Our second bedroom was an office and music studio already so there wasn't much room for a guest bed.  Unfortunately, it was $500 for anything that didn't look like it was going to fall apart the first time that someone slept on it.  So what's a girl on a budget to do?  Make one yourself, obviously.

IKEA run!!!!!!!!!!!!  You will need two Fjellse twin beds and two sets of Sultan Lade twin bed slats (plus whatever else you convince yourself you "need" at IKEA).

Get your mom to help you assemble both headboards.  Get my mom if you can - she's awesome at this stuff.  The Fjellse beds are low to the ground so to make room for the trundle underneath the main bed, the crosspieces need to attach higher on the headboards.

My very clever mom suggested that we use the available holes to make a template in a piece of paper (the instructions).  Align the template for the bottom hole with top hole on the hadboard and drill two new holes (for a total of 5 holes).  Then attach the bed rails to the two headboards using the top three holes.  The fit of my trundle is really tight so you may want to attach the bed rails a bit higher if your mattress is plush.

Put the slats in and take a break - the hard part is over........................................................okay, back to work.

Cut two inches off of each of the remaining long bed rails.  Flip them over and screw in the cross pieces that belong to the foot boards.  Position then about a third of the way in from either end.  Rather than adding wheels, we found four of these felt sliders.  They are self-adhesive and also cover the screws so they don't gauge the floor.

Flip the trundle right-side up and attach two handles to the trundle then go ahead and add the slats. We screwed in the two end slats as well for extra support. Put the mattresses on and slide the trundle underneath the daybed.

Your trundle is complete.  You can leave it like this if you want, all clean lines and simplicity.  But I was hoping to make this into a comfortable spot to curl up with a book on a lazy weekend afternoon (which never seems to materialize).

Getting that comfy upholstered look starts with - duh - upholstery foam.  This piece was about 1" thick.  We wrapped it around each end and secured it with heavy-duty thread in several places.  Then we made slipcovers for each end out of royal blue duck cloth.

This is my intense sewing face (except I'm mostly laughing).  The exact dimensions are going to depend on how thick your foam is.  We put in a gusset but you could go even simpler and just run a seam up each side. The slip cover should be snug and compress the foam slightly.

Upholstering made a huge difference.  Geoff does all his class reading there, when the cat hasn't already claimed it.  And the best part is that when we move in a few years, it will all come back apart into small, easy to pack pieces.  I was a bit concerned at first because the spartan frame looked a little flimsy, but this thing is so sturdy.  I LOVE IT!!!

  • 2 Fjellse twin beds: 2 x $40 = $80
  • 2 Sultan Lade slatted bed base: 2 x $10 = $20
  • 2 matresses (with Groupon): $110
  • 1 yard 60" wide duck cloth: $10
  • 1" x 60" x 36" piece of foam: $25
  • Super Sliders: $5
  • Total: $250


  1. Love it :o)
    Was thinking about doing a Fjellse hack myself. Thanks for posting.
    I'll be sure to mention you in my blog.
    Ciao for now.

  2. Good luck with your hack! I am loving mine.

  3. What a fantastic hack! I was almost going to buy the metal trundle from Ikea ($99 sgd, and more expensive than another Fjellse bed!) but this seems like a way better solution! Also, "(plus whatever else you convince yourself you "need" at IKEA)" THIS. ;)

    1. Glad you like it! I was looking at the metal trundle but they were out at my local store and it just looked uncomfortable. This is a really comfy option!

  4. I was inspired and am doing this hack but with a headboard will be a chaise. Do you have a picture of the legs? How did you finish the cover at the sides where the headboard/footboard meets the side rails?

    1. Sorry to wait so long to reply, the summer has been flying by! I didn't attach the cover to the legs because I wanted to be able to easily take the whole thing back apart when we move. However, it would be pretty straightforward to add an additional flap of fabric to surround the leg of the chaise and just staple it in place if taking it back apart isn't important to you. I've been thinking about going back and upholstering the crosspieces as well which would look nice on your chaise. Please send me a picture when you are done, I'd love to see it!

  5. this was freaking great I was having such the dilemma but not anymore now my babies will be happy . youngest doesn't like being up high and oldest wants to stay low so this is perfect because I already have this bed I just need to get the trundle part built and raise the one I got thank you thank you ....

  6. Love it! Can you post pictures of both beds without the mattress. I'm having a hard time visualizing the bed underneath without the mattress.

    1. Below the mattress is just the long rails of the bed with the slats screwed in for stability. One bottom are furniture sliders. I've moved and given this away so I can't take pictures, sorry!


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