February 26, 2013

American Girl Bunkbed

Yep, my life has come to this. Using my wood wizardry to create something as manly and testosterone-infused as...an American Girl doll bed.

Go home Campbell, you're drunk.
 Until last year, I didn't even know what American Girl was, other than a Tom Petty song, that is. Now? I'm (unfortunately) painfully aware of this pandemic that is capturing the hearts and minds of girls under 10 and emptying the wallets of parents everywhere. It's like the inanimate version of Justin Bieber for a younger demographic, except more masculine. Or, more appropriately...Barbie on steroids.

Allow me to illuminate those of you fortunate enough to be blissfully unaware:

Lest you think I went out and found the creepiest photo possible - I didn't - that's how they all look. I'm not a priest, but I'm fairly certain that if you stare into those lifeless eyes long enough, she will steal your soul.

You know what else was 18 inches tall, had freckles and looked that innocent?

And I think we can all agree that didn't end well.

The weird gets weirder when you realize that each doll has - not just a name - but a story. There's the hippie, the flapper and (I wish I was making this up) the black slave on-the-run. Oh, and that's just a few. I would finish listing them, but I just threw up in my mouth a little.

Anyway, my fate is sealed and I have zero chance of escaping that world when Campbell is old enough to know what one is. You? You might still have a chance. Get out while you still can. Here are some ways you can prevent getting sucked in when your daughter approaches you with an American Girl request. I only wish I had thought of these sooner.

1) Pretend you're deaf
2) Make "American Girl" a bad word in your house, and administer punishment for saying it accordingly
3) Tell her Santa doesn't bring toys to little girls with American Girl dolls

I'm kidding, of course. I would never pretend to be deaf - that's just mean.

So, while I was off playing Uncle Kris Kringle last Christmas, I decided to churn out a bed for my nieces. Well, their creepy adorable dolls anyway.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, save yourself the time and pain and just follow Ana-White's plan. The design is simple and the instructions look fairly easy to follow. I wouldn't know because I'm the genius who decided to change the dimensions, and when you change dimensions, building instructions go down the drain pretty quick. But, by changing the dimensions, I got out of the whole make-a-mattress-from-scratch thing, which equals sweet, sweet victory in my book.

So, you're using Ana's handy plan, and here are a few additional tips you might find useful:

Throw away your man card - You aren't going to feel cool or manly when you are making this. Try listening to music that will level things out a bit. AC/DC, Beastie Boys, whatever you've got on tap. And drink a beer and burp every once in a while, for good measure.

Begin with the end in mind/Knowledge Bomb #318 - It's a bed, so you're going to need mattresses. Plan accordingly and work smarter, not harder. I personally built mine so I could use standard-size (22"x28") pillows as "mattresses." Or you could make your own. It's your life, man - i'm just a squirrel tryin' to get a nut.

Choose your boards carefully - Almost the entire bed is built from 1" x 2" whitewood boards, available at your local big box. Make sure you get straight ones.

Let's get this thing started
Built the sides first
So far, so good
With ladder
The models used in this photo are NOT American Girl dolls

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