Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Making a simple 1:12 scale rope bed

I wanted a little rope bed for the servant's room, so I made one last night and this morning from pine offcuts.  You could use dimensional basswood or even popsicle sticks for this one :)

My cutting list from 3/16" thick pine:

2 @ 1.5" x 3" (for headboard and footboard -- could also glue strips together for this
2 @  .5" x 5.5" (for sides of bed)
4 @ .5" x 2.5" (for legs)

I drilled the holes for the rope first -- I drilled four in each head/foot board and 8 along the side pieces.  Doesn't really matter -- it all works out in the end!  By holding the matching pieces of wood together I was able to drill both pieces at once.

I butted and glued the rails to the head/foot boards and let them set up. 

Then I turned the bed upside down and glued the legs on. 

Here's the bed, right side up!
Once everything was dry, I stained it with MinWax "English Oak".

I used jute twine for ropes, and followed the directions here for roping the bed:  Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!  I used some electrical tape to make the threading end more threadable.  I underestimated the amount of jute I needed, but it was easy enough to extend it with a discreet knot :)

And do you know?  This little bed pleases me as much as anything in the house.  It just looks so very RIGHT in the kitchen attic room.

I'll make a straw mattress for it, and then think about the kind of bedding a servant would have had circa 1705 :)


  1. I love the character of rope beds, and did you know that is the origin of the expression 'sleep tight'?

    Before getting into bed, they would make sure the ropes were nice and tight, so that the bed would be well supported. Your servant is going to have some good sleep!

  2. Fabulous job. The bed looks great and very authentic.
    All the best,

  3. Great job Nina. Imagine what that would have cost you - minus the pleasure of making it!

  4. great looking bed, you have captured the stlye very well, love the colour to

  5. Świetna praca. Wygląda fantastycznie! Uściski!

  6. Perfect, Nina! It is amazing how much the Rustic pieces add to the authenticity of the decor..... there would always be a few very simply made items... in those days when everything was hand made! And the Ropes are the part that make it so convincing!

  7. The bed is very beautiful. Thank you for the tutorial. ;)


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