how do you make a baby bed rail (2)

How Do You Make A Baby Bed Rail?

We all have that particular story during our childhood of us falling off our beds, especially during our sleep. Even though we get a few laughs from these stories, some of these instances end badly. 

Some might even concur head injuries by knocking their heads onto their nightstand or any hard surfaces. Some will get a few bruises here and there. But what is the same for all are parents getting a fright out of the situation. 

These parents would probably go on the internet and search for solutions. Then, they will find the suggestion of installing a bed rail. But this sounds too expensive. Thus, it is best to do it yourself and research how to make a toddler bed rail.

Buying a bed rail is the easier thing to do. So why not just head directly to your favourite baby shop instead of making one? Here are a few reasons:

  • It is cheaper. Almost all DIY projects are less expensive compared to products bought from the store.
  • It is good for the environment. Materials stashed in your houses or garages will be perfectly usable for DIY projects. You can even upcycle an old bed rail from your child’s baby crib.
  • Your child’s preferences can be followed. When choosing from commercially manufactured products, it isn't easy to find something you would exactly like. Your child may say it’s not blue enough, it’s not high enough, it’s not cool enough – there will always be something wrong. If you make your toddler bed rail, you can ask your child what they prefer and skip all the fuss.
  • It is satisfying. It doesn’t just make your brain work; it will give you a feeling of satisfaction when you see the fruits of your labour. What’s more, is that your work is what keeps your child safe and sound throughout the night.

With all the toddlers in the world constantly falling off their beds, it is no wonder that parents have thought of various concepts to prevent these accidents. Here are some ideas on how to make a toddler bed rail:

  • Upcycling an old baby crib. The rails of a baby crib are largely similar to toddler bed rails seen in the market. 
  • Constructing with wooden planks. You can search for wooden planks in your house’s storage or buy some from your nearest hardware store. 
  • Tucking in pool noodles. You can insert these under the sheets to create faux bumpers. 
  • Using bolster pillows. Like the pool noodles, you can tuck these under the bed’s fitted sheets.

Baby Nursery FAQs

Alternatives include: roll guards, foam bumpers, lowering the bed and using concave mattresses that can help reduce rolling off the bed. Bedside rails should not be used as a substitute for proper monitoring, especially for people at high risk for entrapment and falls.

Trapeze bars are designed to hang over a bed so a patient can grab and move. Hospital Bed Trapeze bars are especially useful for those who need consistent bed care, who may be physically disabled or in a state where they cannot move their lower extremities.

Hardwood, such as poplar or oak, is a good sturdy wood that works well for building beds. The type of wood used for the side rails should match the bed's headboard and footboard. Recommended thickness for the side rails is 2 inches.

The side rails (which some people refer to as bed rails) should be 2-3 inches longer than the mattress. This gives some extra space when making the bed, but not too much space for things to fall through. We cut our side rails and the 2×3 support board to 76.5″ long.

The CPSC recently revised the standards for the rails' design so that most new bed rails won't pull away from the mattress and create a dangerous gap. Safe strategy: Wait until your child is at least two and can climb in and out of bed before using these.

Making a Toddler Bed Rail by Upcycling a Crib

how do you make a baby bed rail

Since tucking in pool noodles and bolster pillows under the bedsheets need no further explanation, we should focus on the first two found on the list. The following is a guide on how to make a toddler bed rail by upcycling an old baby crib:

  • Prepare screws and an electric drill. Disassemble the rail from the baby crib. Remove the rails from the old baby crib cleanly. The baby crib may have a function that would allow you to take off the railing without cutting anything naturally. For example, they were assembled using L-brackets or hinges.
  • Take note of your desired measurements. Baby cribs have high rails, so you can safely leave an infant. Thus, it is best to cut off a part of the rails for practicality. Be sure that the height of the toddler bed rails will be desirable before you start sawing. 
  • Cut according to your measurements. Mark the measurement on the rails and cut off the excess. You may use a handsaw.
  • Secure a piece of the thick wooden plank. You can either purchase or look for a thick wood plank. This will go parallel to the upper rail or perpendicular to the balusters. 
  • Measure the distances between the balusters. Since you are attaching a new horizontal rail manually, it is best to measure the gaps between the balusters so you can drill holes for the screws.
  • Drill the holes. After marking the wooden plank, you may drill holes onto those marks.
  • Attach the piece of wood using screws. Remember that the plank will serve as the other end of the rail. Screw it on tightly.
  • Do some finishes. You might want to use sandpaper to ensure that the rail is smooth and that no wood is sticking out, which may cause splinters or other injuries. You can also paint the rail to fit the colour of the bed frame.
  • Screw on the L-brackets. Attach some L-brackets onto the middle and either end of the rail.
  • Attach the new rail onto the bed frame. Use the L-brackets and some screws to secure the rail onto the bed frame.

Making a Toddler Bed Rail from Scratch

Building a toddler bed rail using an old crib is easier than this next method. This would require better craftsmanship since you will only be using wooden planks. Therefore, you will not have any pre-fabricated influence. The following is a guide on how to make a toddler bed rail using wooden planks:

  • Prepare the instruments needed. Make sure that you have enough wooden planks to satisfy your liking. Secure a saw, an electric drill, and some wood glue if available. You will also need measuring instruments, such as steel tape and a triangle.
  • Trim the wooden planks to your liking. Cut out planks of wood into the measurements you prefer. You may also choose to carve out the edges to avoid sharp angles.
  • Measure out the distance between the makeshift balusters. Make sure that you are satisfied with how far apart or near to each other the balusters are. It shouldn’t be wide enough for the toddler to fall through.
  • Drill holes onto the planks. Following the appearance of a standard rail, it is easy to imagine how you would want to attach them. Drill the holes onto the wood to attach them. Therefore, you will have some balusters and rails on each end.
  • Use wood glue and screws. To make sure that everything is secure, you can start screwing the wooden planks with each other. You should also apply wood glue onto the flat surfaces if available. The triangle can be used to make sure that the balusters and rails are at perfect right angles with each other.
  • Do some finishes. You might want to use sandpaper to ensure that the rail is smooth and that no wood is sticking out, which may cause splinters or other injuries. You can also paint the rail to fit the colour of the bed frame.
  • Screw on the L-brackets. Attach some L-brackets onto the middle and either end of the rail.
  • Attach the new rail onto the bed frame. Use the L-brackets and some screws to secure the rail onto the bed frame.

You can also choose to make two of the rails. Attach them to L-brackets. With this, the rails should be in an L shape. Then, you can insert one of the rails under the mattress and secure them with screws onto the bed frame.

15 DIY Toddler Bed Rail Plans - How to build toddler bed rails

how do you make a baby bed rail (3)

Are your kids falling off their bet at night? Protective bed rails are the solution. Even though baby cribs have protective rails, that is not usually the case with beds. But, don’t spend a lot of money on beds with rails on them. In the end, they are temporary. Kids grow up fast, so you might not need them in a few years.

In this article, we will dive into the topic of DIY toddler bed rails for beds. They prevent your baby from falling off and make your toddler feel secure and protected. Instead of throwing the existing bed and getting a new one, one with bed rails, you could do the rails on your own and attach them to the bed your kid uses right now. 

And all that is done in a matter of a couple of hours or so, depending on the type and complexity of the design you choose.

Pool Noodles As Bumpers!

Let’s start with the easiest solutions out there. Just duct-tape three pool noodles in the shape of a triangle and slide them under the bedsheet. It’s so simple, yet it’s genius. Once installed’’ this noodle bumper should prevent your kid from falling off the bed, except maybe if it is a hard solder. 

Well, some kids are some real toss-and-turners, and a few pool noodles won’t stop them. If your kid is one of those, then this simple solution will be simple for his turn too. And if that is the case, you should look at the other DIY and find a better design.

Pipes For Bad Rails

This is another simple DIY project that doesn’t require a lot of cutting and nailing. Just cut a few PVC pipes and buy PVC tees and 90 degree PVC elbows, draw the design and start your project. 

Compared to the other DIY project listed here, this design might not look the best, but it’s cheap and easy to make. You only need drilling if you decide to put some screws for more stability. Other than that, this is a simple, quick solution for your kids’ bed.

Pipe Rails With Textile

As an adaptation of the previous example, we have the pipe bed rails, but with textile for support. This design works well for smaller kids because it minimizes the possibility that your toddler will hit its fragile body on wood, metal or anything that might leave a bruise. Bigger kids might tear it apart and fall off the bed anyways.

The Sides Of Your Old Crib Are Your New Bed Rails

This guy makes the best repurposing you can imagine. If you too have an old crib, you don’t need any more. This is the thing for you. This way, you can even do your bed rails for free (maybe you need to buy a few screws, don’t take it too literally).

Buy The Parts, Make The Whole.

In this design, you start from scratch. It’s suitable for people who like to give it their touch, make just the right size, or combine materials that are compatible with other parts of the room. 

You go and buy wood boards with the right sizes, take some time off and screw them all into place. This tutorial is easy to follow and understandable, so you can surely do it, but it might need some time. This is the best plan, forward and handy way to do your bed rails.

Plain, All Wood Rail

This is a simple DIY project that doesn’t even need screws. Just one plank, two sides, smaller planks or sticks (four if you don’t cut one in half like in the tutorial), a handful of dowel sticks and some glue for better combining. And that’s that! Drill the holes, put some glue before the dowels and let it all dry.

As Simple As It Gets

This project is as simple as it can be. Just take a part of your new, old board (or buy a new one), get those brackets on (make sure they fit the side of the bed frame width) and if you want to keep the frame from scratching, use furniture pads. With less than 15 minutes of work, you get nice removable bed rails.

Rails In Colours And Textures

There isn’t much more to this tutorial than to the others, with just the difference that this rail fits nicely with the room's colour. The basic is the same – one long horizontal plank, two smaller ones attached vertically (make sure that they fit between the bed frame and the mattress) and what all the fuss is about – around the horizontal plank with some nice looking textile of your choice (or should I say your kids’ choice), maybe add a little bit of sponge inside and there you go! Your kid now has soft bed rails with its favourite fictional character.

A Complex Project Is Easily Explained

This is for all of you, jack of all trades’’ out there. Starting from scratch, this guy makes a video that explains all of the steps you need to follow to get your nails done. When you do something from scratch, you can do it whatever way it works. 

The good part about this tutorial is that the process is explained plain and simple, from two different points of view and with some nice hacks to use when you build something.

Make It Stand Out

Instead of fixing the rails on the bed frame, as many of the designs propose, you could make them stand alone, with parts going under the mattress, for stability. This tutorial shows you exactly that. 

Make sure you follow the instructions for measurement and start screwing the parts together. This is a relatively harder project if you are a beginner builder, but with focus, you can make it.

Through All The Width Of The Bed

Almost all of the projects mentioned before are for just one rail, so if your bed is not next to the wall, be aware that you need to make two. Or choose this design, whatever works. 

Here, the two rails are screwed together with horizontal planks under the mattress. That way, you won’t damage the frame with glue or screws and get, what I imagine is, the most secure bed rails ever.

Something That Doesn’t Need Screws

You know what they say – Sometimes the easiest way is the best way. This project (if we can call it) is done out of feathers. 

Take Bolster pillows or any other kinds of pillows, connect them with safety pins (or roll them in some material so they stay together) and place them under the bedsheet.

Rail Attached To The Bottom Of The Bed

Made from three horizontal, two vertical boards and two L-brackets, these rails are pretty simple to piece together. Once you have it finished, screw the free side of the L-brackets to the bottom of the bed, beneath the mattress.

Pipes Attached To The Bottom Of The Bed

Similarly to the previous DIY design, these rails are made from PVC pipes, two of everything – longer pipes, smaller pipes, tee joints, elbows and L-brackets. Use some glue or screws for safety and crew them to the bottom of the bed.

Floor Platform Bed With Rails

Why buy a bed and then attach bed rails when you can do both on your own?! This project is a little bit more complex, but in the end – you get a whole bed! Make the frame and put the horizontal boards as a base, put the plywood for the mattress and then add fence like constructions from the sides. 

They will be the sides of the bed frame, but if you make them higher, you also get bed rails. This might look a bit complex, but trust me, the tutorial is plain, simple and very educational so that you won’t have any problems. Plus, your effort will pay off since your kid will love its new bed.


A lot of the toddlers know to be toss-and-turners, and for them falling out of bed could be hurtful, traumatic and stressful. But bed rails come to the rescue. Instead of paying a lot of money for factory-made rails, you could do them yourself. Keep in mind that they are temporary; you might not need them anymore in a few years. With as much as 20-30 dollars, you could do a family DIY project that everyone will enjoy. Plus, since most of the tutorials are easy, you could combine them and develop something even better. Your kid will love its new bed rails.

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