DIY American Girl Gabriela Loft Bed

Posted on Jul 7 2017 – 12:31pm
by Rudy

DIY American Girl Gabriela Loft Bed

After reviewing Gabriela’s Loft Bed last week a lot of requests came in to craft it out of foam board. Previously, there have been requests to craft McKenna’s loft bed so this project is perfect for either bed! Just change the paint colors and customize it for your doll. This project is one that I did by myself with no help from the kids. The only part they came in is when I made the memo board. They made a few of their own with me! The cost of this project for me was under $10. The foam board came in around $5, brick scrap book paper was under $1 for two and I had to buy a can of spray paint that I didn’t have on hand from Home Depot for about $4. Everything else I had on hand like the hot glue, scrap tissue paper, scrap ribbon, and printables. I also had leftover spray paint like the grey from the ATM machine and the pink from the Bite to Eat Our Generation diner repaint.

When I do large foam board projects I always use my Logan FoamWerks tools. I have mentioned them before and how amazing they are. I still stand behind the products. They are a lifesaver and so much cheaper than buying power tools. I’m always amazed at how well foam board holds up. I have introduced FoamWerks to a lot of crafters and they are always blown away with how easy they are to use and how well they cut. A clean cut is everything when crafting because the pieces have to fit together properly!  There is a new FoamWerks 32″ cutting board that I show in the video below and I highly recommend it. Watch the video to see why! The previous guide rail that I used is great, but I still had to measure out and mark my foam board before cutting. This new cutting board saves time because it eliminates the process of measuring and marking before I cut. All I have to do now is use the cutting board when I cut because it has squaring arms and a measuring bar. It still has the guide rail that you hook the straight cutter into for accuracy.  You also no longer need to have a mat or scrap piece of foam board underneath when you cut. Again, watch me use it in the video and check out the product. It’s a great investment for any crafter.

Watch and give this video a thumbs up!

Materials Needed:



  • I painted all the pieces before I started glueing. Since there are several colors involved and a brick wall, it’s easier to paint before.
  • Plan out your project. It’s a busy summer for us and we like to stay active. We do crafts daily but we also jump in the pool, go to the beach, have playdates, visit Disney and so much more. That means a project like this wasn’t going to be done in one day. Could it be? Yes. Do I recommend it? No. I spread it out over three days.
    • Day 1: I cut all the foam board pieces out. It took approximately three hours.
    • Day 2: Spray paint all the pieces. This took about an hour and a half. I left them to dry overnight. When spray painting do light even coats. Repeat until you have full coverage.
    • Day 3: THE FUN PART! Glue everything together and see your masterpiece come together! This took about three hours because one, I was filming and two, I double triple check each piece before I glue. I’ve glued the wrong size pieces together before and it wasn’t fun trying to cut if off and fix it! Foam board with hot glue is like wood with screws. Seriously, it’s strong.
  • Use good foam board. I like Elmers foam board that you can get at Michael’s or Target and I also like the Hobby Lobby brand. There is a local art supply store called Blick Art Materials and it also has great foam board. It makes all the difference. I stock up on foam board from Michael’s when it’s a door buster $1 sale. It’s regularly $2.99. Hobby Lobby sells it for $2.99 also but they frequently have it on sale for 30% off.
  • If you use an X-Acto knife you have to completely cut through the foam board on the first swipe. Otherwise you will get a jagged edge if you have to swipe through a piece over and over. Make sure it’s a fresh blade.

Cut List:


  • 2 – 3/16’’ @ 18 1/2’’ x 1 1/4’’
  • 2 – 3/16’’ @ 18 1/2’’ x 1 7/16’’
  • 4 – 3/16’’ @ 19 1/8’’ x 1 1/4’’
  • 6 – 3/16’’ @ 19 1/8’’ x 1 1/16’’
  • 1 – 3/16’’ @ 19 1/8’’ x 1 7/16’’

Back Walls:

  • 1 – 3/16’’ @ 20 3/8’’ x 18 1/2’’
  • 1 – 3/16’’ @ 18 1/2’’ x 10 7/8’’


  • 1 – 3/16’’ @ 9 7/8’’ x 8 3/8’’ – See Diagram – Step 3


  • 2 – 3/16’’ @ 4 1/2’’ x 3’’ – Sides
  • 2 – 3/16’’ @ 8’’ x 3’’ – Top and Bottom
  • Shelf Supports:
  • 4 – 3/16’’ @ 3’’ x 1 1/4’’ – See Diagram


  • 1 – 3/16’’ @ 8 3/8’’ x 3’’
  • 1 – 3/16’’ @ 6 3/8’’ x 3’’
  • Bed Sides:
  • 2 – 3/16’’ @ 20 3/8’’ x 2 1/2’’
  • 2 – 3/16’’ @ 10 7/8’’ x 2 1/2’’


  • 1 – 1/2’’ @ 20’’ x 10 7/8’’
  • Stairs:
  • 3 – 3/16’’ @ 2 3/4’’ x 5/8’’

Step 1:

Glue the posts together as shown in the diagrams below.

Step 2:

Glue the back and side wall into place adding the posts.

Step 3:

Glue the desk on.

Step 4:

Glue the storage box together then glue it to the side wall.

Step 5:

Step 6:

Step 7:

Step 8:

Step 9:

Step 10:

Step 11:


DIY American Girl Gabriela Loft Bed was last modified: July 7th, 2017 by Rudy

55 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. jacqueline santiago
    August 1, 2017 at 1:58 pm –

    I love your crafts. I just started this one and I used the foamwerks straight cutter but at the first the edges came out a little crooked and not smooth. Then what I did was that I started with the foamwerks cutter and passed it twice. Then I used an exacto knife to make one or two more cuts and that turned out quite good. To finish the edges I used sand paper and it made all the little bumps disappear.

  2. Simi
    July 30, 2017 at 11:40 am –

    hi Rudy we been watching your videos for a long time and we love all the crafts you make in each videos this I time I am trying to make loft bed for my daughter and I need your help how do you measure 1 7/16 …. lol… it is funny but I am from India and our measurement rules different … thanks?

    • Rudy
      July 30, 2017 at 12:07 pm –

      When you look at your tape measure there are 16 lines between each inch. Count out 7 of them and that gets you 7/16″ of an inch.

  3. Tehzeeb
    July 29, 2017 at 2:10 pm –

    Hi Rudy we been watching your videos for a long time ago and I am trying to make loft bed for my daughter and I am stuck on one post which is 18 1/2 x 1 7/16. I don’t know how to measure 1 7/16 . Please help me on this?

  4. Starlyns Mommy
    July 27, 2017 at 4:25 am –

    I just finished making this loft bed for my daughter. Thank you very much for the tutorial. She is going to love it when she wakes up. I didn’t paint it before hand as you suggested because I wanted her to paint it herself. She is a bit to young to use the glue gun and to measure correctly. It looks great and I am pleased. My daughter and her cousin are going to have hours upon hours of fun with this.

    • Rudy
      July 27, 2017 at 8:55 am –

      That’s fantastic! I’m so happy you were able to craft it for her!

  5. Sandy
    July 12, 2017 at 5:55 pm –

    My 7 year-old has found your videos. She loves making things. She’s trying so much of your things independently with things she finds in the house. It’s great. . She made Paint Brushes with Qtips. Now she’s determined to make the loft bed. She Cant Figure Out Why Its Too Small. But Its Cute. Any way she can get the water bottle of tacos. Thanks for the inspiations.

    • Rudy
      July 13, 2017 at 8:18 am –

      That makes me so happy!

  6. Aeryn_123 ?
    July 12, 2017 at 12:27 pm –

    Thanks olive and Bookfanatic102! *gives distant hug*

  7. Bookfanatic102
    July 12, 2017 at 6:13 am –

    Aeryn_123 Happy Birthday!

  8. Olive
    July 12, 2017 at 5:01 am –

    Happy birthday Aeryn_123! Have a great time being 11! ?


  9. Piper
    July 11, 2017 at 7:39 pm –

    Thank you for doing this craft I did it and it came out great your amazing

  10. Aeryn_123 ?
    July 11, 2017 at 6:36 pm –

    Check out the website


  11. Ama
    July 11, 2017 at 6:13 pm –

    Please please!!!! Make the Grand Hotel!!!! Please!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Bookfanatic102
    July 11, 2017 at 1:23 pm –

    Aeryn_123 Happy early B-day

  13. Aeryn_123 ?
    July 11, 2017 at 8:58 am –

    Hi rudy. Tommorow is my 11th birthday, can i have a shoutout? Please?

  14. Ferdy AKA Frog_lover
    July 11, 2017 at 8:12 am –

    Yes arcade machines would be awesome! I still think you should make orthodontist stuff.

  15. The Doll Nook
    July 10, 2017 at 6:39 pm –

    Thank you for making this! It turned out really good and I can’t wait to craft it! Could you also craft those quarter machines you see at pizza places? Where you turn the knob and a little trinket comes out. Or any kind of arcade machine would be awesome!

  16. Aeryn_123 ?
    July 10, 2017 at 5:30 pm –

    Bookfanatic102 it is okay. Artsy crafty 123 ok I’ll check it out.

  17. Bookfanatic102
    July 10, 2017 at 3:13 pm –

    Artsy craftsy 123 and Aeryn_123 Sorry if I made either of you feel bad.

  18. artsy crafty 123
    July 10, 2017 at 12:52 pm –

    Aeryn_123 its not.

    sorry my bad its

    you hafe to put my site there to get it

  19. Aeryn_123 ?
    July 10, 2017 at 12:48 pm –

    Bookfanatic102 yea, sorry. Artsy crafty 123 how do I know it’s not a spam website????

  20. artsy crafty 123
    July 10, 2017 at 7:25 am –

    Aeryn_123 I’m sorry,

    but it sure does sound fun!

    feel free to visit my website. I call it,

    Callie’s life of dolls.

    have a nice day!

  21. Bookfanatic102
    July 10, 2017 at 7:15 am –

    Artsy craftsy 123 and Aeryn_123 does it matter when they came out with them? I think the only thing that matters about that is that they have them not when they go them.

  22. artsy crafty123
    July 10, 2017 at 6:35 am –

    i call it Callie’s Life of Dolls

  23. artsy crafty 123
    July 10, 2017 at 6:27 am –

    hey guys, i just made myself a website! go to!

    Aeryn_123 they just realeased the do it yourself dolls I’m pretty sure

  24. AG doll Crafter
    July 9, 2017 at 7:44 pm –

    what is the pink bottle on top of the shelf and were did you get it?ty i would aprishiate an answer and i love the loft!!

  25. Adele
    July 9, 2017 at 6:09 pm –

    Aeryn_123 Are you sure they’ve had that for a long time? I thought they just released them. Maybe you’re confusing the create your own doll with Truly Me dolls?

  26. Aeryn_123 ?
    July 9, 2017 at 12:40 pm –

    Artsy crafty 123 they have had that for a long time.

  27. artsy crafty 123
    July 9, 2017 at 11:21 am –

    you guys hear the news??? AG has a create your own doll!!!!

    i am so totally doing that

  28. Lucy11
    July 9, 2017 at 6:35 am –

    Yes please make a travel kit!

    July 8, 2017 at 4:01 pm –

    I agree with AnnieGirl116 you should make a travel kit! And give AnnieGirl116 a shout out!

  30. Jade
    July 8, 2017 at 3:44 pm –

    It is is @Adele. Very amazing.

  31. Olivia
    July 8, 2017 at 3:06 pm –

    I made it!!! It was really fun to make but when I was measuring it didn’t fit together as it did for you!!! And I kept double checking but it still wouldn’t work.???

  32. AGCOlover
    July 8, 2017 at 2:54 pm –


    I’ve been watching your videos for a long time now and I love all of your crafts! I am starting a blog and I don’t know what website or app to use. Can you mabey tell me witch one you uses to start this one? Thanks!

    • Rudy
      July 10, 2017 at 11:06 am –

      This runs on WordPress.

  33. Adele
    July 8, 2017 at 11:25 am –

    This is amazing, but foam board isn’t readily available to me. Could you do a DIY loft bed from wood? If not, that’s fine, I”ll find a way to get some foam board. Also, can you please make the Grand Hotel? Thanks!

  34. Ferdy AKA Frog _lover
    July 8, 2017 at 11:11 am –

    Yes plz plz plz plz make orthodontist stuff!

  35. AnnieGirl116
    July 8, 2017 at 8:16 am –

    WOW!!!! :O This looks so much like the real thing!! I would make this but i don’t have foam board:( I have been watching your crafts for around a year or two now, so my room is FILLED with AG crafts AND leftover materials just in case ? I love all the food you make and am inspired to make my own crafts out of random things I have lying around:) I do have a request… could you possibly make a cool travel kit?? Like one with a hairbrush, a toothbrush, a few hair supplies, a book, and maybe a travel bag?? We are traveling to disney soon and i would LOVE to be able to bring Alisa (My AG doll!!). Thank you!!!

    • Rudy
      July 8, 2017 at 9:03 am –

      Wow! Thanks for following! I love that you are having fun crafting!

  36. Flo
    July 8, 2017 at 5:44 am –

    This turned out fantastic! I can attest to the strength of foamboard when you glue it together, I made a doll day bed several years ago from foamboard and I have not exactly been careful with it, but it’s still together! Now I’m tempted to give it a new life with a coat of spray paint and some modifications.

    • Rudy
      July 8, 2017 at 9:04 am –

      Isn’t that crazy?! I have so many foam board items and they are simply amazing!

  37. Bookfanatic102
    July 8, 2017 at 4:09 am –

    Claire I think a doll bagpipe would be adorable so I agree Rudy should make one she should make a violin too.

    July 7, 2017 at 7:01 pm –

    This is sooooo cool! I don’t know how you think of everything!

    P.S. Could you make some scissors, a computer, drone, raspberries, nintendo DS, and a microwave please!

    • Rudy
      July 8, 2017 at 9:04 am –

      Thanks so much!

  39. Claire
    July 7, 2017 at 5:23 pm –

    Can you please make girl scout cookies and bagpipes? It sounds weird but it sounds great

    • Rudy
      July 8, 2017 at 9:14 am –

      We do need girl scout cookies!

  40. Bookfanatic102
    July 7, 2017 at 4:05 pm –

    Aeryn_123 oh, well I hope it gets better

  41. Aeryn_123 ?
    July 7, 2017 at 4:03 pm –

    Bookfanatic102 I didn’t have to be cut open for my surgery.

  42. Bookfanatic102
    July 7, 2017 at 4:00 pm –

    That’s good I got stitches on my hip about a month and a half ago so I understand how much the stitches part of surgery can hurt. (It’s weird I still have a bright red line where the stitches were.)

  43. Aeryn_123 ?
    July 7, 2017 at 3:46 pm –

    Bookfanatic102 it is pretty good. The surgery went well.

  44. Bookfanatic102
    July 7, 2017 at 2:23 pm –

    Aeryn_123 how is your wrist?

  45. Aeryn_123 ?
    July 7, 2017 at 2:14 pm –


  46. Bookfanatic102
    July 7, 2017 at 2:11 pm –

    Cool! can you please please please make orthodontist stuff! before I don’t have braces anymore!

  47. Pusheenstar16
    July 7, 2017 at 12:54 pm –

    This is SOOO COOL!?? it’s amazing how u made it look EXACTLY like the REAL THING!!?Also I kinda want some more things for a doll grocery store so could you make a jug/carton of milk or orange juice? And it would be really cool if u could make a doll luggage cart for the Grand Hotel!???