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a kids couch with cushion and soft toys on it

Overview

Breathe new life into an old cot with this easy and fun D.I.Y. upcycling project. With a few power tools, you can create a cute kids’ couch or cosy reading nook in no time. There’s even a handy built-in shelf to provide extra storage for your home.

Safety tip: Always wear the appropriate safety equipment (safety glasses, ear muffs, gloves and a mask, for example) and always follow the instructions for the product or equipment. Always store products out of the reach of children and pets and always work in a well-ventilated area when working with spray paint.

Steps

1Prepare the cot and take measurements

Remove the front gate of the cot with attached brackets. Adjust the slatted base to the highest position in the frame. Next, measure between the uprights to find the length of the front rail and shelf slats, and from the ground up to the base for the back supports.

Green Bunnings hammer
Tip: The front rail and slats for this cot are 1197mm; back supports are 389mm.
Wooden cot with front gate removed

2Cut and sand supports

From 90mm x 18mm pine, use a mitre saw to cut a front rail, three slats and two back supports for the kids’ sofa. Smooth with 180-grit abrasive paper to remove breakout from the cuts and round over the edges slightly.

Piece of timber being cut with mitre saw

3Start securing the front

On the outside of the front uprights, mark 20mm and 70mm up from the slatted base, then predrill through the centre with a 3mm bit and countersink with a 10mm bit. Apply adhesive to the front rail edges, position and secure with 40mm screws. Secure through the rail into the base using a nail gun with 35mm brad nails.

Hand joining two pieces of timber together with nails to form base of couch

4Add more support 

Position the back supports under the slatted base, equal distance from the ends. Predrill and countersink through the back of the frame, apply adhesive to the supports and secure with 30mm screws. At the top, secure through the base into the supports with 50mm brad nails.

Close up shot of back support under cot behind wooden rails

5Fit a slat at the back of the cot

Position a slat at the back, flush with the bottom of the frame and against the back supports. From the outside and on both sides, mark 20mm and 70mm from the back uprights, 10mm up. Predrill and countersink, apply adhesive, then position and secure with 40mm screws.

Wooden slat attached to bottom of frame and back supports with nails

6Add a slat to the cot front 

To install the front slat, mark 20mm and 70mm from the front upright on both sides of the frame, 10mm up. Predrill and countersink, apply adhesive, then position and secure with 40mm screws. Centre the middle slat and repeat to predrill and secure.

Green Bunnings hammer
Tip: Adding a timber shelf reinforces the piece’s structure and creates room for storage.
Person using ruler to measure slat of wood on cot

7Use timber filler

Fill all screw holes with timber filler, leave to dry and sand flush. Wipe all over with a damp cloth to remove dust. Mask over any parts of the cot that aren’t timber, position it on sawhorses and prepare the area with a drop sheet.

Cot positioned on sawhorse, outdoors,  being left to dry

8Spray the cot with primer and paint

Pour primer into a paint sprayer and lightly coat all over, flipping the cot upside down to coat the underside. Leave to dry. Clean the spray gun and fill with paint. Beginning with the cot upside down, lightly apply two coats all over, leaving to dry after each coat.

Hand painting cot flipped upside down spray gun

9Complete the upcycling with cushions and a cot sheet 

Cover the cot mattress in a fitted cot sheet and stitch ties to matching pillow covers to attach to the frame.

Green Bunnings hammer
Tip: If you have a sewing machine, make a new mattress cover and cushions from a curtain, as we did here.
Finished kids cot, painted pink with open book on seat

10Keep in mind…

  • You may require a hex key or hex head bit to remove the front gate of the cot.
  • Although this cot frame has been reinforced, it’s not suitable for adults or children weighing more than 30kg.
  • When using a nail gun, wear eye protection and ensure the nose is flat against the piece before pulling the trigger.
  • Paint colours may vary on application.
  • Timbers vary by region; contact your local store for further information.

11Make your nook extra cosy

Check out our range of cushions and throws.



Photo Credit: Sam Van Kan, Belinda Merrie

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More D.I.Y. Advice

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.