Being a dad is a job that comes with some incredible challenges. Raising a child is hard enough, but I feel daughters come with an extra set of challenges for dads. If you’re a dad and have a daughter, the sense of love and protection you feel towards her will probably never be matched. She is your whole world and you would do absolutely anything to make her happy. When it comes to picking out Christmas and birthday gifts, dads are at somewhat of a disadvantage. They don’t have the same tastes or interests as their daughters usually, so picking out gifts can feel like a nightmare scenario. A lot of dads are turning to what they know best to try to make their daughters happy when it comes to gift giving. This dad decided to use his construction skills to create a one of a kind VW Bus replica bed for his 3-year-old daughter. Check out the entire build below!
The project actually started because his daughter needed a place to sleep when she outgrew her crib, which would be shortly. He decided on the VW Bus because he received these old Type 2 Beetle parts on Craigslist for free.
He had an idea of how he wanted this build to be different from other VW Bus beds he had seen. He wanted the frame of this old bunk bed he got on Craigslist for $25 to hold up his homemade VW Bus replica. He tried to keep costs down as much as possible by using things from his garage for the project. He did spend about $100 on supplies though.
He drilled out some 4 x 4 posts to fit the legs of the actual bunk bed. The bed needed to sit taller to work for his design.
A 2 x 4 frame supported the raised bed frame.
2″ x 4″ boards were used to create the rest of the frame of the VW Bus. The sides of the bed will be bolted to the bottom 2 x 4 and held to the bed frame posts by u-bolts.
This is the front bumper, This will form the front of what the dad calls the “bumper box”. This will eventually hold the electronics and steering wheel.
The front bumper box is completely finished and “faced” with a thin piece of plywood and plenty of screws.
Side doors were added using some simple hardware store hinges.
Windows were cut into the doors and dad added an “eyebrow” above the front windshield for an aesthetic effect.
These circle pieces of wood were bought at a big box store. He could have made them himself, but he could not have gotten as good of a circle with his jigsaw.
He had to remove the wheels to add a filler piece between the front bumper box and the side panels of the bus. Then it was time to sand and sand some more.
Spray painting the top “roof rack” silver was the next step. A coat of primer was added the wood, and then paints lying around the garage were used to create the two-tone look. By the dads own admission, he isn’t a good free hand painter so he masked the design off with tape.
He painted the bottom portion of the sides and front in a classic VW orange color.
A car wouldn’t be complete without a dashboard, so he installed a steering wheel and an old speedometer. He also rigged up some lights and switches to give it a more realistic feel.
The headlights were bought from a big box store and operated by one of the aforementioned switches on the dashboard.
He gave the dashboard a coat of stain to make it look nicer.
This is probably my favorite part about this. Dad added a kid sized hammock into the interior of the vehicle. All because he wanted one when he was a kid!
He bought the VW emblem online from a sticker maker. He simply painted a circle on the front of the car and slapped it on there.
Mom was the one who added the border to the outside of the dash. The buttons make driving noises, and the horn works. LED lights even light up inside the speedometer!
Side pockets from the pile of Beetle stuff were added into the bed to store any number of things a little girl would need.
The bed was brought outside for a birthday party and boy was it a hit with the kids. They climbed all over it and everything held up perfectly.
His wife wanted to decorate the interior a little more so she added these swaths of cloth with spray adhesive.
Then it was time to haul everything upstairs and install it in his daughter’s room.
What a cool idea by this dad and a great little hangout area for his daughter.
This dad wanted to think outside the box for his daughter, and he definitely accomplished that. This is a complete unique gift that will actually serve a function, as well as providing his daughter with countless hours of entertainment and place for her and her friends to hangout and have fun. Gifts don’t have to cost an arm and a leg for them to be the perfect present to someone. I hope as this daughter gets older she can truly start to appreciate the time her father put into this project just for her.