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Inspire Your Child’s Astronaut Dreams with a Spaceship Bed

Someday, they’ll fly to the moon. Until then, practice makes perfect with this easy-to-build bedtime version of a rocket ship.

This story is sponsored by Krylon®, the spray paint brand that can easily restore, refresh, recolor, and revive any project.

What kid isn’t fascinated at some point by rockets, astronauts, or space exploration? And what parent wouldn’t be over the moon for their kids to one day land a bona fide job that takes them out of the atmosphere? Here’s one way to stoke that obsession: have them fall asleep each night in a spaceship-themed bed that you build for them. This bed-to-spaceship transformation is a very simple DIY project you can build in just a weekend with a little technical know-how and a few cans of Krylon® spray paint.

As you construct this pint-size vehicle for space travel, engage your little one in conversations about science, astronomy, and adventure. Learn about the stars together (and help them pick out the Big Dipper at night if your view allows). Talk about the names of the planets and practice basic math to figure out how far away from Earth they are.

After giving your spaceship an American theme with Krylon® Fusion All-In-One™ Gloss Red Pepper, Gloss Patriotic Blue, Gloss Black and Satin White, you’re ready to snuggle together with a good book about — what else? — space exploration.

We have liftoff!

What You’ll Need:

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Krylon® Fusion All-In-One™ Satin White, Gloss Black, Gloss Red Pepper, and Gloss Patriotic Blue
  • Five 5- by 5-foot sheets of plywood
  • Three 6- by 6-inch wood blocks
  • 1- by 2-foot piece of plywood
  • 8- by 8-inch piece of plywood
  • Two 1- by 8-foot pieces of plywood
  • Seven 1-inch by 2-foot wood blocks
  • Saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Masking tape
  • Quilted headboard fabric
  • One 7-inch by 16-foot strip of lauan plywood
  • Two 1-inch by 8-foot strips of lauan plywood
  • Sewing tacks
  • Screws
  • Drill

Step 1: Build the Headboard 

The headboard on this bed is actually the circular tail of your Space Shuttle. Take two 5- by 5-foot pieces of plywood and draw same-sized large circles with a flat bottom on each. Use an electric saw to cut out the shapes. Sand down the edges. Down the midline of one circle, attach three 6- by 6-inch wood blocks with screws, so that the boards sit perpendicular to the circle surface and parallel with each other. (Make sure to space the blocks equally along the centerline.) Lay the other plywood circle on top, aligning the flat bottoms, and screw into place using the wood blocks for attachment.

Attach the 1- by 2-foot piece of plywood to the flat edges of the circles with screws, creating a base. Wet the 16-foot strip of lauan plywood with water, allowing it to become pliable. Bend it around the circumference of the two circles, nailing it in place as you go. (There will be several inches left over when you reach the base, which you should cut off.) 

Step 2: Assemble and Decorate the Headboard

Spray the entire headboard with Krylon® Fusion All-In-One™ Satin White holding the can about 8 to 10 inches from the plywood surface and moving your hand in slow, steady motions. Let dry.

Take the quilted headboard fabric and cut it in a circle shape, using the plywood frame as a pattern. (Although we chose black for this one, blue and red are fun choices, too!) Use a staple gun every 6 to 8 inches around the perimeter to secure fabric to the headboard.

Step 3: Build, Decorate, and Attach the Nosecone

On a 5- by 5-foot piece of plywood, cut out a nosecone panel that is 3 feet wide at one end; 3 feet long (on both sides); with a flat 8-inch-high “nose.” Use an electric saw to cut out the shape. Trace the shape on the other two pieces of plywood and cut those out as well.

On one of the plywood nosecone panel pieces, cut out three 6-inch-high, 8-inch-wide “windows.” Using this piece as the top of your nosecone, attach the three-sided nosecone with screws using seven 1-inch by 2-foot wood blocks at the joints.

Spray the entire nosecone, inside and out, with Krylon® Fusion All-In-One™ Satin White, holding the can about 8 to 10 inches from the wood surface and moving your hand in slow, steady motions. Let dry.

Cut out a three-pane piece of plywood trim to place over the window. Spray it with Krylon® Fusion All-In-One™ Gloss Black. When dry, screw it to the top of the nose cone over the existing cutout.

Spray the 8-inch plywood square with Krylon® Fusion All-In-One™ Gloss Black. When dry, nail it to the front of the nose cone. 

Step 4: Create the Sideboards

Place the completed nosecone at the foot of the bed and measure the distance between the top of nosecone and the headboard. Using that information, cut out two long plywood boards (1 foot wide and about 8 feet long) that will bridge the distance between the cone and the headboard. Use 1- by 2-foot wood blocks to create a frame.

Spray sideboards with Krylon® Fusion All-In-One™ Satin White spray paint. Once dry, use masking tape to cover the boards, leaving two exposed stripes. Spray paint one stripe with Krylon® Fusion All-In-One™ Gloss Red Pepper and the other with Gloss Patriotic Blue. Remove tape when the Gloss Red Pepper and Gloss Patriotic Blue are dry to the touch to avoid chipping or peeling.

Cut two 1-inch strips of lauan plywood the length of each sideboard. Spray with Krylon® Fusion All-In-One™ Gloss Black. Nail to the top of each sideboard frame as trim. Add red and blue trim and decoration to other areas of the nosecone, sideboards, and headboard as you wish.

Step 5: Put It All Together

When the sideboards are dry, attach the frame to the nosecone and headboard with screws or nails. That’s it! Jump in the cockpit with your child and get ready: This rocket is about to launch!