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  • Writer's pictureBeth Fratt

I speak IKEA

Updated: Jun 20, 2020

I have been using IKEA furniture most of my entire life. I have put together more dressers, beds, bookcases, name it, I've tried to put it together. Then I got married to a very handy man, and I realized he could put it together while I watched (TV) or was somehow helpful in some other way. I have done this long enough, though, that when it was just my mom and I putting everything together, I was surprised at how good I was at it.

My mom and I left for Thanksgiving week on Sunday. We drove by way of Salt Lake City so we could pick up our very long list of pieces at IKEA. Her car was PAKED, and our pour dog had almost no where to go. Sorry about the grainy pic, it was late, and he wouldn't pose for me. By the time we got in, it was really late, so we just unloaded a couple of the bigger pieces and went to bed. Monday would be the looooong work day.

Well, Monday came, and we decided to get groceries and run more errands than I thought we had to run. We finally started on the beds after dinner. I started with the bunk, figuring it would be the hardest to put together. It was a piece of cake!

Next up, the loft bed. This one I have actually helped my husband put together twice already, so I figured it would be easy. Not so much. It wasn't too bad, but not as easy as the bunk. These are all the pieces it takes to put a loft bed together. You also need a tall person with long arms to help hold stuff up while the other person puts in all the screws and bolts. Couldn't have done any of this without my mom!!

Things got really messy before they got better! We spent Tuesday sewing and watching movies. Remember these sheets?

Well, here is what we did with them (to save money). My mom is fantastic on the sewing machine, and pretty much cranked all of this out for me. We made a great team...I measured, cut and pinned what we needed, and she sewed it all together for me. It took a few days to get it all done, but it was SO worth it. So here is how we saved money. In the end, we had three twin beds and one full bed to dress. We had sheets for the two of the twin beds, but needed duvets and pillowcases for all the beds. It would have been too expensive to get four duvet covers from Land of Nod, so we got two duvets and one set of twin sheets instead. We also got one queen set of sheets from Target. From all that, we managed to make three twin duvets (two that aren't as wide so they fit the top bunks better), a full duvet, two Euro shams (the Petite Chateau bedding didn't have Euro pillows in that line), a king pillowcase, and about six other unique pillowcases. How, you ask? I cut stuff up!

We used the Petite Chateau duvet to make the full duvet and the Euro shams. Somehow, my MIL has a Full sized insert for that bed (not a F/Q that most retailers sell). It is smaller, and really swims in the F/Q duvets. So we took the seem out of one side, cut off most of the backside (and replaced it with white fabric from an old duvet we wouldn't need anymore), and stitched it back up to the actual size of the insert. It's fantastic, actually, because it looks like it fits perfectly on the full bed. With the extra fabric, we managed to make two Euro shams for the full bed, and had enough left over to make pipping for one of the twin duvets, some trim for other pillows, and a standard pillowcase for the bottom bunk.

With the plaid duvet, we ripped the seems to create a skinny twin duvet for the loft bed. I learned a long time ago that using a full sized twin comforter on the loft bed was a big pain in the behind. When my daughter had that bed, I found a couple of throws that fit perfectly width wise, but were about 10 inches too short. With those, I made the duvet longer than the throw so it looked long enough. Since we had two upper beds, the best solution was to take a Queen insert/comforter and cut it in half. This would be skinny, but long enough for the beds. So we got the insert at IKEA, and I pinned both sides so my mom could just sew down the middle. That sort of worked. I just didn't anticipate quite SO MANY feathers! I feel like we found those suckers everywhere for the rest of the week. Best laid plans! With the leftover material, we made another Euro, and a King size pillow case.

With the plaid sheet set, we used the flat sheet for one side of the bottom bunk duvet. This is the one we also used pipping on. The fitted sheet and pillow case is used on the top bunk.

The queen sheet set was used for the full bed! But we took the flat sheet and made a skinny duvet for the top bunk, and the other side of the twin duvet with the pipping.

I still can't believe how much we got done that day. And the best part...I had been telling my mom about one of my all time favorite movies. It's from the 90's, called Dead Again, with Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson. It's a suspenseful thriller...SO SO GOOD! While we were flipping channels to find a good movie, guess what popped up?! It was an awesome day with my mom, I have to say. mom kept sewing, and I decided to tackle the last two pieces of furniture while the rest of the fam drove up to meet us. I really thought that the beds would be harder than the storage pieces...I was so wrong. Each piece I put together had more parts, took longer, and needed a higher skill level. Seriously, the small Tarva dresser has more parts then the bunk beds! I got through the Trofast reasonably ok (i.e. only a couple of swear words under my breath). The did me in! I had to give up and leave it for my hubby. So I helped my mom continue to sew, and get all of that part done. Wednesday afternoon, we took a break to get all of our stuff for Thanksgiving. Just a small turkey, since two of us are Vegetarians. It was a nice break.

Thursday, we cooked and Trey finished the dresser. We hung out with the family, took some long walks in the rain that really wanted to be snow. It was beautiful, cold, and awesome.

Friday we started putting everything together. Almost all of the sewing was done, we had cleaned stuff up and put the trash out. Now it was time to get to work. At least for most of us. Yep, those are my girls having their own kind of fun on Friday.

Saturday was a mix of work and play. We were heading out on Sunday, so it was crunch time. We were there as a family, though, so we wanted to make the most of our time there. In the end, laundry, packing, and installing everything took longer than we expected (it always does!). It was a late night, and the girls were ready to go to bed (thats the draw back of doing their room), but we got it all done and they were SO excited.

Here's a sneak peak!

Check out the whole series:

See the before here

See the design plan here

See the reveal here

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