Dollhouse furniture - single bed base and headboard
A couple of years ago I designed a little crochet doll (which is currently finally in testing mode). While Aotearoa was in lockdown earlier this year, I decided to see if I could make my doll using some leftover embroidery thread and a steel crochet hook. The resulting doll came out about 6” tall and was the perfect size to fit in the little dollhouse that my Dad made when I was a child. However, the furniture that I have for that dollhouse is not the right size for the dolls so I thought I would create some crochet designs. I had previously created some little mini dolls out of scraps (you can find those patterns here) and for those dolls I had made a little couch and a little bed using plastic containers (razor blade cartridge containers and empty button containers) to give the furniture some structure.
The little couch is the perfect size for both the little scrap yarn dolls and the new 6” dolls.
However, the little bed was too short and narrow for the new dolls.
Therefore, I decided to try to create some new, bigger beds for the new dolls. I decided to begin with the same idea as last time, using some empty razor blade cartridges and button containers again to form the inside structure of the first bed. I decided that 4 empty razor blade cartridges plus 2 button containers would be about right for a single bed and if I added in 2 extra empty razor blade cartridges and 1 extra button container I could probably make a double bed.
Since I didn’t have a great number of cartridges saved up (and had other things I wanted to experiment with using the containers) I decided to experiment with making a bigger bed to the size of 6 razor blade cartridges plus 3 button containers but using a different filler material. The alternative things I used for filling the beds were fibrefill (for one bed) and layers of bubble wrap (for the rest of the beds). I think the plastic containers worked out the best for creating a firm structure. I think my main problem with the fibrefill was that I overstuffed the bed. The bubble wrap was a good alternative to the plastic containers though it does make a bit of noise if you squeeze it so I can imagine a child deciding that it would be fun to pop the bubbles by squeezing the bed.
While I have created both single and double beds, I’m just posting the pattern for the single bed at this stage. I had planned on having this up on my blog in July but it has been taking a while to get everything together to a level where I am happy to post it. Therefore, I have decided to introduce it in stages for now as each part is finished. At this stage I am thinking that I will have a full version available for download at the end once I am happy with everything I have written. In addition to designing a simple bed base with headboard, mattress and pillow, I also created a fabric sheet set for each size bed. I have included a pdf template and instructions for creating fitted sheets, flat sheets and pillowcases. Those will be available later too, I am still finalising the optimal size to make the flat sheets and pillowcases.
For this first part I am just posting the pattern for the single bed base and headboard.
Notions (NB: these notions are for all parts of the beds)
3.5 mm crochet hook
2.75 mm crochet hook
2.25 mm crochet hook
Fibrefill or other suitable stuffing (I used matching leftover yarn tails from other projects whenever possible as well as fibrefill or small plastic containers or bubble wrap as filling)
DK yarn in whatever colour(s) you like for the bed bases and mattresses
I used “4 Seasons Marvel 8 ply” in the following quantities:
Single bed base 82 m, 90 yds (29 g)
Single bed mattress 54 m, 59 yds (19 g)
Baby weight yarn in the colour you wish to use for your pillows. I used “4 Seasons Pony 4 ply” yarn:
Per pillow 8 m, 9 yds (3 g)
Size and Gauge
Gauge” 10 stitches and 10 rows = 5 cm (2”)
Single bed base and headboard
17.5 cm (7”)
7 cm (3”),
9.5 cm, (3 ¾”)
Single bed mattress
15 cm (6”)
1.5 cm (0.5”)
8 cm (3 ¼”)
4 cm (1.5”)
6.5 cm (2.5”)
Depends on stuffing
The bed base and headboard plus pillows are easy, the mattress is a little trickier but there is an easy option included.
US terminology used
BLO Back loop only
dc Double crochet
FLO Front loop only
hdc Half double crochet
hdc3tog Half double crochet three together
sc Single crochet
sl st Slip stitch
sc2tog Single crochet two together
WST Waistcoat stitch
* - * Repeat instructions between asterisks the amount of times specified
[....] Repeat instructions between parenthesis the amount of times specified
Waistcoat single crochet stitch (WST)
This stitch is almost identical to a single crochet except for where you place the stitch. You will be working into the post of the stitch rather than under the front and back loops. The purple arrow below shows where to make the stitch when you are working in continuous rounds (the stitches look different if working in rows). One of the most important tips for making WST is to relax your tension or you will not be able to make your stitches easily.
The ch 1 at the beginning of each row or round does not count as a st.
Where a row or round begins with “BLO” or “FLO”, all the stitches in that row/round are worked in the back loop only or the front loop only, respectively unless otherwise stated. The next row/round all stitches are then worked in both loops again.
If you are using razor blade containers and other small containers for the headboard (eg button containers) like I did with my single bed, it is a good idea to get those ready in advance and to stick them together using masking tape or some other type of tape.
I used the dolls to figure out what size to make the beds. As you can see from the photos below, the double bed was created to about 3 containers wide and 2 long while the single bed was created using 4 of the containers. Both have the equivalent height of 1 button container at one end to create a headboard for the beds (3 across for the double bed, 2 for the single bed).
Bed base and headboard pattern
For the bed base and headboard I used a 3.5 mm crochet hook and DK yarn.
For this pattern, at the end of each round, you will need to slip stitch to the first stitch, chain 1 and then turn your work. This means that the first stitch of the new round is in the last stitch of the previous round. It is important to make sure you do not make that first stitch in the slip stitch used to close the previous round or your rounds will not align properly.
With yarn in your chosen colour ch 13
Rnd 1 3 Sc in the 2nd ch from hook, sc in the next 10 ch, 6 sc in the last ch. Working around the other side of the ch, sc in the next 10 ch, 3 sc in the last ch, sl st to the first st, ch 1 and turn. (32)
Rnd 2 Working in FLO, sc in each st around, sl st to the first st, ch 1 and turn. (32)
Rnds 3-33 Sc in each st around, ch 1 and turn. (32)
Short Row 34 Working in BLO, sl st in the first st, sc in the next 14 sts, ch 1 and turn. (14)
Short Rows 35-42 Sc in each st across, ch 1 and turn. (14)
Short Row 43 Sc in each st across, ch 1, turn to the side of the row. (14)
Rnd 44 With RS facing, sc in the side of each short row (10 sc), then sc in the unworked sts from Rnd 33 (18 sc), turn to the next side of the short rows, sc into the side of each short row (10 sc), working in BLO, sc in the sts from Short Row 43 (14 sc). Join to the first st, ch 1 and turn. (52)
Rnds 45-46 Sc in each st around, sl st to the first st, ch 1 and turn. (52)
Short Row 47 Working in FLO, sl st to the next st, ch 1, sc in the next 14 sts, ch 1 and turn.
Short Rows 48-59 Sc in each st across, ch 1 and turn. (14)
Short Row 60 Sc in each st across. Fasten off leaving a long tail to sew the back on. (14)
Add bed base or stuffing to the middle before sewing the back of the headboard on. If you are using fibrefill stuffing instead of a solid base then it might pay to add an extra row of sewing through the “headboard” section where it meets the base (as seen for the purple double bed in the photos below). This adds a little more firmness to it, though it is still quite flexible. For one of the doll beds I added bubble wrap in the middle folded over a few times. For that version I used a sharp needle to sew the back of the headboard on and to add an extra row of sewing like I did with the fibrefill version.
You can find the pattern for the mattress and pillow here.
You can find the instructions for the sheet set here.