A {doll} bed fit for a Princess

Do you have a little girl in your life totally obsessed with
American Girl Dolls?

My almost-8-year-old thinks American Girl is the bees knees. The price of these dolls is definitely NOT the bees knees though. They start at about $105 for the basic “My American Girl Doll“.

We tried to satisfy her thirst by getting her an Our Generation Doll from Target, which runs about $30:

But she’s too smart for us. She tried to act grateful, but she just really wanted the “real” one and not the one she and her friends have dubbed “My Generic-an Girl”.

Her birthday was the following June, so we told her she could have the doll plus a few basic accessories (like ear piercing of the doll and an outfit) in lieu of a big party. Surprisingly she agreed. On her birthday we drove 3 hours to Dallas so that she could pick out her doll and accessories in person at their huge store. A few hours later and $150 poorer, we left the store, and she’s been smitten with “Isabella” ever since.

Accessories for the doll are outrageously priced though, and we have flat-out refused to drop $70 for a bed, $35 for a shirt, or a whopping $350 for a storage closet.

Kinsey has been surprisingly ecstatic about the “My Generic-an Doll” accessories from Target though, so for Christmas she received a much lower priced $50 storage closet and a $35 jeep.

You can also purchase a plastic bed from Target for about $50, but I found an even cheaper and sturdier bed that has been a huge hit with her and her friends.


This bed hales from IKEA, and is called the “Duktig” bed.


For a whopping twenty bucks, it is solid wood, comes with all the bedding, and fits the 18″ American Girl Doll perfectly.

(Can’t you just tell how much Kinsey adores her Isabella? She is such a little Mother Hen.)

It comes with easy directions and assembles in less than 15 min or so.

ikea_americangirl_bed_pink_2  ikea_americangirl_bed_pink_3

The raw wood leaves much to be desired though.


For a couple additional bucks I spray primed the bed…


…and then gave it several coats of Krylon Watermelon in glossy finish.


The results are a bed worthy of the American Girl (or any other baby doll!).


Kinsey’s happy because it’s pink, and I’m happy that I spent about $25 total instead of $70.


The only problem with all these American Girl accessories is that her room is running out of space for her little doll city she’s creating. Now I just need to come up with some type of permanent storage solution for her fleet of furniture.

So tell me, are the little ladies in your life totally obsessed with these dolls, or is it just in my little corner of Austin, Texas where we’re going bankrupt on overpriced dolls with amazing hair?

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  1. Ouch indeed. I saved up money from recycling cans when I was a kid in order to afford one. I dreamed about getting her a bed (the one that went with my doll was a 4-poster). Great project!

  2. My daughter is also obsessed (along with her grandmother and I’m a little embarrassed to say her mother doesn’t hate looking for new fun and adorable things too)! Her “Ashley” is referred to as a real person in our house or you will suffer the wrath of our 10 yr old angel…where’s that strike through thingy when you need it…daughter! We also bought her the closet from Target for Christmas and searched everywhere for a bed…so while I’m ever grateful you found this one and shared, I’m also slightly irritated that it’s now after Christmas! 🙂 hehehehe….sooooo kidding! I’ll just have to store this away for the next gift giving occasion! 🙂 You soooo ROCK Allison!!!

  3. Oh Allison, I’m so happy to see another little girl that loves her American Girl dolls as much as my granddaughter! Jordyn is 9 and I get her the new one out every year for Christmas. She truly adores all of them and takes such good care of them. Thank you so much for the heads up on the bed. I’ll definately be getting that! By the way, thank God we don’t have an American Girl store near us!

  4. My daughter (Isabella…sort of ironic), loves the idea of the AG dolls. By that I mean, she wants to collect and hoard them like any other girl her age but doesn’t really like to play with them. We actually just went to the AG store the day after Christmas (holy cow that place was cra-zy! I couldn’t believe the amount of money people were dropping!) to have lunch and “shop”. However, we left with only our full bellies and one very over priced outfit (where were all the after Christmas sales?!) for $28. Thankfully, I live in an area where I have found at least 10 AG dolls (from very rare retired dolls, to just like me dolls and at least 4 bitty babies) for anywhere from a quarter to $5. I did buy several dolls in a lot with furniture (some crazy white bed that had storage on both sides, bubble bath tub, kits scooter, the animals, several of the old school beds that go with the historic dolls, and a sleigh, not to mention a few dressers, hair salon and lockers…), and tons of retired AG doll clothing. I had no idea what I was getting into. My daughter was 6 at the time and wanted nothing to do with the dolls. So I sold them on Craigslist and went to Mexico with the girls on the profits! Mistake! Wish I had kept them, because she’s showing interest in them again…but not really playing with them unless she had a friend over. She still has 5 of the dolls and tons of accessories and thankfully my hubby put built ins in her closet so they can have a few shelves to spread out.

    It’s crazy the willingness to pay big bucks for these dolls. I love the idea behind them and that they encourage girls to play with dolls (heck, I played with dolls right up until the time I had kids I think), so I want my daughter to do the same. But really, you should see the crazy moms who show up at my doorstep to pay next to retail for the used dolls. And man, they are excited about the rare items.

    I think this IKEA bed is awesome. It looks great in pink and is such a cheaper alternative to the pricey versions. I about keeled over from the sticker shock in the store. I will stick to my garage sale finds and appreciate ever last one of them!

  5. What a cute bed! My daughter would love this! 🙂 Happy New Year!

  6. Cute. I had no idea Ikea had these beds! My daughter only likes bald babies, but I’m making the bunkbeds for AG dolls that’s on Ana Whites site. She has several pieces for AG dolls. You’re handy…just make a couple, or make some storage for Kinsey’s room. That’s what I had to do for my daughters. I swear she’s a young horder! Anyway, if you haven’t been to Ana’s site it’s ana-white dot com. Not trying to push you to a site, but it has tons of free building plans with step by step instructions.

  7. I showed my daughter the bed…who thinks it’s great. But, she wants a bunk bed. So, I’m wondering if you could put two of them together – with some sort of screws? I’ll have to ask my hubby about that. But, I LOVE the idea of the Ikea bed WAY better! Thanks…her birthday is this month and she’s been asking for a bunk bed for her AG dolls {which she actually plays with non-stop}!

    Becky B.
    Organizing Made Fun

  8. All I can tell you is that my almost 18 year old daughter had first a Bitty Baby from AG, and then got not 1, not 2, but 3 AG dolls as she got older. Her Bitty Baby and one of the dolls were gifts but the other 2 she saved up and bought herself. And she kept on saving to buy the clothes. She never had AG furniture, but did have BB furniture, which is much cheaper. On the plus side, these dolls are meant to last, as are their clothes and accessories. She still has everything and will most likely pass it down to a little girl in her life one day. I know they are pricey, but I would much rather spend the money on things that are well made and last than on other junk toys. And the fact that my daughter saved her $5 per week allowance to get enough for a new outfit every couple of months, taught her how to save, how to decide what you REALLY want to spend your money on, as well as how to take care of things that you buy. I, for one, thought that these “overpriced” dolls were well worth the money. So keep that in mind. Some things really ARE worth spending more for! That being said, I know one of my daughters friends who never had to spend her own money or save for long for anything….she never took care of her dolls, never cherished them, and has gotten rid of all of them. So I guess it depends on how much they want them, whether they are just another expenditure, and how much of their own true desire goes into getting them. Sorry this comment is so long 🙂

  9. Oh yes! I have two girls, and we have several dolls (gifts, sale, free! Santa!!). We don’t have any accessories, other than clothes, a closet (from Target) and bunk beds. We’ve also made the trek to the AG Cafe in Dallas! I would much rather they play with American Girls than Barbies (1) no teeny things to step on, 2) MUCH better role modeling)… Our girls got bunk beds for the dolls last year, maybe there’s a way to hack the Ikea bed into a bunk bed? Hmm….

  10. Check out mydollsdayout.com and I think she is on FB too. She makes beds and lots of really cute clothes for the dolls at much cheaper prices

  11. My little girls are my g’daughters!! Ha! And they are not little anymore…they want things like Kindle Fire and IPads…etc., etc.
    And their clothing is totally expensive and over the top. So American Girl dolls seems reasonable to me right now!
    Good luck and the bed looks fabulous!

  12. My younger girls still love American Girl Dolls. Wish there was an IKEA in Alaska, or that they shipped to AK without having to use a 3rd party carrier. I might have to check out the IKEA store in Seattle when I’m there later on this month. Thanks for sharing!

  13. My daughter is 10 and a half and loves her AG dolls. Like you, I was THRILLED when Target came out with their lines of accessories for the 18 inch dolls…AG is just WAY too expensive!

  14. WHOA! I just looked at my 3 yr old daughter and got a stomach ache! LOL The price of things these days! WOW! I didn’t know.The bed you made is ADORABLE! I’m so glad she loves it!

  15. My girls wanted an AG doll fro Christmas and Santa was too cheap! 🙂 My girls are 4 and 6, though, and I kind of wanted a test run with a similar doll before we make the HUGE investment on a “real” AG doll. My AMAZING husband did some research and we stumbled upon “Journey Girls” from Toys R Us. They’re around the same price as the Generican Girls (LOVE that name. HA!) from Target, but they are SO much better quality. They are the closest thing that I found to the real AG dolls. And we got them for around $30 before Christmas. There are outfits and accessories as well. My girls LOVED their new dolls, and even had a friend tell them that she likes their Journey Girls dolls better than her own American Girl doll!!! Now, I think their friend was being very generous, but they are GREAT quality, and BEAUTIFUL dolls. If Isabella needs a friend or 2, you might want to do some investigating on the Journey Girls. I highly recommend them!!!

  16. My daughter turned 8 in October and also decided on an american girl doll instead of a friend party. She loves her doll too. I was just talking to her about the ikea bed for her doll. We have to clean out her room of older toys first then she can get one and pick out the color 🙂

  17. We had a very similar situation with our daughter. Nothing would do til she had her own AG. We live in Houston and do not have a store 🙁 We went to the AG store in Dallas a few weeks before her birthday since we were there for a basketball tournament. We too spent around $150, but she loves her doll 🙂 While at IKEA a bit later, I found the bed too!! Our daughter loves it and so do I for the price!! I have not painted it yet, but would love to make it special for her – thanks for the inspiration!! Plus, simple bedding should be easy to do for me and I don’t sew, LOL!!

  18. My girls have the K-Mart version of the American Girl Doll. K-Mart, Michael’s & Hobby Lobby have accessories for the dolls.

  19. We have one doll from AG for each of my daughters. They have the dolls all lined up standing on a shelf in their bedroom. Occasionally, they will change the clothes, but they don’t “play” with them anymore because my girls are getting too big for that…well three or four of them are. We have a lot of accessories, but mostly my dad has bought them. He gave them the dolls as each of them turned 8 years old. They really can take up too much space so you have to take it slow and accumulate them over a long period. Think about the long-term.

  20. I wish my girls loved theirs like that. 🙁 We got our girls who are 6 1/2 the Target dolls for Christmas and sadly they’ve only played with them once or twice. I think Grandma is more excited about the dolls than my girls are. My mom made the girls and their dolls matching dresses and I think I heard talk that she’d already knitted the dolls sweaters. Lol. I’m really hoping now that things are getting back to normal they’ll start playing with them.

  21. You rocked that color – good job mom!

  22. We live in the same American Girl world that you do. My daughter has the doll from there, and everything else is from Target. I saw that you’re looking for a new bed for your daughter as well, and that you’re an Ikea fan like myself. We have the Hemnes Daybed frame with 3 huge drawers underneath. Drawers that hold many, many stuffed animals, American Girl dolls, accessories and more. The best part is that the drawers pull out and the bed becomes a double bed for sleepovers. I adore the fact that I can have storage AND a place for friends to sleepover. Here’s the link if it helps: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30080316/

    Thanks for sharing so much on your blog. I love the ideas!

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  24. Thank you so much for this! Do you mind if I post it on my blog?

  25. I still have my AG dolls, one my parents bought back in ’90, the other I bought when I had a job and saved money for it. They my be high priced, but they haven’t gone up in price all these years, at least not as much as everything else in existance has. 🙂 The doll my parents bought me in ’90 was around $100, back when the company was named Pleasant Company. I love your Ikea hacks. I live in Austin too, so we’re also close to Ikea which makes it really convenient. 🙂

  26. My daughter LOVES her AG dolls! She has many…but she has bought most of them herself. She is 10 now, and saves up her allowance when she wants to get a new doll. I did score her a couple when they retired…paid for by selling two retired dolls, which is the one and only time I will do that, I am not into the whole ebay thing that much! But that did cover the cost of those two, so it was worth it I guess!

    A few years ago, we decided that something had to be done…she didn’t have enough room for storage or to play with the dolls. So, because she has a small room, we built her a loft bed. She now sleeps up high and loves it, and the whole area underneath is her AG play area. For storage, she has one cool shelf that my husband built into the frame. Then, I found three large, beautiful stacking boxes…one for Bitty Baby’s stuff, one for historic dolls’ stuff, and one for current (Doll of the Year, My AG) dolls’ stuff. This system works well for us. You might think my husband is a good builder, right? Not even close! But we found a great website, OPLoftbed, and used their plans ($10) and hardware ($40), and built the best, most sturdy bed imaginable for under $200…I spent more on her bedding, lol! I’m sending you the pic I posted on Pinterest when we first finished the bed…best move ever. And, when she outgrows the dolls, we will put a desk or couch under the bed.

  27. You just made my day! I am planning a Pajama Time party for my son’s 1st birthday and have been looking all over for beds that I can use to display the cupcakes, these are perfect!

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