IKEA KURA hack with plywood

IKEA KURA hack, bunk beds, plywood, TUBU Kids

My most shared image and frequently asked question on social media is, without doubt, my IKEA KURA hack.

Many years ago we purchased the IKEA KURA bunk bed for my son's room.

I love the fact that there is a low bed on the bottom, perfect for the transition from cot to toddler. I love that it is reversible so that you can have a cool single bed with house-type structure for canopies and hanging things; or sleep an older child on the top with a nook below for storage, study or den.


At $299 it is also a great budget option, but I was never very happy with the bright blue panels (now sold in white) and was keen to update it with a more natural, Scandi look.

IKEA KURA bed, bunk bed, TUBU Kids

IKEA KURA bed with plywood panels

Get this look...

I measured the size of the panels and headed off to Bunnings (or try any good hardware store) and found some plywood (approx 5mm thick)

They don't usually cut small sizes but I must have looked a bit lost / daunted and someone took pity on me. Good old Bunnings!

Approximate dimensions:

Please double check these on your bed, to be certain.

Minimum 5 x panels; Maximum 7 x panels depending on how you display the bed.

  • Panel 1 (shorter side, with ladder as in my images) 1500 x 235 mm
  • Panel 2 (longer side, not shown in my images and only required if visible) 1900 x 235 mm
  • End panels (x4 if visible from only one end as in my images; x5 if both ends visible or you intend to swap it around) 915 x 235 mm


IKEA KURA bed I styled for Moonlit Sleep

What's Next...

Simply screw the ply onto the panels and that's it! I used Phillips head countersunk screws that are 15mm long so they don't go through to the other side and sit flush with the ply.

Completely transformed it is such a simple, cost-effective project to get a Scandi look for your kids room.

Do share photos if you try this, I would love to see the look you create!


Products in main image above

Upcycled vintage wardrobe by me. You can custom order here (Sydney only)

Australian map shelf - My Treasure Board by One Two Tree.

Dinosaur print - Triceratops & His Friends by Dino Raw.

Night light - Himalayan salt lamp (large) from Hearts Desire Homewares.

Wombat and koala pillowcases by For Me By Dee, purchased from Concreate.

Flag (on bed) by Pony Rider.

Custom name wolf print by Happy Ella After.

Organic cotton charcoal sheets (just visible on top bunk) by Moonlit Sleep.

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Founder of TUBU Kids, a blog that delivers real kids interior and decor inspiration for people that want a beautiful space for their children, without breaking the bank. We also feature useful tips & advice on anything that makes life with children easy, wholesome and fun! We love small businesses, the authentic designers & creators, and offer an online store for revamped vintage kids furniture using Zero VOC, child-friendly paint.

4 Responses

  1. Tabitha
    | Reply

    Did you add plywood to the bottom for the lower bed ? I love the idea of a lower version of a bunk bed.

    • Catherine
      | Reply

      Hi Tabitha! My apologies for not responding sooner. The lower bed (i.e. the part with the mattress directly on the floor) didn’t have plywood added – only the bigger sections. Most images show it with the plywood on the top and sides; or if you flip it over to a single bed then the main plywood panel is nearer the floor. Many thanks for your question! Catherine

  2. Sanne
    | Reply

    Hello Catherine, there are so many hacks of the IKEA Kura bed, but is the one I like most! It looks amazing.
    I am not an experienced diy person and hoped you could help me regarding the screws? How long were they and what happend on the inside of the bed? You must have covered them somehow so the kids not get hurt or do they not go through?
    Thank you so much for helping!

    • Catherine
      | Reply

      Thank you that’s so lovely! Ah, a good question… I used Phillips head screws which are 15mm long. They are so small they don’t go through to the other side of the bed (but are enough to secure the ply), and as they are countersunk ones they sit flush against the wood. Thank you for asking, I will add this info above 🙂

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