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Bed bug


This will probably of no interest at all to anyone else (and only marginally for me!) but I’ve spent ages trying to find the relevant photos – for the second or third time! – so I thought that if I did a blog then at least all the eggs would be safely in one basket – if I remembered where I’d left the basket.

I’d been looking for a new bed for some time: my old wooden one had started creaking like a galleon in full sail every time I turned over – it was about ten years old, and had moved house three times, being completely taken down and reassembled each time, so it’s not really surprising.

As this is an Ikea bed, which are longer than standard ones, and has a similarly-long Ikea mattress to fit it, I naturally thought, “Let’s check out Ikea”.

You know what I discovered that really annoyed me? Bed sellers usually give the height of the headboard, or the footboard if that’s taller – but no one ever gives the height of the bed platform, on which the mattress will sit.

I don’t care how high the headboard is, I’m hardly going to be sleeping up there! But I need to know how high the bed plus mattress will be – because of my back injury, I find normal beds too low – I have to hold on to something for support while getting in and out. (that’s why my old bed was such a treat; I could just slide in and out without stooping. But, apart from the creaking, it was a tad too tall when I added a mattress topper and a duvet underneath in winter!).

I’m not having a go at Ikea, particularly, no other bed shop gave what was, to me, the most important measurement – bed base to floor I emailed several to comment and complain, but only Ikea bothered to answer. “Which bed are you interested in?”

Me: “All of them! Until I know how high the bed base s off the floor I won’t know if the bed is any use to me – and you can bet that the one I don’t ask about will be the one that would have been ideal.”

Eventually I sent them a dozen item numbers and they duly gave me the bed-base heights – all much too low.

I’d made my own bed platform before, back in the 70s – it wasn’t elegant but it did the job. I’d never had woodwork lessons at school (boys did woodwork and girls did cooking – why would a girl need to know how to put up a shelf, any more than a boy would need to know how to boil an egg?) so my attempts at proper corner joints weren’t exactly Barry Bucknell (there’s a blast from the past) but it’s amazing what enough 3” screws and tons of wood glue will do.

I had a proper bed then, on short legs, and I just put the whole thing on top of the frame – I had to saw a slice off one of the legs to make it go inside, but then it fitted and the legs held it in place

I can’t now remember how when and why I got rid of it, but it did me well for as long as I had it.

I was actually in the middle of making another such bed ten years and two flats later– I’d bought all the 2×2s and was in the process of making the frame when I got an Ikea catalogue through my letterbox, flipped through, saw a cabin bed and grabbed at it. (The half-done frame was disassembled and the wood left by the communal bins for anyone that could find a use for them. Someone must have cos they were gone an hour later.)

So, I thought, I’ve already made one bed, and half-made a second, so let’s go for the hat-trick.

Of course I’m older and creakier now, and there isn’t a handy hardware shop just down the road where I could buy the wood and carry it home over a shoulder.

Found the local B&Q on the other side of town (only a “mini” store, but quite big enough for me), and eventually found it on the ground, which is a lot different from finding it on a map, and a lot harder! Two buses and a long walk – definitely can’t see me carrying loads of wood even as far as the nearest bus stop (had to carry two large shopping bags back on that trip: I found out that that was rather more than my back is up to)

Listed all the wood I’d want, length and quantity of each, and went back with my new befriender to place the order. Apart from the wood for the bed there was a lot more – they charge for delivery but if you spend more than £150 it’s free. I needn’t have worried, as I spent more than double that (this is when I got my stacks of garden canes for the Cave project).

That was in July or August. The wood just sat here, waiting to be worked on. And waiting …

Two reasons: I needed to clear space to have room to work, but I had no space to clear stuff into to give me a clear space (I’ve got three-years’-worth of DIY projects from the old flat waiting to be reassembled and nowhere to clear them to except for very short-term: otherwise Id be forever lugging half a ton of assorted bits of wood from A to B, and then having to move some to C so I can get at the wardrobe then back to B so I can get to bed … there was no point starting that till I had a definite date to begin) and partly because I was trying to persuade the Age-UK handymen to cut the wood and assemble the pieces.

They said they couldn’t put the bits together “if anything breaks we’d be liable”. I said that there’d be more chance of something breaking if I tried to put it together myself, with inadequate tools, strength, eyesight, knowledge and skill! I thought I’d talked them round, but when I finally decided that I’d waited enough months, stepping over that pack of 2×2s that were always in the way, they definitely refused. I asked if they’d at least cut the wood for me, to which they agreed.

I said the mattress on the old bed had to fit the new one, so the wood should be cut the those dimensions; they measured and cut, and I asked them to label each piece and mark my sketch plan so I’d know which bit was what. Took me some time to decipher the resultant hieroglyphics – they’d added two extra bits which weren’t very clear in their addition to the sketch. (I’d asked them to write A, B, C etc on the paper and on each part, but they’d written the measurement, which was harder to make out than a single larger letter would have been.)

November 29th:
Needed somewhere to prop the wood to drill the holes – didn’t want to go through the carpet as well! They’d have been too long to balance on my new workmate. Eventually I thought of the plastic three-tier plant stands I had – they worked well enough, once I’d got them dug out and dusted off

Even made myself a dinky little drill-hole template – remembered having probs with screwing from two angles before, trying to work out where I could place the second set that didn’t collide with the first

December 1st:
No probs assembling one side frame

Assembled other side piece, then needed to put in the smaller support uprights (for future ref, they’re 71 cm apart – or not, as the case may be)

Immediately hit two problems: first, the cuts weren’t exactly straight, so I had to stand each upright on its less-uneven end, hold it still, hold a spirit level against it, adjust it until it was as right as I could get it, then mark where the holes should be; second, I could not get the drill through at the designated places

took me 8 goes to find a soft enough spot for this one.

And for another upright, I had to move the wood several inches along to find a similar drillable length (I thought 2×2s were soft wood!).:

Which threw out my measurements – I’d marked both long edges before I’d started drilling, so I could make sure the uprights really were – the marks on the bottom were going to be nbg now.

I was tired and aching and frustrated and quite a bit narked by this time. I only had a few more uprights to go to finish the frame, so I leaned a bit harder on the next one to give me trouble, and …

Here endeth the DIY session …

Went to bed – it was gone midnight and I’d been working, with only short breaks, since 8 pm the day before.

Later the same day …

I didn’t have another drill bit that size, so I had to use the next one up, which was rather larger. The screws didn’t screw into the top wood, they just slotted in, the only real holding was in the last bit into the upright. So I squeezed some wood glue out and rolled the top part of the screw in that before sliding it in, hoping that’d help it stay put.

Last job was to use corner brackets on all angles to help things keep still:

Which meant me having to do each piece four times: I can’t work left-handed, or “backwards,” so I had to do the brackets facing me all the way down, then go the other side and do all the brackets now facing me, then turn it upside down and do both again.

Managed to get a selfie of how I have to DIY – which explains why my angles aren’t always right and my back isn’t always wrong!

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No stopping u is there Fran....most of the beds in our house are home made...much stronger and made to measure....

3 Jan, 2015


Mine's not so elegant, but then, I build for strength! There's a couple of teething probs with this one, tweaks that need to be tweaked, but I never had this prob wtih the first one, the old bed just sat on top, and I never got this far with the second one. Ah well, now I've taken the old Ikea bed down there's some spare parts ...

3 Jan, 2015


Wow, Fran ...
... you work so hard on your projects !

Have you ever tried putting a hard mattress on a bed, and then a soft mattress on top ? Would that help ? Give the extra height ?

3 Jan, 2015


I didn't think of it, TT - being Ikea bed and mattress, I'd have had to get another Ikea mattress to match the length, and that inolves problems of its own.

Or chuck them all and buy normal-UK length bed and mattresses (which would certainly make it easier to find flat sheets to fit! Ikea doesn't seem to undersatnd the concept of "flat sheets" even when they're put into quotes in the search) - and besides, those extra few inches do make a difference, even to a shortie like me - I can snugle down without my toes dipping over the end

3 Jan, 2015


Fran you are unbelieveable. I can't imagine anyone else in your situation having the guts to embark on the projects you tackle. One thing's for sure, you deserve a good night's sleep.

3 Jan, 2015


Agree with Stera! need the bed we are sleeping on this holiday. Admittedly we have to take a running jump to get on it, but you could make it perfect with a simple bit of sawing!

3 Jan, 2015


Goodness, Fran, what a mammoth task. I had enough trouble making a tortoise bed :)

3 Jan, 2015


Lol Gee!

3 Jan, 2015


I do admire your perseverance Fran..and really hope you get sorted soon..and a good nights sleep1 Re flat sheets,I don't like fitted sheets either,but if you have a local indoor market,or one of those textile chain of shops..we have what is called the Yorkshire Linen shop here,but you may have something similar,they are readily available..good value,and Quality,and very reasonable,if this helps..:o)

4 Jan, 2015


@ Stera – Lol it’s more stubbornness than guts – I am NOT to spend £££ on something that isn’t exactly what I want – and if they don’t make exactly what I want, I’ll damn well make it myself.

@ Karen – lol can you post it to me, a bit at a time? Sewing is a prob for me – even when I can find somewhere to set up my old hand-turned machine! I use whatever colour cotton is on there, no matter what colour material I’m sewing – threading the needle with my vision is enough to make a saint say a few naughty words. Hmm, when I win the lottery I’m going to employ someone whose sole job will be to change the cotton – or I’ll buy ten and have each threaded with different colours!

@ Gee – lol, so would I! and so am I, in fact; had help to finish it, which will be in the next blog.

@ Bloomer – it took about a week to finish it off, I was kipping on the floor during that time, having taken some of the old bed down because it’d be needed on the new one (I had rather naively hoped that it’d be same-day, but wasn’t to be).
I can find flat sheets online, but *Ikea-length* flat sheets is something else. Some might do them, but I can’t tell if the sheets are extra long and I’m not going to buy on the off-chance. Still, if I can tuck in the sides, I can move the top down so that the bottom of the sheet reaches the bottom of the mattress, the pillows will hide the gap at the top. Or else cut sheets and sew them together into the right length!
They used to do half-fitted top sheets, the bottom corners were fitted, the top end was loose – not seen them for ages.
I'll try the Yorkshire Linen Shop, thanks for the tip

4 Jan, 2015


I always thought sheets were a standard size,Fran..either70 x 100 for single,or 90 x 100 for will notice I don't do metric! Lol..We have a deep Memory foam mattress on our divan base,and they still have plenty of 'tuck under',both at sides and top to bottom ..What are Ikea sizes, please?

4 Jan, 2015


Fran I Googled Extra Long Sheets - there are several suppliers advertising them, you shouldn't have any problems finding some.

4 Jan, 2015


@ Bloomer - most sheets are standard length, for standard beds, but Ikea's are 4 inches or so longer, and standrad sheets won't tuck in at top and bottom (lol go on, ask me how I know!)

@ Stera, thanks! I'd tried "long single sheets", hadn't thought of "extra long", will now!

5 Jan, 2015


Lol Fran..I guess the answer to that is,you have already tried ! do I get 10 out of10 ? :o) I will bear that Ikea size in mind,if ever I buy a longer bed..haha..

5 Jan, 2015


apparently a "long sheet" is 260 cm or so, as opposed to 200 fpr mprmal length beds - Ikea beds are 200 com long, so that gives a foot each end for tucking in - a standard sheet will reach,just about, but no tucking in top or bottom.

I've found a few shops, but - am I a peasant (well, yes!) or is £25-30 *per sheet* a tad excessive? lol might buy seven sheets, cut one into strips and sew on to the other six!

I had a moan to Ikea - they say if I put "bedsheets" in search, I'll find flat sheets in with the fitted; one can serach for "fitted sheets" and get only them but even putting "flat sheets", even in quotes, brings up fitted ones.

5 Jan, 2015


ps - lol but you get 10/10 for giving me a new word to put into search!

5 Jan, 2015


Just catching up Fran. I googled Ikea flat sheet and came up with this
DVALA cotton sheet
size 150cm x 260cm
price £7.00
Catalogue number 101.499.82.
Happy new year. You deserve it.

16 Jan, 2015


thanks dear!!!!

16 Jan, 2015


I should have said they only do white but being cotton you could dye them I suppose. We fell foul of ikea beds when my daughter decided to let her flat. The beds extra inches meant there was no room to get between the bed and the wall. Putting the bed along a wall used up valuable wall space so OH cut them shorter and did a good job. A long time ago he also built us a platform to raise our bed. He made it super kingsize as we enjoyed the extra space in beds we used in Germany. We bought the slatted frames to hold the mattress from an upmarket furniture shop. When we decided to get a new super kingsize bed it was too low. We decided to use reuse the two three foot wide frames on top of the bottom mattresses to hold up another thus raising the bed height by 8". We found there was not sufficient support when laying one mattress directly on top of another. I use LIDL kingsize fitted sheets over the two mattresses to make it one big bed.

17 Jan, 2015


I had a moan to Ikea re flat sheets: if I searched for flat sheets I only got fitted; even “flat sheets -fitted” (in quotes) brought up fitted sheets. They said if I searched for bed linen I’d find flat sheets – but I still had to wade through zillions of fitted sheets to find them, and now repeating the search doesn’t find them at all.

I went into one “fitted sheet” and clicked on “size”; they had single, double, etc, but they also had sizes in inches, which I assume will be the flat versions – going to check before I actually buy any, though! A flat sheet will do top or bottom, but a fitted sheet won’t go very well on top!

I did think about getting or making a queen size bed, aka small double (and how is that fair, lol? Should be single, double, queen, king) but I was having enough probs finding bedding for a single bed!

I did think of buying standard sheets, cutting one into strips and sewing that on to the other sheets to give the required length – I’d have to buy same-colours, or have a different stripe at one end (probably under the pillow where the seam wouldn’t irritate) but that seems like a lot of work.

I have the bed along the end wall, under the window – intend to put units at head and foot to make it a continuous run all the way along, window-seat style (though I need something raised to use as a headboard – at the moment I have to have it up against the wall to act as a headboard).

I’ve seen “bed raisers”, blocks that you put under the feet to raise the level, but they’re invalid-style sort of thing, not very trendy, even if one’s bed has only a leg at each corner and isn’t down to the floor all round!

Never seen a king-size bed in real life, let a lone a super-king! Lol you must need a map and compass to find each other in there!

I saw an article years ago, which gave me the idea of a platform bed in the first place: she’d put a sheet of hardboard over the frame and drilled holes in it for ventilation. Didn’t need that then, as I put my bed on the frame; did think of it this time, but I had the slats from the old bed anyway …

18 Jan, 2015


On the continent, and more and more here, they tend to supply superkingsize beds in hotels. They are 6' x 6'6". They use one fitted sheet across the two single mattresses. Each half of the bed has its own single duvet which suits me fine as I no longer need to struggle getting huge covers on to huge duvets. One top cover covers the whole bed. I don't bother with that as we have central heating and the bedroom is always comfortable. If you have a local ikea phone them with the details I found. They need the catalogue number to check on their computer if it is in stock. You should be able to go in and pick up what you want if they have it in stock.
If you want to see it online highlight this "DVALA cotton sheets". Right click on it and from the drop down menu click on Search Google for DVALA cotton sheets. Google should show you IKEA Bed Sheets and Fitted Sheets. If you click on that you will get in to the IKEA website on the page headed "Bed sheets we've got it covered". Scroll down to see beyond the first row of coloured fitted sheets, at the right hand side of the second row is a folded sheet. It is white and one would assume it is also fitted but it just says DVALA sheet instead of DVALA fitted sheet as is written under the coloured ones. it is not immediately obvious especially if you do not have 20/20 vision. Click on the name for more information. If you know which is your nearest ikea you can also email them.
PS next time you buy wood from B&Q as long as you know your sizes they will cut it for you free of charge.

18 Jan, 2015


Bed lengths should be standard longer, as people are getting taller.

I checked out bed widths on several sites, cross-checking: single 3’, queen 4’, double 5’, king size 6’. They didn’t go up to super-king-size – not really surprising, as UK houses are about the smallest in Europe, they’d probably fill a standard bedroom wall to wall!

Two single mattresses make sense: I’ve seen some double beds that are two single mattresses, so each person can have exactly the right one for them.

I struggle a bit even with single duvet covers, let alone double! I put them inside out, then put the bottom corners in, turn the cover down a bit, and pin the corners in place while I work the rest of the cover over the duvet. The pins come out after I’ve fastened the cover, but it doesn’t take them long to drift out of place.

Even a single doesn’t fit in my machine, and I’ve not yet found a launderette locally. It’s a sad comment on things today that it’s actually cheaper to throw away a duvet and buy a new one than it is to get the old one washed!

I have Ikea on my favourites uner “shops” and went to it and put in “DVALA”, up came up “fitted”, but I clicked on one and they had measurements in inches as well, so I assume that they’re the flat sheets, though I’m going to check before I buy any!

Coo, I didn’t know I could “search with Google” by doing that! lol that’s worth knowing. I’ll check again, looking out for just “sheet”, thanks.

I always got B+Q to cut the wood for me before, but this time I assumed that the handymen were gong to be doing the work …

ps, you're right, it IS subtle! but i found a way to filter out fitten sheets: I searched for "sheets 260" - not many results, but all flat sheets. tada!

20 Jan, 2015


Brilliant Fran. I'll try the "sheets 260" too. Where there is a Goyer there is usually a way. lol. I too got frustrated that buying a new duvet was cheaper than having one laundered. I cut up the old ones and sewed up the cut ends then made covers from unwanted curtains for the smaller sized "new" duvets and donated them to the local dog trust. They are pleased to get them as they can be used on the chairs and couches which are provided for the dogs. If I had known that they have a washing machine big enough to take a kingsize duvet I would not have bothered to cut them up etc.
Just tried the "sheet 260" option in the IKEA search box and there are other colour options available. That is their single sheet size and will fit their single bed mattress. The route to find them is devious.
The search google option is very handy.

20 Jan, 2015

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