Something From Nothing
Sarah Rae Smith
Oct 24, 2008

On our last day of "Free Craigslist Scavenging" we decided to go with the motto, "Go big or go home." So instead of transforming two items into something different we are combining two items into the coolest thing we could think of. Click through the jump to see our idea for a loft bed with closet storage and concrete nightstands. Oh, and in case you missed a day here's our previous twists on our free finds: Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs.

Our items today came straight from Chicago's Free Section (and are still available) and aren't uncommon ones to find on other Craigslists around the country. Here's what we started with:

There is a warehouse of wooden storage units that are 100% free. Obviously these aren't something you can haul home in a Civic or on the bus, but through the 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon, everyone knows SOMEONE with a truck. They might need some persuading (be it money, alcohol or baked goods) but most friends are always willing to help. For this project, we decided that we wanted 4 storage units along with a listing for free pieces of broken polished concrete from a garden. Take a look below to see how to made a lofted bed/closet/storage unit to fit any space that can hold it... all for free.

1- Take 4 wooden units and place them back to back. Two doors facing the front and two doors facing the back. Using large wood screws inside the unit, you should be able to screw all 4 pieces together at the seams from the inside. Place your mattress ontop of the platform (you might want to sand so your mattress doesn't snag).
2 - Take the polished concrete pieces and stack them on either side of the bed creating low nightstands. Make sure there are no jagged edges where you might walk into them half asleep in the night. If you need to knock down any edges to make them a little less sharp you can use another piece of concrete.
3 - Using standard closet rods inside of two of the wooden crates you should be able to fashion your own closet space. Double hang the rods if there is enough room or even add in shelves for sweaters or shoes. The back side of the containers can be used to hold other assorted items, be it art supplies or craft supplies. They would even work well for a home office if the set up was right.
4 - Using scrap wood found on Craigslist fashion a ladder that can be used to make the trip into your new bedroom in the sky. Check out past home tours in our Smallest Cool apartments as many of them have small ladders that are very minimal and aren't difficult to construct. Or a few milk crates propped up against the side would work as well.

You are now ready to set up lamps and make your bed and snuggle down for a good nights sleep. Don't think that just because items are large or intimidating that they are out of your ability to create something from them.

Thanks for following along this week, we hope you had as much fun as we did!

(Photos via Craiglist and

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