How to Make an Awesome Kids Bedroom Climbing Wall

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For bang-on-trend family decor, you need to get adventurous with a kids bedroom climbing wall. I keep seeing them crop up in designer home makeovers, from a few token handholds to full-scale walls. If you really want to impress your kids with their bedroom makeover, you’re going to have to get involved.

Logistically, bedroom climbing walls have some issues, so I’m taking a look at my favorite ways to incorporate climbing into the family home. As well as design inspiration I’ll be considering safety, fun factor and the practicality of installation.

How to Make an Awesome Kids Bedroom Climbing Wall Pin

The growing trend for home climbing rooms is taking the world of kids interiors by storm. And why not? They look so cool! However, I have seen too many designs that just aren’t going to be used. They’re sometimes awkwardly positioned above furniture or not big enough to actually climb. I’m skipping past those today and offering some inspiration for the perfect design for your own awesome kids bedroom climbing wall.

Climb to Bed


I’m not particularly fond of paths to nowhere, and the same applies to climbing walls. You know these handholds will be used every day, what a simple and fun way to reach that top bunk! This is a really easy way to install a climbing wall without having to get involved in internal construction work.

Bedtime Crash Mat


Many of the highly styled climbing wall interiors I’ve seen seem to completely ignore safety. I appreciate they may have pushed the crash mat out of the way for a pretty photo but still, if your kids are climbing upwards you want a soft landing. What about using what you already have? A bed makes a great crash mat when you’re hanging off the ceiling!

Climbing bookcase


We could do with a soft landing here but I love the idea of climbing to the top of the bookcase to reach a bedtime story. Unless your kids climbing wall is a large scale installation, there needs to be something to achieve while using it, or you may find the novelty will quickly wear off. The bookcase also creates something solid to fix into.

Up and Over the Top


I love a cute kids mural and what a fun way to incorporate a kids bedroom climbing wall. I really hope there are some sturdy plywood pattresses behind that plasterboard, it will be required to fix the handholds securely.

What is a Pattress?

Most internal walls in US homes are built using timber studs covered with drywall plasterboard. When the home is designed, areas like the kitchen should include pattresses for fixing shelving or cabinets. This means a plywood sheet is installed against the studs before the plasterboard is fixed over the top. This plywood will give the wall extra strength and will be required for climbing handholds.

REI have an awesome article about how to build a full-scale home climbing wall –> here. They show secondary internal framing to create tilted bouldering surfaces, finished with plywood for securely fixing handholds. If you are sticking to flat, verticals walls, you can install the plywood to your existing timber studs… just be sure where they are by using a stud finder. Also be aware of how your chosen handholds are fixed.

Race to the Top


I like that this wall is wide enough to allow multiple routes and even a race to the top. I can see tags attached tot he top and a game to see who can grab the tag first. I wouldn’t want my little one falling from the top into wooden floors but that is easily fixed with a gym mat at the bottom.

Why use a secondary frame?

Similar to the bookcase design above, this wall is built out on a secondary frame, pushing it out into the room. There are two reasons people might do this:

  • There is less interference with the original wall. You may want the wall to be mobile or live in a rental.
  • Most handholds require bolt/nut fixing, so you’ll have to be able to access the back of the panel to secure. This also means you have to allow for a little extra depth for the nut, stopping you fixing the plywood directly to the wall.

Colorful Plywood finish


This beautiful lake home in Minnesota has a minimalist, Scandinavian feel. I love the color combo of this beautiful ply wall at the multi-colored handholds. Instead of adding a plywood panel, they’ve built the entire wall with a wooden finish. It’s a little bit of a road to nowhere but you could race up either side of the window.

For the Serious Climber


If you really want to challenge your little climber, include some tilted panels to hang from. These guys have crash mats and rope pullies, so they can get involved in abseiling too!

Just go for it and dedicate an entire room


Why build an awesome kids bedroom climbing wall when you can build a family climbing room? Your climbing room could double up as a general playroom if you had the right storage solutions, after all, a kids gym is an essential part of my Ultimate Playroom Checklist.

Feature photo by Rachel on Unsplash

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About the author

Katherine is an electrochemist, hiking enthusiast, and family lifestyle blogger. As a mom of three, including twins, she enjoys DIY, travel, and eating good food. British born, Katherine moved to the US in 2014, and now called Las Vegas home.

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