For the information on my Kura bunk bed makeover see below. For amazing deals on new high-end kids brands including Mini Boden, Hanna Andersson, Oilily, Tea Collection, Primigi and balance bikes from $45, check out fabulous children's discount site Zulily here.
A unique bunk bed that cost only about $150. First bought an Ikea Kura bed off craigslist for $125. Bought painting supplies for about $25. Disassembled, then painted the frame with white paint. Painted side panels with chalkboard paint (leaving the other side the original white) so that the boys could color on them. Used stencils to chalk their names on the side of the bed.
You may want to replace the side panels with actual wood (as opposed to particle board). You can get pieces cut to the right size at Home Depot - they are extremely inexpensive. Solid wood stands up to wear and feels nicer than the particle board. We only replaced one of the side panels, which is the big one with the boys' names on it. The others are still the original particle board which came with the bed.
You can purchase stencils to chalk your kids' names on the bed at an arts/craft supply store. However, if you want them to be unique you can also custom-make them with a silhouette die cut machine. I LOVE my silhouette machine! I can use it to make stencils in any font that I choose, in any size up to 12 inches high. You can read more about silhouette machines here - they are sold on Amazon and other sites, but if you want the best deal they often go on sale on the website I mentioned above, Zulily for much less. The silhouette machine is particularly useful when used with design software such as Adobe Illustrator.