Our unused crib found a temporary home in my new workshop (that’s not a good thing). Our new home needed a front door bench, so my wife and I decided it was a great project to put a reused bassinet to protect the kid’s bassinet. The beds were one of the expensive 3-in-1 beds (cribs, toddlers, twins) at one of the big box baby stores. It is worth noting that the bed is purchased before I start doing anything. It is a shame that we can make this bed for 1/10 of the price we paid. Anyway, this reused crib will be the perfect project for our new home.
This crib was bought used and I later discovered that it had been recalled for its lovely, cheap metal “box spring” which could fold in two and suffocate your child. Sigh. Well, I had set it on the lowest setting all this time anyway, which meant the mattress was about six inches off the ground so there was no physical way for it to give out and fold a 4 ft mattress in half on a 4-year-old with just 6 inches to go from the floor.
Anyway, I moved the crib down to the garage and started searching for the process I’d use to convert it. Pinterest was helpful. I found a few posts, one with a similar crib and one that had a variety of cribs and headboards that had been converted. What I finally decided to do was to essentially build a rectangle (You can build this out of 1x4s or 2x4s or a leftover bed rail and some 2x4s, as I did here). and attach it to the crib to form the seat. My seat is probably a little too deep, but it still works and we rarely sit on our porch anyway, so this was more for looks.
Baby Crib Parts
The cribs were divided into six main sections: headboard, right rail, left rail, front rail (used for cradles only), and two-track boards (used for twin beds). Coincidentally, the cradle cap (in front of this photo) was the perfect size on the back of the bench. There was no structured plan for getting into this project. In contrast, I was staring at the bed for an extraordinary time, and the bed turned into something like a bench in my mind.
First, I created a seat with 2×4 and installed the feet from the front track. I then used a table saw to cut the legs from the front rails and fastened them to the 2×4 using pocket holes with Kreg K5 and glue. Then I removed the cradle hardware and filled the screw holes with wood putty.
Attaching the Seat
Once I had the side pieces cut down I measured a chair again to see how high to place the bench seat. I would go with an average chair height here, or whatever is most comfortable for you if you plan to sit on your bench often. I don’t usually sit on my front porch much, since I live on the surface of the sun in the desert, so again this bench is mostly for decoration.
ere is where I attached the first piece of wood (a 2×4) to make the seat. Now is the time to learn from me. If you are building this in your garage, make sure you are working on a level surface. Most newer garages are sloped in case of a water leak or spill, and I thought I was rocking this project at this point. It was so freaking spot-on level I patted myself on the back….then I took a step back…and my eye twitched. It was visibly crooked. How in the world did that happen as I am currently looking at the little bubble resting ever so perfectly in between the lines?!? The sad answer, my friends, is that I had placed my bench on the slope to assemble. Therefore that piece of wood I just installed actually was level, but the bench itself was not. This is usually when I have to step away from a project for a bit. So…I did. and I had run out of wood screws that were long enough for this project
I took a leftover bedrail for the front piece of the bench. It had a crack in the end, which was why we were no longer using it as a bed rail, but that was fine since I was able to cut off the cracked end. I drilled pilot holes for each piece of wood including a countersink hole so that my wood screws could be flush with the surface or even covered with wood filler, sanded, and painted over. I had seen a bench where they had done this. It looked very nice, but I figured since this was not an indoor project and wasn’t really fancy anyway, I’d just settle for countersinking the wood screws. I used two 2 1/2″ wood screws on the end of each piece of wood to attach it to the crib. The tricky part was avoiding the existing metal-encased holes that were for the crib hardware in its former life.
Skirt and Arm Rest
I took the reused cradle front rail/panel piece (this is the piece used for the cradle front) and ran it through a circular saw about 8 inches from the top. This left a 10-inch piece and a 50-inch wide 15-inch selection. Next, I used a 15-inch piece for the lower skirt of the bench. 10-inch pieces cut 20 inches for each armrest. Next, I attached the armrests using blood nails and wood glue. I attached the bottom skirt of a cradle bench with pocket holes in the front legs and glued the blood spike onto the spindle. Finally, we used the original bedstead board as the lower support from the headboard to the back of the lower front leg.
Crib local charm
The bed already had an excellent upholstery job, but I added some trim pieces around the front/side seats. Both my wife and I were born in New Orleans and now live near the city. So I added two fleur de lis blocks from big-box stores on either side of the countertop skirt to add some local flair.
Apply a primer
After mounted on the reused cradle bench, I was satisfied with the result. Next, I primed the countertop with this gin primer. The cradle had a gleaming appearance, and it was essential to apply the primer firmly for something to stick to the paint. I applied the primer twice with Graco Truecoat Plus II.
After applying the primer, I started painting the next day. I used Sherwin-Williams Essential Gray (SW6002) with a satin finish.
Paint station setup
First, we set up a paint station in the workshop to prevent overspray. I hung a white painter’s cloth on the garage door rail to protect both sides of the crib row. Then I used another painter’s cloth behind the cradle bench in the garage door. Then use a paint spray to apply it twice, about every 6 hours.
American baby girl bed
I figured out how to make the best use of these scraps. About a month ago, Santa brought an American Baby Girl to my daughter for Christmas. An American Baby Girl Bed is a must that needs more accessories than most people! So I cut some of the scraps needed to make a headboard/footboard. It had 2x4s on it, so I used them to make a side railing. The base of the bed is made of 1×4 scrap. Finally, I placed everything with pocket holes and glue.
Homemade chalk paint
- I used homemade chalk paint on this occasion. This was 1/3 white latex paint, 1/3 calcium carbonate, 1/3 Paris plaster.
- The mixture worked very quickly and went – I just needed one floor.
- Then I scraped it off a little with 220 grit sandpaper, and I had a distressed look.
- The rest of the crib was powder coated, after all.
- I would recommend actually painting the pieces first, and then doing just touch-ups after assembling
- Then, after the paint dried, I applied clear polish