In this tutorial, I show you how to make a bench out of a baby crib. This is a great upcycle or repurposed furniture project.
Tools I used
- Pocket Hole Jig
- Graco Truecoat Plus II
- Brad Nailer
- Homemade Chalk Paint
- DIY Plans – Complete form at bottom of post!
During our recent move, our unused baby crib found a temporary home in my new workshop (not a good thing). Our new home needed an entryway bench, so my wife and I decided a repurposed baby crib to bench was a great project to preserve our children’s baby crib.
The bed was one of those overpriced 3-in-1 type beds (crib, toddler, twin) from one of the big box baby stores. It is noteworthy to mention the bed was purchased before I started building things, which is ashame b/c I could have built this bed for 1/10th of the price we paid for it.
Anyhoo, this repurposed baby bed to bench would be a perfect project for our new house.
Baby Crib Parts
The baby crib broke down into 6 main parts: Headboard, right side rail, left side rail, front rail (only used for crib), and 2 runner boards (only used for twin bed).
Coincidentally, the baby crib headboard (in the front of this pic) was the perfect size for the back of the bench.
I did not have any structured plan going into this project.
In turn, I just stared at the bed for an unordinary amount of time and the bed sort of transformed into a bench in my mind.
First, I formed the seat with 2x4s & attaching the legs from the front rail.
Next, I cut off the legs from the front rail using my table saw & attached them to the 2x4s using pocket holes with my Kreg K5 and glue.
Then, I removed the hardware on the baby crib and filled the threaded holes with wood putty.
Attaching the Seat
I missed a few pictures leading to the picture below (thank you icloud photo migration). I’ll explain the steps I took in the following paragraphs.
First, I attached the bench frame to the bed headboard using pocket holes. The top of the bench is 19 1/4″ from the ground in order to make sure the top of the bench seat is 20″.
Next, I secured 4-1×6 pine boards to the top of the seat, but ripped each board down with my table saw from 5 1/2″ to 4 3/4″. This made the bench 19″ from back to front.
Then, I used brad nails and wood glue to attach the boards to the brace. The dimensions of the bench seat ended up being 56″x19″x20″ (LxWxH).
Skirt and Arm Rest
I took the front rail/panel piece of the repurposed baby crib (this is the piece that would be used for the front of the crib) and ran it through my table saw about 8 inches from the top. This left me with an 10″ piece and a 15″ piece with both being 50″ wide.
Next, I used the 15″ piece for the bottom skirt of the bench. The 10″ pieces were cut down to 20″ for each arm rest.
Then, I attached the arm rests using brad nails and wood glue.
I attached the baby crib bench’s bottom skirt with pocket holes to the front legs and brad nails at the top on the spindles.
Finally, I used the original bed rail boards as a bottom brace from the head board to the back of the front legs at the bottom.
Baby Bed Local Charm
The bed already had nice trim work, but I added a few trim pieces around the front/side bench seat.
My wife and I were both born in New Orleans and live close to the city presently.
So, I added the 2 fleur de lis blocks I bought from a big box store on each side of the bench skirt to add a bit of local charm.
I was satisfied with the results once the repurposed baby bed to bench was assembled.
Next, I primed the bench with this Zinsser primer. The baby bed had a very glossy finish and it was important that I applied a solid coat of primer to ensure the paint had something to stick to.
I applied 2 coats of primer with my Graco Truecoat Plus II.
After applying the primer, I started painting the following day.
I used Sherwin Williams Essential Gray (SW6002) in a satin finish.
Setup Paint Station
First, I setup a paint station in my workshop to prevent overspray. I hung a white painter’s cloth on the garage door runners to protect each side of the baby crib bench.
Next, I used another painter’s cloth behind the baby crib bench on the garage door itself.
Then, I used my paint sprayer to apply 2 coats of paint spaced about 6 hours apart.
American Girl Doll Bed
My daughter is a frequent visitor (& helper) in my shop when I’m working on projects. As she was helping me pick up the scraps from this project, I thought of a way to put these scraps to good use.
Santa brought my daughter an American Girl Doll about a month earlier for Christmas. Since Tiffany (the name my daughter gave to her American Girl Doll) needs more accessories than most humans, an American Girl Doll bed is an absolute necessity!
So, I cut a few pieces of scraps I needed to make the headboard/footboard of the bed.
I had a few pieces of 2x4s laying around, so I used those to make the side rails.
The bottom of the bed was made with scrap 1x4s.
Finally, I attached everything with pocket holes and glue.
Next, I cut some of the thin middle pieces from a leftover side rail of the baby bed and used them to cover the 1x4s at the bottom.
Homemade Chalk Paint
I took this opportunity to use my homemade chalk paint, which was 1/3 white latex paint, 1/3 calcium carbonate, and 1/3 plasters of paris.
The mixture turned out well and went on very easily – I only needed 1 coat.
Next, I sanded it down a tiny bit with 220 grit sandpaper for a distressed look.
Then, I applied clear finish wax after the paint dried.
Final Baby Crib to Bench Pictures
Ultimately, both pieces looked really awesome.
Stacey bought bench and back pillows for our repurposed baby crib bench which added that extra touch it needed.
In conclusion, I hope you learned something from this how to make a bench out of a baby crib project.
Do you like repurposed projects? If so, be sure to checkout how I repurposed a dresser to a mudroom hutch.
Also, visit my easy to follow, step-by-step DIY plans available for download.