In this tutorial, I show you how to repurpose a crib into a bench and many tips and techniques to make this repurposed furniture project easy.
Our new home needed an entryway bench.
As usual, my wife had a great idea.
She wanted to repurpose the old baby crib our kids used into an entryway bench.
The sentimental value makes this piece of furniture extra special to us.
Also, I included a free chalk paint recipe at the end of this article.
Be sure to download a copy before you go.
So, let’s get started with a list of tools I used for this project.
Tools & Material
- Complete Guide for Distressing Furniture
- Power Tools
- 2.5″ Screws
- Wood Putty
- 1/4″ Wood Trim Moulding
- Hand Sander
- Fleur Des Lis Rosettes
- Homemade Chalk Paint
- 2 – 8′ 2x4s – Home Depot
- 2 – 6′ 1x6s – Home Depot
Upcycled Crib Design
Obviously, baby cribs make great benches due to the similar parts.
A baby crib consists of a back, front, bottom, and 2 side pieces.
Typically, a bench consists of a seat, back, 2 arm rests, and a small front skirt (optional).
So, I matched the parts as follows:
- Back of baby crib = Back of the bench
- Sides of baby crib = Arm rests of bench
- Front of baby crib = front legs/skirt of bench
However, the only thing missing is the bench seat.
I chose to build the bench seat with wood laying around my shop.
However, the bench seat can be built with pieces of the baby bed depending on your design.
I did not have any structured plan going into this project.
Like most of my diy projects, I start with a little elbow grease and imagination.
Baby Crib Parts
We purchased this overpriced 3-in-1 type beds from one of the big box baby stores.
These beds serve as an infant bed, toddler bed, and a day bed.
However, the bed was sturdy and built with solid pine wood.
Like most baby cribs, ours contain 6 parts:
- Back of the crib
- Right side of the crib
- Left side of the crib
- Front (only used for crib)
- 2 runner boards (only used for twin bed).
Prepare Crib Wood
Alright, now it’s time to give this crib new life.
First, I removed the hardware on the baby crib and filled the threaded holes with wood filler.
Bench Seat Frame
To build the bench seat, I used scrap pieces of wood (2 – 2x4s) from my workshop.
Also, the frame provides extra support.
It also gives the sides and front a flat surface to attach to. More on this later.
First, I formed the seat with 2x4s as shown in the picture below.
Next, I cut off the legs from the front rail using my jig saw.
A hand saw works as well.
Keep in mind, I left the legs on the back rail in tact.
Then, I drilled 2 pocket holes and attached them using 2.5″ pocket hole wood screws.
At this point, I sanded the crib and excess wood putty.
I planned on painting the bench so I sanded the smooth finish with 220 grit sandpaper.
Paint adheres to a rough surface better than a smooth surface.
An orbital sander works well for flat parts of the crib.
However, the majority of the bed needs to be hand sanded.
I missed a few pictures leading to the picture below (thank you icloud photo migration).
As a result, these pictures may seem out of order or I missed a step.
Don’t worry, I cover all the steps so keep reading.
Attach Bench Frame to Back
First, I attached the bench seat frame to the repurposed crib rail back using my drill and screws.
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″ high.
Boards for Bench Seat Top
Next, I ripped each 1×6 from 5.5″ to 4.75″.
I secured 4-1×6 pine boards to the top of the seat using brad nails and glue.
This made the bench 19″ from back to front.
The dimensions of the bench seat ended up being 56″x19″x20″ (LxWxH).
Bench Seat Moulding
Then, I cut 1/4″ wood moulding for the top and sides of the bench.
I attached the moulding with wood glue and brad nails.
Also, I used caulk to fill in the gaps and make everything flush.
I thought the moulding matched the style of the bench.
Plus, my router was broken so I couldn’t do a roundover or profile.
Decorative Wood Rosettes
My family and I live near New Orleans, Louisiana, so I incorporated this into the bench.
I added 3 decorative wood Fleur Des Lis rosettes to the front of the bench.
Bench Skirt & Arm Rests
First, I used the front piece of the baby crib to make the bench sides and front skirt.
I cut the front piece about 8 inches from the top.
Also, this is the same piece I cut the legs from in an earlier step.
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.
I attached the baby crib bench’s bottom skirt with pocket holes to the front legs.
To secure the spindles, I used brad nails.
The 10″ pieces were cut down to 20″ for each arm rest.
Finally, I used the original bed rail boards as a bottom brace from the head board to the back of the front legs.
Paint Repurposed Crib
Now the repurposed crib into bench is ready to be painted.
Next, I primed the bench with this Zinsser primer.
Even though I sanded the baby crib, I decided to apply two coats of primer.
As I mentioned earlier, my wife and I want this bench to remind us of our children when they were babies.
So, we wanted it to look the part.
I used my paint sprayer to apply both coats roughly 3 hours apart.
Paint Repurposed Bench
After applying the primer, I started painting the following day.
I used Sherwin Williams Essential Gray (SW6002) in a satin finish.
However, I really wanted to use white pain but I’m glad I did not.
First, I setup a paint station in my workshop to prevent overspray.
I hung a white painter’s cloth along each side and back of the repurposed 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.
Consider downloading my comprehensive guide for distressing furniture.
This guide includes:
- 23 Page PDF Guide
- 3 Video Tutorials
- Photo Illustrations for All Steps
- Material/Tool List
- Table of Contents for Easy Navigation
- FREE Chalk Paint Recipe
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!
My wife bought bench and back pillows for our entryway bench.
This addition gave the bench the extra touch it needed.
In conclusion, I hope you learned how to repurpose a crib into a bench after reading this tutorial.
My family and I cherish our repurposed bench and use it for family pictures.
The bench is the perfect size for our living room entryway.
Also, I listed a few other antique crib projects and repurpose ideas below:
- Coat Rack
- Storage Rack
- Porch Swing
- Magazine Rack
- Chalkboard Easel
- Garden Bench
Frequently Asked Questions
The easiest way to make a bench out of an old crib is to find a bench design you like. Next, match the similar parts of the crib and bench. Then, connect the parts together. Often times, you will need to build the bench seat from scratch.
You can make an easel, chalkboard, entryway bench, toy box, porch swing, or wagon.
Yes, most modern baby cribs easily convert to a toddler bed and then to a day bed.
The best way to refinish a crib is with paint. First, sand the crib with an orbital sander or by hand. Next, apply 2 coats of primer and lightly sand between coats. Then, apply 2 coats of interior latex paint.
Sunday 14th of June 2020
Working on the exact baby bed today!! So excited to have found your tutorial!! Thank you again!
Monday 1st of June 2020
Beautiful job! We are wanting to do the same thing!
Wednesday 15th of May 2019
Really awesome project.
Tuesday 8th of January 2019
Your bench project turned out absolutely stunning. Be proud, it's really exceptional.