Wednesday, March 19, 2008

DIY Crib Project

Melissa's DIY Crib Project from Design*Sponge's DIY Contest.
Apparently there was a lot of "discussion" about the safety of this crib. But I love, love, love anyway. I love the wide slats and I love that it sits right on the floor. As a height-challenged person, I hate cribs with tall legs. When I was baby-sitting, I always had to "toss" (maybe drop is a better word) the baby in because I was so short.

Also, my daddy made my crib for me (and later my sister)--and I would love for Rob to help in a similar endeavor.

Here's the directions with Grace's safety commentary:
"Material Costs (approximate):

Wood and hardware: $80
High density foam: $10
Bumper pad kit: $15
1 yard of oilcloth: $6
3 yards of decorative cotton fabric: $15

First, we went to the hardware store and bought all of our supplies; 3/4 inch plywood for the base, 1″x3″ boards for the frame for the base, casters, 1″x2″ boards for the external framework, 1/2″x6″ and 1/2″x8″ boards for the slats (slats should be placed no more than 2 3/8″ apart and none should be loose or missing) and two solid wood pieces to close the front and back of the crib (please see note below). If you plan on doing this project or something similar, you’ll want to draw out detailed plans ahead of time and bring a calculator with you to the hardware store to figure out quantity. Remember that lumber is labeled according to its PRE milled size, e.g. a 1×3 is really 3/4″x2 1/2″.

After cutting out the base to size, I reinforced the bottom with 1″x3″ boards cut at 45ยบ angles at the corners. Then I cut out notches to fit the 1″x2″ boards to make the vertical frame. After cutting all of the vertical boards to length, I cut notches out of the top of the 1″x2″ boards for the cross bars. Before assembling everything, I sanded all of the wood until smooth (all wood should be sanded completely smooth and constructed without lips or overhangs that may catch baby’s clothes), then applied a few coats of child-safe wood finish (ask your local hardware store for non-toxic options available). Once assembled, I added the finishing touches of white paint to the exterior.

[PLEASE NOTE: Crib slats or spindles should be spaced no more than 2 3/8″ apart, and none should be loose or missing. In addition, the back and front of a crib should always be solid with no decorative cutouts. If you follow these instructions you’ll need to use additional wood to completely close each end of the crib]

I used the bumper pad kit (found at JoAnn Fabrics), and cut the pads to fit the dimensions of my crib/co sleeper. Bumpers should never be thick or pillow-like, if you choose to use them make sure they are thin and are removed when the child is old or large enough to stand (they can be used to climb out of the crib and there is a recorded risk of suffocation). I followed the pattern provided in the kit, making the appropriate adjustments to fit our crib design. For the mattress, I used a high density foam cut to fit snugly in the crib frame and to be no less than 26″ below the crib sides (if you can fit two fingers between the crib and the mattress the mattress is too small). Once it was cut to size, I made a cover for it by measuring the dimensions plus half the thickness of the pad, plus seam allowances. I inserted a zipper to the cover to allow for easy removal.

[PLEASE NOTE: the photo above was arranged and styled for a photoshoot. Cribs should always be placed away from windows to prevent children from potential danger with cords, curtains or blinds]

[PLEASE NOTE: Bumper pads have been linked to infant suffocation in some cases. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that, if you decide to use thin, non-pillow-like, bumpers you remove them when the baby begins to stand]"

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