How to Make a DIY Doll Crib (from a magazine rack!)

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Once in awhile, I hear the siren song of the thrift store and know there is something very special waiting for me there.  Something just calling out to be transformed, something that needs just a little bit of love.

A few weeks ago, I heard that song.  I tried telling myself to keep driving, but alas, the call was too great and I went inside.  That’s when I spotted a vintage magazine rack.  Like plate racks (that can be turned into Pottery Barn style book racks) These things are a dime a dozen, there were actually 3 others in various styles at that same store.  But this particular one?

I couldn’t ignore the tiny brass wheels:

Aren’t they darling?  They just don’t make details like that any more!

Immediately I knew this vintage magazine rack was destined to become something greater– a DIY doll crib.  More specifically, a baby doll crib for a certain someone’s 4th birthday (there’s no project more fulfilling for me than putting time into DIY gifts for my kids.)

So I took it home and gave it some love by wiping it down with these $1 furniture polish wipes from Staples.

Then I removed the center piece.  It came out pretty easily, actually.  All I had to do was remove the wood pegs and unscrew the screws they were hiding.

After applying wood glue to the joints to stabilize it, I clamped it and let it sit overnight while the glue dried.

Optional: have Bee drag it up and down the driveway a few times.  Yikes.

Using a leftover piece of foam, I cut a piece to fit into the bottom.  A serrated knife works well to cut it, unless you have an electric knife handy which always works wonders on this type of foam.

Then, determined to make this a no-sew (or, hardly sew) project I wrapped the foam with white fabric and glued with fabric glue to become the crib’s ‘mattress’.  This is the bottom of the mattress, the top is fully covered.

To create the pillow, I folded over a piece of quilted fabric and sewed the edges.  That’s the only sewing I did for this project, pinky swear.

The blanket was made from fleece.  That stuff is great, you can cut the edge and it won’t fray.  No sewing required!

I’ll say it again– they just don’t make details like that anymore.

Things have a way of working out– I had a special handmade gift for a certain someone’s 4th birthday…

… baby doll has a place to sleep, and I have a reason for not feeling guilty that I followed the siren song and visited yet another thrift store.

Goodnight, baby doll.

Here’s another find, which I didn’t buy because my husband would divorce me if I brought home another thrift store end table (he’s already got papers to file if I come home with another chair).  That style of leg is very much in vogue right now, so I snapped a pic:

I looked it up and here’s a similar table with inward curved legs.  FOR $2,500.  Can I pick ‘em or what?

Oh, well.  I’ll always have the $8 doll crib.

If you are a fellow lover of thrift store transformations, follow my thrift store makeover board on Pinterest!  I’m always adding photos of ideas, inspiration and tutorials I find along the way.

Do you have a favorite thrift store makeover?  What do you think about that table?  And what other creative ideas could you make with magazine racks?  Discuss!

Meet Carrie Higgins

Dreamer, thinker, + lemon squeezer; you'll usually find me clutching a mug of coffee, glue gun, fandeck of paint colors, and a child at any given time. This mom of two (and wife to one) loves to share freshly squeezed ideas for home and family. Join the adventure as we learn most lemons can indeed become lemonade-- with generous amounts of sweetness, perspective, and love.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Genius idea, can I go thrifting with you next time?

  2. Anonymous says:

    I would have never thought to do that, but I do see those racks all the time. Now I know what to do with them. Great idea, thanks for sharing!

  3. Anonymous says:

    My grandbabies would love one for their dolls. I’m going to go scour my thrifts for a similar rack!

  4. that is such a smart idea, carrie! and cute, too!

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