If you’re a DIY-loving, eager beaver, soon-to-be parent that has the crazy idea that you want to build your child’s crib, you’ve come to the right place. We created a DIY mid-century crib with our own two hands. If you think you can do this, I know you can. We thought building our son’s crib would be very special, so we tried to do it ourselves. While it wasn’t quick, it wasn’t that hard either. Follow along…
Quick note that I don’t really have much more than a few final photos of each piece of the crib. I was building this in crunch time before the baby was born, I injured my hand and there were so many steps that I couldn’t handle taking detailed photos of every little piece. I hope that the instructions are clear enough that you can figure out each step using the final photo of that piece. If not, leave a comment and I’ll be happy to answer!
DIY Mid-Century Crib
This DIY mid-century crib meets the appropriate regulations that we found for what a crib has to be, however, make sure you check the regulations for your state. The big things were to make sure that the space between the slats is no more than 2 3/8″, that there’s no gap between the mattress and the sides, and that the railing height is at least 26 inches.
In creating our plans for our crib, we used inspiration from this West Elm mid-century crib and the blog post written by DIYstinctly Made. These were a good jumping off point for us. We also used the same legs that we built for our IKEA Hemnes dresser hack.
Modern Crib Plans
- 110′ of your choice of hardwood. I purchased approximately 24 feet of poplar 1x12s and used a table saw to trim down all the slats and lengths needed
- One 8’x8′ sheet of plywood
- 16′ of 2x4s
- Lots of pocket screws
Build the Open Sides
I started out by setting my table saw to 1 1/2″ and created 28 slats that were 29″ long. Then I cut four slats at 52 1/4″ long. I drilled one pocket hole on each end of each slat and sanded everything down. Each side needs 14 short slats and two long slats. I started with the first short slat 1″ in from the ends of the long slats and used wood glue and a pocket screw to attach them. Repeat 13 more times with 2 1/4″ of space in between each and finish with another 1″ gap on the other end. Repeat for the other side.
Build the Solid Sides
For each of the two sides, I cut a square of plywood 32 7/8″ tall by 30 1/4″ wide. I then used a router to make a fancy edge on strips of poplar that were 1″ wide with mitered edges and the same dimensions as the plywood sheets. I used wood glue and a nail gun to attach the strips around the outer face of the plywood.
Then attach a 28 1/2″ long by 2 1/2″ wide board to the inside base of each side where your moveable base will sit on.
Build the Moveable Base
I cut two long boards 52 1/4″ by 2 1/2″ and seven shorter boards at 24 5/8″ by 2 1/2″. These I just used pocket holes to join together evenly spaced apart. This base will be used as an adjustable base for the mattress that can be started higher in the crib and then lower to base level.
Construct the Crib Body
Use pocket screws to attach the open sides to the inside of the solid sides. Add another 28″x2 1/2″ board to solidify the to open sides to each other in the middle at the bottom of the crib.
Build the Legs
I did this same leg system for our IKEA Hemnes Dresser Makeover. Start out by cutting four legs out of 2x4s. These should be 8″ long with a 7 degree parallel miter on the two short ends. Next mark a spot 2 1/2″ down from the top on one side and a spot 1″ in from the bottom on the other side. Draw a straight line between those points and cut that triangle out.
Next cut your beams. You’re going to want to cut your 2×4 down to 2 1/2″ wide to match up with the part of the leg you just cut off. Then, cut two pieces the length of the diagonal from your corners. Use pocket holes and wood glue to connect a beam to two legs.
Now comes the tricky part. Lay one of the diagonal beams where you want it on the base. Then, lay another one in an X pattern and mark where you need to cut out a gap. Then attach your two shorter pieces to the longer piece.
Attach the whole leg system to the base of your crib in the corners and in the middle.
Fill in all your holes with wood filler and sand smooth. Choose a stain or paint color that matches your decor. We chose Rust-Oleum Varathane in Early American to match the other wood pieces in our home.
How incredibly awesome does this DIY mid-century crib look? And I built it with my own two hands! I can’t wait for our child to start sleeping in this homemade crib and then pass it down to our future children or someone who needs a crib.
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