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How to upcycle an old crib into something new, Zazzy Home

How to upcycle an old crib into something new

It’s amazing how many things you can make out of used baby cribs! We all know that having a baby is probably one of the most rewarding experiences in life, but it does come with its set of challenges.

This article will walk you through some creative ideas for reusing old baby cribs in your home once your children have moved on to bigger and better things. This list may inspire to save money, recycle products, help our environment and keep useful objects out of landfills. It doesn’t matter if you are using an old ironing board as a pet kennel or turning the base into a sandbox, just about any box can be transformed into something else!

How to upcycle an old crib into something new, Zazzy Home

A crib is only useful until the babies are big enough. If there are no more children in your family who need one, don’t throw it away – there are so many more things you can do with these old pieces of furniture than just throwing them away. You’ll be surprised what you can turn one into and how it will make life easier.

Turn an Old Crib into a Pet Kennel

If you have a small dog or cat, an old crib can make a great home for your pet. Cut the bottom off to create a large opening and line it with sheets of newspaper or shredded paper bedding. You can even use some straw inside the box as an extra level of comfort. Just remember that animals will need proper supervision when they are in their new homes until you’re sure they won’t chew on anything dangerous.

Turn a Crib into a Sandbox

Turning an old baby crib into a sandbox is another easy way to reuse those old pieces of furniture which would otherwise be headed to the landfill. The same method applies as turning it into a kennel, except you might want to cover the base with a sheet of plywood or heavy plastic (to keep the sand in) and then use some old towels for the liner. You can even make your sandbox toys out of things like extra Tupperware lids, craft sticks, spoons, and popsicle sticks.

Turn an Old Crib into a Table

There are many ways to reuse old baby cribs creatively. A simple table would be great for storing magazines, books, or even office supplies. You could also place it at the end of your bed or against the wall in your hallway if you don’t want it to be readily seen. If you’re artistic, you can cut up all sides except one piece, which will lay flat on top to create an interesting pattern when painted. You can even add casters to the bottom if you want it to roll around.

Use Crib Rails as a Hanger for Clothes

Many old cribs have railing which still functions properly, so the next time you go visit your mom or visit a garage sale, be sure to check out these parts. You can use them as hangers for light clothing like t-shirts, dress shirts, and tank tops. This would be great in an entryway where guests will walk by. Remember that they are not meant to hold clothing with any type of elastic band that could snap under pressure or knitted sweaters with buttons that might pull open. Instead, just use nylon straps that hook on the top without slipping around. Some people prefer to pop the paint off of wood parts and refinish them, but you can just leave them as they are if they’ve been used for a while.

Turn an Old Crib into a Display Rack

If you’re crafty and love do-it-yourself projects, then there is no stopping you! For example, you could turn an old crib into a cool display rack to hang your crafts on or simply hold some of your favorite outdoor gear like extra gardening tools or sports equipment. The ideas are endless since these things have so many different purposes.

You can even cut all of the bars on one side of a crib and just use it as a wall-mounted rack.

If you have more than one old baby crib, then here’s a way to recycle them into something new. Find another old crib that is still in good condition and glue them together! You can even put wheels on both ends, so it’s easy to move around depending on where you need it most. This would be great for a little girl or boy who has outgrown their toys but doesn’t want a bunk bed yet because they are afraid of falling off. For an added touch, paint the rails different colors like pink with white flower designs or red with yellow stars patterns.

Turn an Old Crib into a Desk or Vanity

If you have extra room in your dorm or bedroom, consider turning an old crib into a desk or vanity to store your makeup and perfume bottles. Just get very sturdy legs that screw directly into the wood frame, add some casters for easy mobility, order an inexpensive mirror from any home decor website, and place it on top after clearing out any old dust! You can paint your new piece whatever color you want using spray paint to get the job done quickly.

Turn an Old Crib into a Play Pen

An old crib is a perfect height and size for a small playpen. It’s also very sturdy, unlike those flimsy ones on the market these days that fold up. Just cut off all of the bars on one side and then attach some mesh (like that used for screen doors and windows) to cover it with something breathable like netting, tulle, or even some pantyhose. You can use velcro dots for this job as well to allow easy removal if needed. Just make sure there are no exposed staples once you’re done since they can be dangerous if someone gets poked by them. This would be great in bedrooms where kids sometimes nap to give parents much-needed rest. Finally, just get a portable air mattress and some sheets, and you’re all set. If you have any old cribs in your home, then you’ll need to decide within the next few weeks if they can be turned into something new or recycled for scrap metal recycling.

Here are some how-to ideas to get you started.

How do you make a bench out of a crib or cot?

If you have a cot but no bench to go with it, I’ll show you how to take that cot and turn it into your very own bench.

Yes, this will make sense soon enough. You can thank me later.

You will need:

1) A cot 2) Coffee 3) Patience 4) About 20-30 minutes of free time

Start by taking off the legs of the cot…d’oh! Use the coffee for drinking while doing this part, or you’ll end up falling asleep at your workstation as I did. Once all four legs are removed, lay the cot down flat on its backside (the side without any padding.) Remove all screws from underneath where each leg was anchored.

Now that the cot is laying flat, turn all of its legs inward so that they are no longer pointing outwards but are instead now pointing towards the inside center of the cot. This will create a rectangular box shape when viewed from above.

Next, take all of your screws and screw them through the top rail where each leg was removed to make sure it won’t move or tip over while you work with it.

Once every screw has been replaced, continue working on this step until your cot looks more like a bench than something that belongs in an insane asylum for orphaned children under 12 years old.

Next, take all of the legs and screw them to the top rail in front of each leg (you should see two screws on either side). Next, you can decide what height you want your bench to be. I wanted mine just tall enough so that when my bum was sitting on it, my knees were at a 90-degree angle. This is by far the most complicated step in this process. Do not drink coffee while trying to screw in all four legs, or you will pass out and possibly injure yourself or others around you with your manual power tools.

Once every single leg has been replaced, go ahead and sit down on your newly made bench…like you would a chair…face away from said bench, lean over it with your arms hanging off it. If you have a cot you no longer need but no bench, why not give this a try yourself? I hope it works out for you as well as it did for me!

How do I turn an old crib into a porch swing?

An old crib can be converted into a porch swing. First, assemble the crib as you would normally, but leave out one of the short sides so that it’s open on three sides. Then cut four 2-inch thick planks to 4 feet for each side of the swing. Screw these boards within 1 inch of the railing, with hinges on either side so that they can fold up when not in use. Add pillows and cushions to make it comfy! If you are using an old playpen instead of a crib, skip steps 1 through 3.


1) Take apart your old baby crib or playpen — if necessary — to strip out any fabric which may prove difficult to clean once converted into the swing.

2) Assemble the remaining pieces of the crib, but leave out one short side so that it’s open on three sides. Then cut four 2-inch thick planks to 4 feet for each side of the swing. Screw these boards within 1 inch of the railing, with hinges on either side so that they can fold up when not in use.

3) Add pillows and cushions to make it comfy!

I hope this article has given you some inspiration with what to do with an old crib, other than throwing it away. Just because an item is no longer needed in its current state, it doesn’t mean that we cannot find a use for it. Upcycling is good for both the environment and your wallet.

Author: Claire Claire is a blogger, writer, and designer with a passion for making the most out of any space. She's worked in interior design and maintenance for over a decade, and has learned how to make the most of even the smallest room. Claire shares her expertise, where she offers tips and tricks for creating beautiful, functional spaces on any budget. When she's not blogging or designing, Claire enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

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