A DIY Doll Bed for My Favorite Little Girl

For my final post of 2016, I am sharing my favorite DIY project of the year.  This fun little project is close to my heart.

It’s Not About Needing

I was at my local Goodwill store a while back and came across something I didn’t need but just couldn’t leave behind:  This old magazine rack.

Vintage magazine rack

Such a cute little thing.  I especially liked the Edwardian-inspired turned legs and brass casters.

Vintage magazine rack - brass casters

That day furniture was half price, and the magazine rack was considered furniture.  I bought it not knowing what I would use it for. I only knew that I would not be using it as a magazine rack.

Aha, a Doll Cradle!

The magazine rack went into the basement for a while.  Then one day I realized that it would make a cute doll cradle – a Christmas gift for my niece Daisie.

So I asked my husband Chris to remove the two interior wooden dividers.  Then I would paint the magazine rack and add some bedding.

The Paint

The dark wood would need several coats of primer before I could paint it – unless I used chalk paint.  I had some leftover Plaid chalk paint in a color called Bavarian that would look very sweet.  But was chalk paint appropriate and safe for a child’s room?  I found this link by Plaid, which reassured me.

But I must mention here that I am no expert on child safety or babyproofing, and this post is not a tutorial.  So if you take on a similar project, you should research all safety concerns first.

Anyway, I went with the Plaid Bavarian chalk paint.  And although the chalk paint can be applied directly to un-primed wood, I still needed three coats of it to cover that dark stain.

A Little Customizing by Uncle

So the magazine rack was painted but it still didn’t look like a cradle. There was too much space between the vertical slats.

To add more vertical slats, Chris cut to size some of the wooden dividers he had removed and secured them to the cradle with glue.

Of course there was not quite enough of this wood to finish the job. But we discovered that paint stir sticks from the hardware store were the right width and depth, so he used a few of them too.

Vintage magazine rack
You can see that the middle slat is a paint stir stick.

I painted the added slats to match the bed.

Adding the Wax Coat

The chalk paint needed to be finished with a top coat of wax.  I used Plaid Clear Wax.  Since it can be applied with a rag, this was a quick and easy step.

Vintage magazine rack

The Bedding

Finally the real fun could start:  Choosing the fabric and making the bedding.

It was tempting to choose very girly, soft pink or white fabrics.  But my niece seems to enjoy strong patterns and colors.  So I found some fun embossed juvenile fabrics that looked easy to spot clean.  The green ball fringe trim would add a little zing.

Juvenile fabric

I had a pink and white chevron print calico fabric on hand, and I used it to cover the little foam mattress that I cut – and also to cover a small pillow.

I made two pillows, a comforter, and a mattress cover – all very small.  After all, the magazine-rack-turned-doll-cradle only measures 12 inches wide by 18 inches long.

The bedding is reversible so Daisie will be able to switch up the look.

Doll cradle bedding

doll cradle bedding

The turned legs look really sweet now.

magazine rack repurpose

But unfortunately Daisie has a very impatient aunt.  I really should have waited a few years to do this project since she is currently way too young to appreciate the doll cradle.

So for now, as long as her Mom and Dad think it’s safe enough, it will simply decorate her room.  And it might be a nice catch-all for toys and books.

What doll could resist sleeping here?

magazine-rack-repurpose-doll-bed-finished2

 

The magazine rack went from this

as-found

To this.

magazine-rack-repurpose-doll-bed-finished

 

Happy Holidays!

Dear friends, thanks for your comments and support this past year. Wishing you a happy and peaceful holiday season.  Let’s meet back here in January!

happy-holidays


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18 thoughts on “A DIY Doll Bed for My Favorite Little Girl”

  1. What an elegant little doll bed. It reminds me that I’ve had a doll porch swing and chair waiting in the basement to be fixed up for a little girl. The girl is here, but maybe 2 is still too young.
    I recognize that circle fabric, bought some, too.
    Happy Holidays!

    1. How funny we both picked the same fabric. I think it’s a pretty fun look, hope my niece thinks so too. Happy holidays to you too, Peggy!

  2. Absolutely adorable. I’ve never seen a cuter repurpose. Now I have to be on the hunt for a magazine rack like yours to make a doll bed for my granddaughters. Thank you for sharing at Vintage Charm. I am going to feature you this week.

  3. What a perfect repurpose for a magazine rack!! You did a wonderful job making this into a special toy for your little niece. It’s so beautiful!

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