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Monday, June 21, 2010

Crib-turned-Reading Bench Makeover

Now that my third baby, Lil' C, has turned two, I'm discovering the bittersweetness that comes along with de-baby-fying the house, slowly but surely. Since we're relatively sure that he'll be our last baby (at least for the forseeable future), we have no need to hold on to any of these items, but the sentimental downright mushy side of me hates to part with the last little nostalgias of baby-hood.

I had a yard sale last week where I parted with the highchair, jogging stroller, baby toys, and lots of other things, but a few pieces remain. One of those things was a mini-crib we bought for our bedroom, where Lil' C spent his first year sleeping, since sharing a room with either of his siblings when he was that young just wasn't working out. I bought the thing mainly because it's an identical match to the standard-size crib he has, and both pieces convert to bed frames -- the regular one a full size, and the mini one a twin size. I was jazzed to finally use it for this purpose until I priced out the rail conversion kit to make the change and discovered that the rails alone were a hundred bucks plus shipping. Since I picked up two awesome sets of industrial-looking bunk beds last week for $30 a piece (score!), I don't really need the twin bed option anymore anyway.

With some time and ingenuity, I know I could figure out a way to DIY the bed rails, (and I still might, if I have the need), but as per usual, I opted for a quicker lazier way to re-use the piece for the time being. Since I'm all a-flutter about the hot weather and an opportunity to create an outdoor living space, I thought I'd turn the mini-crib into an outdoor reading bench/comfy lounge spot on the patio for the kids.

Apologies, as usual, for the poor photo quality... impatience and operator cluelessness is to blame.

Before:


I took the front panel and round rail off the front, which was perfectly constructed for this since the hardware for the bed base/seat actually attached to the front legs of the crib. Since I plan to use this outside, I coated it with a coat of Thompson's deck sealer, which may or may not have actually done anything since the surface was not very porous. I don't much mind if the thing gets a little weathered, though, so take that for what its worth. Again, impatience and laziness win out over preparation and forward thinking. :)

There's a funky shadow in the picture (and Suzy, the headless bulldog -- AAHH!), but its really just the crib without a front...

I raised the bed base up from its previous position at the lowest setting up to chair-height and fixed some of the nicks and scratches in the wood by filling them in with a Sharpie.

The mattress pad that came with the thing was pretty chintzy and worn out, so I topped it with some foam pieces laying around from who-knows-what and used a serrated knife to cut the foam to size.

Here's Lil' C demonstrating the bed's former use)

To help keep the foam pieces from getting ruined, I made a quick cushion cover out of a cute vinyl tablecloth I found at Goodwill awhile back. Since I recently decorated my dining room in a French country/rooster theme and the dining room looks out onto the patio where this will sit, I thought this would work perfectly, and not bad for something like fifty cents. The vinyl enclosure will keep any wet weather from ruining the padding (in theory). Of course, if you were doing this project to make an indoor bench, you could opt for any fabric that suits you.

Tablecloth and Foam piece
I then used an extremely high-tech and delicate method for covering the foam with the tablecloth: Packing tape!



I know... lazy. But in my defense, vinyl tablecloths are a dime a dozen and I may opt to switch it out for another one at some point (and I'd still like to be able to use the rooster tablecloth if I do), so this is a non-permanent slipcover. I just folded the foam up like I was wrapping a gift...



...taped the excess down to the bottom, flipped it over, found a cute little model to try the bench out, and... voila!



Now that I look at it, I bet it would look cuter if I added the little mini-crib dust ruffle that I used with the crib set (which happens to be blue and white gingham), beneath the foam bench. I'll have to see if I can find that anywhere. When I put the bench out on the patio, I stuck an under-the-bed plastic bin with a snap-on-lid beneath it, where I can stash the throw pillows and store kid books for the perfect little porch reading nook.

The kids seem to be enjoying it -- at least one of them has been on the bench perpetually since I finished it this morning, and it's now 6 p.m. here. You can't beat anything that inspires the kids to kick back with a good book, right?

Hope everyone had a great weekend and enjoyed my Monday Makeover!

Linking to: The Girl Creative The DIY Show Off
Making BWS tips button Sumo Sweet Stuff

33 comments:

  1. I think this is wonderful. I'm totally going to do this with my daughter's crib so I can keep it around forever. Love it! Found you over at The Girl Creative. Happy Monday. =)

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  2. So cute! My baby is no longer a baby either and I'm having issues releasing the crib, but this just solved my problem. :)

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  3. If I had a crib that cute, I would have held on to it, too! Ours wasn't so it was easier to release! I made a porch swing for by our entrance and that has encouraged some reading outside, too. Come check it out if you want!

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  4. Cute! What a great idea to reuse your crib! I love the new purpose for it!

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  5. What a great way to repurpose a treasure! I found you over at Mad in Crafts. I'd love for you to share this at my garden party @ http://keeninspirations.blogspot.com. It starts tomorrow and goes until Friday. There will be some fun giveaways each day! If you have a minute, I hope you can stop by!
    Sharon

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  6. Love this idea! I have to laugh at the packing tape - totally something I would do.

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  7. Thanks for linking up to the Mad Skills party!

    madincrafts.blogspot.com

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  8. That's pretty darn amazing! I'm featuring you during tomorrow's Just Something I Whipped Up party. :)

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  9. Visiting your blog via The Girl Creative. This is Fantastic! I've still got our crib (and my youngest is 7), and would love to repurpose it like this. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  10. Awww. Your bench is darling. I love it!

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  11. Awww. Your bench is darling. I love it!

    Thanks for stopping by and visiting my blog. I am glad you liked the lotion bar how-to. It was so easy to make...hope you'll come back and visit soon.

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  12. Thanks for linking up to the Mad Skills party!

    madincrafts.blogspot.com

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  13. I think this is wonderful. I'm totally going to do this with my daughter's crib so I can keep it around forever. Love it! Found you over at The Girl Creative. Happy Monday. =)

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  14. Cute! What a great idea to reuse your crib! I love the new purpose for it!

     

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