On June 28, 2011, the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission put the latest crib safety standards into effect. These mandates make it illegal to sell – or even give away – any non-compliant crib to be put back into service as a baby bed. Although this is wonderful news for the health and safety of babies, in a single day, this legislation put tens of thousands of cribs out of work.
Fortunately, we Americans are a tremendously clever bunch – and environmentally conscious too – so crafty people were able to dream up wonderful uses for these decommissioned cribs. In fact, you may just love these adorable ideas so much, if you don’t currently have an outdated baby bed on your hands, you might start asking around to see if you can find one!
Cribs Refashioned into Benches and Chairs
As you can see in the pictures below, you can make a darling bench by using a headboard or side rail as the back of the bench, sawing the other side rail in half and using those pieces as the arms, then using a piece of wood to make a seat. You can saw the legs off one of the side rails to make it shorter so the arms are lower than the back for added comfort. (Below from left to right: Crib bench by Sommer at Designer Garden, Crib mudroom bench by Rose at Confessions of a Curbshopaholic, Crib Bench by Courtney at A Diamond in the Stuff, and Crib Chair by Ron at Junkblossoms.com)Create an Arts and Crafts Station
These adorable art tables, chalk boards, and white boards made from outdated cribs are as cute as they are convenient. Use the space to keep your child’s craft supplies organized and as a great spot for them to sit and create. Use Chalk Paint on any surface you’d like, or opt for IdeaPaint’s award-winning dry erase whiteboard paint “to transform any smooth surface into an erasable canvas.” (Below from left to right: Crib desk by Caz at A Little Learning for Two, Crib to Easel from TheRedKitchen.com, and white board paint by http://www.whiteyboard.com/products.html)Build a Cozy Daybed or Loveseat
Similar to the benches above, a comfy daybed or loveseat can be created by simply removing one side of the crib, adding steel corner braces to secure the remaining three sides, paint if desired, and make an easy mattress cover. Accessorize with numerous pillows of different sizes in coordinating colors and fabrics and you’ve got a cozy new loveseat. (Crib daybed right by Cara at Whimsy Smitten)
Use a Side Rail or Bed Springs to Make a Display Rack or Organizational Center
I love this simple idea using just one long side rail, leaned vertically against the wall, as a magazine rack or a quilt display. And bonus points to those who thought of using bed springs so creatively! Like a French memo board, the springs are perfect for holding notes, photos… you name it. Or, weave strips of fabric or ribbon between the springs to create a softer looking or more dramatic display. (Below from left to right: Crib quilt display by Amber at One Shabby Chick, Crib magazine rack by Becca at Blue Cricket Design, Bed spring bulletin board by Donna at Funky Junk Interiors), and Crib springs woven wall art by Candy at Junk Sophisticate)
In the Laundry Room
Old bassinets and Moses baskets are great for sorting and storing laundry. Or, build a drying rack, as pictured here, for your non-dryer items and delicates. A crib side rail could also be hung from the ceiling using a chain at each corner to create a suspended drying rack for clothes on hangers or just added clothes storage space. (Crib clothes drying rack by Gail at My Repurposed Life)
In the Garden
There are so many ways to use old crib components as arbors, trellises, garden gates, fencing, planters … the possibilities are endless. Run Morning Glory up the rails or let Clematis climb to its heart’s content, then plant a low flowering border around the bottom to soften the effect. Create a flower bed by “planting” your old crib frame in the ground for a darling flower display. Arrange your flowers in a color pattern resembling a quilt that flows over the edge like a big comforter. (Below on left: Crib garden border fence courtesy of gravelgardener on Flickr)Basic Storage Ideas
Many of the same ideas for storage or display using old cribs can apply to bassinets and Moses baskets as well. These include:
• sewing supplies, fabric stashes, knitting paraphernalia, balls of yarn, etc.
• quilts and throws in the family room
• towels in the bathroom
• stuffed animals and dolls in kids’ bedrooms
• antique dolls, linens, or vintage quilts in a bedroom or guest room
• hang a side rail in the garage for extra hanging storage space and/or a suspended shelf
• paint a side rail or use a bed spring and suspend it from the kitchen ceiling to make a hanging rack for pots and pans:• covert a crib into a desk or shelving unit/storage space: What You DO NOT Want to Do with an Old Crib
You don’t want to put a baby to sleep in it. In light of the new 2011 Consumer Products Safety crib safety standards, it is absolutely essential to have a brand new crib for your baby. In fact, Consumers’ Reports ranks cribs as the #1 baby item you absolutely must buy new. Your locally owned and operated USA Baby can help you select and budget for that new crib. With their beautiful selection of styles, in a range of prices you can afford, stop in and talk with a friendly, helpful nursery expert — then get creative and have a blast turning your old crib into something fun and useful you can enjoy for many more years to come.