Hello friends! Thanks for all the kind words about the crib! As promised, here’s the details on how I turned this…
I wanted to build something that was big enough to fit my 5’7” little cuddly self. I have had 2 cribs in the past and they were merely baby cribs that I could curl up in, good for naps but not for an actual bed. I started with the original concept that I would build it independently, using the 4 posts as a structure, and then fencing in the middle with a central door, using 2 more posts to create a gate. I decided against this due to the lack of structural integrity, plus I didn’t really want the whole front to be big posts. After a trip to lowes I found good posts and fencing, below is a pic of my original design…
There were a few “must haves” for the crib. It had to have an entry in the front, able to broken down and transported, no sharp edges inside the crib, off the ground, and to be stable enough to withstand the struggles of a tied up little Riley. I was searching on craigslist for cribs, and saw that there were many twin beds for sale. I realized that it would be much easier to build around something, as opposed to build slats across the bottom and materialize the structure system myself. I found a very lovely and very used canopy bed on CL for 150$ that included the boxspring. I was skeptical at first, but I walked away with the set for 100$. I have the pieces for the canopy, but haven’t gone that far yet. Painting it was and is an option but I really like how the pink of the bedding reflects off the white. I had something to build around, now I just had to find the ends and sides and a way to attach it.
After another trip to Lowes I found a section of deck fencing, as opposed to the lawn and garden fencing I originally was looking at. The posts were sturdy and the tops, bottoms and posts of the front railing were independent so it would be easier to piece together. The back and ends were from the lawn and garden section, the ends were gates for a fence and luckily were about the width of a twin side bed. The back fencing (or railing) was a pretty big piece that I hacksawed off on both sides I do like the look of the curvature of the back part, but don’t really like the pointy-ness, but its just the back and I usually have blankets over them and its high enough were its not a danger by any means.
Back to the posts, after a few broken screws I went out and got a powerdrill so get through the toughness of the vintage wood. I simply used elbow brackets to fasten the 4 posts to the 4 corners of the bed, 2 on the bottom near the mattress, one on the top for stability… I didn’t do the top brackets near the headboard, due to the visibility of the brackets, it is a little bit flexible but still quite sturdy. This pic is of the footboard near the gate.
Now that I had my posts attached, I could start attaching the ends. I stuck the ends between the mattress and the original frame of the bed, and then fastened them to the posts with elbow brackets and screws. The back of the ends were pretty ugly, but one side is against the wall and the other is always covered with a blanket. I had my solid ends, so I measured and cut the back piece and attached it to brackets (in the same section of the fencing at Lowes) These brackets I covered with stuffed animals that always enjoy hanging out in the corners of the crib ❤
I had a back and sturdy sides, now the toughest part, the front. Ideally I would have built a slide-down side, but I deemed that too difficult early in the process. I also denied the concept of barnyard doors (swinging out from the corners of the bed) due to the sheer weight of the pieces I was working with. I wanted something bigger than me, something that would make me feel small in comparison, so I had to use big pieces. Expanding on my original concept, I decided to have the gate by the footboard, and thankfully found one that swings on its own, so I didn’t have to use a random hinge. I attached the hinge to the post by the footboard and measured things out so it had just a little bit of action, the two pieces of the gate can move independently, but only by a few inches, so it could attach to the post on the opposite side.
From the deck fencing section, I got the pieces for the stationary part of the front, cut twice and measured once, and attached them to a post that the gate would swing into so it closes. This was the most difficult part to conceptualize and measure, luckily the front piece had sockets instead of brackets that the bottom and top fit into so it looks clean, and everything fit together rather nicely. The bottom post even has a bit of flatness to it so I can put my glasses/bottle/whatever there easily without worry.
So there you have it. A little ingenuity, a bit of help from a friend (thank you, I love you) and a ton of luck I ended up with something that is not only visually impressive but also unique, every time I look at it I smile. It was quite an accomplishment and is further proof that you can do anything you put your mind to, it’s always been an aspiration to have my own crib, but I could have never guessed it would turn out this wonderful. All together, it cost about $550 –
Front stationary railing pieces – $75
Front Evenflo gate – $40
Head and Footboards – $50 (2x$25)
Posts – $125 (5x$25)
Back railing – $50
Brackets etc. $50
Mattress – $25 from thrift store (febreze + bedwetting sheets over it)
Bedding – $35 (BB&Beyond clearance)
Canopy bed and box-spring – $100 (Craigslist)
I’m happy to share these details and answer any questions you may have about it. For really the first time in my 20’s I actually have things going pretty well for me, an unclear but positive future. I’m feeling good and on the right path with my transition, not to say there won’t be travel, adventure and hardships ahead. I’ve finally had some efforts in the past finally pay-off for me, I’m no longer a homeless trans-girl in San Fransisco. The folks who have supported me during the tougher times, with donations and kind words, I will always have a place in my heart for them. I’ve been off and done with unemployment for over a month and have a healthy relationship with my bank once again, my confidence is growing everyday and aspiration are higher than ever. My focus now is positivity and enacting social progress, to share my story in hopes that it will help others.
Life is awesome, my crib is awesome, and YOU are awesome. I hope this sparks some new ideas for the amateur AB/DL furniture builders out there, and feel free to distribute/copy my idea to your hearts extent, it’s the least I can do for a community that has accepted me with such kindness.
With a smile and a big hug, thanks for reading and stay diapered!!!