What To Do With an Old Crib: 15 Great Ideas!

By Geoff McKinnen Certified Sleep Coach

Last Updated On June 18th, 2024
What To Do With an Old Crib: 15 Great Ideas!

Key Takeaways

  • Creativity and Sustainability: Repurposing your old crib allows you to exercise creativity by transforming a sentimental item into something new and useful. It’s a sustainable practice that reduces waste and gives new life to furniture that might otherwise end up in a landfill.
  • Functional and Personalized Solutions: The process offers numerous practical options tailored to your needs and preferences. Whether you need extra seating, storage, or outdoor decor, repurposing lets you customize furniture to fit your lifestyle and home aesthetic.
  • Involvement and Education: Involving yourself or your family in the repurposing process can be a fun and educational experience. It teaches skills like woodworking, painting, and design while instilling values of sustainability and creativity.

Is your child’s old crib collecting dust in your home? As much as you’d like to keep it as a sentimental reminder, the reality is that most of us don’t have the space to store a crib indefinitely. Before you resort to selling or donating it, consider giving your old crib a new lease on life by repurposing it into something unique and useful!

There are countless ways to transform a crib into a fantastic piece that you and your family will cherish. Don’t let that precious crib go to waste in your attic or garage. Instead, embrace these creative and exciting projects that will give your baby’s old bed a whole new purpose.

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15 Creative Ways to Repurpose an Old Crib

Explore these 15 creative ideas to repurpose the crib and give it a new purpose in your home.

1. Desk

Transform your old crib into a unique and functional desk by removing one of the long sides and attaching a sturdy piece of wood to create a work surface. Sand down the crib and paint it in a color that complements your room’s décor.

This creative repurposing project will provide you with a one-of-a-kind desk that’s perfect for studying, working, or pursuing your hobbies.

2. Cozy Reading Nook

Convert your old crib into a cozy reading nook by removing one of the long sides and adding comfortable cushions and pillows, or even a beanbag. Hang a soft curtain or string some fairy lights around the crib to create a magical and inviting atmosphere.

This special space will become your favorite spot to curl up with a good book and escape into the world of imagination.

3. Garden Trellis

Give your old crib a new purpose in your garden by using the frame as a trellis for climbing plants like peas, beans, or flowering vines. Paint the crib in a bright, cheerful color to add a pop of personality to your outdoor space.

Watch as your plants grow and wind their way around the crib, creating a beautiful and unique garden feature.

4. Pet Bed or Dog Crate

Repurpose your old crib into a comfortable and stylish bed for your furry friend by removing the mattress and adding a soft cushion or blanket. You can also transform the crib into a spacious dog crate by adding a door and some ventilation.

Your pet will love their new sleeping quarters, and you’ll appreciate the creative way you’ve upcycled your old crib. If you have old sheets or pillows lying around, you can go all the way with upcycled bedding.

5. Small Bench

Transform your old crib into a charming bench by removing one of the long sides and attaching a sturdy seat. Sand and paint the crib in a color that suits your style, and add some comfortable cushions for extra seating. You can even  reuse old pillows you’re not sleeping on anymore.

This unique bench will become a conversation piece in your home and provide a cozy spot to sit and relax.

6. Plate Rack

Repurpose the side of your old crib into a vertical plate rack by simply leaning it against the wall. This genius idea allows you to display and store your favorite plates while adding a rustic charm to your kitchen or dining room. Your guests will be impressed by your creative use of an old crib.

7. Magazine Rack

Create a simple and stylish magazine rack by leaning the side of your old crib vertically against the wall and slipping magazines over the rails. This project requires minimal effort but provides a practical and attractive way to organize your favorite reading materials. Your living room or home office will look more organized and inviting with this clever repurposing idea.

8. Craft Organizer

Transform a crib rail into a vertical craft organizer by attaching it to the wall and using the slats to hold your most frequently used craft supplies. This creative storage solution will keep your crafting essentials within easy reach and help you maintain a tidy workspace. Your craft room will be more efficient and visually appealing with this upcycled organizer.

9. Book Shelf

Convert your old crib into a unique and eye-catching bookshelf by removing one of the long sides and attaching shelves between the slats. Sand and paint the crib to match your room’s décor, and fill the shelves with your favorite books, bedroom plants, or decorative items.

This repurposed crib will become a focal point, a place to not only store books in your room but show off your literary collection in a classy way.

See also What Is a Bookcase Bed Frame?

10. Chalkboard

Transform your old crib’s headboard and footboard into a fun and interactive chalkboard by attaching them with hinges to create an easel. Then, cover the surface with chalkboard paint, and voila!

Alternatively, you can secure one side of the crib to a wall or fence for a permanent outdoor chalkboard. Your children will love having a dedicated space to express their creativity and practice their drawing skills.

11. Easel

Create a functional and attractive easel by connecting your old crib’s headboard and footboard with hinges. This repurposed easel is perfect for young artists or for displaying important notes and reminders in your home office. Your family will appreciate the practical and decorative value of this upcycled crib project.

12. Loft Toddler Bed

Modify your old crib into a loft toddler bed by removing one of the long sides and adding a ladder and safety rail. Use the space underneath the bed for storing larger toys or creating a cozy play area. This innovative solution is perfect for small bedrooms and will help your toddler transition from a crib to a big kid bed.

13. Porch Swing

Convert your old crib’s headboard and footboard into a delightful porch swing with the help of some power tools and sturdy chains. Add comfortable cushions and pillows to create a cozy seating area where you can relax and enjoy the outdoors.

This repurposed crib will become a beloved spot for family gatherings and quiet moments of reflection. Just make sure the wood is appropriately sturdy!

14. ​​Fabric Organizer

Repurpose a crib rail into a practical and space-saving fabric organizer by anchoring it securely to the wall. Hang your various fabrics over the rail slats, creating an easily accessible and visually appealing storage solution.

This upcycled organizer is perfect for sewing enthusiasts or anyone who works with fabrics regularly, as it keeps your materials neatly organized and within reach. Your craft room or sewing space will be more efficient and tidy with this clever repurposing idea.

15. Donate to a Local Charity

If you don’t have the time or resources to repurpose your old crib, consider donating it to a local charity or organization that supports families in need. Many charities accept gently used baby items, including cribs, and will ensure that they go to families who can use them.

What About the Crib Mattress?

If you don’t want to simply dispose of the mattress by junking it, recycling it, or donating it, there a few ways you can upcycle the mattress around the home.

Remember to check the condition and materials of your crib mattress before repurposing it, and always prioritize safety and hygiene when deciding on the best way to give it a new life.

Outdoor Seating Cushions

Cut the crib mattress into smaller pieces and wrap them with durable, weather-resistant fabric to create comfortable cushions for outdoor seating. These cushions can be used on patio chairs, benches, or even on the ground for picnics and outdoor gatherings.

Pet Bed

The crib mattress size is perfect for dogs and cats! Transform the crib mattress into a cozy pet bed by covering it with a machine-washable cover or a durable fabric that suits your pet’s needs. This is a great option for larger dogs who require more support and comfort while sleeping.

Floor Cushions or Poufs

Cut the crib mattress into smaller squares or rectangles and wrap them in stylish fabric to create floor cushions or poufs. These versatile seating options are perfect for kids’ rooms, playrooms, or even living rooms and can be easily stored when not in use.

Compost Filler

If the crib mattress is made of organic materials such as cotton, wool, or natural latex, you can cut it into small pieces and add it to your compost bin. These materials will break down over time and provide nutrients to your garden soil.

Padding for Packaging or Moving

Cut the crib mattress into smaller pieces and use them as padding when packaging fragile items or during a move. This eco-friendly alternative to bubble wrap or packing peanuts helps protect your belongings while reducing waste.


Can I repurpose my old crib even if I’m not very handy?

Yes, you can! Many of these repurposing ideas require minimal skills and tools.

Start with simpler projects like creating a reading nook or a magazine rack, and as you gain confidence, you can move on to more advanced projects.

Remember, the goal is to have fun and give your old crib a new purpose, so don’t be afraid to try something new.

How do I choose the right repurposing project?

Consider your needs, available space, and personal style when selecting a repurposing project. If you need extra storage, options like a bookshelf or craft organizer might be perfect for you.

If you want to add a unique piece of furniture to your home, consider turning your crib into a desk or a small bench. Choose a project that not only serves a purpose but also complements your home’s décor.

How much money can I expect to spend on repurposing my old crib?

The cost of repurposing your old crib will depend on the project you choose and the materials you already have on hand. Many of these projects can be completed with minimal expenses, using items you may already have around the house, such as paint, fabric, or cushions.

If you need to purchase additional materials, look for sales or consider using secondhand items to keep costs down. You might even be able to find what you need at neighborhood free markets!

What should I do if I don’t have the space to repurpose my old crib?

If you lack the needed space to repurpose your old crib, you might be able to work at a community center or makerspace. You can search online for local spaces that let you independently do your own projects, sometimes with a small fee to use the space and communal tools.

You can also consider donating it to a local charity or organization that supports families in need. Many charities accept gently used baby items, including cribs, and will ensure that they go to families who can use them. You’ll be helping others while also freeing up valuable space in your home.

Is it safe to use an old crib for these projects?

Before starting any repurposing project, ensure that your old crib is sturdy and free from damage. Check for loose or broken parts, and make sure the crib hasn’t been recalled due to safety concerns.

If you have any doubts about the safety of your crib, it’s best to err on the side of caution and consider alternative repurposing options with minimal risk. Or simply donate it to a charity or recycling center.

Can I involve my children in the repurposing process?

Absolutely! Involving your children in the repurposing process can be a fun and educational experience. Depending on their age, they can help with tasks like sanding, painting, or decorating the repurposed crib.

This not only teaches them valuable skills but also helps them understand the importance of reducing waste and finding creative ways to reuse items.

What should I keep in mind when repurposing my old crib?

When repurposing your old crib, prioritize safety and functionality. Make sure that any modifications you make are secure and stable, especially if the repurposed item will be used by children or pets. If you’re nervous about your skills there, try a project that will let it be reused for simple household items.

Consider the intended use and choose materials that are appropriate and durable. Lastly, have fun and let your creativity shine through – the possibilities are endless!


Repurposing your old crib is a fantastic way to give new life to a cherished piece of furniture while adding both style and functionality to your home. By exploring these 15 creative ideas, you can transform your crib into a unique and practical item that fits your family’s needs and personal style.

Whether you choose to create a cozy reading nook, a charming garden trellis, or a functional desk, repurposing your old crib is an eco-friendly and money-conscious way to make the most of what you already have. It’s perfect for any budget bedroom makeover!

So, embrace your creativity, roll up your sleeves, and give your baby’s old bed a new purpose that will be enjoyed for years to come.

About the author

Geoff McKinnen is a writer focusing mainly on the healthcare industry and has written articles on everything from foods to help you lose weight to the connection between Alzheimer’s and sleep. Geoff’s passionate about helping readers improve their well-being to lead happier lives. Outside of work, Geoff enjoys cycling and hiking and believes that by leading a healthy lifestyle, he can help others do the same.

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