DIY Adult Size Crib

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  1. Diaper Lover
  2. Incontinent
Hi All,
I'm getting ready to build my "dream crib" and before I commit I'd love to hear from others that entertain the idea. While I've chosen to make it with wood, I'd like to start a discussion with others so that we could all build one.
I've considered metal and pvc tubing as materials to use and they both have merits/disadvantages.

I want it sized for an adult with 4 foot crib rails. I'll be using a twin mattress.
The problem I'm having is how to get in/out and still be secure/solid enough to feel crib confined. I've considered swing out crib rails, both split in the middle and the whole rail hinged at one end. I've also considered an end entrance , currently the better in my thinking. Although unorthodox.
I'd love the sliding rails of my baby past but I'd need a ladder to get in...bummer.

I plan on making the mattress bottom set 16 inches off the floor so a drawer underneath can be installed.

Yeah, it's gonna fill a room, but heck I want to try it before I die.
Any engineers out there with some ideas? Go ahead and get technical. I'll love it.:smile:
well, I am an engineer and this sort of sounds like a challenge; I shall give it some thought. Heck, if we come up with a good design, I may too build one
I do a bit of wood work. I've never done a crib (though it's in my plans), but I have done a plain bed. I've found with any large piece, the key is precision. Make sure the blade is straight, make sure the fence is straight, make sure you've correctly accounted for blade width, make sure you've measured correctly (accounting for looseness in the measuring tape), make sure you are consistent with how you hold your pencil when you make your marks! On something small you can get away with being a little off, but on something big, a 2 or 3 mm difference multiplies out over the length and suddenly your rectangular bed frame will look like a parallelogram.

Also don't get lazy with the clamps. Use all the clamps you can fit on the piece before drilling. This lets you make sure everything is lined up and prevents it from becoming misaligned as you are drilling/driving in a screw.

As far as entry, I'd probably go for a half swing-out kind of door. If well done, it could probably be made to look relatively normal when closed. The hardest part would be hiding the gap in the top rail and connecting them when the door is closed. Some kind of hidden bolt pin could work. If you want to get really clever, a retracting pin controlled by twisting the bar would be pretty awesome. I'd also probably use hinge pins rather than door hinges.
When I was living by myself I was flipping my bed on its side and having the mattress on the floor. The slats gave the feeling of a cot. (aussie for crib) It got me thinking and I have plans for the future for having detachable sets of bars for my bed. That way I can remove them easily for when I have visitors.
Wow, I didn't really expect much interest. Evidently I'm not the only one interested in having a crib that doesn't cost thousands. I'm fortunate to have a kick butt shop. My wife calls it the Hell Hut. I have just about everything a tinkerer could want. Pretty much a full wood shop. Planers, drum sander, table saw, band saw, etc,etc...
Ditto for my metal shop. I could build pretty much anything.
Like I said in my last post. I looked at about a million infant sized cribs online. I saw a few that had an end opening. I can see some advantages to going that way. That would allow for a really solid side rail system. Down side is it makes placement of the crib a consideration.
I actually drew up a split front rail opening. It looked pretty nice, but I was concerned about flex in the center. I really want the whole thing to be solid.
I thought I'd use 2x4s for the side rails and ripped down 2x4's for the spindles in the side rails. I'd run everything thru the drum sander to get all thicknesses the same and all the wood straight. I figured on making the spindles 1 1/4 square with rounded corners. I thought about running a dado lengthwise up the middle of the top and bottom rails to set the spindles in then make filler pieces to space the accurately. That would hide everything and would be nice and strong.
The ends would be plywood framed in pine to dress them up. Like BoundCoder said, I thought hinge pins would be cool. 1/2" steel rod would look nice. Some steel work if done nicely would add a nice baby crib touch. The one I was raised in had exposed steel slide bars for raising the sides.
I thought about building the frame out of 2x6s. The end posts also. I'd join them with pieces of 4" angle and 1//2": carriage bolts for an easy strong assembly. Was gonna use 1/2 plywood for the mattress support instead of slats and loose the mattress box spring. Insights?
years ago I did a google search on plans for a crib and found a few places that would sell blue prints but like I said was several years ago tho,and im not real handy lol . I posted in a different post that I came out to too a very close gal pal a while back who is a carpenter a our university theater dept. she asked one day if I had a adult size crib I said no and she said she'd build me one !! she's pretty cool . I still really want one so if I can find the guts to bring it up again and we design it I'll pass along plans , mine would have to have a baby style up n down side rail for sure
I actually did mine without any plans, just a tape measure, a saw, an impact wrench, and some hardware you can get online. Cost about $500, most of it being the matress I bought at walmart for over half. Not as hard as it sounds, but I have a heavy carpentry background, doing a lot of odds things with wood and bondo.
I actually did mine without any plans, just a tape measure, a saw, an impact wrench, and some hardware you can get online. Cost about $500, most of it being the matress I bought at walmart for over half. Not as hard as it sounds, but I have a heavy carpentry background, doing a lot of odds things with wood and bondo.

did you make a blue print or anything I'm sure lots more then I would would love to see and maybe make it to our want but a great start would be the best thing ever! would you consider posting a pic so we could see ??
I would think that the vertical bars could well be made of dowels or curtain rod. Dowels can be had in 48 inch by 1 inch, and curtain rod is long with a diameter of about 1.25 or 1.5. Would make great crib bars spaced about 9 to 12 inches apart.
Crib concept for you .
Crib concept for you .
View attachment 23158

Hey Poohbearboy, That's pretty close to what I had in mind. :D

Just wanted to throw out there, I think you could make a really cool crib with PVC pipe. Make the frame with 4" and the bars and rails out of some thing like 1 1/4" pipe. There's elbows and tees and about anything you could think of at the big box stores like Lowes and Home Depot to put it together.
All you would need for tools would be a tape measure and a hack saw. By not gluing some joints you could make parts hinge and move. PVC paints pretty nice too.
Poohbearboy, maybe you could do a sketch of it? I'm gonna do mine in wood, but someone with no tools could do one this way pretty easily..
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The problem with PVC is it can be very dangerous and collapse because it not sturdy as wood would be over time. Then it very scrape so it would have to be wrapped in a fabric to protect you from being cut.
I was thinking more of using a standard bed frame and building the crib around it. That way the loads wouldn't be transfered to the PVC.I suppose I should have added that in my post. Sorry....
If you need help see your concept as actual pieces let know and i'll 3d model it for you Metoo. All I would need is some info on the design idea and wood color of stain or paint you want. I can even add mattress and bumpers with fabric type you want.
I'm going to build y own too well we are building it around my actual bed, we are hoping to make a variant on this

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Thanks for the offer poohbear boy, If I get into a jamb I'll certainly let you know. I really wish I knew more about modeling. It seems like I get way over my head when I look at the software. It took me 2 years to figure out a simple 2D cad program. I have admit though that it's WAY better than the old drafting way of designing things. It takes away almost all of the math errors and erasing is tons easier.

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Thanks for everyone's input. I've been kicking this around for a few years now and I'm trying to take it slow. I don't want to trash a hundred bucks in materials when if I'd asked I could have gotten some really good ideas. Since reviewing the posts here I've decided to make the rail sides and ends removable. That way if I need to be more discrete for some reason, I won't be trying to hide a giant baby crib. ....I can see it now... "well, you see... it's ah...well,..ah...." :blushie:

I figure if I make the base just high enough, I'd be able to store the ends and sides under the bed frame. A false front would keep it all out of sight.
Something to maybe consider (if you haven't already) is using bed rail hangers so the base can be disassembled easily. Would also make it easier to get the thing from your workshop to wherever this thing is going. As you want to have drawers in the bottom, would mean they would need to be isolated from the end and back pieces though.
I went and redesign your bed after I saw you did not want it all time like a crib with people knowing it is. Now what I came up with it to have the head board split at middle and come off with having to metal rods to slide in a hole to hold it together when you do want your crib. Each rail would be screwed or bolted to head boards on each side to hold it in place and same with hings you would have for the gate rails to get in and out just reattach theme.

Here the new concept I came up with for you and this would give normal bed look when you wanted.
concept 2.jpg
Something I was thinking about... The front rail could be made horizontally in two pieces and joined top to bottom with a continuous hinge. That way the rail would fold over on itself and then be lowered. that would work really nice seeing I was planning on 4 foot rail sides. Once the rail was put in the up position the upper half would swing up and latch to the crib ends. This would make getting out much easier and would still be strong and secure when latched.
I bought the materials.. 225 dollars. Including mattress. I have a wood shop that's pretty complete. So my project is probably more involved than a lot of the forum members would be able to do with common carpentry tools. We'll here I go...
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