Crib for Deacon w/ built in night light

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Project by jeff_wenz posted 11-01-2010 04:49 AM 7374 views 27 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This crib is for my son, Deacon. It was finished 2 days before his birth. I told my wife I wouldn’t be late, but I never promised I would be early, either.

Anyway, the crib design is a mash up of 2 different designs we both liked at Babies R Us. It was made to compliment the dresser for the nursery. I bought the Wood Magazine’s crib plans to get critical dimensions, but never used them other than to find the resource for ordering the mattress spring support ( and some of the baby safe specs.

The crib is made of cherry. It is finished with 2 painted-on coats of General Finish’s gel stain in java. 6 or so coats of sprayed on Deft’s brushing lacquer (satin) is the finish.

One of the reasons I liked this design was it offered me the challenge of bending wood. I had always seen David Mark’s bent wood lamination technique and I wanted to try that sometime. I was able to practice that here. the sides and part of the headboard each have bent wood lamination in them. The sides have seventeen 1/8” ply’s to get the desired width. Used MDF forms lines with cork (and packaging tape) along with Dap’s weldwood plastic resin glue. My wife helped me clamp it up and I think I even heard the statement, “Now I see why you need all those clamps.” That was music to my ears!

The adjustable crib mattress supports were made from 1/8” steel. This was my first attempt at metal fabrication and the results were satisfactory.

The spindles are mortised into the bottom and the tops slide into a groove where they are glued and brad nailed in place. I used some kerfing to comply to the bent shape.

This is a transitional crib which means it can be a crib, daybed and headboard/footboard of a full size mattress. So it should grow with the kid.

Just to take this project to the next level, I added a 6 foot rope light to the back of the headboard with a dimmer switch. So the crib has a built in indirect lighting “night light”. The glow of the light off of the wall is perfect.

My 5 day old baby seems to like napping in the crib. It will be a few weeks before he starts sleeping there permanently.

-- Jeff, North Carolina

17 comments so far

View Skylark53's profile


2866 posts in 4304 days

#1 posted 11-01-2010 04:57 AM

Well, now you’ve got another family heirloom. Beautiful work. Congratulations too on a beautiful baby boy. Cool name.

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4916 days

#2 posted 11-01-2010 05:10 AM

Thats a beautiful crib.

View Rick Babwin's profile

Rick Babwin

39 posts in 5396 days

#3 posted 11-01-2010 05:31 AM

They are both beautiful. Congratulations.

-- Rick

View Maveric777's profile


2694 posts in 4320 days

#4 posted 11-01-2010 02:02 PM

Congratulations Dad! You most definitely done good.

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View coop108's profile


34 posts in 4355 days

#5 posted 11-02-2010 06:44 AM

Beautiful work. Congratulations.

-- [email protected]

View ZeroThreeQuarter's profile


120 posts in 4301 days

#6 posted 11-04-2010 12:47 AM

that’s gorgeous! i’m curious to see a pic of it with the “night light” feature on. that alone seems like a selling feature that they should start integrating into cribs!! (or i can build it into the crib we already have!)

-- Your mind, much like a parachute, works best when open.

View ND2ELK's profile


13494 posts in 5017 days

#7 posted 11-06-2010 02:07 AM

WOW! I am impressed with your crib. It looks very similar to the one I made. You did an outstanding on it. You should be proud of that beautiful crib and baby. Congratulation! Were you able to get your hardware from Babies R’us? Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View saucer's profile


61 posts in 4191 days

#8 posted 11-08-2010 03:01 AM

Nice job Jeff. Wish i could have watched you make it.

-- It has been deemed bad for you hence there for it is illegal.

View jeff_wenz's profile


152 posts in 4794 days

#9 posted 11-10-2010 01:12 AM


Here are some photos of the night light feature. It consists of a 6’ rope light ($6 from Lowes) and a lamp dimmer switch ($11 from Lowes). I found the dimmer switch is REALLY nice as the light can be turned down to practically no light (or just enough to see if the baby’s eyes are open or to find a pacifier).

Here is the lamp dimmer switch.

As you can see, even in daylight, the 6’ rope light is enough to glow off of the wall.

-- Jeff, North Carolina

View jeff_wenz's profile


152 posts in 4794 days

#10 posted 11-10-2010 01:18 AM


I looked closely at your crib while I was doing my planning. It is similar, but your columns take your project to the “next level”. I purchased the bed rail hardware form Rockler, the mattress springs from Products USA. I fabricated my own mattress spring support system out of 1/8” metal and 10-32 bolt harware from Lowes. the feet are attached by hanger bolts.

-- Jeff, North Carolina

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4047 days

#11 posted 01-06-2013 11:40 PM

A really beautiful build Jeff.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Todd_S's profile


6 posts in 3209 days

#12 posted 01-07-2013 06:23 PM


This is a pretty amazing crib. We are expecting our second child (I buiilt a sleigh crib for our first) and of course my wife wants a different style this time around. I showed her your pictures and think we now have a winner.

-- Todd, Ohio

View dungbeetledad's profile


6 posts in 3161 days

#13 posted 02-24-2013 04:31 PM

Wow! Very nice – love the lights too!!

-- "It'll feel a lot better when it stops hurting."

View KBownds's profile


8 posts in 2750 days

#14 posted 07-27-2014 01:12 AM

This crib is beautiful! Our daughter saw the pictures of it and the matching chest of drawers and fell in live with them!

-- D & K Bownds, Texas

View bassinmatt's profile


5 posts in 2149 days

#15 posted 12-11-2015 01:04 AM

Would you be willing to share the plans, sketches and etc? I would love to make this for my daughter and would be forever greatful for any info you could share. Thanks!

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