How to Build a Crib [Steb-by-Step Guide]

Infant wrapped in a blue towel lying at the center of a white crib

Building a crib for your little one on the way, not only can save you money but it can also create a family heirloom to pass down for generations. By learning how to build a crib, you can have one ready before your little one arrives, giving you another thing to be proud of as a new parent.

So, don’t delay... if there’s a baby on the way, then you need to know how to build a baby cradle stat. Follow these instructions on building a crib for your baby now.

How to Build a Crib

Constructing a crib on your own isn't rocket science, but its important you spend the time planning before you dive in.

A properly built crib won't just stand the test of time - it will also be a safe place for you baby. Built wrong, through, and it could be a dangerous place for your little one.

​For example, older cribs had slats that were spaced apart in a way that kids could get their hands stuck.

Spend the time to ensure you build a well constructed, safe crib for your new arrival.

​Gather the Right Supplies

​Before you begin building your baby crib, you need to gather all the supplies that you need. Many of the tools you will already have on hand while others you may have to procure.

Keep in mind that this is still more affordable than having to buy a crib from a retailer. Plus, you’ll have the tools for future projects down the road.

Infant wrapped in a blue towel lying at the center of a white crib

Be sure you have the following ready before you start to build your crib. It will make the process easier and ensure you have everything you need so you can complete this step-by-step guide to building a crib without delay.

Tools and Materials

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    ​Miter saw
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    ​Table Saw or Circular Saw
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    Drill
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    ​Hammer
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    Kreg Jig
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    ​Square
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    ​Packet screws
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    ​​Wood screws
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    ​Finish nails
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    ​Wood glue
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    Paint or stain (either will do)

​Wood Pieces

  • ​Five 2x10s at least 8 ft long
  • ​Four 2x2s at least 8 ​ft long
  • ​Seven 1x3s at least 8 ft long
  • ​One 2x4 at least 6 ft long
  • ​Two 1x2 at least 8 ft long
  • ​Two 8ft long quarter round pieces
  • ​One 4x8 sheet of OSB wood

​Pick Your Wood

​Now that you know what supplies you need to gather, you need to put some thought into the type of wood you want for your crib. You have a variety of options from pine to oak. Keep in mind that the dimensions of your crib are the same no matter what type of wood you use.

If you are looking for durability, you may want to go with a harder wood (our recommendation). If you are looking to save money, you may want a softer wood that will be more affordable.

The sky’s the limit when it comes to choosing what type of wood to use in your crib project. The choice is yours, and there is no right or wrong answer. Use the wood that you like and will look best in your home.

Cut Your Crib Pieces

​To begin understanding how to make a crib, you must first cut the pieces that you will use in the sides, front, and back of your crib. You will need the following pieces cut. Use your miter saw to make the cuts so they are precise and accurate​ .

To prevent inhaling any saw dust or toxic substances, you ​may opt ​to use a dust mask on this part of the DIY.

  • ​Three 2x10s cut to 28.5 inches
  • ​Two 2x2s cut to 27.75 inches
  • ​One 2x2 cut to 34 inches
  • ​Six 2x10s cut to 48 inches
  • ​Two 1x2s cut to 48 inches
  • ​Two 2x2s cut to 52.5 inches
  • ​12 1x3s cut to 28.5 inches

It is best to cut all your wood pieces with your miter saw before you start to assemble your crib. Start with the three 2x10s cut to 28.5 inches and 2x2s cut to 27.75 inches. These pieces will serve as your cribs side panels.

Be sure to pre-drill two holes with your Kreg Jig at both the top and bottom of the 2x2s so you can easily attach it to the other 2x2s that you have. Use your wood screws to attach the bottom and top 2x2s to the 2x10s.

​Assemble the Crib Back Panel and Sides

​You will need to work with your 2x10s that have been cut to 48 inches. Here you will countersink the screws to both edges to attach to the side panels. Use your 1x2s to provide additional support to the back rail.

Stand up both your newly created back and side panels together. Align the pieces so that they are level and use screws to hold them firmly together. This will create the frame for your crib. You can ask your children if you have any to help hold the pieces for you. That way, they can be a part of this DIY project.

White crib in infant's room with striped beddings, picture frames hanging on the wall

​Build the Rail

​Here, you will need your 52.5-inch 2x2s and 28.5-inch 1x3s. Start by drilling pocket holes in the top as well as the bottom of the 2x2s so they can be attached to form the rail. You will also need to consider how far apart you want your slate spacing as this will be the design used throughout your entire crib project.

Your slate spacing is a key element of your crib project. You need to select even dimensions as this will need to work out evenly across and around your crib. Before you secure your crib slates, be sure to lay them out and make sure they fit properly and look as you intended.

Screw each slate to the 2x2s you worked with previously. You may want to use pre-drilled holes in both the top and bottom of the 2x2s for easier attachment to the bed frame. You will also want to use your wood glue here to make sure that you have the proper attachment.

Now, you can also attach your front railing to the side panels you have created. Use the 2x2s that you worked with earlier and create pocket holes to secure the front railing to the side panel.

​Finding the right tools and equipment is vital to having an efficient workshop. ​Good thing we've compiled this comprehensive review on the best ​jigsaw​ in the market.​​​

​Add the Mattress Platform

​Now you will create the platform for the mattress. You will need to first build the frame with our 24.5-inch 2x2s. Attach the OSB wood you have cut using your table saw or circular saw, using wood screws.

Drill them from the top into the bottom of the platform. Lower the platform into the crib and make sure it is level before you secure it into place.

Stain, Paint, or Finish

You can now add trim work, and a nice stain or paint finish to your crib as you see necessary. You could also opt to just put a clear or opaque finish over the wood. ​No matter what you pick, make certain that whatever finish you use, it is safe for babies!

Use your imagination to make this crib personalized and a one-of-a-kind piece in your home. There is not limit to the possibilities you can consider to adorn your crib and make it special for your child.

Related: 10 Woodworking Projects You Can Do With Your Children

Cute blue-eyed baby lies in a cri with white blankets covering him

​Conclusion

​Now that you know how to build a crib, you can easily make one on your own. These are wonderful statement pieces in a child’s bedroom and will provide you with a furniture item that has many great memories for you and your family. We hope you enjoy building this crib from scratch all on your own using these step-by-step instructions.

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