Make this adorable (and easy) DIY doll crib from an old cardboard box, your little one will love to rock their dolls to sleep in this fun upcycled project!
A DIY doll crib from an old box? If you’ve been here for any length of time, you know I loooove to make things out of cardboard. I made a sewing machine. And a car. And a mailbox. I even made Thomas the Train. Is it a love of the environment? Or a languishing love of building random things from architecture school? I don’t know! But it works!
This adorable little DIY doll cradle took me about an hour to make, and Baby V is obsessed with it. She stood next to the table asking every five seconds if it was finished yet the entire time I was making it.
And she’s been playing with it nonstop ever since. It’s really the cutest thing ever. I mean who wouldn’t love a cute little toddler putting a doll to sleep in a cardboard doll cradle?
Anyway, I tried to make this DIY doll crib project simple and quick so make sure you start out with a cardboard box that’s the right size (length and width) for your doll. That will make the rest of it really easy! Here’s how I did it…
DIY Doll Crib Supply List
Cardboard box (mine was 8″ x 14″ x 6″)
Sewing machine (optional)
DIY Doll Crib Instructions
- The first part of the project is the DIY doll crib itself. Find a cardboard box that’s the right length and width for your doll. Mine was 8″ x 14″ x 6″. The carefully disassemble it until it’s flat. We’re going to make it shorter and then reassemble it INSIDE out to hide all the marking and words.
- I decided the sides of my DIY doll cradle were going to be 3″ high. So I marked that height along three sides of the box, two long sides and one short side. Then I decided the other short side of the box would be the “headboard”. So I left that full height (6″) and just traced a curved shape along the top edge for the headboard. Feel free to make your headboard any shape you want!
- I also had to cut a little scrap of cardboard the same shape as the headboard to go inside to cover up some graphics my box had. Do that, if necessary. Or hey, if you want to, you can totally paint your DIY doll crib when you’re finished, that works too! But anyway, that extra piece is shown in the photo below. I just glued it on the headboard to cover the logos and arrows.
- Next reassemble your cardboard box INSIDE out. Use hot glue.
- I used the long flaps from the original box to make the curved runners for the cradle. First I stood the box on its short end and traced the shape of it. Despite my excellent gluing skills, even my box wasn’t 100% flat along the bottom. Then I drew the runner shape around that and cut out 4 versions of that same shape. I glued 2 together and the other 2 together. That made them a little sturdier.
- Then I used hot glue to glue the runners to the bottom of the DIY doll crib and that’s it! Your little doll cradle structure is complete!
But of course your DIY doll crib wouldn’t be complete without some bedding. I made a quick mattress, pillow and blanket for Baby V’s doll and those are totally her favorite part. Of course, you can absolutely improvise with any blankets or tea towels you have hanging around, that’s fine! But if you’d like to know, here’s how I did it.
To make the mattress:
- Measure the inside of your box and cut two rectangles of fabric 1″ wider in each dimension. So my box was 8″ x 14″ inside any my fabric was 9″ x 15″.
- Lay the two pieces right sides together and pin and then sew a 1/2″ seam around the whole thing leaving a 6″ opening to turn it right side out.
- Make sure to clip your corners, then turn right side out and stuff loosely with fiberfill. Make sure you don’t put too much in, you want a mattress, not a puffy pillow!
- Then using either your sewing machine or a needle and thread, stitch the opening closed.
To make the pillow with ric rac trim
- Cut two rectangles about 1/2″ wider in both directions than you want your pillow to be. Lay them down right sides together.
- Before you pin the fabric together, put the ric rac between the layers along each edge all the way around the pillow as shown and pin in place.
- Then stitch about a 1/4″ seam (you want to be stitching down the center of the ric rac) around all sides of the pillow, but leaving an opening to turn the pillow right side out just like you did with the mattress.
- Clip corner, turn right side out and press. I found re-ironing at this point helped keep the ric rac and seams at the opening neat and tidy.
- Then stuff the pillow with fiberfill and either with your sewing machine or by hand, stitch the opening closed being sure to align the ric rac halfway sticking out just like the rest of your edges.
To make the blanket
To make the blanket you basically follow the same steps as you did to make the mattress and pillow except do not stuff with fiber fill.
- Cut two rectangles the size you want your blanket to be and lay them down right sides together.
- If you want to add ric rac to any sides lay it between two edges as shown. I chose to only put along the top edge of the blanket. Pin in place all the way around.
- Stitch around the blanket with a 1/4″ seam (or down the center of the ric rac if using) making sure to leave a 6″ opening on one side to turn it right side out.
- Clip the corners, turn right side out and then press.
- Pin the opening closed and then topstitch around the entire blanket to finish. Put the bedding in your DIY doll cradle.
And that’s it! Your DIY doll crib is done, let your little one enjoy putting his or her doll to sleep! Night night!
If you liked this DIY doll cradle, you may also like some of my other posts…
- Nested Heart Hat Knitting Pattern - January 25, 2022
- Can I Substitute Yarn? - January 20, 2022
- Valentine’s Day Heart Stocking Cap Knitting Pattern - January 18, 2022