Vintage Doll Cradle Renovation

Sunday, May 6, 2012

About a year ago a friend gave a little vintage doll cradle to my grand-daughter, Jillian.  It was missing the bottom board, as well as looking pretty ragged.  Jillian played with it daily, even though her dolls would fall through since there was no bottom to it.  One day recently I stole it from her playroom, took it home with me and proceeded to make it over!

These were the before pictures.  Someone had decoupaged some stickers on one end.  They were peeling and looked quite ugly. 

I used a little Mouse sander to sand the stickers off.  I had to be very careful because the wood here was very thin and damaged.  Now, the fun part begins.  I don't pretend to know ANYTHING about painting furniture.  As a matter of fact, I have done very little of it in my life time.  But, I've seen so many marvelous things done with old furniture and I've read so much about the Annie Sloan chalk paint that I was really excited to give it a try. 

I chose to paint a first coat of Annie Sloan Old White and then cover that with the Emporer's Silk  Red.  I had the idea in my mind (not sure if this was accurate thinking)  that I would sand the red and then the white would show through and would give it a nice aged look.  My pictures get a little sketchy at this point.  (Here's a side note:  my husband and I are building a house and I had this great idea that in between helping him I would work on this project - which was fine, except for one very big flaw:  I was running back and forth and at some point forgot to take pictures!)

I was very happy with the way, after just very light sanding, the white came through.  I then used the clear Annie Sloan soft wax and I was so happy with the way the red came alive.   

One thing I do know how to do, and I love, is sew.  This was the part of the project that I was the most excited about:  sewing the bedding!  I loved this flannel fabric I purchased at my local quilt shop.  It was expensive and I hesitated since this is just a doll cradle.  But, I have learned in my years of sewing that if you are going to spend the time to sew something and you want it to hold up with numerous washings and the wear and tear of little children, use quality fabric.  High quality fabric is also much more pleasant to sew on!

I made the crib skirt, mattress cover, quilt and pillow.  It was such a fun project to insert special little details and try to use up every little square of fabric!  I was very happy with how it came out and love seeing it right next to my grand-daughter's bed where she tucks her baby in at nap time and at night!

Linking up to these fabulous parties:

The Shabby Nest
Furniture Feature Fridays

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

loving this crazy life


  1. Absolutely adorable! That bedding is SO cute. Your granddaughter is one lucky little girl. Great job.

  2. Love the red. So cute.
    The cow hangings on my blog were purchased from One Kings Lane or Joss & Main over a year ago. Those are both daily sale sites and when the product is sold out they are gone unless they bring them back again later. I have seen them bring the cows back one time since then and they sold out very fast.
    Thanks for stopping by.

  3. It's amazing what we can do when we just go for it! Love the doll craddle and Jillian must think the sun and the moon rises and sets on you!

    Don't you love all the antique treasures you find back east?

    Love and miss you!


  4. Wow this is absolutely adorable! I love the colors, and that bed skirt! Amazing!

    Thanks for sharing at Beautify It Monday!

    -Four Sisters

  5. That is adorable! I love what you did with it. I love how you changed the fabric every so often on the dust ruffle--makes it look so country cute. Love it!

  6. I love this, I love anything red though!! But this is so sweet! I am a new follower, I'd love for you to stop by my blog sometime:)


  7. So cute. I love the red. Thanks for sharing this.

  8. You're grandkids are so lucky to have you for their Grammy!! Janell

  9. This is adorable!! I love all the little bedding you made! It looks perfect with the red!

  10. THAT is darling! I love the color and the fabric you chose to go with it is just so charming!

  11. I think the cradle turned out adorably!! I have one (or two…) in my basement waiting for me to 'do something' to it! You've inspired me! Congrats, its great!

    PS. I wish I could sew. My mom was a designer and has a boutique, and she always told me the same thing about fabric!

  12. This is adorable! I always love red, and I love the cute quilt and accessories.

  13. Every little girl should have one of these! Pretty color and fabric combo.

  14. That is absolutely the most precious baby doll crib I have ever seen. What a lucky little girl your grand daughter is!

  15. WOWW!! i love this! super cute! i would love for you to add this to my weekend link party. check it out here:
    {love} lauryn @

    1. Thank you Lauryn. I did link over to your weekend link party! Thank you for the invite.


    2. This is so so sweet! Love the bedding. I may have to do that for my girls.

      Found you over at Love Notes and would love for you to link up to my party.

      Have a wonderful weekend!

  16. Love it, a perfect place for a dolly to sleep , well done xo

  17. Good morning and nice to meet you! I am Andrea's friend from Tullahoma.

    I love this little cradle and it's bright red cheerful paint. The bedding is fantastic. How I would love to be able to sew. I think the glue gun is my best friend. :)

    Hope to get to meet you and Andrea someday soon since we live so close to each other.

    God bless you, Amy

  18. This is amazingly beautiful! You have worked so hard, I'm sure your grand daughter is thrilled!

  19. How adorable love it newbie here came over from Cedar ranch cowboy up

  20. Hi Dori! Thanks again for linking up last week. You were featured at my party today! Such a sweet makeover!

    Hope you're having a great week!

    XO, Melissa

  21. That is adorable! I'm new to sewing, I hope I can make something as pretty as that bedding one day... I'm your newest follower!

  22. Dear All Dolled up,

    I love it! Reminds me of some adorable hand crafted cradles my oldest 2 girls were given for their dollies long ago. The man's wife had made darling bedding for each of them and yes, even tho that has been well over 20 years ago, they still have it all because it was made well, with nice fabric.

    Those dolly memories

  23. That doll bed is too cute! The bedding is perfect, beautiful work.

  24. I was so excited to find this on your blog! I just purchased this exact cradle for my daughter who makes reborn dolls. It is in pristine condition and I want to make the bedding to surprise her, your site gave me just the inspiration needed to complete the task. Thank you! Your daughter is lucky to have such a talented mom! ~Limda