Crib for Deacon w/ built in night light

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Project by jeff_wenz posted 1363 days ago 3520 views 20 times favorited 13 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

13 comments so far

View Skylark53's profile


2557 posts in 1659 days

#1 posted 1363 days ago

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


13337 posts in 2272 days

#2 posted 1363 days ago

Thats a beautiful crib.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View Rick's profile


25 posts in 2751 days

#3 posted 1363 days ago

They are both beautiful. Congratulations.

-- Rick

View Maveric777's profile


2687 posts in 1676 days

#4 posted 1363 days ago

Congratulations Dad! You most definitely done good.

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View coop108's profile


31 posts in 1710 days

#5 posted 1362 days ago

Beautiful work. Congratulations.


View ZeroThreeQuarter's profile


120 posts in 1656 days

#6 posted 1360 days ago

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


13495 posts in 2373 days

#7 posted 1358 days ago

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


59 posts in 1546 days

#8 posted 1356 days ago

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


124 posts in 2149 days

#9 posted 1354 days ago


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


124 posts in 2149 days

#10 posted 1354 days ago


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


14117 posts in 1403 days

#11 posted 565 days ago

A really beautiful build Jeff.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

View Todd_S's profile


6 posts in 564 days

#12 posted 564 days ago


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


5 posts in 517 days

#13 posted 517 days ago

Wow! Very nice – love the lights too!!

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

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