Wooden Cradle With Canopy

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Project by William posted 09-15-2012 11:01 PM 2543 views 4 times favorited 43 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I got these plans from a website a long time ago that offered them for free. I am sorry, I do not remember the site, but I changed several things on it anyway, so I don’t think it’s important. This is the third one I have built. I couldn’t find the plans when I started this one, so I found some measurements I have written on a scrap piece of wood for it a long time ago and went with that.
It is made of cottonwood. The last two I made, I used polyurethane on. The mother that is recieving this one though is concerned with her child chewing on it. Instead of arguing with her on the matter, I decided to just finish it with beeswax.

This particular cradle is going to my cousin’s daughter. I think that’s considered my second cousin. Anyway, I found out a few weeks ago that she’s due in October and was in a panic about getting a crib. I told them I had never built a crib, but if they’d be interested in it, I’d build them a cradle as a present to the newborn. So here it is. I dearly hope they enjoy it.


43 comments so far

View Roger's profile


16078 posts in 1624 days

#1 posted 09-15-2012 11:27 PM

A very nice cradle William. I like the running boards/dowel rods on the side. Those will be gr8 to just put your toe on it, and rock-a-bye-baby, etc….

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

View luv2learn's profile


1966 posts in 1123 days

#2 posted 09-16-2012 12:17 AM

Great job as usual William. I have never worked with cottonwood but I like the grain pattern in it. I think both mom and baby will be extremely happy with your custom built cradle.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View William's profile


9331 posts in 1662 days

#3 posted 09-16-2012 12:28 AM

Thank you both.
Cottonwood is a very easy wood to work with. It is considered a hardwood. However, I don’t know why, because it works like a softwood. It is a strong wood. If I had to make a complaint about cottonwood, it would have to be it’s tendancy to fuzz. The fibers of the wood, if you’re tools are extremely sharp, will raise up and appear like a fuzz on the surface of the wood. If I had to compare it to another species of wood, as far as ease of working with it, I’d have to say poplar. I use it a lot. Another thing, it takes stain real well too.

Roger, I didn’t think to mention it, but the dowel rods are call foot rods. They are put there with the intention of sitting in a chair and using your foot to rock the cradle.


View gfadvm's profile


12123 posts in 1510 days

#4 posted 09-16-2012 12:57 AM

William, Very nice cradle! I’ve cut a lot of cottonwood for firewood and cussed it when I split it and again when I burned it (smells like a combination of burning tires and old gym socks!). I need to get some to build something as it seems to work great for you.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Oldtool's profile


1984 posts in 1011 days

#5 posted 09-16-2012 01:03 AM

That’s a fine looking cradle, nice craftsmanship.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View William's profile


9331 posts in 1662 days

#6 posted 09-16-2012 01:11 AM

Thank ya’ll.
gfadvm, you reminded me of one other complaint I have with cottonwood.
If you see large spots in the wood with black lines running everywhere, sort of like a burl, avoid cutting it with fast moving blades such as a table saw if you can work around it. When you do, it puts off a brief odor that reminds me of a walking through a cow pasture and not watching where you step.


View boxcarmarty's profile


10319 posts in 1180 days

#7 posted 09-16-2012 01:11 AM

Looks good Wiliam, but what does cottonwood with beeswax taste like???

-- My mind is like lighting, one brilliant flash, then its gone.....

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


15440 posts in 2496 days

#8 posted 09-16-2012 01:22 AM

Looks good. I thought cottonwood was pretty much worthless. Is it different than the Black Cottonwood we have in the Pacific Northwest?

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View William's profile


9331 posts in 1662 days

#9 posted 09-16-2012 01:22 AM

Tastes like sawdust infused bee crap, since that’s what it is.
Thanks Marty.


View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

8076 posts in 1740 days

#10 posted 09-16-2012 01:24 AM

William, this came out beautiful! They are going to love it! :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View DIYaholic's profile (online now)


15708 posts in 1495 days

#11 posted 09-16-2012 01:44 AM

Nice looking cradle, another William masterpiece!

I advise you not to leave it outside all night…..
as someone might “rob the cradle”!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View William's profile


9331 posts in 1662 days

#12 posted 09-16-2012 01:50 AM

Thank you all.
TopMax, I haven’t worked with black cottonwood before, but I do believe I read somewhere about a difference between it and what we have here.
I done some research once, out of curiosity, and found out that the cottonwood I use used to be a popular wood to use in large scale furniture production, such as couches and such. It is a strong wood, and with furniture that is completely covered with fabric, the fuzzing properties I mentioned before wouldn’t even be an issue. I’m not sure why it fell out of polularity. I guess it had something to do with the cheapness of pine these days, since I see that in a lot of furniture now.


View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


15440 posts in 2496 days

#13 posted 09-16-2012 02:05 AM

It must be a lot different. My bro-in-law told me he knew of a family that heated with cottonwood because that was all they had. They cut something like 35 cords for the winter; about 6 or 7 times what they would with any other wood. Ours breaks very easily. I think about all it is good for is carving the bark if you can find some good think stuff off and old tree.

I agree with not leaving it out over night. Don’t want the cradle robbed ;-)

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View William's profile


9331 posts in 1662 days

#14 posted 09-16-2012 02:16 AM

What I’m using is pretty strong. I use it on a lot of stuff. I have some shelves built out of it in the shop that has plenty of weight on them and have never had problems with the strength. As for firewood though, it actually is not a good firewood either, but great kindling.
I burn my scrap and offcuts in my wood heater in the winter. This cottonwood burns at about the rate of loose newspaper. I don’t bother throwing it in the fire unless I have equal amounts of oak or something to throw in with it. You’d have to constantly stoke the fire if you used nothing but the cottonwood.


View Lidiya Blaznina's profile

Lidiya Blaznina

867 posts in 1359 days

#15 posted 09-16-2012 05:00 AM

William,beautiful cradle !!!

-- Lidiya,Russia.

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