FUN THINGS happening here today sweet friends. Remember my brother Caleb and how he secretly flew to Spain to propose to Laura (she said yes). Blah blah blah they got married… and now let me introduce to you the adorable result of that beautiful union: Roland (Rollie) Paul.
Would you look at that warm slab of cute? ^^
We were surprised by his gender, surprised by his dark hair… and surprised to learn of Caleb’s mad building skills. He designed this baseball bat crib completely out of his noggin:
When Caleb told me he was building his baby a crib, (without knowing ANY details), I half-joked… ‘you should take pictures along the way and do a tutorial on my blog!’ Knowing how much work goes into photographing/documenting a project of this size, I doubted it would happen.
But lo and behold, brother Caleb is pulling through with a kick-A tutorial so that you too can build a baseball bat crib for the little slugger in your life.
Take it away Caleb!
Beth’s brother here! I am very excited to be a dad and extremely excited to have a son. When we found out the gender, I immediately began thinking of ways I could make his nursery unique and fun. I pondered the idea of building a crib but I was unsure of a design. People I mentioned it to said how hard it would be, and then there was the fact that we live in a 2 bedroom apartment with no access to any such workshop or building space. No, building a crib would be nearly impossible in our current state.
Weeks went by and I couldn’t shake the desire to build a crib. One day I was pulling stuff out of our cluttered closet when my old wooden baseball bat fell out from the corner… cue light bulb! I immediately had my crib design and the motivation! The next couple days I spent sketching and researching safety standards. I had the basic design I wanted and found several DIY cribs on Google that gave me the confidence to proceed.
First, I finalized a rough sketch and then I made a list of what I would need to accomplish this feat.
List of supplies needed:
- 5 – 1x6x8 boards
- 8 – 1x3x8 boards
- 2 – 2x2x8 boards
- 2 – 2x4x8 boards
- 2 – 4x4x8 boards
- 24 – wood baseball bats
- 24 – .25” wood pegs
- 6” screws
- 3.5” screws
- 1.5” screws
- Large & small L-brackets
- Wood glue
- Sand paper
- Wood stain
- Wood wax
I originally wanted to use a nice hard wood to build this crib so that it would essentially last forever. Alas, a nice hardwood is expensive and we are by no means monetarily well off. I ended up just settling with a pine wood and deciding to find a fun color stain to use.
After many hours of scouring Google, we placed the order for our 24 baseball bats at a blemished bats factory (here) for $3.50 per bat. Believe me when I say this is an absolute steal when you look at a normal sports shop and see the cheapest wood baseball bat is $29.99. These “blemish” bats are 100% solid and only have small cosmetic defects that are truly hard to even find. I was ecstatic when the bats arrived. Baseball and I are best friends, so opening up a box of 2 dozen wood bats was like opening presents on Christmas morning. They were exactly what I envisioned.
Next we made a trip to Menards to acquire some lumber.
Normal people that pick up a load of lumber would just throw it in the back of their truck and be on their way. We are city folk and find ways to make due. Several onlookers gave me the “this guy’s crazy” look as I strapped the load to the roof of our hatchback. This is how we roll.
After passing the boards, one by one, through our apartment window to my 8 month pregnant wife, I amassed a stock pile in our spare bathroom, now my workshop.
Over the next week or so, I cut all boards to desired lengths (loosely followed plans from this website) and began sanding, sanding, and sanding some more. I would occasionally move my workshop from the bathroom to our living room so I could be entertained while I worked. My wife was okay with this until our entire apartment was covered in saw dust. Oops, my bad!
Then I hammered out the two sides which actually came together with very few “uh oh’s”. Please bear in mind that my wife was a rock star through this whole process. She was always there to help, even when I was perturbed about a board being warped or what have you. Also, I came to the very unwelcome reality that boards that say they are 1”x6” are actually more like .75”x5.5”. Rookie mistake!
The most tedious and time consuming part of the whole project was assembling the crib slates, or in my case the crib bats. With a detailed description of the most recent “CPSC Crib Safety Standards” I slowly pieced together each side, bat by bat. The space between each slat is no more than 2 3/8” apart, no lose or improperly installed hardware was used, no cutouts on the headboard, a firm mattress support, no splinters or rough edges, and no lead paint (cause everyone still uses lead based paint).
Once I had all the all the sides and the support base complete, I began staining. We went with a dark color stain for the majority of the crib and just a clear gloss for the baseball bats. I used a water based stain to avoid all the chemicals found in oil based stains. Once properly cured, this will be perfectly safe for gnawing, chewing or whatever else our little guy wants to do with his jail cell over the next few years.
Finally, we assembled the beast! I wanted to put everything together and make sure it was PERFECT. I was very happy with how it was looking.
I then took it all apart and went over every square inch with ultra-fine steel wool which gave the wood a super smooth finish. The last step was applying a finishing paste wax to seal everything up. Once that was finished, we hauled all the pieces into the nursery for final assembly. The room may be small but the crib is grand! We put a lot of work into this project over the past month and are very excited for our little MVP to enjoy the spoils.
- There were 8 separate Home Depot/Menards trips taken during this process
- Crib cost was under $200, not including tools 😉
- 100% of this was completed in a 734 sq ft apartment
- It took 50 hours of work
- 8.5 month pregnant wife wielded a power drill for the first time in her life
- House cleaning took 7 hours and was completed the night before an apartment inspection by the fire marshal.
- Spare bathroom (workshop) during construction VS spare bathroom before & after construction.
Beth here again… Didn’t Caleb and Laura knock this nursery OUT OF THE PARK?! (I’m so punny!)
I’m so proud of Caleb and the building skills I didn’t know he had. And I’m also sooooo glad that he took the time to document this whole process to share with the world. The baseball bat rungs are just so genius.
And in case you were wondering how little Rollie feels about his sleeping arrangement…
Lookie there… you got your baby fix AND a load of DIY inspiration all in one post. Who’s ready for baseball season?!
Huge thanks to Caleb for sharing this tutorial with us! You’re easily in my top 5 favorite brothers!
As always, thanks for pinning!