how can a crib be modified into a headboard or bookshelves 2
how can a crib be modified into a headboard or bookshelves 2

Imagine transforming your old crib into a captivating headboard or a functional set of bookshelves. But how is it possible, you ask? Well, with a little creativity and a touch of DIY magic, you can effortlessly repurpose your crib into stunning and practical pieces for your bedroom or living space. In this article, we will explore several ingenious ways to modify a crib, breathing new life into an item that holds sentimental value while adding style and functionality to your home. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and embark on an exciting journey of repurposing potential!

How Can A Crib Be Modified Into A Headboard Or Bookshelves?

Review contents

Determining the Purpose

Headboard or Bookshelves?

When it comes to modifying a crib, the first step is to determine whether you want to transform it into a headboard or bookshelves. Consider the needs of your space and what will be more functional for you.

A headboard can provide a stylish and practical addition to your bed, giving it an elegant and finished look. On the other hand, bookshelves can offer valuable storage and organization for your books, decor, or accessories.

Think about your lifestyle and preferences to make the right choice between a headboard or bookshelves.

Understanding the Space Constraints

Before embarking on the modification process, it’s crucial to understand the space constraints in your room. Measure the area where you plan to place the modified crib to ensure it fits accordingly. Take into account the height, width, and depth of the space, as well as any nearby furniture or wall treatments.

By understanding the space constraints, you can determine the appropriate size and dimensions for your modified crib and ensure it seamlessly integrates into the room’s design.

Considering the Desired Design

Another important factor to consider is the desired design of your modified crib. Whether it’s a headboard or bookshelves, think about the overall aesthetic you want to achieve. Do you prefer a modern, minimalist look or a more vintage and ornate style?

Consider the existing decor and furniture in your room and choose a design that complements them. This will help create a cohesive and visually appealing space.

Choosing the Right Crib

Functionality and Durability

When choosing a crib to modify, prioritize functionality and durability. Look for a crib that is structurally sound and in good condition. Check for any signs of wear, such as loose or broken parts. You want a crib that will withstand the modifications and stand the test of time.

Consider the functionality you need from your modified crib. If you plan to use it as a headboard, make sure it has sufficient height and stability. For bookshelves, look for a crib with adjustable or removable rails that can be transformed into shelves.

Size and Dimensions

The size and dimensions of the crib are essential to ensure a successful modification. Measure the crib to ensure it fits your desired space and matches the dimensions you determined earlier.

Keep in mind that the crib will need to be adjusted in height and width during the modification process. Consider how much you want to customize the size to suit your specific needs.

Material and Style

The material and style of the crib are significant aspects to consider when modifying it. Choose a crib made of high-quality materials, such as solid wood, to ensure its longevity.

Consider the crib’s style and how it aligns with your desired design. If you plan to paint or stain the crib, make sure the material is suitable for those finishes. Additionally, choose a crib with a design that can easily be transformed into a headboard or bookshelves.

Gathering Necessary Tools and Materials

Tools needed for the modification process

Before beginning the modification process, gather the necessary tools. Some common tools you may need include a screwdriver, drill, measuring tape, sandpaper, paintbrushes, and a level.

Having the right tools on hand will make the modification process smoother and more efficient. If you don’t already own these tools, consider borrowing or renting them, or purchasing them if you anticipate future DIY projects.

Appropriate materials for a sturdy structure

In addition to tools, you will also need appropriate materials for a sturdy structure. This may include additional screws, nails, brackets, or hardware to secure the modified crib properly.

If you plan to add shelves or dividers, gather materials such as wood boards, brackets, or other shelving components. Also, consider the paint or stain you’ll be using if you want to change the crib’s appearance.

By ensuring you have the necessary tools and materials, you’ll be well-prepared to begin the modification process.

How Can A Crib Be Modified Into A Headboard Or Bookshelves?

Headboard Modification

Removing the Crib Railing

To transform a crib into a headboard, the first step is to remove the crib’s railing. Use the appropriate tools to unscrew or detach the railing from the crib frame. Take care during this process to avoid causing any damage to the crib or yourself.

Once the railing is removed, set it aside for potential repurposing or disposal.

Adjusting Height and Width

After removing the crib railing, you’ll need to adjust the height and width of the crib to fit your bed frame properly. Measure the dimensions of your bed frame and mark the corresponding measurements on the crib.

Using a saw or other cutting tools, carefully trim the crib’s headboard to match the desired height and width. Take caution when cutting to ensure precise and symmetrical modifications.

Covering Sharp Edges and Creating a Smooth Finish

After adjusting the crib’s height and width, it’s essential to cover any sharp edges and create a smooth finish. Use sandpaper to sand down the cut surfaces and any rough edges. This will make the headboard safer and prevent any injuries.

Once sanded, wipe down the headboard to remove any dust or debris. This will prepare the surface for painting or staining, depending on your desired finish.

Attaching the Modified Crib Securely to the Bed Frame

To attach the modified crib securely to your bed frame, use appropriate hardware and brackets. Ensure that the crib aligns with the height of your mattress and is centered behind the bed. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for attaching the modified crib to your specific bed frame.

To enhance the stability of the headboard, consider adding additional brackets or supports if needed. This will ensure that the modified crib is securely fastened to the bed frame.

Bookshelf Modification

Adjusting the Crib Height and Width for Book Storage

For those wanting to transform a crib into bookshelves, start by adjusting the crib’s height and width to accommodate books. Follow the same process as described earlier for adjusting the height and width of the headboard.

Take into consideration the height of your books and any other items you plan to store on the shelves. Leave enough space between each shelf to ensure easy access and proper organization.

Adding Shelves or Dividers

Once the height and width of the crib are adjusted, it’s time to add shelves or dividers. Measure and cut wood or other shelving materials to fit the desired dimensions. Secure the shelves or dividers using appropriate hardware, such as brackets or nails.

Consider the spacing between each shelf to accommodate different-sized books or decor items. This will create a visually appealing and functional storage space.

Creating a Backing for the Bookshelves

To enhance the look and stability of the bookshelves, consider adding a backing. Measure and cut a piece of plywood or other suitable material to fit the width and height of the bookshelves. Attach the backing to the back of the bookshelves using nails or screws.

The backing will add support and prevent books from falling behind the shelves. It will also provide a seamless and finished look to the bookshelf.

Sanding and Painting the Crib for a Polished Look

Just like with the headboard modification, sanding and painting or staining the crib is an important step for a polished look. After adjusting the crib’s height, width, and adding shelves and a backing, sand down any rough edges or surfaces.

Wipe down the crib to remove dust and debris, then apply a primer if necessary. Once the primer is dry, paint or stain the crib to match your desired aesthetic. This step will give the bookshelves a finished and cohesive look within your space.

Safety Considerations

Ensuring the Stability of the Modified Headboard or Bookshelves

Safety should be a top priority when modifying a crib into a headboard or bookshelves. Ensure that the modified structure is stable and securely attached to the bed frame or wall. Regularly check for any signs of looseness or instability and make any necessary adjustments.

Securing the Structure to the Wall or Bed Frame

To prevent accidents and ensure the safety of the modified structure, it’s essential to secure it correctly. If creating a headboard, attach it securely to the bed frame using appropriate hardware, such as brackets or screws.

For bookshelves, consider anchoring them to the wall to prevent tipping. Use wall anchors or brackets to secure the bookshelves, especially if they are tall or heavy. This will prevent any potential accidents, especially if you have children or pets in the house.

Smoothing Any Rough Edges to Prevent Injuries

Rough edges can pose a safety risk, especially if you have small children in the house. To prevent injuries, ensure that all edges of the modified crib, including the headboard or bookshelves, are smooth and free from sharp or jagged surfaces.

Sand down any rough areas and cover them with edge protectors or corner guards. These inexpensive additions will provide an extra layer of safety and give you peace of mind.

Regularly Checking for Loose or Damaged Components

As with any furniture or structure, regular maintenance is vital to ensure its longevity and safety. Regularly inspect the modified crib for any loose or damaged components. Tighten or repair any loose screws, brackets, or other hardware promptly.

By staying vigilant and addressing any issues promptly, you can keep the modified crib in optimal condition and ensure it continues to serve its purpose safely.

Decorative Options

Painting or Staining the Modified Crib

One of the most transformative ways to enhance the modified crib’s appearance is by painting or staining it. Choose a paint or stain color that complements your room’s decor and your personal style.

Consider using a paint or stain with a low volatile organic compound (VOC) content to minimize exposure to harmful chemicals. Apply multiple coats for a smooth and even finish, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Don’t forget to let each coat dry thoroughly before applying the next.

Adding Decorative Moldings or Trim

To elevate the modified crib’s design, consider adding decorative moldings or trim. This can create visual interest and add a touch of elegance or personalization to the headboard or bookshelves.

Choose moldings or trim that match the overall style and aesthetic of your room. Measure and cut the moldings or trim to fit the edges of the crib, then attach them securely using nails or glue. Sand and paint the moldings or trim to match the rest of the modified crib for a cohesive and polished look.

Using Fabric or Upholstery for a Unique Look

For a unique and cozy look, consider using fabric or upholstery to enhance the modified crib. This can be particularly appealing for a headboard, as it adds softness and texture to the bed.

Choose a fabric that complements your room’s decor and personal style. Measure and cut the fabric to fit the back of the headboard, ensuring it is taut and secure. Attach the fabric using staples or adhesive, ensuring a smooth and wrinkle-free finish.

Incorporating Other Decorative Elements Such as Lights or Artwork

To further personalize your modified crib, consider incorporating other decorative elements such as lights or artwork. For a headboard, consider adding wall-mounted reading lights or sconces to provide functional and ambient lighting. This will create a cozy and inviting atmosphere.

For bookshelves, showcase artwork, framed photos, or decorative objects to add visual interest. Use bookends or other accessories to bring personality and charm to your book display.

By embracing these decorative options, you can create a customized and visually appealing modified crib that complements your room’s overall design.

Optimizing Storage

Utilizing Additional Storage Solutions Within the Headboard or Bookshelves

One of the main advantages of modifying a crib into a headboard or bookshelves is the added storage it can provide. Take advantage of this by utilizing additional storage solutions within the modified structure.

If you have a headboard, consider adding shelves or compartments behind or on the sides of the headboard. This can be a perfect spot to store books, magazines, or small items like glasses or remotes.

For bookshelves, use baskets or bins to corral smaller items or loose accessories. This will help keep the shelves organized and prevent clutter.

Organizing Books, Décor, or Accessories on the Shelves

When it comes to storing books, décor, or accessories on the shelves, organization is key. Arrange books by size or genre for a visually pleasing display. Group similar decorative objects together to create a cohesive and aesthetically pleasing arrangement.

Consider using bookends or bookshelf dividers to create distinct sections. This will make it easier to locate and access specific books or items.

Using the Headboard or Bookshelves for Display Purposes

In addition to storage, the modified crib can also serve as a display area for your favorite items. Consider using the headboard or bookshelves to showcase decorative objects, framed photos, or cherished mementos.

Choose items that reflect your personality and add visual interest to the room. Rearrange the display periodically to keep it fresh and engaging.

By optimizing storage and using the modified crib for display purposes, you can make the most of the available space while adding a touch of personalization to your room.

Repurposing and Upcycling

Transforming the Crib into Other Furniture Pieces

If you are feeling particularly creative, you can repurpose the crib into other furniture pieces. The possibilities are endless!

Consider transforming the crib into a bench, a desk, or a play kitchen for your children. With some additional modifications, you can create unique and functional furniture that suits your specific needs.

Research different DIY projects and get inspired by others who have repurposed cribs into various furniture pieces. This will help spark your creativity and give you ideas for your own repurposing project.

Finding Alternative Uses for Leftover Crib Parts

During the modification process, you may have leftover crib parts that are no longer needed. Instead of discarding them, consider finding alternative uses for these parts.

For example, the crib railing can be repurposed into a drying rack for laundry or transformed into a decorative wall shelf. The crib mattress can be reused for other purposes, such as a cushion for outdoor seating or a pet bed.

Get creative and think outside the box to find alternative uses for the leftover crib parts. This will not only prevent waste but also add functionality and uniqueness to your space.

Donating or Recycling the Crib After Modification

If you no longer have a use for the crib or its remaining parts, consider donating it to someone in need or recycling it responsibly. Many organizations and charities gladly accept crib donations, ensuring that it finds a new home where it can continue to be useful.

Alternatively, check with local recycling centers or facilities that specialize in recycling furniture to ensure proper disposal. Recycling the crib is an eco-friendly option that reduces landfill waste and benefits the environment.

By donating or recycling the crib, you can contribute to a more sustainable and responsible approach towards furniture disposal.


Modifying a crib into a headboard or bookshelves is a creative and practical way to repurpose furniture and personalize your space. Whether you choose to go with a headboard or bookshelves, it’s essential to consider the purpose, design, safety, and storage optimization.

By following the steps outlined in this comprehensive article, you can successfully modify a crib into a stunning and functional piece of furniture. Embrace your creativity, utilize the appropriate tools and materials, and enjoy the process of transforming a crib into a unique addition to your home.

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Elizabeth King
Hi, I'm Elizabeth King, a passionate baby expert and the founder of As a mother of three and with years of experience in the field, I am dedicated to providing invaluable tips and advice to help you navigate the beautiful journey of motherhood. With a deep understanding of the challenges and joys that come with raising a baby, I have made it my mission to share my knowledge and experiences with fellow moms and dads. Through my website, I aim to empower parents by offering practical tips, evidence-based information, and expert guidance to support them in making informed decisions for their little ones. I believe that every baby is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to parenting. My writing philosophy revolves around fostering a nurturing environment that promotes the physical, emotional, and cognitive development of babies while respecting the individual needs and preferences of each child and family. Through my articles, I address a wide range of topics, including breastfeeding, sleep training, nutrition, baby care products, and so much more. My goal is to provide you with reliable, trustworthy, and up-to-date information that will help you make confident choices for your baby's well-being. When I'm not immersed in the world of parenting, you can find me exploring new baby products, trying out fun activities with my kids, and enjoying precious moments with my family. I believe that being a parent is a beautiful journey filled with love, laughter, and learning. I'm thrilled to be a part of your parenting journey and to help you create a nurturing and loving environment for your little one. Join me at, where we can embark on this incredible adventure together.