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Transform your old crib into a loft toddler bed

Simple and inexpensive modifications to make a “loft” toddler bed from an old crib.

It was time. We finally moved Levi into a toddler bed.

I’ve been procrastinating the move because—let’s be honest—I liked having him confined at nap times.

But since he’s now been potty trained for several months, it just made sense that he shouldn’t have to call for one of us to come and get him out so he could use the potty.

Our boys share a room — a very strange-shaped room. There are two doors (on different walls) and the longest wall has near floor to ceiling windows the full length of the room. (It’s not nearly as glamorous as it sounds — it’s actually very limiting in the small space.)

On top of that, there’s no built in closet, which necessitates a freestanding wardrobe and dresser to hold clothes for both of them.

All of that makes for a very complicated room to fit a lot of things into – two beds, a dresser, wardrobe, changing table, book shelves, toy bins, and a reading chair – and a very irregular room size and shape to do so.

We needed to come up with an affordable solution that didn’t fill up the room any more than it already was.

I scored this plain crib off of freecycle just before Judah was born and we bought a new mattress to go along with it:

And after a few simple modifications and a fresh coat of paint… we now have a toddler “loft” bed.

Originally we were going to cut it all down and make a toddler bed low to the floor, but decided to go this route instead so that we could add to our storage space.

We now have room underneath for a few toy bins and the boys “bikes”.

Levi can’t get enough of it. I keep finding him in bed “pwetending to seep” at odd times during the day. Here he is the first night we set it up (before we rearranged the furniture to where it all is now). He’s pretty impressed with daddy’s handiwork:

Dear friends, when did you transition your toddler into a big boy/girl bed? Would you ever consider a loft toddler bed… or do you think we’re a little crazy?

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About Adriel

Adriel Booker is a writer, speaker, and difference-maker living Down Under with her Aussie love and littles where they serve in full-time ministry (and full-time parenting) together. She writes about celebrating motherhood, building families, strengthening faith, enjoying life, empowering women, changing the world, and telling the story.

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47 Responses to Transform your old crib into a loft toddler bed

  1. Susi October 23, 2012 at 12:51 am #

    Hi there. Just found you through a friend on Facebook and wanted to let you know I love this idea. Wish I had come up with something like this when my girls were sharing a room!!! :)
    Susi recently posted..In a fog… {Picture Perfect Weekly #25}My Profile

    • Adriel Booker October 25, 2012 at 7:11 pm #

      Oh, thanks Susi! Yeah, it’s worked out so well for us. Really glad we went this route instead of buying one! Thanks for taking the time to comment. x
      Adriel Booker recently posted..romney and obama: thou shalt be niceMy Profile

      • louise October 19, 2014 at 7:24 am #

        how did you do this! its brilliant

  2. bernardeena October 23, 2012 at 1:48 am #

    That is an absolutely fabulous idea!! I love it.
    bernardeena recently posted..On and off the needles.My Profile

  3. Ana October 23, 2012 at 3:15 am #

    Love this!! We moved Isaac into his toddler bed around 18-22 months. It was a long transition that started with naps, and we eventually moved up. Ty build the boys bunk beds when Phinneas was around 18 months, and we started transitioning him as well (it worked out great because lil bro wants to do everything like big bro–score!) All that being said, I LOVE this bed!! Great work and Levi looks simply adorable pretending to sleep :)

    • Adriel Booker October 25, 2012 at 7:13 pm #

      yeah, i was holding off as long as possible… and levi still hadn’t started climbing out really. in some ways i was hesitant, but the potty factor was the deciding factor for us. wow, phinneas started young! i have a feeling judah might be like that too. he can already climb up and down from levi’s bed! he just turned one and we’ve had this thing for five days now! so…… there’s that! (arg!)
      Adriel Booker recently posted..umi’s story and project baby bilumMy Profile

  4. Leah October 23, 2012 at 6:08 am #

    Would you possibly do a tutorial for this?

  5. Alicia October 23, 2012 at 6:55 am #

    I love this idea! So creative, and I would totally do a loft toddler bed. Simon moved into his toddler bed at about 17-18 months. I was not ready for that change and so I wanted to “transition” him slowly starting with naps then eventually night time also. We had the toddler bed set up in his room for a couple days so he could “get used to it”. One day he climbed in it at nap time. That was it, he wanted nothing to do with that crib anymore. (He’s only fallen out once!) Funny how some of these transitions seem to be so much harder on me than they are on him!

  6. Bek {Just For Daisy} October 23, 2012 at 8:29 am #

    I love this idea… Miss Daisy (2y) was 18m old when we moved her into a toddler bed. She tranisitioned really well. Not particularly agile so a loft bed may not have worked then but would be perfect now! :) Love this idea! :) Great job mum & dad!
    Bek {Just For Daisy} recently posted..Making A Geoboard Busy Bag with Activity Card PrintableMy Profile

    • Adriel Booker October 25, 2012 at 7:18 pm #

      thanks bek! levi wasn’t much of a climber at 18 months either, so it probably wouldn’t have worked for him then either! judah – who turned one three weeks ago – is already climbing in and out of it though!!! (Didn’t see that coming!) He is waaaaaay more into climbing than levi ever was. it terrifies me! crazy how different the kids can be, ey?!
      Adriel Booker recently posted..bokoro’s story | giving birth in the mudMy Profile

  7. Christina October 24, 2012 at 12:37 am #

    Maybe something like that would be the catalyst to getting our 19 month old daughter out of our bed every night. Very cute idea!
    Christina recently posted..Following in Mom’s FootstepsMy Profile

    • Adriel Booker October 25, 2012 at 7:18 pm #

      hmmmm…. maybe! but in bed with mom and dad is a pretty fabulous option! ;)
      Adriel Booker recently posted..oh, my heartMy Profile

  8. Amanda October 25, 2012 at 8:41 am #

    My girl is 3 and she’s still in her crib. She just climbed out for the first time a few days ago. ::sigh:: I guess it’s time to transition her.

    Love that little loft bed, though!

    • Adriel Booker October 25, 2012 at 7:20 pm #

      thanks amanda! yeah, levi wasn’t really climbing out yet either so i was really tempted to keep him in there. (totally love having him contained!) the potty was the deal-breaker for us though, and now that we’ve done it i’m so glad. he transitioned easily and stays in bed… and now doesn’t have to yell at us to get him up so he can go to the bathroom! it’s a win-win i guess! :) good luck with your transition!! x
      Adriel Booker recently posted..romney and obama: thou shalt be niceMy Profile

  9. Janice October 29, 2012 at 9:11 am #

    I will definitely be checking back for the tutorial. Our 2 year old has learned how to climb out and I would love to make this out of her existing crib!!!! What a fabulous idea!!!!

  10. Lindsey Whitney November 2, 2012 at 9:08 am #

    Very fun. Both our kids went into toddler beds at 13 months… frankly b/c I think they are cuter. I like the kids to be able to get up when they wake up instead of crying for someone to come get them. I love the little loft though. Our crib is collecting dust downstairs… I wonder if we could still do something with it!
    Lindsey Whitney recently posted..Fall Party!My Profile

  11. jesse leal November 3, 2012 at 7:12 am #

    I love this idea i have and old crib and would love to do this could you post the steps and what you need to complete it please =)

  12. Janice November 4, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

    Such a great idea Ariel. We are looking at moving Kira out of the crib really soon, so this is a great idea! Not sure about our time and ability to make it happen, but maybe!

  13. Maggie December 29, 2012 at 6:35 pm #

    love this idea! quick questiond where u find/get the stair case?

  14. Whitney February 2, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

    I LOVE this idea! We have a 3 year old, a 2 year old, and are expecting our 3rd. I may have to modify this and make a toddler friendly bunk bed by putting my 2 year old’s mattress on the floor underneath. Wonderful way to use space!

    • Adriel Booker February 2, 2013 at 9:49 pm #

      Love that Whitney! I thought about putting a mattress under there too… but I’m not quite ready to give our 16mo that freedom just yet! He’s a–how shall I say?–ACTIVE one. ;)

      Would love to see your photos if you end up doing it! Thanks for taking the time to say hello.

  15. Whitney February 2, 2013 at 3:02 pm #

    P.S.- My son (now 3) went to a toddler bed when he was about 22 months. His sister is 11 1/2 months younger and wants to do everything her brother does, so she got one soon after him at the age of about 13 months. :-) We decided we’d rather move them out of their cribs before they climbed out and hurt themselves. Never have had a problem!

  16. Renee March 1, 2013 at 6:38 am #

    OMG i have been looking for something to do with the crib when our DD moves out of it, but we are not ready to buy another bed yet. This is PERFECT!! I’m doing it this weekend! Thanks!!

  17. Stephanie March 31, 2013 at 7:16 am #

    I love the storage under the crib and I’m been thinking about transitioning my little man from crib he is already older than my other 2 were. but he too shares a room with his older brother and it is a small bedroom so I need all the space I can get That is one reason we haven’t done it I store extra blankets and sheets in canvas totes under it. plus it would mean my little man is growing up.

  18. Francis July 28, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

    Love this idea. Need to put my two boys in a room and was wondering how to go about it. Great idea.

  19. Katie Korpan January 15, 2014 at 4:30 am #

    Just wanted to say thank you for the idea! I just posted a picture on my blog and the link to your DIY of what my daughters crib now looks like! http://lainybugcreations.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/i-dont-know-whos-more-excited/
    Katie Korpan recently posted..I don’t know who’s more excited!My Profile

  20. ashley January 18, 2014 at 4:36 am #

    hey my toddler and share a room so we are pretty limited on space with me being a single mom and all i wish i had a bed like this for my son he would love this

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