Asked on Mar 21, 2014

What to do with an old baby cradle?

Ida Dahlberg
by Ida Dahlberg
The grand kids didn't use it because it was crappy looking. So it has been sitting in my basement all these years. I would like to put it to use either as something useful or just decorative. Any suggestions? It's a sentimental piece so I don't want to throw it out. Maybe my daughter-in-law will let my son have it if it's useful? Any suggestion will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Ida Dahlberg
I had this cradle made 39 yrs ago, just before my son was born.
  29 answers
  • Barbara John Barbara John on Mar 21, 2014
    I have plants in one Cats in another and teddy bears in the 3rd one
  • Kathy Ziegler Kathy Ziegler on Mar 21, 2014
    Paint it a bright color and filll it with plastic and put potted seasonal plants in it,. Or clean it up and paint it and give it to the grandkids for a toy box/doll cradle/stuffed animal bed.
  • Mary Carper Mary Carper on Mar 21, 2014
    I painted one in pretty pastels and made a foam bed for my Grand Daughter's doll babies...
  • Ida Dahlberg Ida Dahlberg on Mar 21, 2014
    @Kathy Ziegler, I'm thinking about painting it a neutral color, stencil animals on it and have them use it as storage for all their stuffed animals. Thanks for your input.
  • Reposhture Studio - Kim Reposhture Studio - Kim on Mar 21, 2014
    I would either turn it into a sleigh by adding runners on the bottom and using it for a Christmas decoration or add a seat somehow and hang it from a tree and use it as a swing. Then the grandkids would use it for sure!
    • Ida Dahlberg Ida Dahlberg on Jun 13, 2017

      I love the sleigh idea thank you so much! I've still not done anything with it.

  • Jan Watson Jan Watson on Mar 21, 2014
    All ideas are great, but what I cant figure out, how the children down the line did not cherish this family treasure????
    • Sharon Sharon on Oct 04, 2019

      I feel sad my son and daughter didn't use their cradle either. My son's wife is infertile, and my daughter was in the military, so we couldn't get it to Japan.

  • Linda Linda on Mar 21, 2014
    This is SOOOOO beautiful!!! Full of small Christmas presents for visiting friends during the holidays would be nice. Or Christmas pillows. Plants are great, but I'd be afraid of the water ruining this amazing piece .
  • Tanya Peterson Felsheim Tanya Peterson Felsheim on Mar 22, 2014
    I don't think its ready to be relegated to a yard item just yet. I think painting it is the key for the kids to enjoy, and filling it at different seasons with different items they can enjoy would be wonderful.
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Mar 22, 2014
    I think I would clean it up good and give it a good rub down with some protective wax...I use a bees wax product. Then I would put it in a prominent place like a den and fill it full of rolled up throws and pillows. Then on those cold Kentucky nights, I would pull out what I needed! It could sit next to an entertainment center, at the end of a sofa, etc. Get it out and use it!
  • Mabeline Mabeline on Mar 22, 2014
    I agree with Jeanette, showcase it in your home with extra throws and blankets; maybe put a small serving tray on top of those (for when blankets are not needed) with a potted plant vignette. Keep it simple but eye catching. Then when the kids recognize its beauty and want it - say sorry because it has a lovely home and a re-purposeful life.
  • Katie Katie on Mar 22, 2014
    Probably because of the dark colour and the fact it's been relegated to the basement, your family didn't see the value or potential. Making some of the changes suggested may assist them to see it in a different light.
  • Ida Dahlberg Ida Dahlberg on Mar 22, 2014
    @Katie, I totally agree with you. I'll give it some TLC and see what they think. Thanks everyone for your suggestions.
  • Barbara G Barbara G on Mar 23, 2014
    What about adding a liner and making a cute planter?
  • Barbara G Barbara G on Mar 23, 2014
    I can see a Big fern or even a Fairy garden in it.
  • Sally Sally on Mar 23, 2014
    Display your favorite things which represent you and your family's story and over with glass. Depending on its height, it would turn into a wonderful coffee or side table.
  • Theresa Hughes Theresa Hughes on Mar 23, 2014
    I would paint a nice winter scene on it and use it as part of a santas sleigh display and put either presents and a small christmastree in it for christmas or put a santas village or christmas village in it with a christmas tree and can be used in the winter for extra blankets or as a yarn holder if you do yarn crafts also could do an autumn painting on the other side to be used for a nice fall display think hay bails and scarecrows or and for thanksgiving displays and halloween displays haunted village comes to mind oh heck just give it to me lol
  • Donna Shaner Donna Shaner on Mar 23, 2014
    It is a family heirloom, even if some in the family don't realize it right now. Someday, someone will be thrilled to have it. I would not alter it in any way-clean it up and use it in your home as suggested.(to hold throws or pillows). I like the idea of using it for a Christmas display, too. Just don't alter it.
    • See 1 previous
    • Robyn Robyn on Mar 24, 2014
      Since i live in an older storage challenged home, and a magazine rat. I love the idea of storage for magazines also.
  • KathrynElizabeth Etier KathrynElizabeth Etier on Mar 23, 2014
    I would feature it in a living space (living room, bedroom) and line books inside it, probably old cloth- or leather-bound editions with interesting titles.
  • Shari Veater Shari Veater on Mar 23, 2014
    Give it a good cleaning and proudly display it with either a seasonal display, old toys inside or old quilts...what a woncerful piece to day your child will ask about "that old cradle".....enjoy it!
  • Kate Allen Kate Allen on Mar 23, 2014
    I've used cradles in two ways; one is a guest bath filled with clean towels and one as a magazine/book holder. As Hometalk knows, I'm an Amy Howard "one-step" paint fan; pick a color you love - no sanding or priming necessary. Paint and wax. Use her clear wax or clear & dark wax for a more vintage look. Lots of info on her website.
  • Debbie Machmer Debbie Machmer on Mar 23, 2014
    @ Ida, I would clean this up with a good scrubbing with TSP before giving the coat of wax which is a great idea. I'd set it out for sure, I love old things especially children's furniture and toys. Fill it with teddys, dolls or whatever strikes you. Enjoy as you think of the time your own baby spent in this cradle.
  • Barbara Ann Barbara Ann on Mar 23, 2014
    I think I see it at my house ;)
  • Sherry Goolsby Sherry Goolsby on Mar 23, 2014
    I LOVE Barbara Ann's idea! Made me laugh out loud!
  • Teri Candeloro Teri Candeloro on May 01, 2014
    I have a collection of older baby quilts and other vintage fabric pieces. I would fill it with those, making a display of it all by draping things in layers over the sides etc.
  • White Oak Studio Designs White Oak Studio Designs on May 02, 2014
    I made either a planter on a covered porch, or use it to hold children books.
  • Bob Woolf Bob Woolf on Jun 13, 2017

    What would you suggest for this cradle. Very old.

  • Ida Dahlberg Ida Dahlberg on Jun 30, 2017

    I love this! The color is great. Like many people suggested with mine I think it would be great in you living room filled with throws and decorative pillows.

  • Vicki Vicki on Mar 01, 2020

    I have the same problem. My kids don’t have a use for it but my dad made it. Can’t let it go.

  • Vicki Vicki on Mar 01, 2020

    Same problem here. My dad made this for m children but they did not use it for theirs. I can’t let it go.