Friday, December 28, 2012

Ordinary Happily Ever After: DIY Co-Sleeper

We are SUPER excited to have Courtney with us today!  She is the Author of Ordinary Happily Ever After.  She is such a talented lady!  Today she is going to show us how to build a DIY: Co-Sleeper.  Lets get to know a little about Courtney first...


I'm so excited to be a guest author here at Babblings and More!

My name is Courtney and I’m an Air Force wife, a mother, teacher, patriot, a runner, and aspiring scholar. I love being a traditional mom, homeschooling my children, reading and politics. My husband calls me "dangerously self-confidant" and I love learning new things (things like how to build furniture). Most days I live over at Ordinary Happily Ever After where I share lofty and often over-the-top fitness goals, book reviews, political commentary, DIY tips and musings on my family, homeschooling, and life. 

DIY Co-Sleeper

My fifth child was born about six weeks ago. We've always kept our babies close at night during the first six months or so. I can't decide if the reason is because I'm paranoid about SIDS and babies stopping breathing in the middle of the night (I read that mom's heart beat etc. can jumpstart a baby who is having a hard time breathing or if his heart starts to act up) or just maybe I'm too lazy to get up every couple hours for six months.
Either reason is valid as far as I'm concerned. During the first six months or so baby's crib gets shoved up against our bed so that when I hear him start to fuss in the middle of the night, I reach over and pluck him out of his crib (or plastic box in my second child's case) and plug him in to eat. If I'm awake when he is done I just reach over and put him back.
He'll get kicked out of our room about the time he starts to keep me up for reasons other than to eat (like kicking me or wanting to play). That usually happens around six months. Perfect time for sleep training.
This was the first time I didn't have an extra crib lying around for the new baby to use. About six weeks before he was born I decided to build a co-sleeper!
I saw one floating around somewhere on the inter webs and thought it was brilliant. The price tag of $300 made me rethink it's brilliance, but having just finished my table I wasn't about to let that something as silly as price stop me.
I fired up google sketch-up (something my husband and I liked to use to dream up ridiculous house plans) and got to work.

The next day I went into the garage scrounging for scraps of wood.

I found just what I needed with plywood scraps!
I marked my measurements and cut the wood with Grandpa's old table saw (they were too wide for my miter saw and my circular saw died while I was building my table). 


Once I had my boards cut I took them upstairs (where my drill was) to the deck to assemble them. In case you were wondering, yes it is easier to take large pieces of wood, a palm sander, eye and ear protection, my Kreg Jig and all of my screws and bits UPSTAIRS than it would be to take my drill downstairs. Don't ask me why, it just is ;) 


I drilled my pocket holes and put the sides on first (by the way, please read the directions for your Kreg Jig for adjusting to your wood and screw length and remember them so that you don't accidentally drill a hole into your jig... not that I did that... or... um... anyway...) 


Then Jack discovered what I was doing. This boy loves his toys and flat surfaces to play with them on. He was delighted when he discovered this newly constructed "flat surface".

Once I pried Jack away (aka turned on Phineus and Ferb) I was able to put the back on. 


This is about the time when Matt suggested that I round off the corners. I used my new fancy shmancy jig saw to start it. As you can see, I was very technical and precise while tracing where to cut. 


I filled all of the holes with Elmer's Wood Filler Max and sanded all of the edges and rounded everything off with my palm sander. 


"Look, Mom! Perfect fit!" 


I already had some table legs hanging out just waiting to be put to good use. I also found a six foot piece of scrap plywood that I was able to cut in half for the slides that would go under the mattress (which was great because I didn't want to use my pretty wood for that). 


I put the slides on...


and took it up to my bedroom to fit on my bed in order measure how long the legs would have to be (pay no attention to the mess on the nightstand... or the unmade bed... or the trash on the floor). 


Then I cut the legs down to size with my miter saw


I drew circles (ish) around where I wanted the legs to be and used my countersink bit to drill some holes. Then instead of measuring everything really precisely only to have it turn out wrong, I drilled a hole in the center where I drew my circle (ish) thing. 


And in the center (ish) of the leg. 


I stuck a wooden skewer that I fished out of my kitchen drawer into the leg hole then stuck it through the hole in the center of my circle (ish) drawing. 


With the leg held in the correct place by the skewer I was able to drive the screws in without fear that I would miss the leg. I broke off the wooden skewer and then did the other one with the same skewer. 


Here she is! Ready for a couple coats of paint and a foam mattress! 


I painted the co-sleeper using my HVLP Spray Gun.


After it was dry I changed my mind on the color and painted again (pay no attention to the mess on the kitchen floor... my recycling bin threw up.) 


I ordered a thick piece of foam online and cut it down to size using my laser vision (technically my husband cut it down to size using the knife on his Leatherman.) 


After several weeks of use I can testify that the co-sleeper works great! The only downside is that if you happen to have a baby who prefers to snuggle up in his mommy's neck, you might not get much use out of it as you would like :) 


You can find detailed plans of this co-sleeper HERE.
When you have finished yours, I hope you skip on over to Ordinary Happily Ever After and let me know!
 I'd love to see it :)


Del said...

This is great! I need one of these for the next kid. Courtney has a great blog too.

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