Olivia’s Doll Crib

A doll crib designed for 18" dolls. Features a bottom drawer.


Projects built from this plan. Thank you for submitting brag posts, it's appreciated by all!


I've been making quite a few gifts (with of course the help of my daughter Grace) of late - you'll be seeing a lot of giftable projects, and yes, more projects fit for boys too in the next few weeks - and sometimes, Grace does ask, can I have this?

This particular gift is for Olivia, Grace's friend that she has known from birth.  And while we were building this doll crib for Olivia, Grace mischievously whispered, "Mom, let's give Olivia the doll bed and I can have the crib."

So Grace and I had a conversation about how it's better to give then to receive, and how gifts aren't about giving away what you don't want, but about giving something that you hope your friends will love.  And it's especially nice to give your time and creativity, in the form of something you made with your hands.

I'm not sure how much actually registered in the mind of a three year old.

It's Alaska.  Princess dresses go better with Uggs, over top of your clothes.  Does she seem thrilled to give away this present?  Especially after we built it together, painted it together, and sewed all the bedding and mattresses, it seemed Grace was rather reluctant to part with this doll crib.  I was a bit worried when we went to the party.

When Grace and I arrived at the birthday party, we left our gift in the entryway because (shame on me) some of the paint wasn't quite dry.  While Olivia was unwrapping her gifts, I was so impressed with all of the children there, genuinely happy for the birthday girl, never showing any signs of resentment or jealously.  But about half way through the gifts, Grace jumped up and ran over to me and whispered in my ear, "Mom, where is our gift for Olivia? Can I give it to her now?"  And she hauled it over to the pile of presents, proudly saying, "Olivia, this is my present for you, and I made it for you."

I guess I'm still three years old at heart too, because I felt great joy in seeing Olivia's delight over the gift, but especially great joy in seeing my daughter joyously give a handmade gift.

On the car ride home, Grace was quiet.  As we pulled into the yard, she said, "Mom, let's make presents for everyone this Christmas!"

Is it true that it is better to give then to receive?  I've often wondered, waiting long hours in lines at stores over the holidays, being run over by shopping carts, or seeing kids get piles of presents, over stimulated by beeping and flashing toys, or upset over not getting what they wanted.  My Gracie included.

But this experience was so joyful and fulfilling.  It IS better to give, especially when you can give from the heart.  I challenge you this Christmas to give at least one gift that you put your heart and time into, to handmake just one gift.  And over the next few weeks, I will be blogging all the gifts that I handmake, for both little girls and little boys, to teens, and adults as well.

Today's plan is for Olivia's doll crib.  This crib is so many times cuter in person than in the pictures.  I only had about five minutes to snap photos in the garage.  I'm most regretting not getting a photo of Grace sitting inside the crib, pretending to be a baby.  This crib is strong and big.

And if you would like to handmake the gift tag, you can go here to print this graphic out and add your text.  I pasted mine on scrapbooking paper.

Shopping List: 

1 – 1×12, 8 feet long
1 – 1×6, 6 feet long
2 – 1×2, 8 feet long
wood filler, glue, and finishing supplies
1 1/4″ pocket hole screws or 2″ trim screws
2″ wood screws (can use the 2″ trim screws)
sand paper

measuring tape
safety glasses
hearing protection
It’s not a little piece. The drawer is really big too.
Cut List: 

2 – 1×12 @ 20″ (Round tops as shown in step 2)
1 – 1×12 @ 21″ (Crib Bottom)
1 – 1×12 @ 20 3/4″ (Drawer Bottom)
2 – 1×6 @ 20 3/4″ (Drawer Front and Back)
2 – 1×6 @ 10″ (Sides of Drawer)
4 – 1×2 @ 21″ (Tops and Bottoms of Crib Rails)
10 – 1×2 @ 7 3/4″ (Crib Rails)

Step 1: 


Mark all of the 1x2s @ 21″ long as shown above. Drill either pocket holes in all the rails or in the tops/bottoms of rails and attach the rails to the tops/bottoms with screws. Use 1 1/4″ screws for pocket holes. or 2″ trim screws if you choose to drill through the tops and bottoms. Use glue. One screw will do for each rail if you use glue.

Step 2 Instructions: 


The most difficult part of this entire project was cutting the tops of the ends the same rounded curve. I actually thought about just making the tops straight (would have been much easier and given the crib a cool modern feel) but decided to stick out the curve. Lots of sanding later, and the tops look great. After cutting with a jigsaw, I clamped the two ends together and sanded, sanded, sanded, until the ends matched. Then I built the box as shown above. Use 2″ screws through predrilled holes or 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws and glue.

Step 3 Instructions: 


Now simply attach the rails to the ends and bottom.

Step 4 Instructions: 


Build the drawer box as shown above. Notch out the drawer with a jigsaw.

Step 5 Instructions: 


Screw the bottom of the drawer to the drawer box.

Preparation Instructions: 
I filled all holes with wood filler and let dry. Then I went over with a second coat. Then I sanded with 120 grit sandpaper. Then I removed the sanding residue with a vacuum, followed with a quick wipe down with a damp washcloth. Everything got a single coat of primer. Then Grace and I painted the crib Antique White by Valspar in satin, and the drawer Utterly Pink (I added a shot or two of black to mute the color) in Valspar satin.
Project Type: 
Estimated Cost: 
Skill Level: 


just.... love...

my girls are both the wrong ages now, but i can definitely see this going under the tree next year.


I guess our little Grace really lived up to her name!

WIth my two we have gotten some green eyed monster in the past. But, the
majority of the time they are amazing to me. They don't take the gifts they
are given lightly. My husband and I remind them of the sacrifices people make to
give to them and others. We do not charge a single gift nor do we buy them a huge
amount of gifts (which is reeeeeallly hard sometimes, because I love to give) and we
also try to make sure that they focus on the giving and the true spirit of the season.
It might be different for everyone, my family is very Catholic and his is Lutheran and
Baptist. I, myself, am not. But I remind them of the reason for the celebration,
and that EVERYONE can agree on the practice of goodwill and family and peace.

This year we'll be building 2 shelves for the grandparents and I'm sure it'll be
the best gift in the joint!


Love. this. Little girl is too young for it now, but I see this being a project that is made soon and tucked away for when she is ready. Now to find her a baby doll that she'll love.

Ana, I hope it isn't too soon in our "relationship" to say that I love you. And not in a creepy stalker sort of way, just in a "you are my hero" sort of way. This is perfect, one farmhouse bed and one crib with drawer, and it will be the perfect Christmas. Thank you. The end.

Adorable! But, I especially loved the story behind it. Children are always full of wonderful surprises. I'm glad Grace enjoyed giving away the doll crib and that it inspired her to give more. So sweet!

Oh Ana! You have done it again! I absolutely adore your blog... which I completely gushed about to my brother on the phone tonight... which then involved a 30 minute conversation over your designs and what we wish we had time to do in our own homes. I must make this for my daughter who will be turning 3 in December!! It will be the perfect addition to her bedroom for her babies to sleep in!

I thought about a rocking bottom too. But it seems to me like the narrow crib would just roll over? With my little one I think flat will be best, she's a mover!

The first thing I did this morning was browse the American Girls Catalog and wonder if I should really spend $70+ on a plastic crib for bitty baby. The second thing I did was check Google reader and this is what I find?! Now I'm in a quandary...Do I give my husband the miter saw before Christmas or just break it out now so I can get these doll beds done for the little ladies? Ok I'll just go get a new blade for the circular saw and use that.

Dear Ana -
This post made me cry. I know you must be an incredibly busy person to give to us through the blog the way you do and as a mother, it thrills my heart to see the practical wise messages you are sending to your sweet little girl at the same time. Thanks for all you've given. I hope to build this crib very soon.

"After cutting with a jigsaw, I clamped the two ends together and sanded, sanded, sanded, until the ends matched."

Could you clamp them, then cut them at the same time, for a better match? I don;t use jigsaws much, so I don't know how thick things can be.

I know I'm super emotional already (26 weeks preggers), but your blog literally brought tears to my eyes when I read it. I can only hope that my own daughter will enjoy creating things with me just like you and your precious Grace. LOVE your story even more than the doll crib itself!

I can't believe it! My duaghter has been asking for an art easel ever since I bought one at an auction for $1 and accidently left it there. Last week you did the art easel. Two night ago she was working on her wish list for Santa (she is limited to asking for only three items) she put down a DC, mp3 player and a crib for her doll! It is amazing the perfect timing of everything. I was looking on ebay and trying to decide if I could get a little one and then this pops up. Some things are meant to be...

Anyway you could put up plans for a DS or an mp3 player ??? :)

I have found that kids are just naturally good at giving.... it's usually me getting this lesson from my little ones ;) But I know how you feel having your heart swell with pride when you see the kindness in your own child's eyes! Keep the awesome projects coming! I can't wait to make these with my wee little one :)

Hey we just saw something like this at Costco and my older daughter thought it would be perfect for our baby but of course it came only in a super bright color! Perfect timing.. I know she would love to help paint it! Thanks Ana!

I am so glad I saw this. This is perfect for our doll situation. Right now all the dolls and clothes are in a box and it repeatedly gets dumped out when they are looking for a doll.
Thanks so much!

Please tell me you're going to make a doll bed for your daughter. It is good to give but what a nice thing for her to receive as well....

You're wonderful, Ana. I hope someone makes *YOU* something handmade this Christmas! Happy Holidays and Thanks for the wonderful plans. I need to clone myself so I have time to do all that you do!

Went to Lowe's over lunch and bought the wood for the easel and the crib! Can't wait to get started!

Ok.... I will let you off of the DS, but the rate you were going, I just had to ask

I love that story of your daughter! How sweet! It makes me want to make special gifts with my three year old to give away!! PS... You should make a REAL crib, (one that is actually sturdy and won't be recalled in a few years) :) I would love a handmade crib that I know isn't crummy construction :)

So super cute! I'm going to have DH get to making this ASAP.

I do have a question, is it difficult for little ones to open/close the drawer?

This is sooooo sweet. I just got a baby doll for my son to give to his godchild. I showed him the bed. I will pick up the lumber tomorrow. Thank you Ana.

AWESOME! i'm reading the details and I'm wondering- if the bottom board of the crib is 20" - don't the top and bottom rails need to be 20" as well? Looking at your actual pictures I think so - i'm just wondering if I'm missing something...

I want to make mine rock too!

I'm so excited! I can wrap my brain around making doll patterns, but all the wooden stuff is definitely better left up to you. I've been hoping you'd make one of these, now I just need my grandpa to help me make one before Christmas :)

Kate, did I typo? The bottom should be 21", but the sides should be 20. I'll do some checking/editing as necessary. Trust the drawings first, me second. Thanks for pointing this out! Ana

My kids are getting a complete Ana White Christmas :)

My 4 year old daughter will be getting an adorable kitchen set from your fabulous plans, and my 2 year old son will be getting the PB inspired kids table with rolling drawers... along with some toys for the table.

Thanks for providing the plans for our Christmas this year!

Lisa, I have to tell you, tonight I made a doll high chair, intended for her cousin Clara. And she was trying not to cry when we said it was for Clara, she just wanted it sooooooo bad . . . so we gave in and will just have to make two! Since I started blogging, my daughter has sacrificed so much - dinner, bath, story time, pretty much mom in general. I think you are right, why make her also sacrifice all these cute toys she helps make. Thanks so much for your wisdom.

At the risk of sounding totally clueless... what age do little girls (or boys) start playing with dolls?

My friends daughter is going to be 1 in December and this would be the cutest birthday present, but I'm guessing it's waaaay too young for something like this. She said her daughter plays with stuffed animals, but I dunno, probably I should wait another year or two - but it's so hard because this is soooo cute! :)

I just discovered you and your site and I am IN LOVE! Amazing, amazing, amazing!

And to Bethany I say, my daughter got a doll and bottle for her first birthday and she loved it! She's 16 months now and I'm planning to make her this crib to put that baby doll in.

Bethany, it seems like 1 is the right age for little girls to like baby dolls. My niece LOVE baby dolls and she's 1. I think you would be safe. Plus, even if your niece doesn't play with it, it can store baby dolls and clothes. I think it would be a perfect gift! Thank you Jessamy!

Made the crib today for my niece's 3rd birthday on Saturday. First time building something from this blog...first time building anything really. The plans were perfect. The whole family pitched in, including my husband who helped with some of the larger cuts, my 13 year old son who helped sand and hold wood while it was cut, my 7 year old daughter who helped sand and came to the store with me to buy the wood, and even my 17 month old who got in the crib and tested it!! I plan to paint the graphic for the gift tag on the side of the crib and put my niece's initials inside. Can't wait to see her face when I give it to her! Thank you, Ana!

This is the sweetest thing! I have 2 year olds and a 5 year old. All girls and they would love this! My 3 year olds are getting this crib for Christmas. I even have that fabric! My 5 year old is getting the farmhouse doll bed. I love that you share this with the world. You are such a blessing to mommies like me:) Thank you Ana!

Discovery Kids makes a kid tough real mp3 player, with speakers & not headphones/earbuds to tangle up or break. We bought it for our little girl's 3rd birthday last spring, and it is the bomb! We also have a 2 year-old little boy, so I can definitely vouch for it's kid toughness. It's easy to load songs onto--no special software or anything, easy for the kids to operate, comes pre-loaded with 20 songs that don't suck, and you just add whatever else you want to. Has 512MB of memory. Hubs strips songs down to mono (it has 2 speakers, but it's still mono), and makes the files small, and they probably have 50 songs on it, with room for lots more. It does mean, though, that when the 2 year-old is going through a phase, you get to play "Barbara Ann" sixty-eleven times a day for a couple of weeks! :-D

Thank you Ana for the darling crib/w drawer pattern. My husband and I made three of them complete with mattresses and pieced quilts. It was a big, but fun project and our four grandaughters (and parents) loved them. But... after we got them all funished and painted, we brought them all out on the carpeted floor. The drawer no longer fits underneath. The drawer should be 3/8 " shorter to slide underneath the crib. As it is now the sides of the crib sink into the carpet a little and don't allow the drawer to slide underneath. We will have to cut off the top of each drawer and re paint. Or you could add a piece of something to the bottom sides of the crib to raise it up to allow the drawer to slide under neath.

Laurie, what you could do is just buy some cork feet and place it under the crib sides. It'll protect your floor and raise the crib up. Or put a bottom on the crib with a 1x12 the entire length of the crib. Should be an easy fix.

To get both the ends rounded tape the 2 boards together and draw out the curve on the outside board. Then use the jigsaw to cut out the curves and both pieces will match!  Hope that helps and makes sense!

This is wonderful ! You have saved Christmas for BOTH of my girls now. We made the bunkbeds saturday and this yesterday . I commented on the sewing tutorial for the bunkbeds and told you how you had saved Christmas. You literally made the things my girls wanted for christmas obtainable and they weren't before. Thank you and God Bless :)

This is really cute one with the features a bottom drawer, Idea is new but It should be ventilated from round side instead of two.