Children gulliver

Published on August 7th, 2007 | by Jules Yap


jail cell to modern baby crib

i love this modern baby crib from mary and hubby. goes to show a little creativity goes a long way.

“my husband and i were in desperate need of a crib, we wanted something modern, but within our budget. but modern cribs meant we’d have to shell out a load of cash. so we looked into ikea and found the almost perfect gulliver crib, except for the fact that it looked like a mini jail cell. of course, ikea had none in stock. we luckily found a used one on craigslist.


we bought some nice laminated wood and cut new end panels, using the old end piece as a
template for all the screw holes. we milled out a little design detail and we had a unique modern crib.”


one lucky baby!

More hacks on

simple ideas for cat litter boxes
ikea wall lighting stand mod

The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

28 Responses to jail cell to modern baby crib

  1. Anonymous says:

    Nice idea, though something to keep in mind when altering the original design of a baby cot or crib. Cots and cribs are usually designed with safety regulations,and babies safety in mind. Gaps between the upright poles, and gaps between sides and mattress usually have minimum and maximum size to prevent entrapment of babies body parts. Also the measurement from the mattress to the top of the sides, to prevent the risk of the baby climbing over the top,and being injured. Just a thought.

  2. modern baby furniture says:

    Very cool! I just wanted to suggest that you might consider rounding the corners for safety’s sake when your baby is old enough to pull up.

  3. Justin says:

    This is sweet! Future hipster in the making!

  4. Anonymous says:

    I’m digging up an old post but I just have to say how much I LOOOOVE this hack! Modern baby cribs are so expensive so you’re left with having to buy something cutesy or plain. I’m thinking about trying this and since we don’t have miter, getting large drill bits to make different sized circles.. Would be fun for the baby to play peekaboo with! Not sure how I would arrange them without them looking cheesy but I might just have to figure it out!
    Curious to see if anybody tried out the countertops at Ikea to use as the end panel? That would be easier than hunting down some nice quality plywood and cutting it down yourself.
    Thanks so much for inspiring us! This seems like a basic DIY project and not too over our heads and yet it creates an amazing result!
    BTW, lets ignoring commenters like the one that suggested that a crib means a baby is neglected. LOL.. they obviously don’t have kids. Cribs keep babies safe when they sleep, and if they can do it in style.. lucky baby!

  5. white baby cribs says:

    I love this kind of baby crib. I think this is going to be safe for my baby.

  6. shanghaifry says:

    thank you, anonymous, for your candid comment about being “in a wood jail instead of parents arms”. it is a crib and we did only use it for sleeping purposes, and as any parent would know, sleeping with a baby in your arms for a year(maybe longer) on a daily basis would prove more hazardous. though, i do agree, we probably could have chosen a better, more “chemical free” wood panel option, but the laminated wood was something we had used countless other times for high end furniture for both our home and others…and my son is perfectly fine..except for that minor neurological disorder he’s developed…i’m kidding..

  7. Anonymous says:

    Totally Amazing. I LOVE what you have done. I would do this in a heartbeat, but I don’t think my wife would let me do it.

    Kudos to you!!!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Lucky baby… inside a wood jail instead in parents arms ?????????
    And of course laminated wood is full of chemicals… great…

  9. eeka says:

    If you don’t mind the end panels being exactly the width of the Gulliver end panels (rather than a few inches wider as they are here), you can use this tabletop as your panel:

    The tabletops — as well as various other doors and countertops at IKEA — are a great cheap source of decent-quality laminate or hardwood.

  10. shanghaifry says:

    Sorry, I haven’t checked this post in a long time, but just to answer some questions: yes, we used the original ikea crib end pieces as a template, so you can lower the bed later. our son is now 2 1/2 yrs old. so it’s worked well for us.

    for the person asking if the laminate is safe for babies and kids, it’s no less safe than any other laminated wood for other furniture and we have yet to read anything about it being unsafe.

    lastly, i don’t think it’s safe to cut the gulliver crib down in length, though we haven’t tried it. the only problem i could imagine is that you’d have to find a way to cut all the holes out to match and that may not be worth the time.

    since our son is now two, we’re considering taking off one side of the railing and creating a low bed rail so he can climb in and out of it himself. i’ll post pictures once we finish it.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Sheer genius! I am totally going to do the same. These modern cribs are outrageous! Thanks for sharing your brilliant idea!

  12. Anonymous says:

    I love this post. I need a mini crib in my tiny apartment, though, and can’t find any I like. Could the gulliver be cut down safely in its length?

  13. Taliesan says:

    I’m doing something very similar this weekend. Funny to find it the day before.

    Good work!

    I am concerned about whether or the new ends of the crib would stand up to safety concerns, so I limiting myself to changing the base. I’ll post it when it’s done.

  14. says: has great Futon beds that begin as a couch, creating a comfortable space for parent and child(ren) to cuddle around a book. Kids may easily unfold into a twin or double bed. Kids futons are relatively inexpensive because, given the kid’s light weight, it is not necessary to invest in an expensive mattress. Kids sleep soundly on the floor, so a cotton mattress will do just fine. provides affordable kids bedroom furniture at prices you will like.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Is the laminate safe/non toxic for children.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Love this post! How much is the thinply?

  17. Anonymous says:

    This is so cool!! I have a question, can you also place the bed base at a lower height? Thanks for sharing this great idea!

  18. Anonymous says:

    This is really great! I will definitely consider doing something like this if we have another. One of the best IKEA hacks I have seen!!!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Can I have the dimensions for the laminated wood pieces? I’m on at tight budget and love the modern looking cribs. I could totally do this with in my budget. It’s beautiful! Best regards

  20. shanghaifry says:

    the dimensions of the panels are 33″w x 38″h. we made the sides about 1.5″ wider than the crib rails and the top about 3.5 or 4″ taller than the top of the rails.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Simply gorgeous! My husband and I have been thinking about a DIY nursery, and this is only further encouragement to go ahead. :]

    Thanks for sharing.

  22. Anonymous says:

    What were the dimensions of the laminated wood pieces?

  23. shanghaifry says:

    by the way, we didn’t have any problems with splinters. but we did sand the heck out of it, just to be sure. we also did sand the edges so they were a bit rounded, for safety reasons. we then, finished or polished the cut edges with a wood oil used for kitchen cutting blocks because it was non toxic. just in case our son decided to chew on the wood panels.

  24. shanghaifry says:

    jenny, laminated wood is a type of plywood. we chose a “thinply” or “baltic” plywood. you would have to purchase these from a specialty lumber yard, since it’s a higher grade of plywood created for cabinets or furniture. so, home depot type stores would not typically have this type of plywood. also, because the thinply is used predominately for furniture, it’s usually prefinished, so you dont have to paint or stain it. as for “milling” the design, we decided on a pattern we wanted and used a wood router to “grind out” the area we wanted a pattern on. in order to create the stripes, we had to clamp some wood blocks along the edge and ran the router along the block, without a “jig”, the router would have made crooked lines. i hope this helps. email me if you have any other questions.

  25. Very cool! I just wanted to suggest that you might consider rounding the corners for safety’s sake when your baby is old enough to pull up.

  26. Jenny says:

    What does that mean bought laminated wood and milled a little design detail… for those of us who are terrible at DYI… can you suggest how we do this and where we get laminated wood?

  27. Anonymous says:

    It’s great, but aren’t you worried about when the kid gets big enough to grab the top of it s/he might get a splinter? Did you lacquer the edges?

  28. Jessie says:

    wow! I love this. Modern cribs are a small fortune,..great idea!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Back to Top ↑