Children 20130309+Mini+Crib+04-730144

Published on April 2nd, 2013 | by Jules Yap


Gulliver Mini Crib

Materials: Ikea Gulliver Crib, Bassinet Mattress

Description: My wife and I are expecting a second baby in a couple of months and we’ve naturally been rearranging our home accordingly. Like most people in New York City, we live in a small apartment, so the placement of furniture is like a game of Tetris. The new baby will be sleeping in our bedroom for the first six months or so, but since there’s no way that a full size crib will fit, we needed to find a smaller solution.

We looked at various mini cribs on the market and they were all slightly too big for the space in our room. We also looked at bassinets and decided that they were all either too ugly or too expensive. So we decided to build our own mini crib.

I picked up a good, used Gulliver crib from eBay and then checked the interweb to see what mattresses were available. We settled on a 15″ x 33″ bassinet mattress and placed the order. With my target dimensions for the crib dictated by the mattress, I started measuring and marking up the crib.

The long side pieces are the easiest to modify. Using a handsaw, I cut them down to 33″ in length and then drilled new holes for the dowels, bolts and cylindrical nuts. I used a doweling jig for accuracy. If you don’t have one of these, get one, they’re great.

The end pieces are slightly harder to modify. As shown in the diagram, I cut at two of the joints through the wooden dowels to separate the end piece into two pieces. I then shortened the remaining large end piece so that the top cross bar was longer than the lower. With the aid of the doweling jig again, I drilled new holes for dowels and glued the shortened end pieces back together. When the glue was dry, I drilled new holes for dowels and bolts. I also used the opportunity to add two more sets of holes for the base piece so we could have the mattress higher than Ikea intended.

The last piece to modify was the base upon which the mattress would sit. I used my circular saw to reduce the size to 15″ x 33″ and then used my handsaw to shorten the cross members by roughly 2 cm. The cross members are just secured by staples, so it’s easy to pull them out to rearrange them. I then reassembled the base board and reinforced it with wood screws and a couple of corner brackets. After drilling new holes for the bolts, I was done with the base.

The mini crib assembled just like the original Gulliver crib, which is to say pretty easily. I used a bit of touch up paint to cover up where I cut through the end pieces, but very little was required.

The crib will now fit our room and fit our baby. Overall, I’m pleased with the results, although the perfectionist in me slightly annoyed by the lack of symmetry in the bar spacing. Oh well, I think I can live with it.

~ Doug, Brooklyn

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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".

18 Responses to Gulliver Mini Crib

  1. Mariana Holley says:

    Is there a reason you used the gulliver and not the singular? We want to do a similar hack but make the crib shorter and also more of a mini co-sleeping cot. Since they are nonexistent in the US and impossible to get from the UK or Europe.

    • Doug says:

      Hi Mariana. I used a Gulliver for two reasons: 1) I was familiar with it since we already had one for my older child, and 2) I was able to get one cheap via Craigslist. Happy hacking!

  2. Doug says:

    Hi Joanna, the doweling jig was a gift and I’m not sure where it came from, but it pretty much looks like this one:

  3. Joanna says:

    I am going to try a similar hack with a Mydal bunk, converting from twin to small child size, so I was really happy to find this post. Can you share a recommendation on which doweling jig to buy? Thanks.

  4. Nicol says:

    We live in NYC, any chance you still have it and would like to sell? Great job!

  5. Anonymous says:

    If you cut a door out of the bottom part and attach it with hinges you’ve got a fantastic Baby Jail. For when he’s BAD. Before people start freaking out: it was just a silly joke.

  6. Anonymous says:

    That’s great that you have been lucky co-sleeping. I still believe your pediatrician would disagree with it if you asked them. It has nothing to do with smoking, drinking, blankets or mattresses on the floor. It’s not that I don’t love cuddling with my baby, I do, but co-sleeping is dangerous. People that do it without consequences are lucky.

    • Anonymous says:

      I want to clarify “co-sleeping with an INFANT is dangerous”. They smother in the crack between you and the mattress. Toddlers that can kick or whatever to make you wake up are fine.

    • BDubs says:

      You may want to do your own reading on co-sleeping. When done properly it is completely safe and even reduces the risk of SIDS.

      The horror stories you see are about parents that are under the influence or did things they shouldn’t have done. Many pediatricians are fine with it.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I love this crib-hack! Great job! My husband and I have been co-sleeping(bed sharing) with our son for almost 14 months, it’s safe when done right, everyone dresses warm enough to not need blankets and none of us smoke or drink, and none of us are on medications of any sort. It also helps to have the mattress on the floor and both of us are light sleepers.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Co-sleeping can be deadly with an infant. Ask your pediatrician or google it. This is a much safer solution.

  9. Sarah says:

    Cosleeping would have saved you the square footage as well as money.

  10. Justin says:

    Seems like a lot of work for something that’ll only get two months’ use and be thrown out.

  11. Annemiek says:

    Read justin…six months. I think it is a great hack!!!

    • Doug says:

      Thanks Annemiek. It actually wasn’t a lot of work at all. I’d say it took half an hour to make all of the cuts, another hour or so to drill all of the holes and then 15 minutes to assemble and touch up. And after 6 months, I will probably sell it and recoup the majority of the cost.

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