My little girl Poppy recently saw a doll's cradle in a shop and since then had been very keen to have one! It was very expensive (as nice children's toys often are)... so I tried to think of a way to make the doll's bed cheaply at home.
We had been given a lovely wooden container years ago for a present, and it occurred to me that it was a perfect size for a doll's bed. You could also use a strong box or crate, or any other dolly sized thing you can find around the house!
Then I set about making the frame for behind the cradle. I didn't want to drill any holes into my wooden container (because I want to use it again later after Poppy has finished with her dolls), so I had to make a frame that would be stand-alone. I purchased some craft wood from a hardware, and cut it into two bits.
I made a sort of 'T' shape with the two bits, and I put one nail in the top.
For the bottom of the frame, I taped (using hard-wearing fabric tape) four metal braces on to the wood. I already had the braces - they were left over from some IKEA furniture that I had previously bought.
The frame then looked a bit ugly so I wrapped it in old sheeting and tied it using thread. Then I sewed a bow together for the end and glued it into place. I forgot to buy some netting when I was last at Spotlight, so I cut up a cheapie food cover that I had here for the netting. I simply hung it over the top of the frame. I didn't worry about getting everything perfect - Poppy and her dolls don't mind!
Then I made a skirt for the bottom of the cradle out of old sheeting again. I threaded some elastic through and tied it behind the container, and then sewed on a bow to finish.
Then I made a mattress, sheet, pillow and cover for the cradle. Poppy's favourite doll at the moment is called 'Betsy', so I thought I'd make a personalised 'B' pillow for her too!
And this is the finished product! The only thing the cradle doesn't do is rock... but so far that has not worried Poppy (or Betsy)!