I’m a yard-sale and thrift-shop junkie. I love finding old items and turning them into something new. When it comes to creating kids’ toys, the sky is the limit. With a little paint, a side table can become a boutique-worthy tea table or art desk.
With some imagination and a little DIY know-how, a small dresser can be converted into a play kitchen or a bed tray can easily be transformed into a doll bed. The idea is simple and easy to do and can be customized to match any room decor. If you aren’t lucky enough to score a bed tray at a yard sale or thrift shop, look for one at a large discount store.
What you need
• Breakfast-in-bed tray with collapsible legs
• Wood glue
• Wood screws
• 4 wood balls or blocks (bed legs)
• Craft paint (optional)
• 2 inch-thick foam
• 1/2 yard flannel fabric – sheets
• 1/2 yard fleece fabric – blanket
• Pinking shears
• Gelatin box
• Faux fur
• Fabric glue
Step by step
To begin, flip the bed tray over and use wood glue and screws to secure the legs in a locked, open position. The legs will be the head and footboard. Allow to dry.
Add legs to the bed at the four corners with wood glue and allow to dry. Add long wood screws to secure. You can use many different things for legs. Wood blocks, drawer pulls, wood balls, etc. Just look for four things that match in size. Flip the bed right side up.
Optional: If you don’t like the color of the tray, you can sand it and paint it with acrylic paint.
Cut the foam with a kitchen knife to fit the base of the tray; this will be the mattress.
Wrap a piece of flannel fabric around the foam mattress to be sheets. I don’t glue the fabric, so it can be removed and washed later.
Making the comforter: Cut a piece of fleece slightly larger than the bed. I like to use fleece because it is no-fray. Use decorative pinking shears to give the edge pizazz.
Making the fur bolsters: Open both ends of the gelatin box and fold to the inside of the box. Cut a piece of faux fur that will wrap around the box and have a little extra overhang on both sides of the box. Lay the fur wrong side up and place the box in the center of the fur. Wrap the fur around the box and secure with a little fabric glue. Tuck ends of the fabric into the box for a finished look.
Cathie Filian is a lifestyle expert, TV host and craft-book author.