The cradle is finished and will be going home later today with my grand-daughter. I thought I would show you the process and the experimentation that went into this. Everything for the cradle was made with things I already had on hand so the cost was zero dollars.
Here’s the cradle as it was delivered to me. It was missing slats to support a mattress for starters.
The one end was used for practicing writing by a little one, and you can see the screw holes were exposed. I’m not sure if they ever had plugs in them. The cradle itself was sturdy so I filled the holes with wood putty, with some help. After dry the entire cradle was sanded.
To replace the slats I pulled out some shims I had leftover. I first tried to staple them in, but my staples weren’t long enough, instead I used gorilla glue to hold them secure and added a couple finishing nails.
I had a couple shorter shims and used two to give support underneath.
When I asked if I should restore the finish, I would have done a quick sanding and then sealed the entire piece with polycrylic, I was told no she wanted it painted. But then I was informed it needed to be purple. Strange choice since this isn’t one of her favorite colors (she likes pink and green).
I had no purple paint on hand, but little one informed me that blue and red make purple and I have food drops in the pantry (food coloring is what she meant). I gave this some thought and decided to give this a try.
I used half a small bottle of each color (all I had left) and came up with a very pale lavender, but it wasn’t purple enough for her. I have to admit it looked more white than purple at this point.
I wasn’t sure what to do, until I remembered the fabric paint I had. I used a good part of the red making over the trashed lamp, but hoping there was still enough I got to work, and kept blending until I was given the go ahead that this was the color she wanted.
I gave you a sneak peek of the little quilt my grand-daughter arranged for me to sew a few days ago. I wanted it to appear to be a quilt, but being for her dolls I didn’t want to put a lot of time into it.
I had a fleece blanket that was worn in an off white. I’d set it aside to use as the batting in a blanket I will be making for myself, but there was plenty extra…so it became the bedding for the cradle.
We made a mattress and pillow from the blanket, stuffed them with filling from the old loveseat cushion, then pulled out some fabric scraps, (she wanted flowers) and found this fabric for a pillow case.
That done it was time to assemble the quilt. Using more of the fleece blanket for the backing of the quilt (no batting used this time) here is how the quilt turned out.
And for the front, you can see I simply folded over some of the fleece backing for the binding around the edges. Please no criticism on my quilting skills, I know this is something I struggle to improve :-)
After three coats of paint it was time to add some details. I remembered there were foam shapes left in the kids craft drawer and went to get the flowers. Unfortunately, I was all out of flowers. I did have frogs and remembered the Princess and the Frog bookcase I made over for her. Mom gave the go ahead for frogs.
I attached the frogs to the end of the cradle with the aid of a hot glue gun. Of course the colors weren’t what I was going for, but a little paint solved that.
The color was a soft lavender, until I added a coat of polycrylic. I had allowed the paint to dry for several hours, it was completely dry in other words. But when I applied the polycrylic to seal the finish, it took on a completely different color.
The only thing I can come up with to explain the change in the color would be the food coloring. I’ve used fabric paint before, on metal, and had no change in color when sealing it with the polycrylic, so it has to be the food coloring which may not have dried completely in the wet paint? Anyway, it’s now really purple and streaky. I had to be very careful about brush strokes as each one left a distinctive marking on the finish.
And here is the finished cradle all ready for her dolls to enjoy. I actually love the personality the finish gave, but now that I see it I would have to say I didn’t need as much food coloring as I thought. If you want to try tinting with food coloring I’d say give it a try, just be open for a surprise ending.
Remember it’s always the thought that counts and a little imagination can make anything possible.