Crib upcycle to slat wall

It has been ages since I did a how-to.  Half because I’ve been lax on the actually finishing and half because what I have been finishing is dull.  I am Excited about this one!  Use your crib rails as slat walls and you can hang things from it, anything from robes to toy bins!  It was a simple and fast project that only needed a few tools and the best part is that it is totally reversible so if you are not sure about taking your crib out of circulation forever this is a good choice.


When we transitioned Fiona out of the crib I went to Pinterest and the Internet to find ideas about what to do with the crib.  Most of the good ideas included totally destroying the crib by cutting it up etc and a part of me just could not do that….  This is where my babies slept!  I can’t make a garden trellis out of it…  I also have that ‘what if’ in the back of my mind so I was looking for something totally practical for now, but, easily reversible if we want to give it to a friend or something.

I left the crib in the hallway for me to think about it and seeing them on their side made me think how nicely they would work vertically and what lovely horizontal rails that makes for hanging things.  I might have a slight obsession with over door hooks… Crib sides are extra good because the top and bottom rails are wider and the rails are centered making a natural small gap perfect for a hook.  A friend made an extra leap from my over door hook to over cabinet door and that is brilliant because it is much closer to the depth of a cabinet door then a closet door but either works.

I spent a long time in the hardware store looking for just the right things and I think I arrived at a pretty good solution, but I’m sure there are other good ones too.


home depot item but available most places

Corner Brace – this is an absolute misuse of this item (sorry dad) but I choose it because it was flat to the wall and created a ledge for the crib to rest on.  It also has holes for screwing to the wall (very important) and also to the shelf.  I did NOT use a normal shelf bracket because of the interior angle – I know that makes it strong, but, it would bump the next rail down and make the crib side unable to be flush to the wall.  With that in mind, the shelves I mounted are very shallow; 2 inches, so nobody is tempted to put rock collections on them.

You will need at least 4 per side

Wood or whatever you want to make shelves out of.  I went the easy way and got 2in pre-coated MDF stock but if you want a different color get wood.

  • Anchors and hardware for attaching the bracket to your wall


  • hardware for attaching the bracket to your shelf, it will probably be a really really short screw
  • Accessories to hang up – hooks, baskets, there are so many options!

Tools – Level, drill/screw gun, tape measure, pencil, stud finder

Step one –  figure out where you want to mount the piece, I like mine about a foot off the ground, but mark under the rail you want to hang it from with a pencil and then find the stud that intersects with that line.  Mount the first bracket.


2. Use a level to find the spot for the next one.


3. Hang the rail up on your first set of brackets and use it to mark the bottom of the next rail you want to rest on brackets (draw a line).  Take the side down again and mount the next two brackets.  ** You do need 2 sets, in my opinion, because, if you only have one at the top you could lever the bottom away from the wall (and by ‘you’ I mean your kids).  With 2 sets it is pretty well anchored.


4. In my garage, I cut the shelf lengths I wanted.  For the top, I had it go all the way across, for the middle I made it half the size so I would have more vertical hanging space available (and I only had so much wood).  I put the shelf up on the bracket, marked the hole with a pencil, predrilled the marked spot (because I’ve messed up MDF in the past…), then screw the shelf  onto the bracket thus sandwiching the crib side between the wall and the shelf.


5. Accessorise!  I’ve changed things a few times, but this basket is perfect for books but is intended for cleaning supplies under the sink.


Bonus – if you notice on the right I have a stuffy sling, it is actually just the bumper from my crib set.  My set had a zippered cover so I opened the zipper, took out the pillow, and voila, a bag with built-in ties that matches the curtains in the room.


And you are done with one.  You can hang the other in the same room, a different room, on top of the other to make a very tall wall that would be good with bunk beds.  I can see adding so many things to this that I would love to see what you do with this idea.

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2 responses to “Crib upcycle to slat wall”

  1. atkokosplace says :

    Brilliant! Even a great idea for an office! Thanks for sharing your smarts! Love this! Happy Fall, Koko:)


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