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All Dolled-Up Toy Cradle

The clean lines and mod flower cutout on this classic doll cradle give it contemporary style. And what little girl could resist that lipstick pink accent?


Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

1 weekend

Estimated Cost


Tools and Materials


  • Tape measure
  • Angle square or combination square
  • Portable circular saw with straightedge guide
  • Table saw
  • Portable jig saw
  • Router with 1/2-inch flush-trim bit
  • Corded or cordless electric drill
  • Drill bits: 1/16-inch twist drill; 3/16-inch with countersink bit
  • #2 Phillips screwdriver or driver bit
  • Assorted clamps
  • Sanding block with medium-grit abrasive
  • Paint brushes
  • OPTIONAL: Pneumatic finish nailer and air compressor


  • 1 (3/4x24x48-inch) sheet Baltic birch plywood (#6209)
  • 1 (1/2x24x24-inch) sheet Baltic birch plywood (#6199)
  • 1 pkg. #8x1-inch flathead wood screws (#57240)
  • 1 pkg. #8x1-1/4-inch flathead wood screws (#57233)
  • 1 box 4d (1-1/2-inch) finish nails (#69144)
  • Wood glue (#218256)
  • Wood filler (#221374)
  • Paint Valspar 'Strawberry Fields' (CI 219)
Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

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Getting started

Step 1

Zoom of routing pattern
Your first step should be to create the routing template for the end panels (A). You could simply cut and shape one panel and use it as the template for the second, but once you have the project together you'd have to start again from scratch if you ever wanted to build another one. It makes sense to fabricate one template to use for routing the end panels and then hang onto it for possible future use. Fortunately you can get the template and both (A) panels out of the quarter sheet of 3/4-inch birch plywood.

Step 2

Print out the patterns and use them to trace the outline of the end panels onto the template blank. Cut and sand the template to shape, then use it to trace the outlines of the two panels. Rough-cut the parts, staying just outside the pattern lines, then clamp them (one at a time) to your master template and rout them to final shape.

Step 3

Note the decorative flower motif opening in each end panel. Using the pattern provided, you can add this feature to the template and rout it out of the panels, or simply drill both panels separately. Use a 1-1/4-inch-diameter bit and locate the bit center at the points indicated on the pattern. The cleanest-cutting drill bit would be a Forstner-type or multi-spur bit, but even an inexpensive spade bit will get the job done. For best results, clamp a backer board of scrap 3/4-inch plywood to the end panels before you drill so the bit doesn't splinter the back side of the holes as it exits.

Step 4

After your end panels are routed to shape, use the table saw to cut the sidewalls (B) and the cradle floor (C) from the 1/2-inch birch plywood. These parts have some edges cut at a 15-degree bevel where they will join. At this stage you can assemble the sidewalls to the floor as shown (unless you want to paint some or all of the parts first). Apply glue to the long (beveled) edges of the floor, one at a time, and attach the sidewalls with 4d finishing nails. If you have a pneumatic finish nailer you can fire the nails directly into the plywood; if you are nailing manually, drill a series of 1/16-inch holes along the lower edge of the sidewalls as shown so it will be easier to align the parts and drive the nails. After everything is fastened, set this assembly aside for now.

Bringing It Together

Step 1

Cut the two support cleats (D) out of scraps of solid wood and drill them for mounting screws as shown. (Note that when attached to the end panels, each cleat has a pair of holes oriented vertically and a pair oriented horizontally.) Mark the cleat positions on the inside faces of the end panels, then attach the cleats with glue and 1-1/4-inch screws.

Step 2

Next, set one end panel flat on your workbench with its inside face up and dry fit the sidewall/floor assembly. Trace a pencil line around the edges to indicate exactly where they will meet the end panel, then separate the assembly and drill 1/16-inch holes as shown to align with the center of the sidewall end edges. Re-fit the parts with glue, drive 1-inch screws up through the cleats to secure the floor, and drive nails through the end panels to secure them to the sidewall ends. Repeat for the other end panel.

Step 3

Little girl playing with toy cradle
Ease all sharp corners and edges with sandpaper to make they are completely smooth. Paint as desired.