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How to Build Your Own Baby Cot

Updated February 21, 2017

A new baby is a precious and exciting event in a couple's life. Many times a family member will make something special before the baby arrives. You can make a beautiful baby cot. This process can also be used to make a baby cradle. The only difference between the two is that a cradle rocks but a cot does not.

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  1. Find or draw your own templates for the pieces of the cot in full scale (actual size) on butcher paper. Cut them out. You need templates for a headboard, footboard, sides, bottom and rockers (for a cradle) or legs (for a cot). Templates or plans for a baby cot or cradle can be found on several websites.

  2. Trace the outline of your templates onto the pre-cut wooden slabs, one for each piece of the cot. Use a band saw to cut your pieces. Sand the edges to make them smooth.

  3. Attach the braces to the inside of the bottom of each side piece. These will be the supports that hold the bottom piece and the mattress. Use wood glue to attach the braces (apply only to one piece to avoid excess), then use screws to reinforce the supports. For a cleaner insertion, you can drill pilot holes, but this side of the cot won't be visible, so pilot holes aren't necessary.If you want to create a pilot hole, drill a shallow hole into the wood. Then drive a screw into the pilot hole, fastening it tightly. The pilot hole ensures that the wood will not chip or flake when the screw is inserted. It may be beneficial for you to have a helper so that the screws can be inserted while the glue is still wet. Waiting for it to dry first would require clamping the pieces together until the glue dries. Space the screws as evenly as possible, using at least four across each brace.

  4. Put the frame of the bed together, starting with attaching the sides to the headboard and footboard. Use wood glue to hold the pieces together until they can be reinforced with screws. Again, a helper may be necessary.

  5. Attach the bottom of the cot to the supports inside the cot. Drill holes in the bottom first, placed evenly along the two sides, then attach the bottom with screws through these pilot holes into the support structure you created earlier in the inside of the cot.

  6. Mark the placement of the rockers or legs you cut out in Step 2 on the underside of the bottom plank. Drill pilot holes through it (working from a bird's-eye view of the cot) and the top of the rocker piece in preparation for attaching them. They will be placed at each end of the bottom plank. Ideally, the top of the leg/rocker pieces should be narrow enough to fit between the two supports in the bottom of the cot for a snug, secure fit. Drive screws into the pilot holes and firmly attach the rockers or legs to the bottom of the cot.

  7. Insert wood plugs where the screws have been placed. Use wood glue and tap the plugs into place gently. Wipe away the excess glue and wait for all glue to dry, approximately 24 hours.

  8. Tip

    Paint, stain, or decorate your baby cot to match the decor in the baby's room.


    This is a gift for a baby but a job for an adult. Never let a child operate any of the tools needed for this project. Always wear safety glasses and follow recommended safety precautions when using drills, band saws, etc.

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Things You'll Need

  • Wood glue
  • Pencil
  • Band saw
  • Electric drill
  • Assorted bits
  • Butcher paper
  • Driver bits
  • Power driver
  • About 30 1-inch screws
  • About 30 1-inch wooden plugs
  • Solid wood panels (pre-made)
  • Wood strips for braces
  • Sand paper (heavy grit)


About the Author

Giselle Diamond is a freelance writer and has been writing since 1999. Diamond is experienced in writing in all genres and subjects, with distinguished experience in home and garden, culture and society, literature and psychology. Diamond has a Master of Arts in English and psychology from New York University. Diamond has articles published on both eHow and LiveStrong.

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