My favorite craft materials have always been those castoffs destined for the recycling bin: egg cartons, paper towel tubes and oatmeal containers – just to name a few. Cylindrical oatmeal containers have always struck me as perfect for a doll cradle. I think I must have seen that in one of my childhood craft books because it’s what I see every time I look at one! The containers come in several sizes – perfect for various small-sized dolls or stuffed animals.
What You Need
- Oatmeal container
- Masking tape
- Craft knife
- Plastic coffee can lid
- Permanent marker
- Hot glue gun and glue
- Gesso primer (optional)
- Cupcake paper and scissors (optional)
- Fabric scraps
To start, tape off the area that you will cut out for the cradle opening. Make sure that it is a large enough opening to see your doll. The overhang at the “head” end of the cradle should be a bit larger than at the bottom.
Grownups only: with the craft knife lightly score against the tape around the opening and slowly cut deeper until you have cut the opening piece out.
For the cradle rocker base: use the permanent marker and ruler to mark off two pieces of the coffee can lid, a little bit smaller than half the size of the lid.
Lay one end of the oatmeal container on top of the cut lid pieces to trace a semi-circle about halfway down. Cut out top semi-circle and discard. Repeat for the other lid piece.
Squeeze hot glue along the inner half circle of the lid and press to the bottom of the cradle, about a quarter of the way in. Repeat with the other lid piece.
Prime the cradle with gesso (optional but this will quickly cover all the package printing).
Once the gesso is dry, paint the cradle in any color or pattern you’d like! I added a scalloped edge.
Decorate! I cut the ribbed edges off a paper cupcake wrapper and used white glue to adhere it to the inside of the cradle. You can use stickers, doilies, coffee filters… whatever you’d like!
Grown-ups can do the cutting and hot-gluing and kids can help with painting and decorating. Hit up your stash of fabric scraps for some mini blankets and pillows. You can cut the edges with pinking shears – no need to sew anything.
Make a few unpainted cradles for kids to decorate and you’ll have a great activity for a doll-themed party. Happy crafting!