Friday, November 15, 2013

Upcycle Project

I do. not. have a Pinterest account. [gasp!] However, I did see someone share this on Facebook:

Simply cut out the mesh, being careful to not cut on supporting
seams. Add sheets/blankets and you have a toddler bed or reading
tent! The fitted sheet on top is simply held by the mobile that
came with it. Extend the life of your Pack n Play and save money.

Hey, I have one of those things! I shared and held onto the idea and bided my time... It turns out, Spencer never really cared for our Pack 'n Play at all. He was probably just never put in it regularly enough. Sasha spent more time in it as a baby. So I was finally ready to dig into this project!

I started with a box knife, but found scissors were actually much easier to control and I was still able to just slide them through the mesh. You do not want to cut the supporting fabric around the mesh!

Added a folded quilt and it quickly became a nice, protected napping spot.

Sasha also loves to play in it. To keep Spencer from rolling out in his sleep, I tuck a neck pillow under the edge of the quilt.

I mistakenly purchased a twin sheet first, but this is a crib sheet stretched atop the mobile arm that came with the Pack 'n Play. (I got each sheet for about $3 at a local thrift store.) The mobile itself is unnecessary. Notice that my topper looks nothing like the one from Pinterest. Surprised? I did find more on Pinterest that looked like mine, though!

Crib sheet atop the mobile.

The cool thing about using this as sleep space is that if you travel, this folds down small. You can have a familiar sleeping space for your little one no matter where you go! I'm wondering / considering whether I can insert the changing table piece and put some plushies in there. I haven't tried that.

Cosleeping arrangement (with me on the floor)

Sasha and Spencer roll around, wrestle and giggle their heads off in this thing! Sometimes they play through one mesh side. Sometimes Spencer spins in circles in it, giggling all by himself. I can make a pallet next to it and "cosleep." I may try it next to our bed at some point, which would definitely keep him from rolling out, I think I'll have to take the top off for that, though. Its awkward enough trying to put him down asleep through the side without it being blocked.

This was seriously the easiest project ever! If you're sure you won't need your Pack 'n Play again (or have a spare), I definitely recommend this upcycle. It can be a reading nook, fort, carriage, whatever. You and your children are only limited by your own imaginations!

What other baby products have you found ways to upcycle for longevity?


  1. Do you worry about the weight limit of the pack and play? I have a pack and play that has, sadly, served as my son's only place of sleep for a year(there is an innerspring mattress in it), and he's old enough to transfer to a "big boy bed". I don't....honestly, have the funds to purchase a regular bed....:-/. He's well over the weight limit listed on the pack and play..

    1. Where did you find the weight limit?! (What is it?) I recall hunting for it and I don't think I ever found it! Spencer is only 20 pounds, so I suspect he's within it anyway, but Sasha (40 pounds) loves to JUMP in there with him. We try to get her to at least not be so rambunctious in there.

    2. It was on the side of the inside, in the "warning" label. You can also find it online.

    3. Thank you MIsadventures! I still couldn't find it! Glad to know it holds up. Sasha is 40 pounds and gets pretty rambunctious in there.

    4. Put something underneath for reinforcement. Maybe those recycled crates they are always showing?

    5. Thanks for that Misadventures, you made me a little more at ease. Also, I did this, and he's been at it for several days now. He loves it. Sometimes we put a cover on, but usually it's just a bed.

  2. Really want to try this out with our 12month old, but am hesitant to only because of future babies...

    Ours has an upper netting we used as a bassinet, changer and play area for when he was a wee babe.

    Possible to make lower area the sleeping place for our son now, while being able to use both areas in the future?

    1. Mine had a changing "table" insert and the bassinet insert. You could let him sleep in it and keep the sides intact. I'm sure, though, that you could still use the inserts if the mesh is cut out. As long as you don't cut the supporting seams, you're good. :)

  3. Oh I saw this on Pinterest and wondered if it really works! Obviously it does! Totally cute.
    When we are done with babies I will definitely have to consider doing that.

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  5. Great idea! I have a play yard that has a hole in the mess on one side from where a squirrel chewed on it when I was using it out on the deck one summer afternoon (my daughter wasn't in it at the time it got chewed). I'm not sure it's worth the time for me to convert it for myself, since my girls are now 6 and 3 years old and thus getting large and heavy for it, but I may have some friends Ic an pass it on to now!

    1. My 4yo loves it! It would make a nice reading nook, too. It wouldn' have to be an actual bunk. :) I keep thinking that it would be nice filled with throw pillows.


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