a special present

Our sweet niece is turning two next month. I’d been thinking about building her a rocking horse, but she got a great looking one as a gift and even the most special little girls don’t need two rocking horses. What they do need is doll beds, as my sister suggested, so this weekend we went about making her one. I found some plans online for a cute farmhouse style bed which I modified to be bigger and to suit the materials I had available. 90% of the bed is made from scraps from the cabinet shop where I work- some maple, some oak, and pine flooring samples. Natasha made the quilt mostly from scraps she has held onto from her own sewing projects. We purchased the foam for the mattress, the plywood, and a bit of 1″x3″ pine for the bed.

This project took a while because I had to mill down my stock to the right sizes, then once everything was cut to length there was a lot of sanding before assembly could begin. I still need to fill the holes with putty and decide on a finish for the bed. I was happy to spend the time in the basement, giving new purpose to wood that was at one point destined for the dumpster, and thinking about my niece while I worked. I thought about the hours I spent with my dad in the basement as a kid, hanging around while he worked on all kinds of different projects. He kept a wood scrap bin that I used to build countless airplanes and trucks… always pestering Dad to make me some more wheels (circular disks cut out of plywood with a hole drilled in the middle) for my creations. I’m still building with trash but the end product has improved over time.

Natasha’s sewing machine hummed away upstairs as she put together the mattress, pillow and quilt for the bed. Most of the quilt material came from fabrics collected for our wedding table runners. Our niece was just about to celebrate her first birthday last year at the wedding. Now as she turns two she’ll have little pieces of that day, and a bed built with love from her aunt and uncle to share with her babies.