Our Shabby Vintage Farmhouse Nursery With Crib Modifications

Well – we can officially say that we have a finished nursery for our little girl whose due any day now! Things have really come together over the past month [we were hustlin’] but I couldn’t be more proud of the space we’ve created for her. From an ugly, bland room (you can find the renovation here) to a soft, welcoming space that I still sometimes have a heard time wrapping my head around.

Because I just make the spaces look pretty – I’m gonna go ahead and hand this one over to James to explain that beautiful crib!

Even before we found out we were expecting, I knew I wanted to build the crib. I searched and searched for plans but never really found exactly what I wanted to build. It just so happened that I came across the plans created by Shanty2Chic and I decided that would be a great place to start. If you want to check out their plans, you can find them here. I liked the general design of the crib but knew I wanted to put my own spin on it. Then we found out we were having a girl and the nursery ended up being more “vintage” than “farmhouse”. To make the crib fit better in such a space, I wanted to soften some of the lines and give it some finer details. Since we initially posted the pictures of the finished crib on Instagram, I’ve heard that many people were asking for the details of the modifications from the original plans. I’m not going to go through the step by step how-to of the build because the ladies over at Shanty2Chic already have great plans, but I will go through what I did differently.

Generally speaking, most of the changes were done to the back piece that I’m just going to call the headboard. Right off the bat I knew I wanted to raise up the crib by lengthening the legs. I also wanted/needed to shorten the overall height of the headboard for it to fit where the crib was intended to go. Below is a drawing of the headboard with the modified dimensions. It has all the cut lengths and lumber sizes you’ll need. However, I highly recommend you measure and cut as you go. Board widths are not usually exact, which will slightly alter your cut dimensions.  Also to note, because I wanted clean, crisp lines I used square cut poplar. If you end up using the construction grade 2x boards, plan on ripping them to remove the rounded edges. If you do this, plan accordingly with the altered board widths. I also used poplar because I wanted to make sure this was a piece of furniture that was going to last that will (hopefully) stay with Penny for most of her life and get passed down over time to be used by future generations. Poplar is a harder, heavier wood than pine that is great for painting so this was the perfect application for it.

First up were the 1×6 boards for the center. Just like in the original plans, I used 9 of these boards joined edge to edge. You can use a Kreg Jig for this like in the original plans. I ended up using biscuit joints to help keep the joints tight and boards flush. Since the boards are square cut and I wanted that planked look, before connecting the 1×6 boards I ran them over the router using a Chamfer bit. This will create a v-groove when you put the boards together. A good idea here is to cut the 1×6 boards slightly longer an needed. Once they are all attached trim the entire panel to length to ensure you have an even edge across all the boards.

Once the center panel is together, I attached the bottom 2×6 board followed by the end boards that create the legs. For this part I increased the amount that extended on the bottom to create longer legs. In this case, I made 4” legs. Once set, I attached the top 2×8 board that extended the entire length of the headboard. Finally, I attached the cap which is a 2×4 cut to extend 2 inches past the end of the 2×8.

The last step of the headboard was to add the trim. For the trim around the center panel I used this poplar trim from Lowe’s. I just cut to length, glued and tacked with brad nails. For the “crown molding”, I actually used three separate boards to build this look. First I attached a 1×2 board to the headboard. Again, glue and attach with brad nails. On top of this board I then attached this trim from Lowe’s.  Below the 1×2 I added the same trim that I used above on the center panel.

This should complete the headboard! Like I said, this is where most of the modifications happened, so the hard part is done.


The next piece I made was the front piece. No major modifications here except for the legs. Because I extended the legs on the back to 4 inches, I did the same to the front piece. Other than that, I made this piece the same as that in the Shanty2Chic plans.

The last pieces I made were the two side pieces that attach the front and back. Again, no modifications from the original plans done here. I highly recommend sanding the 1×2 rails before attaching them. This will make your life a million times easier when you get to the prep and paint stage.

Once everything is complete, sand everything really well, gradually making your way up to 220 grit. To apply the finish, I ventured to something new and purchased a Wagner HVLP sprayer from The Home Depot. I first applied two coats of Behr Multi-Surface Primer. It is a good idea to lightly sand all surfaces between the coats of primer. The first coat of primer tends to cause the wood grain to swell and give the surface a rough feel. Sanding at this point will help give you that silky smooth finish. Once primed, I applied two coats of Behr Premium Plus Ultra Satin paint in Weathered White. I was a little nervous using the sprayer for the first time, especially on such an important project, but I couldn’t be happier with how it came out. I would definitely recommend practicing on scrap pieces if it is your first time using a sprayer, just to get the feel for it.

And there you have it! I would also like to give a word of advice –  make sure that your finished product will fit through the hallway and up the stairwell. James had to take out a stair tread to get the headboard to the room! 

 If you venture to build your own  and have any questions on our modifications, feel free to comment below and be sure to share your finished builds with us! Here’s a tour of the finished room! I’ll link whatever decor items I can below!

Bedding – Carousel Designs

Wall Signs – Hobby Lobby

Wall Flowers – Homemade (pinterest win!)

Rocker – Babies R Us

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