Here’s a great DIY tutorial by Adriel Booker, on how to change your old crib into a loft toddler bead with just a few simple and inexpensive modifications.
10 simple steps:
1. Find a sturdy crib that you’re willing to modify.
2. Remove the mattress base and relocate it to the height you want. This might be the highest setting you used when bubby was a newborn, or you might want to reposition it all together.
3. Take off one of the long edges of the crib and cut an opening for the ladder, about 2/3s of the way down. Use the extra part of the rail to finish off the new edge and then re-secure it to the rest of the bed.
4. Taking the left over crib slats, cut to the size you want in order to make the rungs for the ladder.
5. Measure two sturdy pieces of wood (we used pallet wood – also from Freecycle) to make the sides of the ladder for whatever height you cut your mattress base to. Then cut the bottom edge at a slight angle so it will rest flush on the floor when the ladder is leaned at a slight angle up against the bed.
6. Use a router to create grooves in the side of the ladder in the size and shape of the rungs. The tighter you can make the fit, the more secure the ladder will be.
7. Use wood glue to secure the rungs in place. If you need more security then screw or nail them together from the outside edges of the ladder to make it extra sturdy.
8. Cut a notch in the top of the ladder so that it will fit snuggly on the side of the bed. Secure it using wood glue and screws.
9. Get a metal angle brace to reinforce the end of new guard rail since this part of the bed will undergo a lot of pressure as your little one climbs up and down, holding onto it for balance. Secure it under the bed and on the back of the new section of rail.
10. Give the entire bed a fresh coat of paint. (Depending on the condition of your crib, you may need to sand it back before painting.)