The Dale C. Maley Family Web Site

Click here to edit subtitle

Doll Cradle

The December 2018 issue of Woodworker's Journal has a nice and simple pattern for a doll cradle, that is designed to hold 20" long dolls.  Both of my grand-daughters could use one of these, so I decided to build 2 of them.

Wood Selection

I used red oak from Menard's for this project.

I like that the magazine designers recognized big box boards, like menards, come in 5.5 inch wide widths..........and they made the cradle sides 5.5 inches tall for this reason........Handy !!

Wood templates or patterns

I went ahead and entered the design into Sketchup. Then I printed full-scale size paper patterns for the  2 end pieces and 2 sides, plus bottom.  I glued these to scrap plywood to make permanent patterns.........since I am making at least 2 of these.

Glue-Up for 2 ends


I used a 1/8" router round-over bit on the 2 ends, and the top of the 2 side pieces.

The build went ok, until I got to the assembly of the 2 sides and bottom.  I forgot to table saw 11 degree angles on the bottom of each of the 2 side pieces.

I should have done this before I band-sawed the curve, because after the curve is cut..............there is no support for the table saw fence during sawing,   Using 2-sided carpet tape, I taped on a temporary piece of pine the whole 20 inch length, and it became the part that contacted the fence...........while I did the 11 degree cuts.  This worked fine.

Next issue was how to clamp up the 3 pieces.  I ended up following the magazine article recommendation........of using blue masking you sometimes do on making boxes.  I baked the glued and clamped assembly in the oven at 120F for about 15 minutes to set the glue quickly.

I used the Kreg pocket screw drill bit, to drill the countersunk holes for the screws.........and I used Kreg Screws also.   I decided to use 3/8" oak buttons to cover the drilled screw holes.  My Harbor Freight cheap plug cutter burns oak too much, to make oak plugs.

Stain and finish

I used Spanish Oak oil stain on both cradles, then 2 rounds of 220 grit and antique polyurethane.

2 Finished Doll cradles

Closing Thoughts

This was a relatively easy project to build. Hopefully, the grand-daughters will enjoy them for many years!