Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Baby Cage

So when our son was born, we were given a pack'n'play.
We were  cosleeping so we didn't have a crib.
Now at 6 months (as of yesterday!) he's SO close to mobile. I need to get him out of our bed. And I need a place to contain him while I'm working. He really doesn't like the play pen, and neither do I. I think he doesn't like it because it's uncomfortable and confining. I don't like it, because the sides are too tall for me to comfortably lean over.
My Solution? To build a custom baby cage. Here's what you need.
Sturdy fabric for the corners

Netting (I used Nylon)
PVC pipes and corners
8 corners like this!
Quilt binding for easy finished edge
Here's my measurements. But you can obviously adapt this to whatever size you need.
PVC Pipe
Four - 42" pipes
Four - 30" pipes
Four - 18" pipes
8 corners
I used 1/2" piping, but feel free to use whatever size you want.
Use two separate pieces of fabric and pin the "sleeve" around the pipe to make sure it will fit.
 Make sure when you're cutting your sleeve fabric to leave at least an inch on both sides.

Like so.
Sew two relatively straight lines.

Fold in both edges of the sleeve to create a more finished edge.

I sewed two lines to hopefully reinforce it a bit.
 Ironing at this point might make it easier. Then fold over the edge of the netting and insert it into the side of your sleeve. Don't iron the netting. Just sayin'.
Try to make it so the netting is firm. I recommend testing out each side on the frame as you go along.
Once you have the netting sewed on, use the bias tape to create a nice finished edge for the netting.

To help create firm sides I made loops to secure the netting to the top and the bottom of the frame.

 I pinned them like this to make sure that they would fit around the piping.
Once you've put everything together...(if you want more instructions, just ask)
Choose some type of firm but comfy bottom for your baby cage. I bought a large piece of foam and draped a bed sheet over it.

Insert baby and VOILA!

 I like it because of a number of reasons. It's easier to get him in and out of his baby cage. Because it's just foam on the floor I can get in there with him to put him to sleep if necessary. I can take it apart easily. I can move it SUPER easily. It's very lightweight. It was relatively cheap.
The pipes and corners were just under $20 at Lowe's and with a little persuasion the gentleman cut them down for me to the exact sizes I needed
The fabric I bought at JoAnn's for around $30. I did buy at least a yard extra of each, just in case I screwed up. (good thing, because I did.)
I bought the foam pad at Smith's for $20. It was too long so I cut off about two feet of it. So now I have enough foam for some other project.
So all told I spent around $70 and 8-12 hours on it.

But best of all, my son tolerates being in it much better than the pack ' n' play. I think it's more comfortable and he likes that he can see me better. I think. Anyway it's tall enough that this should work until well after he's two. I do recommend placing it in a corner/between large heavy furniture so there's no chance of your child flipping the frame over and escaping. Or if you want it to be freestanding you could fill the bottom pipes with something heavy and seal them before assembling.
Do what you want. I did this over the course of one day (sewing).
So it's a fairly simple design with lots of straight lines. I definitely consider myself a beginning seamstress, FYI.

 And that's how you make a homemade baby cage.


  1. Wow, you are amazing! I love the current picture of the cute caged baby!