Introduction: Doll Cradle (two Versions)

About: I have a lot of fun making and designing wood toys. Please visit my blog for all the fun toys I have made. I do sell the plans at my Etsy shop at Thanks for loo…

I have seen a few doll cradles and wanted to throw my twist in the mix. Plans are on the PDF. I will go through some changes that can be made to make this project simpler. I really liked how the design came out and wanted to share. I tried to make this both imperial and metric measurements. The units in [] are millimeters. I do fall short on the standard metric hole dimensions. I am hoping it is as easy as rounding. I am putting this in the woodworking challenge so please vote.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Tools: Table saw, Miter saw, Band saw or Scroll saw, Drill press, Sander, Router, 1/4 (6.4mm) twist bit, 1 1/4" (31.8 mm) forstner bit, 1/4" rounder bit, 1/4" grooving bit, and a dado stack.


1/4" dowel - 3 ft (3 meters) should be fine

3/4" x 10" wide x 36" long (19 x 254 x 915 mm) - one piece

1/2" x 5 1/2" wide x 48" long (12.7 x 140 x 1220 mm)- one piece

1/4" x 7 1/2" wide x 24" long (6.4 x 191 x 610 mm) - one piece

Step 2: Make the Ends

Cut the two blanks for the sides. Rip both to the same width and cut the height a little over size. Mark the middle of each part. Cut out the full sized print of the tall and short end of the cradle. Trace and cut out the arch centered on the blank. It is ok if the edges do not follow the curve. These parts will be cut off later. Sand the arch smooth. Put a 1/4" radius on the arch only of the part.

Cut the groove in the bottom of each end. This should be 1/4 (6.4 mm) deep. This can be done with a dado blade or router bit.

Mark the bottom and angles of the ends. Use a stop block to make sure the bottoms of both pieces are the same dimension. Cut using a miter saw set at 15 degrees.

When I tried to rout the top edge after I had cut the part to size, I had significant blowout. This is why I did the steps the order I did.

Step 3: Cut Out the Sides (version 1)

Cut blanks to the correct size. Using a dado stack, set it to 15 degrees and cut the groove for the bottom panel. Make sure the bottom panel fits.

Mark all 1/4" holes and centers of each of the arches. Drill out the arches with a 1 1/4 (31.7 mm) forstner bit. Draw tangent lines to the holes and cut out the centers. Drill the 1/4" (6.4 mm) holes almost though.

Rout 1/4" (6.4 mm) round over profiles on the top and bottom edges and inside cut outs.

Cut out grooves on both ends of the sides.

Sand all parts to 150.

Step 4: Side Panel (version 2)

Cut blanks to the correct size. Using a dado stack, set it to 15 degrees and cut the groove for the bottom panel. Make sure the bottom panel fits.

Mark all 1/4" holes and drill the 1/4" (6.4 mm) holes almost though.

Cut out the full sized template for version 2. Trace curve on the sides.


This does require a left and right side. The template will face to the front on one and will be turned over for the left side. Make mirrored parts not matching.

Cut out grooves on both ends of the sides.

Draw a straight line from the end to the bottom of the curve, about 3 1/2 (89 mm) from the bottom. Cut out the curve.

Sand flat area smooth. Rout 1/4" (6.4 mm) round over profiles on the top and bottom edges.

Sand all parts to 150.

Step 5: Bottom Panel and Dry Fit.

Cut bottom panel to the approximate size. Place the bottom panel in and make sure all the gaps are closed and joints fit correctly

Step 6: Rocker Assembly

Adhere pattern to blank. The top edge should be lined up with a milled edge of the board. I prefer to put blue painters tape on the wood then attaching the pattern on the tape. The pattern comes off easier this way. Mark and drill holes in the top and drill through. My original design had three holes, I thought this was a little overkill. Please note if you do not have a drill press and are not confident in drilling a straight hole, there are other options. There are biscuits or tenons or pocket screws. The reason why I am adding the dowels is because it is a weak joint. I have long grain glued to end grain. Glue will work but it will break if dropped.

Cut out the rocker on the scroll saw. If needed finish drilling the holes through using a drill.

Clamp the rocker to the end panel. Using a drill, drill the holes into the end panel. The hole will go into the groove.

Cut 1/4" (6.4 mm) dowel to 1 1/2" (38.1 mm). Glue these into the holes in the end panels. Glue and slide the rockers on the end panels. Clamp and let dry.

Clean out the dowels sticking into the groove with a chisel.

Plug open holes on the bottom of the rocker with dowels.

Sand all parts smooth.

Step 7: Final Assembly

Sand all parts smooth.

Put glue in the grooves of the sides and ends. Place all parts together and clamp together. I found it easier to elevate the cradle above the rockers.

While clamped, drill holes through the side panels (These holes were drilled in the side panels on step 3 or 4) about 1 1/4" (31.5 mm) deep. Insert 1/4" (6.4 mm) dowel in the holes.

Cut off excess dowel.

Sand all parts smooth, ready to finish.

Finish with desired finish that is child safe.

Step 8: Summary and Notes

When I designed this project I thought I had a solid design. After getting into the project I realized I forgot about good and bad wood bonds. I made the sides a lap joint to be more secure instead of the butt joint that was in the original plan. I came to the same issue with the rockers, but I realized this before cutting parts.

I wanted the grain on the rockers to be horizontal. If the grain was the other direction, they would break off easier.

In the picture of the end panel there is a little bit of fret work done. I did not add this into the instructions because it was an image off of the internet and it is something someone with a scroll saw can figure out. There are also plenty of videos on how to add fretwork to a piece.

In version two of the side panel there is another cut out. I really enjoyed trying this technique out. I think it turned out really well. I did not put it in the instructable because it is an instructable by itself. I promise I will create one. I learned a lot and made some mistakes. I will share this when I do the instructable on it.

Step 9: Drawings

Woodworking Contest 2017

Participated in the
Woodworking Contest 2017