always believe.

Last summer my sister-in-law texted from a garage sale to ask if I wanted this doll cradle.

I thought it was crying out for a paint job, so naturally I said yes.  Look at all of those flat surfaces, they would be perfect for some stenciling.

Not only did my s-i-l purchase it for me, she also delivered it which was pretty darn awesome of her considering they live way over on the other side (and then some) of the Twin Cities.  Thanks again for doing that Tracy!

I’m still not quite sure about the direction I chose to go with this one because I decided to paint it black, Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky to be precise.

Maybe I should have gone with a color that was more traditionally baby-dollish like pink or yellow.  Or even just kept it light with my favorite Drop Cloth.

But no, I went black.  Maybe it’s a metaphor for this holiday season.

No, no, of course it isn’t.  I just thought it would pack a graphic punch painted black and then stenciled.  And I added an uplifting message to ‘lighten’ it up a bit.

I painted the entire cradle in Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky.  Once dry I sanded to distress the edges, and then I added a mish mash of my favorite holiday stencils from Maison de Stencils using Dixie Belle’s French Linen paint.

I finished all of that off with some clear wax.

I also upgraded the bedding itself.  The stuff it came with was looking a little tired.

So I added a ‘sheet’ made from an old curtain with some tatted trim and my friend Sue sewed up a sweet little chenille blanket to add a little coziness.

The pillow case is actually a vintage hankie holder.  Back in the day one would have kept all of their pretty handkerchiefs inside this little cloth envelope (here’s one on Etsy to give you an idea of what I’m talking about).  I just stuffed it with fill to make it a pillow.

I have to tell you guys, I’ve had this thing lying around for years.  It was one of those things that I picked up at a garage sale because it was so sweet, but then had absolutely no idea what to do with it.  I’m sure I tried to sell it at my occasional sales and never had a taker.

Isn’t it funny how it ended up being just the perfect thing for this cradle?

You just never know when you might find a new use for something.

Speaking of alternate uses, the obvious use for this cradle is as a doll bed, but there are a few other ways you could use it.  Take the bedding out and replace it with evergreens for a unique table display.  Or fill it with wrapped presents under the tree.

I’ll be heading in to Reclaiming Beautiful with this on Wednesday, but if any of my local readers want to snatch it up before then be sure to send me an email.  The details can be found on my ‘available for local sale’ page.

So I’m curious, what do you think of the black?  Or would you have gone with a more traditionally girly color?

As always, thanks to Dixie Belle for providing the paint used on today’s project.

20 thoughts on “always believe.

  1. LOVE the color! It’s gorgeous! Love the idea of stacking it full of presents under the tree! Great job, as always!


  2. Black would not even have come to my mind as a color choice on this one, but I like it!!! I love the bedding you used also. I have never seen a handkerchief keeper before!


    1. I wasn’t thinking ‘black’ when I first saw this cradle, but I the black paint out for another project and thought ‘hmmm, well, why not? If it doesn’t work I can always paint it again!’


  3. I would not have thought of going black, but it definitely works! A punch of red and green for the holidays would be spectacular…..or other colors for something different…pink and silver, silver and gold, so many options with the black. Great job!


  4. I have noticed many touches of black this holiday season, one blogger touting them as a “youthful” take on holiday decor. To me they seem odd but do reflect sadness and solemnity over all we have lost during this covid season. This adorable little cradle in black feels unexpected for the holiday and would make a vehicle for a modern greens arrangement.


    1. Hmmm. Yeah, not sure I would have gone with ‘youthful’. I’ve been decorating mainly in black & white for a few years now (see some here) and I’ll be sharing some more black & white Christmas decor next week too. And I’m pretty sure no one would call me or my style ‘youthful’ 😉


  5. I’ve had a doll cradle sitting around for several years. I picked it up at a garage sale thinking ‘I could do something with this!’ But I couldn’t figure it out. Now I know exactly what to do! Thanks for the inspiration!


  6. I like it Linda! It would look amazing under the Xmas tree!
    It’s funny that until you mentioned the other options (i.e. table display etc) all I could see was the doll crate. But once you mentioned it, the perspective changed 🙂 I like this about your posts -I learn to look at something from different angles.


  7. I had a pale blue doll cradle with a small hood. Displayed an old quilt in it. So cute. But it was cuter still when we discovered that our cat had decided it was her bed!
    The black looks awesome!


  8. Love the black for the cradle. Perfect choice. And you taught me something new about the hankie pouch! I had no idea that was even a thing. I always look forward to reading your posts. Thanks for sharing yourself with all of us out here.


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