If you have school aged kids in your home, you probably spend a huge amount of time reading with them. Our kids spend countless hours every week reading with us or reading by themselves, and we are now amazed that they are reading to US! Probably one of the most amazing parenting moments so far has been to have our baby reading US a bedtime story! Here is a way to re purpose that baby crib mattress, now that your kids don’t use it anymore! The combination of a simple mattress on the floor covered in a cute fabric, a row of rain gutter bookshelves, and stacks of cozy pillows makes for a kid friendly space that your kids will never want to leave! You can create a book nook for your little ones to enjoy for years to come!
Baby gear. We all have it tucked away in our basements just waiting for a new home, a new baby, or a new purpose. Upon the sad realization that we probably won’t be using our baby gear anymore (because our kids are now preschool and school aged) it was time to start cleaning out the baby gear. I have seen tons and tons of great ways to re purpose, and reuse lots of things from pack and plays to cribs. I knew I wanted t keep a crib mattress around for the rare occasion when we needed an extra space for a sleepover with a niece, nephew, or friend, but I had no real plan for it. I tried fitting it into the kids closet as a little nook space, we tried using it as a bench cushion, but nothing seemed to fit quite right.
Then one day I realized something. The kids were using it all of the time, just the way it was. They seemed to enjoy laying it in the middle of a room and stacking their favorite stuffed animals and blankets on it. I noticed that they coined it their very own reading space, without any prompting at all. After all, it was the perfect soft comfy place for them, and it was just the right size too! That’s when I decided that maybe, I was over-thinking the whole thing, and that I should keep it simple.
I decided that my daughter’s room would be the perfect space for what I decided to call a “book nook”. We created some amazingly easy rain-gutter bookshelves in her bedroom when she was just a toddler to cut down on the mess that the book basket usually created! She has always loved her bookshelves and they have suited her perfectly over the last few years! They are super durable, cute, and display all of her favorite books so she can find them easily, and put them away where they belong too. My son, who is now reading, has the same shelves in his own room, but his are right above the headboard of his bed, so he most often sits comfortably in his bed and reads with his books right at his fingertips. So because he already had a comfy place to read, I figured the little miss should have a space in her room too.
So… I took the mattress into her room and got to work prettying it up to match her it’s surroundings. The mattress fight perfectly underneath the bookshelves that we had added and, oddly enough, fit right into the corner of her room just right too. I used a fitted crib mattress sheet to cover the mattress in case of a spill, or mess, and then added a pretty comforter over the top of that. I found this darling comforter online on clearance for about $15.00. It had the perfect girly print with the perfect colors and it is super soft, plush, and comfortable. It adds just the right amount of padding to make the mattress a little more comfortable for the kids to hang out on. I have to be honest, this is also one of my favorite spots in the house too. It is just big enough for me to snuggle up and read with the kids too. It’s the perfect rainy day place to read a stack of books with the kids. Not only do the kids and I love it, but so do all of their little friends and family members. I’ve even caught the dog lounging in the book nook from time to time.
At this point you can get fancy and make the comforter into a cover for the mattress, or add elastic so that it is fitted just right. I skipped all of that and simply wrapped the mattress in it as if it were a present and called it a day. That way I can grab it and wash it if I need to. I also then, still have the option to use the comforter as a blanket as my daughter gets older and outgrows her book nook. This is one of those projects that is too good to be true, but has been one of my most successful and functional yet. My kids use it, love it, and it took very little time and effort to put together!
By taking a crib mattress that we already had, wrapping it in a comforter, and putting it in my daughter’s room near her book shelves I was able to create a space that she loves, and uses every single day! It was an added bonus that it took very little time and effort and was re-purposing something that we no longer used! Sometimes I need to take a step back and let the kids show me what they enjoy most as to make something that they will really love, and use!
So, find a sweet little spot where the kids love to spend time, and throw their old crib mattress, some pillows, and a pile of books into it and you have an instant book nook for your little ones to enjoy for years to come!