Doll Bed Turned Photo Prop

I bought a DSLR a few years ago and not until last year (still getting used to it…) did I decide I was going to try learning to use it.  I still haven’t, but I have 2 courses that I’m starting this week!  I’m pretty happy about that and hope that it will help me improve.  My issue lies with not practicing what I learn or never actually taking the lessons.  I have promised myself I will, and now I’m properly motivated.  Friends of ours just had a baby and I offered to do their newborn shoot.  This will afford me some much-needed practice and offer the parents a gift that they will have forever.  Now let’s hope I can make the pictures something worth cherishing.

Another Hobby

Apparently, I fall into the category of “Jack of all trades, master of none”.   This project was made to be used with yet another hobby.  It seems that weekly, I’ve started to focus on something else.  This week, I decided to try my hand at woodworking again.  My husband helped me since I don’t have nearly enough clamps to do a project like this on my own.  Also, I can’t do straight lines…even a little.  I measured, he cut and we worked together to assemble.  All in all, I think it was a successful project.

If you haven’t heard of Ana-White (have you been under a rock??) then you will today.  Her site is chock-full of DIY projects.  I stumbled upon her site a few years back and I honestly think I look at or contemplate making something from her site at least a few times a month.  This doll bed is a re-visited project.  I did make it before and didn’t love the way it turned out.  This time around I was much more careful and PATIENT when I worked.  The results were M.U.C.H. better!!!  The only thing is I always regret finishing the wood.  I much prefer wood in its natural state, but those holes needed filling which translates to covering.

I chose to stain which I think was a mistake.  Fortunately, I was going for a rustic/worn look so it didn’t need to be perfect.  My kids and husband all really like it the way it is.  I guess I just have to get over it.  I’m planning another bed, this time white, and also a bunk bed.  These beds will be painted which will (hopefully) provide a nicer finish.

Let’s Work



This wood filler changes color to indicate when it’s dry.
Everything cut and ready to go!!

Find the tutorial here.  Everything you need is listed and it’s pretty simple.  Cutting all of those little pieces for the planks “inside” the head and footboards was tedious, but it does lend to the overall look.  I’ll still seriously consider just cutting one piece to the finished dimensions next time.  Clamps are highly recommended to help keep everything lined up and secure.  If you’re working alone, they’re absolutely necessary.

Clamped and ready to attach to legs.

Since I was making this as a photo prop, I needed to make sure it would be stable enough to support an actual person rather than a doll.  I decided to cut an extra piece of 2×2 @ 19″ to put down the middle.  We used a scrap piece of 1/4″ plywood for the board to hold the mattress.  My 16-month-old sits on it and it doesn’t budge.  The bed is more than capable of supporting a newborn with modifications.  **When we attached the legs, we used one extra screw per leg to make sure there was no wiggle.  And although I am new to newborn photography, the baby’s SAFETY is paramount!!  NEVER leave a baby unattended on/in a prop.

2×2 down the middle for extra support.

With the extra support, I’m comfortable using the bed as a newborn prop.  I’ll be sharing my own tutorials for a few photo props soon, but for now, I have prep!  My shoot is next Saturday and I couldn’t be happier.  Nerves are still in play, but at least I’ll have a subject that doesn’t move much.

My not so little “little” testing out the bed 🙂

If any of you have tips/products that you use for your shoots, spam me!  I’m still feeling a little overwhelmed with the whole idea.  It’s so exciting, though, and I’ll get to spend the day with a new baby.  

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