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Creative Dad’s DIY Submarine Crib Turns Naptime into an Under-the-Sea Adventure

Building a Baby Crib

Video game artist Rob Adams might design in the virtual world, but he fashions his offline life in a similarly fantastical way. Adams first wowed the internet last year by building an incredible fairy tree reading nook for his daughter’s bedroom. After seeing his handiwork, the website Fatherly asked him to construct an imaginative baby bed that captures that same charming spirit. Modeled after a submarine, Adam’s colorful DIY crib design takes a newborn “under the sea.”

Building this piece of furniture was no small feat. Even with help from a friend—who taught Adams the basics of fiberglass—it took 90 hours and $1,250 in materials to complete. It was well worth the time, however, as the results are spectacular; the blue and yellow sub dazzles during the day and even lights up at night.

How did he create this DIY baby crib?

Adams started by doing research into “cartoony submarines” and translated their features into a 3D form. Using a digital modeling software, he played around with the proportions and shapes until he got the design just right.

With his vision finalized, Adams got to work. He sculptured the body panels out of foam, covered them in blue painter’s tape, and then applied a fiberglass mixture over it. Afterwards, he used body filler and scraped it on top of the newly-cured panels. Once dry, it was sanded smooth.

It was then on to the legs. Adams used copper piping and mounted them to the framing. Moving on from the cosmetic elements, the dedicated DIYer secured the internal frame so that it could be disassembled to fit through a standard doorway. Once that engineering was complete, he added things like a spinning propeller.

One of the last steps was to assemble the center section that includes a working light and periscope. Like the body panels, it was created with foam and coated in fiberglass. In addition to its decorative properties, this is where the electrical equipment was installed—including a dimmer switch.

Now that the crib is done, Adams doesn’t plan on keeping it all for himself. He plans to auction it to raise money for the Seattle Children’s hospital later in 2017.

Video game designer dad Rob Adams has created a DIY baby crib that adults will want to sleep in, too.

Building a Baby Crib

Fashioned after a submarine, Adams fabricated the entire thing himself. Here's a look into how he did it.

Building a Baby Crib

To begin, Adams designed a 2D version of the baby crib that was inspired by cartoons.

DIY Crib

He then cut, sculpted, and glued together the body panels out of foam.

DIY Crib

DIY Baby Crib by Rob Adams

DIY Baby Crib by Rob Adams

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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