Crib Mattress Spring Turned American Flag

I’m about to knock your socks off.  Well, at least I’m going to try.  This project made me feel so incredibly good inside.  If you don’t mind, I would like to go back in time a little.  It was 1957 and I wasn’t even thought of yet.  My oldest sister, Diane, was a baby and my parents provided her with a beautiful crib to sleep in.  I found this photo to show you.  You have to look closely at the details of the crib.  Check out those fancy curtains too :).

Dido baby-1

You can find Diane’s famous “baked baby back rib” recipe if you click on her picture.


The crib is made out of pine and it has parakeets as decorations on the headboard.  12 years after this photo was taken, I slept in this crib and I remember those parakeets.  They are pastel colored and they spin around.  I describe the crib in present tense because we still have the crib.  Somehow, after all four of us children slept in this crib, my parents managed to save it.  I ended up with it in my attic.  I wanted to use it for our babies, but the spindles no longer met the current safety requirements.  Still, after all of these years I kept it, not knowing what the heck I would use it for.  Until now.


crib 2

If you look up crib upcycles on Pinterest, you will find several ideas to recycle an old crib.  From desks to photo displays, you’ll be amazed by some really cool ideas.  I knew I wanted to come up with something clever, but it had to be something no one else thought of.  Or at least I don’t think they have.  If you have…please come forth and we can share stories 🙂  When we upcycle, recycle, whatever you wish to call it, we not only save money, but we help save the environment, we bring back memories, and we create a special piece that can be cherished for years to come because of it’s history.

So, originally I was going to see if this mattress spring could be used as a dog gate.  I brought it down from the attic and realized there was no way it would work.  Bummer.  So I set the mattress spring up against the wall, and thought that if I left it there for a while I may come up with another idea.  I was right.

My daughter was eating her b-fast at the kitchen table before school one day, and I was standing behind her staring at it.  She was startled because she didn’t realize I was there.  She asked what I was doing, and I just explained that I was “thinking”.  At that instant it came to me that if I turned it horizontal, it took on the shape of a flag.  Like this one above my “hutch turned tool bench” I purchased from Pottery Barn years ago:

Hutch Sherry

(click on photo for tool bench project)

So then I thought, okay…I can paint it red, white, and blue and display it for the 4th of July.  Cool!  Well, maybe not so cool.  It just didn’t sit well with me because I wasn’t sure the stripes would stand out.  No WOW factor, ya know?  Then I thought of the 13 stripes.  I needed to count the rows in the mattress spring to see how many stripes it had.  If it didn’t have 13 stripes like our American flag, this idea was headed no where.  I quickly counted with my daughter.  We were both amazed…there were 13 stripes-exactly.  By this time Red was super fired up.  My mind was turning so fast I couldn’t stop until I had a plan.  Then, holy firecrackers!  It came to me.  RIBBON.

crib 4

I purchased ribbon at Micheal’s with my 40% coupon, and yes, I used a lot of coupons. The lady was mean when I asked if I could use more than one.  She said no, so I just got back in line and used another coupon.  Again, and again.  HA!  Little did the mean lady behind the counter know what an amazing project she was holding up.  Here she is…not the lady, the finished project.

Born Free 2

My hubby actually fed the swans for me so they would hurry up and get in the photo…what a guy.  They fell for it.  His mate is behind the tree.  Not my hubby’s, the swan’s.  Pretty, huh?  Obviously we can’t keep the flag outside, but she sure looked pretty out there in the sun.  Here she is from our deck at a distance and both swans made this photo (my hubby is behind the tree):

crib 3

You may be able to see my old pal “Trixie’s” grave site down there too.  She was the best cat ever.

 We all miss her terribly 🙁  Rest in peace Trixie Marie Tuna July ’94 – Oct. ’08.


crib final

The ribbon was secured with Zots, and glue.

 The stars I ordered on line, and I found the rope at Home Depot.

Here’s another photo of it fireside in our kitchen:

crib flag

We ended up putting her on top of our mantel and look forward to sharing this story with our family and friends.  When it came time  for a title, I originally thought of “Made in the USA”, but then my Mom came up with the “Born Free” title.  Thanks Mom, it’s perfect.  I was born free, and I am a proud American.

By the way…

Today is Flag Day!  June 14th, yep…Flag Day.

So, get your flags out, ok?

Born Free 2

Now the question is, what should I do with the rest of the crib?

You never know what this redhead will think of next.

julie baby nanoNext Friday & Saturday I have a special treat for you.  While I’m taking a break, I have some lovely gals stopping by to fill in.

Be sure to come back and say hello to them.

I will be back the following week.

Happy Flag Day!

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44 Responses

  1. Julie! You are so clever! I’d still be staring at the spring wondering what to do with it! Okay, I’m off to my basement to see if I have one!

  2. Julie… girl, you got the creative jean covered! Super fun and patriotic project!

  3. Angela Ryder says:

    This is totally awesome!!!! Happy Flag Day!!~~angela

  4. Gerry Smith says:

    The flag is amazing! As you are, too.

  5. Julie…this was such a fantastic idea and it looks absolutely beautiful!!!! I LOVE it! Thanks so much for sharing, have an awesome break and pinning!!

  6. Holly says:

    Julie – That is sooooooo incredibly awesome! Way to go not only to reuse but to make such an incredible flag and tribute. Hugs, Holly

  7. Dad says:

    Julie, You did a great job on this and a lot of work and research went into this, very nice, love, Dad

  8. Oh, you know how much I love this!!! Such a creative and also nostalgic idea – so sweet. And I love that your Mom thought of “Born Free”. Just so awesome. Happy Flag Day and you guys have fun on vacation!!

  9. debbiedoos says:

    Gosh this is totally awesome Julie!

  10. This is incredible! What a fabulous idea and it turned out perfectly! I don’t think modern-day cribs have springs like this any more, do they? Rats! If they did, Abigail would be out of that crib turned toddler bed and into a real twin sized one really quickly LOL! Still, you do find older cribs around so I’ll keep look-out for one! Hmmm….what to do with the rest of the crib? I’m sure you’ll come up with something spectacular! Hugs, Leena

  11. Bliss says:

    Pretty darn clever!

  12. […] ribbon to create this look and I think it’s awesome. How bout you? Check it out here — Crib Mattress Spring Turned American Flag at Redhead Can DecorateRedhead Can […]

  13. […] To see the tutorial for making this Crib Mattress American Flag please visit Redhead can Decorate. […]

  14. Larose says:

    Your story about the crib reminds me of a story of mine. When I was a little girl no more than 5 years old. I remember one of my aunts giving my parents a twin size, cast iron bed for me.The thing weighed a ton. At the time,this was 1965, the bed was over 100 years old and it was in sad shape. I remember seeing my parents sanding it down and painting it white for me. I felt so special to have my own grown up bed.My brother was 10.5 months younger than I was and we had always slept together.Well this bed went all over the world with me, as my dad was in the Army and we traveled a lot. I had it when I had my son in 1989.
    In 2002,at 40 years of age my brother passed away unexpectedly along with 8 other family members and friends,including my cousin and her daughter from the aunt that had given me the bed when I was a child.Sometime after that her younger brother, also my cousin lost all of his possessions in a tornado in AL and he had 3 small children and a wife that also lost everything that they owned.I felt that it was only right that the bed that I had had the priviledge to own all of those years should rightly go back to him and his family so my husband packed it up in his pickup and took a lot of other items as well to my family in AL that had lost everything.They were very surprised and grateful to get the things that we sent to them from Northern VA to Western AL.It’s funny how things we have when we are children sometimes hang around for a very long time.I am now 52 and my cousin with the 3 children is about 40+.There is a lot more to the story but I will stop it for now as it can get really complicated, as if it weren’t enough already.I think you get what I am trying to say anyway. Take care! Enjoy your flag a sign of honor!Sincerely! Larose

  15. My crib spring wants to jump off the wall and turn into a flag too! Such a great idea!

  16. I will have to go insearch of a baby crib spring or I can make me one gigantic flag from a day bed. LOL!

    I love this craft idea. Beautiful!!

  17. GREAT project!! I just happen to have crib springs in my garage… this would be awesome on my front porch. 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration!

  18. Meegan says:

    Incredible! I absolutely love it! Pinning!

  19. Holy Firecrackers…that make me laugh batgirl! This turned out so cute you are so creative!

  20. Lori says:

    I love it!! So very clever and the story throughout was fun to read!! Thank you for sharing!!

  21. That is amazing! My mom never kept anything. As soon as she was finished with it, out it went! You have quite the fancy garage by the way 🙂

  22. kristin says:

    Seriously love this!!!

  23. Jen Marrs says:

    What a amazing way to show that crib some love! Born in the USA! Rock on RED- Loved this!!

  24. This is amazing, and I love the story behind it!

  25. Julie, you know I love this!!! Thank you so much for sharing and joining us at Best of the Weekend! Have a great one and lots of hugs to you!!

  26. I love a piece of decor that has history behind it. The crib mattress spring turned out amazing! Thanks for sharing!

  27. I love it!!!! Who would have thought to use a crib springs to make a flag! I love re-purposing things into something entirely different that it’s original purpose! Thanks for sharing!

  28. Susan says:

    Awesome awesome awesome! That one is a homerun! I love it, and geeze I thought crib springs were only for memo boards! LOL Excellent job Julie! I’m pinning!

  29. You already know I love this. Thanks SO much for sharing this at our “Best Of The Weekend party” and for the support.
    Love having you there.

  30. lOUISE COLSTON says:

    just it

  31. […] Redhead Can Decorate, the 1969 crib Julie and her siblings slept in as babies had been sitting in her attic, not meeting […]

  32. Kathleen says:

    Saw this at Infarrantly Creative and had to jump over and tell you this is probably the coolest project I’ve seen done in ages. Just really creative. Can’t wait to see what you do with the rest of the crib! p.s. is your header graphic by Miss Pickles?

  33. Lisa says:

    Love this idea! I have a crib that I plan on making a chalkboard easel with the ends but could not for the life of me think of what to do with the springs….now I know what I can do (as long as I luck out and have 13 rows for the ribbon)!

  34. Joan says:

    I used my 75 year old crib frame as a queen sized headboard putting one crib side vertical in the middle of the two ends. It’s cool. The left over crib side is in my sewing room turned like a ladder to hold supplies using shower rings as hooks.

  35. Jim says:

    Very creative idea! We actually make the mattress spring frames here in Tennessee. If you are interested in purchasing one for your “flag project”, email me for details. Thanks and have a great day!

  36. […] Made with old crib mattress (see how they did it here) […]

  37. […] I had the star stickers from my “Crib Mattress Turned American Flag“. […]

  38. […] Crib Mattress Spring Turned American Flag […]

  39. […]  Antique Crib Mattress Spring Turned American Flag […]

  40. […] had the rope left over from my Crib Mattress American Flag…they sell rope at Home Depot, […]

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