100 Years of Love: Restoring My Family Bassinet

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Restored Family Heirloom Bassinet for Baby

I’m so excited about this week’s post! My Mom recently moved to Nashville, TN and brought with her my grandmother’s bassinet. This bassinet is over 100 years old and has been used for generations in our family. It is such a treasure to have this sweet bassinet for my own little girl. My grandmother (“Sweet”) played such a large role in my life, and I miss her dearly. The opportunity to use a family heirloom like this bassinet for my own baby is truly touching.

The only problem was the condition of the bassinet when I got it. The paint was chipping, the color had yellowed, the mattress was deteriorating, and more. It needed lots of love to become baby-ready again. (Unfortunately I don’t have a before pic, but trust me, it needed work.) I was definitely up for the challenge because I knew how special it would be to use it. So my mom and I rolled up our sleeves and got to work! I hope that the steps I took (below) to restore my bassinet might help others who have family heirlooms that need a little love.

Restoring the family heirloom, baby bassinet.

STEP 1: We first used a caulking to fill in holes around the base of the bassinet where my grandmother had tacked on ribbon and tulle throughout the years. You can still see some of these marks and holes now but that adds to the heirloom charm!

Restoring the family heirloom bassinet

STEP 2: To repaint the bassinet, we used a gloss white spray in several thin coats. The thin coats ensures that no paint pools inside the wicker crevices or holes of the bassinet.

Restoring my family heirloom bassinet

STEP 3: The mattress that was inside the bassinet did not fit the common bassinet mattresses available at baby stores. We knew we needed to replace it because it was deteriorating very badly. So we headed to a fabric store and bought foam batting and cut it down to the size of the previous mattress. It was important to have enough cushioning for the baby so we used a firm but thick foam. We wrapped in a white cotton and a bassinet sheet from a baby store (it was slightly larger but we just tucked the excess underneath).

Restoring family heirloom bassinet

STEP 4: Next, we knew we needed a lining for the inside sides of the bassinet. So we purchased a few yards of quilt backing from a fabric store (very inexpensive) in white. We also purchased an eyelet lace trim to add a sweet detail where the lining ended. No sewing machine was needed. We simply cut the lining and rolled the edge under and hot glued it onto the bassinet. The trim was completed the same way!

Restoring the family heirloom bassinet

Lastly, we included a sweet white pillow and a quilt (for decoration, not for when Baby is sleeping). Ta-da! I’m so excited with how the bassinet restoring turned out. I love that we maintained the original look and feel of the bassinet while giving it a sweet little face lift for baby girl. I can’t wait to share pictures of her in it!

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