Changing tables are one of the top three essential pieces of furniture to any nursery, but what happens when your child no longer needs changing? What do you do with a changing table then? What if you don't have enough space for clothing storage and a changing table ? This is why traditional changing tables are seen less and less in nurseries. More often they are used for about two to three years before the child physically out grows them or is potty trained. So in reality they are not the best investments. A smarter alternative is to use another piece of furniture that provides a good surface area and long-term storage such as a dresser, buffet, sideboard or desk with a changing pad or changing table topper placed on top. This combo has the same functionality as a traditional changing table but also has the longevity to double as storage space and grow with your child.
Additional benefits for creating your own changing table is being able to customize the piece of furniture, putting your personal stamp, Not to mention the perfect opportunity for getting that spouse involved with the arrival of baby. As usual with remodel products my husband tackles all the dirty work like sawing and sanding in preparation for beautification. I am dubbed "The Finisher" because I get to jump in and make things good ;)
Below are some DIY changing table designs for inspiration! These once lack-luster or discarded pieces can be turned into eye-catchers with a little bit of TLC.
Refinishing & Painting
This tall dresser my grandfather handcrafted for his son (my father), created a very personal touch in my son's room. My grandfather even signed and dated it on the inside panel. While expecting my son and tackling his nursery, this piece was tagged for Goodwill. So, not only is it upcycling it is super special to be able to keep something so personal in the family.
What we did: Shortened it by one dresser height; refinished with white and gray high gloss paint to match the rooms clean, modern aesthetic; removed the third draw and added decorative storage; and secured a changing pad to the surface and voila, it is now a dual purpose piece – changing table and storage.
If you don't happen to have a personal piece of furniture just lying around, try hitting a thrift shop, garage sale or Craiglist for a used buffet, sideboard, desk, entertainment center, or simple chest of drawers. It's a fun treasure hunt and makes affordable option for your overall room design.
A few things to take into consideration when selecting the final piece:
1) Check the dimensions. Be sure the height is right for you, keep in mind you will be leaning over this piece numerous times a day for months and months. Also be sure that the surface area is deep enough to fit a changing pad. The average size is 16"x32".
2) Make sure it is sturdy and that the draws or cabinets are safe to open and close.
3) Storage is key, if the piece doesn't have convenient drawerss or cubbies for easy access to diapers, wipes, balms, brushes, thermometer, nail clipper, onesies, pajamas, etc. etc....you will not be a happy camper. If you do fall in love with a piece that doesn't have the surface space for a few items like wipes or much storage be sure and take into consideration how you might add additional wall or floor storage within arms reach. You don't want to leave your baby unattended for accessing essentials during changing time!
Ok, back to the pretties. We have all seen what a little elbow grease, paint and new hardware can do. So, check out these little charmers we found.
Painting isn't always the right way to go. How gorgeous are these rich looking, wood sideboards in mint condition? With a little Murphy's Oil Soap and updated styling these looks seem fresh and modern. They simply added a table topper that provides some extra security and storage niches. The table toppers can be made or purchased at various sources which we will mentioned later in this post.
If You Build It
Now if you or your spouse are seriously gifted and are up for a good challenge, why not build your baby their first heirloom piece of furniture? This is yet another super build from rockstar DIY'er Ana White, changing table and topper. It's got tons of rustic charm and much needed functional space. She used a buffet table plan she already built and then added a matching table topper to create this multi-functional piece.
Changing Tables DBO (Done By Others)
No time for another project before baby? Not the DIY type? Not a problem. You've got a couple great options for adding longevity to your changing table.
Option 1: You can buy any dresser, chest, or desk that you love plus a changing table topper and you’re all set. You can find individual changing table toppers from various retailers. We found the Land of Nod has the largest variety of finishes and sells all toppers separately. Other retailers where you can purchase the toppers separately are RH Baby&Child, PotteryBarn Baby & Dwell Studio.
Option 2: By a matching set and your done! No guess work if the table topper from one store will match, or at least compliment your furniture base. (Scroll over image to see retailer and price. Shop by clicking on image.)