An old metal cot is a thing you should absolutely seek out at your next barn sale or flea market. There are several kinds I have seen including ones with springs (like the inside of a mattress), cots that fold up and have wheels (handy dandy if the wheels are still in good shape), and simpler designs with no springs or wheels but are plenty comfortable. When choosing one, look for what will clean up the easiest. I left one behind that had a LOT of unidentified dark grease that I imagined would 1) be difficult and time-consuming to clean and 2) would probably make my spray paint not stick. Cots also come in non-standard sizes. For example, I have one that is wider and shorter than a twin bed but definitely not as wide as a double. This makes dressing them in bedding an exercise in creativity but that’s half the fun.
A word of caution about these dinosaurs. They were manufactured before the time of plastic-everything and safety mechanisms. Many a finger has been pinched or worse in the hinges and springs of old metal contraptions. Keep your fingers away from the moving parts and your nap and reading should commence without a band-aid needed.
Often times I am overcome with spray paint enthusiasm and in classic Wildflower style, I recently drug home three found cots. I already have two. There are four humans in my household. I definitely do NOT need five metal cots but in my imagination, my children’s future sleepovers will be thus elevated to awesome.
I scrubbed my found cots and sprayed with white spray paint. I propped one cot up on four pieces of firewood which actually made it a lot easier to spray the underside of the rails. Because I drug home so many cots, I got a little hasty and failed to prop up the remaining ones but they all turned out nicely. I have found that the spray paint that can be sprayed upside down makes the task of painting even easier and faster and may be worth the extra couple bucks per can. I used two cans of paint for four cots but my cots weren’t all that rusty.
One way I dressed my cot is by making an outdoor fabric duvet (tutorial coming soon!) and filling it with an old queen sized comforter folded in thirds. Be creative and don’t get hung up on finding a mattress. I have found that a blanket has been quite comfortable.
Happy napping, Wildflowers! What treasures have you found to elevate your summertime?