Monday, August 17, 2009

Getting the Big Girl Bed Made in Kolkata

Two weeks ago, the time had come to transition Sicily from a crib to a toddler bed. Unfortunately we forgot to bring one in our shipment. I believe it was the hope that she would be in her crib for the whole tour that caused the forgetfulness. Also, the side rails that you can purchase to fit on a regular twin were too large for the pouch, so we set off to look for one in Kolkata.

After looking at a variety of furniture stores in town, we couldn't find a sturdy toddler bed with side rails. There are plenty of bunk beds available, or large, low beds. We then went to a few used/antique stores and found an Indian-sized single bed that worked with some modifications. It was outside of a shop, leaning against a wall with several months of dirt on it, but after some brushing off it showed lots of potential.

The shop had a carpenter that worked with us on the spot to understand how we wanted to modify the bed. After three days, I returned and saw the bed with the new rails made out of spindles from an old chair. It was then stained and polished, and two guys carried it to our apartment through the city streets.

With the bed finished it was time to find a mattress. Since the bed was now thinner than an Indian-sized standard bed for the rails, we had to get a mattress made, which is a common thing to do here. There is a section of town where you can go to get mattresses made (photo above).

After selecting a store, we picked out the thickness of the foundation which is made of fiber from hardened coconut shells, then the thickness of the poly-fiber topper (photo below) and then the fabric that would cover the mattress. It was then cut to size, the fabric was sewn and it was assembled in less than two hours.

Total cost of bed and mattress, with delivery: $91. Now lets see what else we can get made in Kolkata.


Unknown said...

Wow. That is something the USA does not have. Mass produced goods took away the creativity of small shops. (I guess you can have something made to your specifications in the USA, if you can pay for it.)

Jill said...

Having the bed made there is really cool!!

We have a girl here at post who needs a toddler bed for her son. This could be a less expensive alternative to putting a mattress in her layette shipment. :)