DIY Crib Bedding Part I: Crib Bumper

by Kelsey Norwood

in Crafts,Tutorials

This tutorial will teach you how to make a 10″ tall reversible crib bumper with binding on all 4 edges.

I’ve spent the last several months getting ready for our second son to be born. I have a whole notebook full of projects, and making a new crib bumper is one I’ve completed!

Why make your own crib bumper? Well, I wanted a subtle pattern that can coordinate with anything.

Thinking about making it was a bit intimidating, but once I got started it went fairly quickly and smoothly.  (Click to get a sewing ebook for beginners that I recommend.) If you’ve ever made a quilt, a crib bumper is super easy! Here’s how:

Materials

  • 1 1/4 yards each of 2 coordinating fabrics
  • 10 yards bias tape
  • 1 1/4 yards thick batting
  • basic sewing tools – pins, scissors, etc.

make your own crib bumper tutorial

1. Cut strips 10″ wide and sew them together until you have a piece that measures approximately 10″ x 160″. Do this for your front and back fabric pieces and your batting. (Sew the batting together by abutting the edges and doing a tight zigzag stitch.)

(Measure your actual crib before starting in case the dimensions aren’t exactly the same as mine.)

2. Pin all 3 layers together along the top and bottom edges (right sides facing out). If all 3 layers aren’t aligned exactly, even them up with your rotary cutter and ruler. (This is the step I just finished in the picture above.)

3. Next you need to stitch vertical lines along the bumper to help it fit your crib. Measure from the end for the first line, then measure from each previous line of stitching. Sew the first line 25.5″ from the end. The second line will be in another 25.5″, then 27.5″, 25.5″, 25,5″, and 27.5″.

23

4. Attach binding/bias tape on both long edges of the bumper by sewing the right side of the tape to the right side of the fabric. Make sure all 4 layers are lined up. Sew in the crease. Flip the excess binding over the the other side; pin, and sew.

make your own crib bumper tutorial

5. Cut two more pieces of bias tape to finish the short edges of the bumper. You’ll want to cut the height of the bumper (10″) plus 10″ extra on either side for the ties, for a total of about 30″.

6. Attach the tape to the short edges of the bumper.

7. With the excess, sew the two halves of the bias tape together to make the ties.

crib bumper tutorial

8. For the rest of the ties, you’re going to cut 10 strips of bias tape 18″ long. Fold each strip in half with the ends tucked in and edgestitch.

9. Press flat.

10. Fold in half and press the crease.

crib bumper tutorial

11. Using a stitch length of 1, sew the folded end of the ties to the bumper right where you sewed the vertical lines through all three layers.

make your own crib bumperFinished!

This project will take a bit of time because of how long it is, but it’s really very simple. Good luck, and if anything is unclear, please ask!

Again, a great sewing ebook for beginners can be found by clicking here.

{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Autumn April 21, 2009 at 7:04 am

Too cute! It turned out beautiful!

2 Dana April 21, 2009 at 7:06 am

I just found your site and I love it. The tutorials are great. The baby bumper shown is too cute. I wish I was better at sewing. It always amazes me when people can do these sort of things on their own, while I’m out buying and settling for something I really don’t like. I guess that means I really need to learn how to sew!!

3 Gigi Griffis April 21, 2009 at 7:14 am

Great directions. I remember making one for both my sons before they were born 30 and 27 years ago. Those are the last I made. I offered to make one for my Grand~girls but NOOOO their mother want to buy one!

4 Jennifer April 21, 2009 at 9:35 am

The American Society of Pediatricians recommends that parents NOT use bumper pads in cribs or bassinets. Recent study says the risk of death or injury from using them outweighs their benefits. Please ask your doctors!!!

http://aapnews.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/29/1/28-a

5 Annette April 21, 2009 at 3:51 pm

Very nice! You make it look so easy, but sewing is never easy for me!

6 Natalee April 22, 2009 at 8:56 am

My Heavens Kelsey, you go girl! I can sew and should do it more. If I didn’t have a boy and girl baby bumper already I would deffinetly go for the gusto and try to do one myself. You never cease to amaze me with all the crafty and innovative ideas you post. I noticed that many have commented that sewing is never easy but really if you just practice a little it’s not that hard. Come on every one, if you have grandbabies comming or a little one on the way hurry and give this idea a try. Custom made bumpers with really cool patterns and fabric can easy go for 100 dollars or more and with this neat idea you can make it for a fraction of that. If we ever have a fourth baby I will try this out!

7 Natalee April 22, 2009 at 8:57 am

My Heavens Kelsey, you go girl! I can sew and should do it more. If I didn’t have a boy and girl baby bumper already I would deffinetly go for the gusto and try to do one myself. You never cease to amaze me with all the crafty and innovative ideas you post. I noticed that many have commented that sewing is never easy but really if you just practice a little it’s not that hard. Come on every one, if you have grandbabies comming or a little one on the way hurry and give this idea a try. Custom made bumpers with really cool patterns and fabric can easy go for 100 dollars or more and with this neat idea you can make it for a fraction of that. If we ever have a fourth baby I will try this out!
Aloha
N.W.

8 Baba April 22, 2009 at 10:08 am

Thanks for the instructions! Great project for baby shower gift.

9 Michelle April 22, 2009 at 11:53 am

Wish I’d had this a few years ago when my babes were in cribs… but thanks for posting a great tute, I’ll keep it in mind for future gifts.

10 Amber! April 23, 2009 at 9:01 pm

My grandma has made one for two of my three children. They make great heirlooms!

11 Sue D April 30, 2009 at 8:41 am

Your instructions are very clear. This is a great project to make coordinated bedding.

12 Amy April 30, 2009 at 12:16 pm

Whoa. Good job! That scares me a little bit, mostly because I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to concentrate long enough to make it turn out good! Years ago I bought a white crib bumper from the store, then added little applique’s to each section. The white turned really shabby after the first baby, and I”ve decided to go with a “breathable bumper” ever since.

13 YOLANDA June 27, 2009 at 12:12 pm

You mention vertical lines using batting. What if I am using NU FOAM’s 6-pc foam set? How would I sew the entire bumper then with these same vertical lines? Is it even possible given their bulk? The pieces are 1″ D x 10.5″ W x 26″ L. How do you piece the set together? Is it best to create one big sack with each end cap open and slip the foam through the tube then hand stitch each end?

Thanks.

14 sean January 30, 2010 at 4:12 pm

do you have a tutorial for making a crib organizer? Love thia site! Thanks

15 Karen May 7, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Thank you for these directions. I would have sewn right sides together then turned inside out. Using the bias tape is so much better.

16 Nosheen May 12, 2010 at 11:52 am

There are people in the world that you never even meet yet you learn such valuable things from them. Thank you for being that kind of person and sharing your amazing directions for the rest of us to benefit from :-)

I do some sewing every now and then, but mostly alterations and before this project, I didn’t even know what the heck bias tape was! Since my baby will be sharing a room with his older brother I needed to find a crib bedding set that would either match or coordinate with his room decor. That was impossible; there was not one single crib set that fit the description. So I bought a crib blanket and fitted crib sheet, and thanks to your directions, I sewed the bumper pad myself! It turned out absolutely PERFECT. As soon as we have the crib set up, I’ll post pictures. I even sewed my own crib ruffle/skirt!

Also, just to save some money on the cost of the batting, I bought a ready made bumper from someone on Craigslist for $5! I removed the bias tape and left the fabric covering the batting, then sewed my own fabric and bias tape right on top!

Quick question, do you have to sew in the vertical lines? I didn’t to it only because some of the vertical lines were coming up real close to the stitches that join the 160″ of fabric together and it looked kinda messed up….so I just left out the vertical stitches. Will it make a difference in the way the bumper sits in the crib? Please let me know your thoughts!

Thanks Thanks Thanks!

17 Kelsey May 12, 2010 at 12:51 pm

It won’t make any difference in how it fits your crib, but it might not hold up as well in the wash. The vertical lines are just there to keep all three layers from shifting around. I would wash it on a gentle cycle. I’m glad the tutorial helped!

18 Cari June 3, 2010 at 1:15 pm

I canNOT for the life of me get these danged ties to attach through all the layers…even with the thickest of my sewing machine needles! I’ve tried handstiching, but it’s so thick, I’m having a tough time pushing the needle through! Any suggestions??

Thanks so much for your tutorial!

19 Kelsey June 8, 2010 at 9:56 am

I use the hand wheel when I’m having a hard time getting the needle through. That’s the only thing I can think of – good luck!

20 Megan August 27, 2010 at 8:25 am

I’m just curious how much did it end up costing you to make your own? Did you save quite a bit of money compared to buying one?

21 renee alberts October 6, 2010 at 7:49 am

seems like sewing pieces on your own is the only way to have unique baby bedding… I found some wonderful pieces at http://www.keepingintheloop.com.

22 Erica Myers November 30, 2010 at 12:07 am

These look great and were very easy to make. Thanks for the very easy to follow instructions. This bedding was the perfect touch to my baby’s crib. Thanks.

23 brandy March 9, 2011 at 5:11 pm

What size of bias tape did you use?

24 Kelsey March 11, 2011 at 4:02 pm

I think I used 1/2″. Wider is easier though!

25 Brandi June 28, 2011 at 11:13 pm

What kind of batting did you use? Cotton or polyester loft batting? I’ve seen tons of the polyester batting and the polyester pre-cut bumper pads at the stores. Anything cotton I find is extremely thin and more for quilts and not much cushion for a pad.
Thanks!

26 Kelsey June 30, 2011 at 7:48 am

The first one I made was with polyester batting that I found at JoAnn by the yard, but it was also very thin. It worked, but this time I’m going to try the precut bumper pads – they’re quite a bit more expensive, but they’re also much more rigid, and I’m hoping they’ll hold their shape better. It’s really just a matter of preference…

27 Brandi June 30, 2011 at 11:03 pm

Thank you. I went ahead and actually purchased the pre-cut bumper pads from JoAnn’s yesterday because I had bought the polyester batting low-loft and found it way too thin and flimsy. I am in the process of making my pads now and am excited!

28 Leslie July 27, 2011 at 1:05 pm

If anyone has difficulty sewing through all the layers, get a quilting/”walking”/free motion foot for your sewing machine. I’ve just finished the crib bumper pad for my youngest daughter and have made quilts for all of my 3 daughters’ babies, and the “walking” foot is invaluable to keep the material from bunching up.

29 Callie August 19, 2011 at 3:02 pm

ATT: all seamstress , Need your opinion!
How many hours would it take you to make custom bedding set. Bumper pads (6 pieces w/ ruffle on top), Baby gathers bedding skirt w/ hand-made trim At the bottom2-fitted sheets, and 2- quits (one of them- cut down smaller to fit the baby bed mattress.) I’m a seamstress myself and one of My customer is refusing to pay for the work that I have done. Please, if you would have the time to just re-ply and give me an estimate time frame it would take anyone to make these Items ( i know everyone will be different !)
Very grateful for your time in helping me, thank you! Sam4sewing@gmail.com

30 eva November 23, 2011 at 5:49 am

awsome!
where did you buy batting?
please help!
thanks!

31 Kelsey December 2, 2011 at 10:29 am

I got it at JoAnn, but I would actually use actual bumper pads from JoAnn. They hold up much better.

32 Dara April 25, 2012 at 9:32 am

Do you use 60 inch wide fabric? Thanx for posting! I am excited to make it!

33 Kelsey April 25, 2012 at 9:49 pm

Nope, just regular quilting cotton (44/45). You certainly could use 60 wide though!

34 Jennifer May 22, 2012 at 2:23 pm

I love the tutorial, thank you! My question is: What do you do to finish the corners where the 2 pieces of bias tape meet? Thanks!

35 Kelsey July 16, 2012 at 7:16 pm

I think I just folded the edges under. Try some different things until you get a look you like.

36 Molly July 23, 2012 at 11:03 am

Loved this tutorial – but do you have any tips for keeping it up? I spent the whole weekend making it and by the end of my son’s first nap today he had totally flattened it.

37 Kelsey July 23, 2012 at 11:28 am

That is kind of tricky…I iron mine every so often to help it stay upright, but if your baby steps on it all the time, it is going to get a little mashed. Any crib bumper would…my son stomps on it too, but ironing does help. Good luck!

38 Jennifer May 24, 2013 at 5:09 pm

I was just browsing your site because I made your boppy cover today! MAN… I just made a friend a crib bumper and skirt and this tutorial seems so much easier than the pattern I have! I might have to try it this way when I am ready to make one for my future child! :) Thank you!

39 jules June 18, 2013 at 8:04 am

Thankyou so much I think I’ve bit off more than I can chew this is my first project for my fourth granddaughter due next week wish me luck xx

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