Shortly after finding out baby #2 was a girl, the decorating excitement begin to mount. With baby #1, we were in a 2-bedroom apartment and the nursery doubled as my office. Needless to say, there was very little that could realistically be done when it came to decorations. However, once we moved to the house, we painted the nursery a neutral gray so I could easily decorate for a girl or a boy. Having already had an albeit limited nursery decorating experience for a boy, I couldn’t wait to get started on a girl-themed nursery.
That is, until I started looking at what was available. I couldn’t find anything I liked. The colors were either too bold (I’m more on the reserved side) or the patterns not in my taste, or I just found things to be weird. Eventually, I settled on some boring plain pink sheets and a changing pad cover that kind of matched. I was incredibly disappointed, but at least I was done… until my mom came over. She immediately called out my boring nursery and asked why I couldn’t just make some sheets in a fabric I liked. Honestly, I didn’t have a response. Of course I could. But why hadn’t I thought of that?
The next day, I returned everything I’d bought for the nursery and headed to JoAnn Fabrics to find the perfect fabric for my perfect nursery. I brought my mom along and it took us all of 5 minutes to zero in on exactly what I wanted.
With a toddler at home and being in the 3rd trimester, I decided to start small. I bought enough fabric to make two sheets. I figured I could always buy anything I didn’t have time to make and I wasn’t sure how difficult crib sheets would be. Turns out, they’re not difficult at all.
If you’re interested in making your own crib sheets, here’s what you’ll need:
- 2 yards fabric
- 2 yards 1/4″ elastic
- Sewing machine, needle, thread, etc.
DIY Crib Sheet Tutorial
- The first thing you’ll want to do is measure your crib mattress. I believe these come in a standard size, but it never hurts to double check. My crib mattress measured 52” x 27” x 6”.
- Then, I cut my fabric so that I had 72” of length and left the selvedge ends as they were (we’ll end up hemming it out of the way anyway and you want as much width as you can get). This left me with a piece of fabric that measured 72” by 44”.
- A crib sheet is definitely something you want to fit snug, so it’s important to get the corners of the sheet right. To do this, cut a 9” square out of each corner. I folded my fabric so I was able to cut all 4 corners at once.
- For each corner, place the right sides of the fabric together and sew using a ¼” seam. Finish it off with a zig zag stitch to prevent fraying. After all, baby sheets make quite a few trips through the washer and dryer.
If you’re interested in the clips I’m using, you can find them here. They are relatively cheap and come in a cute tin box of 100. I’ve had very good luck with them. Plus, with that many clips, I never seem to run out. I’ve been using them for about a year now and while some have disappeared due to toddler hiding games, I’ve yet to break one.
- After all 4 corners have been sewn is a good time to check the fit on your mattress. Slip the sheet in its current state over your mattress. Make sure you don’t have extra slack in any direction on the mattress. Think of how a fitted sheet fits your mattress, sometimes there’s annoying extra pulling/twisting/fighting to get the sheet on right and we want the same kind of fit for our crib sheets. Make any adjustments you see fit to your corners.
- Now that we’ve ensured the sheet fits properly, we can begin the process of installing the elastic. To do this, we’ll need to hem the raw edges of our sheet. My preferred method is to first fold up the edge ¼” and iron it in place. This is why it doesn’t matter that we left the selvedge. We’re going to hide it.
- Then, I fold up the ironed edge ½” and iron it in place. You can see in the photo that I used a washable fabric pen to mark where my hem should be. I struggle with straight hems so I take the time to trace my entire hem around the inside of my projects. When you’ve ironed your ½” hem in place, move back to the sewing machine and stitch the hem in place. Be sure to leave a 1”-2” gap to feed the elastic through.
- Using a safety pin, feed your elastic through the entire hem of the sheet. Make sure you don’t lose your tail in the sheet. Then, when you’ve thread the elastic through the entire sheet, use a zig zag stitch to sew the ends of the elastic together and close up the gap you left for feeding the elastic.
Once you’ve closed up the gap, your sheet is finished and ready for use!
Disclaimer: I, like most moms, had some reservations about my homemade sheet coming off the mattress. As a test, I had my toddler sleep on the crib mattress with my sheet on it for about a week. Since the mattress was on the floor, it served as a trampoline and a bed and I am happy to report the sheet never budged. If you’re uncomfortable with how your sheet fits or are worried, you can always purchase extra wide fabric or sew additional fabric to the selvedge of your fabric so the sheet encompasses more of the bottom of the mattress.