You know the nesting urge set in and you invested in a giant crib set only to find out within a few months that it was virtually useless. The bumpers are dangerous and come off before the baby even sleeps in it, and the skirt lasts a few months but comes off as soon as she learns to sit up. And if you’re like me, your child has one special blanket she insists on sleeping with, so you are left to play around with fanciful sheets.
With so many adorable fabrics available there’s no reason to stick to store-bought crib sheets, especially when it’s so simple to make them yourself. I made my first crib sheet today and I think I’ll do it a little differently next time, but it turned out great and took less then an hour!
Get the full Crib Sheet DIY after the jump…
How to Sew a Crib Sheet
2. Fold the fabric in half lengthwise and cut an 8″X8″ square out of each un-folded corner. Save your four 8″ squares of fabric for another project:
3. Take the two 8″ sides at the corner and place them right sides together, then sew with a straight stitch. Repeat at each corner to make your mattress pockets:
4. Fold the unfinished edges (the non-selvage shorter sides) under, iron and hem with a straight stitch. i actually think this looked sort of messy so next time I will fold and iron all four sides under and hem, but the truth is no one is going to see the bottom of the sheet so it doesn’t matter:
5. Now cut four 9″ pieces of 3/4″ elastic. Fold a piece of elastic in half and pin the middle of it to the bottom of the corner seam you just made. Stretch it as far as you can along the selvedge edge and pin the end of it to the fabric, then do the same thing on the hemmed edge:
When you let go the fabric will be bunched up like so:
6. Set your machine to a stretch stitch if you have it (this will help ensure that the stress on the elastic during use doesn’t rip your fabric). Stretch stitch is #17 in the picture below, look for a similar diagram on your machine. If you don’t have a stretch stitch just use a zig zag:
7. Put the pinned end of the elastic and fabric into your machine, lower the presser foot and turn the wheel to get the needle into it to hold it in place. Now stretch the elastic all the way out so it is flush with the fabric, and hold it taught as you sew it in place. I did it in two bursts, one end to the middle seam, then the middle seam to the other end. Repeat on all four corners. It took me the first few corners to get used to it, the last corner looked the best:
Now just iron it and you’re done:
I think sewing the elastic to the outside was a bit challenging and doesn’t look as polished as I’d like, but it does look great in the crib. Next time I will fold and iron the inner seams 1/4″ all the way around, then fold and iron another 3/4″ to create a pocket, leave a hole and feed the elastic through with a safety pin, and sew the elastic to itself to create a more finished looking sheet with elastic all the way around. I’ll post when I do that.
Prudent Price for one crib sheet:
Store: One Dwell Studio crib sheet (because we’re using designer fabrics I’m comparing to a designer sheet – there’s always target for a cheaper then homemade option) – $36.00
DIY: Two yards Alexander Henry Granville fabric in pink at Purl Soho – $18 (with extra left over for future projects)
I LOVE that fabric…
What a gorgeous print! x
The most important fact is this wonderful sheet was made by a little girls Mommy just for her. Look at the smile on Scarlet's face!
Any ideas re: modifying this pattern for a twin size sheet?
I love the PotteryBarnKids chamois sheeting, but find the price tag a bit steep. But on the otherhand, I'm not sure the amount of fabric needed to make a twin fitted sheet is going to be that much cheaper. Any thoughts?
Question: What size did you make your seam allowances on the squares? By my math, cutting out the squares leaves you with 52", which is exactly the length of a standard mattress. Trying to figure out how this leaves enough fabric for the seams. Advice?
Hey there anon! There are no seams on the top of the mattress…the seams are all underneath on the bottom side. you want to cut out the 8" squares to get the top of your sheet to be exactly the right size, but your seams are on the bottom where the elastic is. hope that helps 🙂
oh i'm sorry, i didnt answer your question, i did about a 3/8" seam allowance on the squares, because they are elasticized on the bottom of the mattress it doesn't have to be precise…you are going to have gathering at the corners but the top of your sheet will be the right size, the gathering is forgiving.
Thanks for your speedy response, Jaime! This is very helpful. And your pictures make it easy to understand.
random question: where did you get your crib/what is the make?
HI Marcie – sorry i didn't reply sooner, i just saw this. I got that crib at WAL MART! can you believe it? and the quality is great and we love it. they still have it, i believe it is called Baby Mod or something like that.
This crib is seriously my dream crib. We went with a different, more traditional one from Walmart tho. I had to match all the other free furniture we got for her room :-/ I cry a little bit everytime I see the Olivia crib, but I'm in love with our current one.
Thanks again for posting this, I'm using the elastic instructions to finish my changing pad cover.
I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed this project! I just finished making four crib sheets with the softest, coziest baby flannel, thanks to your instructions. Since my sewing machine skills haven't improved much since high school home-ec class 15 years ago, I used the elastic-through-the-pocket revision, which was really easy! I'm planning to give two crib sheets away to friends and keep the other two for my 6 month old. Thanks for a fun and easy project!
Wow, been looking for a DIY on making a crib sheet. My baby is hypo-alergenic, do you recommend any specific material for the fabric?
Thanks for the tips. Will try it with my baby's new crib.
davinci emily…i'm not an expert on hypoallergenic at all, but would bamboo fabric work?
Love this tutorial and I just got a super cute flannel to try it. I had a question for ya though…if I were to do the elastic with the pocket method versus sewing it to the inside of the sheet how much elastic would I need? Like how many inches for it to have enough stretch and be able to sew it to itself?
I just made a sheet for our baby who's due to come next month….and I love how it turned out! How fun that you can pick your own fabric and make something so cute. I love it, thanks so much for sharing all these tutorials!! This one was very clear and the elastic corners even turned out well. I took your advice and hemmed all around it, which I'm glad I did. 🙂 I can't wait to try more of your ideas.
Why do you need to remove a crib skirt once your baby can sit up?
Hopefully you still check this for responses.. did you ever end up using the method you recommended at the end of your post? How much elastic will I need if I do it the second way?
Has anyone had success making jersey knit sheets with this pattern? I ordered organic jersey knit bamboo and am having such a challenging time making it work. The fabric is so baggy. I increased the pocket size and used 12" of elastic. I am a novice sewer. My mother is about to help me use bias tape to make a pocket all the way around the sheet for one whole length of elastic to go all the way around, like you suggested at the end of your instructions, Jaime. Any advice?
Thanks for the tute…I just made a sheet for my son's portable crib today at my lunch hour!
I finally got around to making these sheets:
I made a casing all the way around the bottom edge and fed an elastic through like it was suggested to do at the end of this tutorial. I didn't measure my elastic length, I simply used a crib sheet I already had on hand to gauge the length of elastic needed. Worked like a charm!
I love this and plan to make a few to go with the theme of my sons room!! Adorable!
This is really pretty and seemed easy enough. i will definatly have to try it. Thanks!
I am really wanting to make some super soft plush sheets for my son. Are any of you beginners? I have literally ONLY made a taggie blanket and a large baby blanket. That is the extent of my sewing skills so far! I am wondering how hard this would be for a newbie such as myself….
This was my 2nd sewing project – just got a machine for Christmas. It was so easy to follow, and I am so proud of my crib sheet!
I've cut and ironed everything but I'm nervous about how much elastic to use in the "pocket" method. Any suggestions?
Mine isn't nearly as cute as yours (I went with green polar fleece) but SO easy and quick to make. What was I thinking EVER buying crib sheets? Thank you so much for this tutorial. (And to the person before me, I used 5' 6" of elastic, and am not breaking my back trying to put the sheet on the mattress, if that helps.)
Love your crib! I'm actually looking into buying the same one, but concerned that it's made with pinewood (supposedly soft type of wood that damages easily). Any complaints? Recommendations? Thanks!
Thanks for the awesome tutorials on crib sheets… I just finished making my own and am SO happy I did!
Was wondering about a size sheet to make for my daughter’s tiny 5 lb baby. They are using the Pack n play, for the crib in their room, until he is big enough to use his full size crib. I have some soft flannel I want to use, but wasn’t sure of the width and length I should cut it. Could you please let me know as soon as possible as I will be seeing her tomorrow, and would love to surprise her with new sheets as she only has one or two. Thank-you so very much for sharing your directions.
I may be totally missing it but did you give the dimensions of your crib mattress?
I’ve just been complaining (to who ever would listen) that I detest the crib sheets they produce. Low grade polyester that is horrible for kids unless you pay through the teeth or comes in a set. In my situation its for my son’s toddler bed. I think I might just try this! Thanks so much.
[…] Crib sheet by Jaime from Prudent Baby […]
My daughter is expecting her 1st, & I would like to make some sheets of a cotton knit for her; my issue is she will have an oval crib. Any suggestions on making sheets to fit somethin I haven’t seen?
You mention using 3/4″ elastic, but it sure looks like 1/4″-3/8″ wide elastic to this OLD professional sewer. Am I all wet?
@Laura Adams I was thinking the exact same thing. I have used a ton of elastic in my many years of sewing and this totally looks like 1/4 or 3/8″. I’m getting ready to make a sheet this evening and am going with 1/4″. Thanks for the easy pattern.
Hey there! I know I’m coming to this post a bit late, but I’m SOOOOO thankful you posted it! It turns out my little 3-year-old is a bit of a sheet snob. Not in the way her mommy is…(I like my satiny smooth Egyptian cotton that feels cool in the summer because, darn it, I’m perpetually hot ever since having my kiddos)…but in the way that she refuses to sleep on anything that’s not fleecy or plushy. When she was an infant I thought it would be a great idea to buy some “microfleece” sheets to help keep her warm in the winter and give her something soft for her little cheeks to rub against.
Well, it turns out that my good intentions have turned my little diva into a complete sheet snob who will not sleep on anything that’s not plush. I recently bought her an ADORABLE toddler bed set with princesses all over it (she loves princesses), and the sheets were very satiny and smooth. She was thrilled until she lay down on them and her face touched the smooth sheet. Then she sat up and wailed, “Where’s my soft sheet?? This isn’t my soft sheet!!!”
I tried to convince her that it was a “big girl” sheet, but to no avail. I tried giving her a soft plushy blanket to cuddle up to instead, but she wasn’t having it. It had to be her particular plush sheet, or she simply wasn’t going to sleep.
Perhaps a stronger woman would have held her ground, but I caved in and took out her favorite sheet and replaced it on the bed. After all, I was exhausted after a long day and wanted to get some sleep, too.
Anyway, I have four of these fleecy sheets (at one point we lost two of them and I just about threw my hubby out of the house because he had done the laundry and lost track of them…he didn’t understand the absolute NECESSITY these sheets meant to our well-being as a family during the night). But anyway, these sheets are just about at the end of their life, and I wasn’t sure what to do about it. In desperation I’ve even bought cheap fleece blankets from the fabric store and tucked them around her mattress. She’s okay with that, so I thought…if I could just sew this blanket into a SHEET, my problems would be solved!!!
So, I’m here to thank you profusely for solving my problem for me!! My local fabric store often has sales on cheap plush blankies…I’ve seen them as cheap as $3.00 for a 50×60 “throw” size, so I will be snatching them up and sewing them into new plushy sheets for my darling, yet extremely picky, daughter.
What will happen when she moves up into a twin bed is another thing entirely. I’m pretty sure I’ll be completely S*R*W*D at that point.
Anyway, I’m so happy to have found your blog! I’m planning on sticking around a while and seeing what other fabulosity you’ve got going on here! Have a great day!
Smiles, Jenn @Misadventures in Motherhood
[…] corners in the final steps, but it all came together very nicely and it looks great. Here is the tutorial I used, but I did several searches on other tutorials as well before settling on a real plan. And […]
I am a sewing enthusiast and just found your tutorial. I have been looking for ways to save my daughter money on her first child. I made sheets for the pack n plays that we all (both Grammas and the new mommy) have. I didn’t hem any of the sheets, only serged around the edges. The crib sheets will be beautiful thanks to your guidance!
Haven’t had a chance to read all the comments but do you think I would be able to make this by hand? I don’t own a sewing machine or know anybody that does.
I recently brought a handmade cot and am unable to find any sheets that fit it properly so this would be great.
[…] my friend Jessie. She walked me through how to make a crib sheet (which we got instructions from here). That was project one and really didn’t take too long. I don’t have a pic of this […]
Wonderful job and a great pattern! What size is your baby’s mattress? My mattress is about 120x60x6cm (47.24×23.62×2.36 inches). The depth of the matresses vary in Northern Europe from 6 to 9 cm, I guess it’s probably because of the coconut fibre content in them that is so popular right now. So when I read the wonderful tutorials online it gives me a little headache 🙂 – the mattresses are much bigger!
Any advice how to calculate the fabric size?
Once upon a time I was actually quite good at sewing. But as my kids were growing up, it was limited to pretty much mending and costumes. So fast forward, and now I am a new grandma of a sweet 7 month baby girl. Your tutorial is excellent, but I am rusty. I just purchased a pack n play, and intend to order a 3″ mattress for it. The pack and play measures 39″ x 28″, but I will be measuring the padded board that comes with it to get a more accurate measure. I assume there is a formula for figuring the measurements for the length, width, and height of a mattress to make any sheet. Unfortunately, I don’t quite know how to adapt your crib sheet tutorial to what I need. If you know, I would certainly appreciate any suggestions. I purchased the pack n play in solid green and brown so it can be used for a girl or boy for future grand children. I want to make it more feminine for this grandbaby with cute printed sheets etc. I have yet to see online sheets to fit this size mattress, not to mention the poor quality fabric and limited prints. I loved the one you made, something like that is what I had in mind. The colors and print is so charming and whimsical for little girl. Thank you for posting your tutorial, it is so nicely done.
[…] DIY […]
[…] DIY project and photo credit to prudentbaby.com […]
[…] this new project, I followed directions from a book, Sew & Go Baby, by Jasmine Hubble and from PrudentBaby, both of which direct you to use 68 inches of typical fabric (43-45″ wide), which is almost 2 […]
[…] if you want to sew your own crib sheets here is the link to the instructions that I used. Hint- make sure that you choose fabric that is 44-45 inches wide. Some of Rose’s […]
[…] I did was a crib sheet. This was SO easy. Insanely easy. Took me less than 30 minutes, easy. I used this tutorial over at Pretty […]
[…] 1. Pretty Prudent Crib Sheet Tutorial – corner elastic […]
I love your sheet. I have been using these instructions to make sheets for gifts and my friends have told me the sheets fit much better than the store-bought ones and have asked for more. Thank you for taking the time to post this.
Are there patterns for fitted sheets for the oval version? Or else detailed instructions on how to get it to be fitted without the exact shaped top piece? I saw a comment with quick instructions but not quite clear on what the actual steps are.
*Making custom ones as a gift so I do not have access to the mattress to draw it myself.
Very good blog! Do you have any helpful hints for aspiring writers?
I’m hoping to start my own website soon but I’m a little
lost on everything. Would you recommend starting with a free
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that I’m totally overwhelmed .. Any ideas? Thanks!