Thursday, July 14, 2011

Crib Sheet Tutorial

Making your own crib sheets is less expensive than buying  sheets.  The sheets are larger than skimpy store-bought sheets so it's much easier to change them on a crib.  Believe me... it's been over 35 years and I still remember wrestling with a skimpy crib sheet in the middle of the night, trying to get it on the mattress when I was tired and the baby was crying.

To make one crib sheet, you will need:

  • 2 yds of fabric (I used cotton flannel because it's soft and cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter)
  • 90 inches of 1/4" or 3/8" elastic

Match selvedges and corners of flannel, folding into four layers.

Cut out a 9 inch square.  I used pins to mark the cutting line across the flannel and cut to that line.

If you are making more than one crib sheet, use the cut out squares as your pattern on the next sheet.


Save the cut out corner squares to make a baby quilt to match the sheets or save them to make a quilt for another baby!

Open folded fabric...

...and match edges of cut out corners, right sides together.  Sew 3/8" to 1/2" seam.  This makes the sheet corners sturdier at a stress point.  Back stitch at the top of the corner seam.

I serge the corner seam edges to prevent raveling/fraying.  If you don't have a serger, you can use a zigzag stitch on these edges to finish them.

After corner edges are all finished, open up sheet and serge/finish all edges of the sheet.  I do this because it's easier/faster when I sew the casing for the elastic.  Serging the edges also cuts off all the  fuzzy selvedges as well.

Turn serged/finished edges of crib sheet about 1/2" to 3/4" toward the inside and sew close to the finished edge.  If you decide not to finish the edges of the crib sheet, fold under about 1/4" and press.  Then turn under the 1/2" of fabric and sew down.

Leave about a 6" opening on the casing on one side of the crib sheet to insert the elastic.

This is a bodkin.  I've had it since the early 1970s at the latest and I don't know what I would have done without this tool over the years.  Not only does it make inserting elastic in casings easy, it can be used to repair drawstrings in shorts or sweatpants, leading your grandchildren to think you can fix anything!

If you don't have a bodkin, you can use a safety pin to insert the elastic in the casing.

Fasten bodkin or safety pin to one end of elastic and insert into casing.

Thread elastic through casing, pinning the end of the elastic to the crib sheet near the opening.  This prevents you from pulling the elastic too far into the casing where you can't get to it, thus having to pull the elastic out and start over!

You will have to move fabric by hand, pulling elastic along the casing as you thread it through.  Once you have the elastic back to the opening... the ends of the elastic together.  I overlap the ends about 2 inches and use a zigzag stitch so there will be some give.  This will prevent threads from popping where you sewed the ends together.

 Stretch the fabric to pull the elastic into the casing and stitch down the casing opening.

And now you have a crib sheet!

It took me a little over two hours to make all three crib sheets, which included taking photos.

It makes me smile to think of Jamie's little boy sleeping on these sheets and I know his mother will appreciate them.

If you have any questions, just let me know!


  1. Wonderful tutorial! It should be easy now--it has been decades since I made crib sheets, but I love this as a shower gift, or a gift for my grandchildren. Thanks for taking the time to do this.

  2. Now I'm curious how the original crib sheets looks like. Here they are the same as you made.

  3. Thank you for this great tutorial. Now, when I give a baby quilt I can also give a coordinating sheet.

  4. Thank you for making a tutorial, now if I can't find the book that I have with the dimensions I can look it up on your blog, or print it out. I have three to make for a baby shower.

    I wish I had these sheets when my boys were babies!!! I hated those skimpy store bought crib sheets in the middle of the night! This will be a great gift for new moms.
    Thank you FREDA!

  6. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! What a terrific tutorial. I can't wait to make some for my grands!!

  7. Years and years ago, I made crib sheets like these for our little ones because as you say, the store bought ones just don't stay on the crib mattress.

    But I never thought of giving them as gifts. Thanks for the great tutorial and reminder that this is still a need for new mothers.

  8. Ah, remember when we made them for our own little ones? Good tutorial, great gift idea.

  9. Adorably done. I'm sure they will be comfy for the little man.

  10. Awesome Tutorial. It really got me excited to make some crib sheets. HMMM, neighbor is having a baby, I think they might get a little gift!
    Thanks Freda.

  11. Awesome tutorial!!! Would love to try and make some!!

  12. Love that choo-choo fabric! Homemade flannel crib sheets make for one happy baby!

  13. Thanks so much for doing this tutorial! There are a couple of things that baffle me, but since I'm not ready to make some, I will file it for when I need to make sheets for any of my friends' grandchildren...and someday my own!
    Very nicely done, and I appreciate all of the nice photos that clarify steps.

  14. Awesome tutorial!! I love this!!

  15. Very nice tutorial. I've added this link to both of my websites.

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