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How to Sew Mini Crib Sheets (Easy with Pictures)

Updated on September 6, 2014

Getting Started

If you own a mini crib, most likely the Alma Mini Crib, you have found out that there is only one crib sheet available on the market. It is organic, but it it’s only plain white and kind of pricey. Here are easy, step-by-step directions on how to make your own.

You will need 1-½ yards of fabric for each sheet you want to make (you should be able to make one with 1-¼ yards, but if you shop somewhere where they cut fabric pretty crookedly, you might be cutting it too close, so better to be safe). You will also need 54” of ¼” elastic for each sheet you make, a medium sized safety pin, and of course sewing thread.

Next, you’ll need to wash, dry and iron your fabric or fabrics – if they are very different colors or you are unsure of how colorfast they are it’s a good idea to launder them separately.

Cutting Your Fabric

Trim your fabric to make sure it’s square/straight. This step was especially important for the sheets I made, because all three patterns were on a grid and any crookedness would have been evident once the sheets were done. Now you're ready for the real work.

Cut your fabric down to a 48 ½” X 30 ¾” rectangle. (SEE NOTE AT BOTTOM FOR DIFFERENT SIZED BABY MATTRESSES.)

Then cut out what I call the corner squares; these are 4 ¼” X 4 ¼”.

Here's what the piece of fabric looks like once it's been cut:

Pinning and Sewing Your Corners

Now you’re almost ready to start sewing. First pin the right sides of each of the corner squares together. You could do these one at the time – pin one corner, go sew it then pin the next corner and so on – but I prefer to pin them all and then go sew them all at once.

Sew each corner using about a ¼ “seam. Although you want your fabrics cut straight, absolutely precise seams are not necessary (this is not a quilt!) and most of the sewing ends up under the mattress where no one will see it.

Once you have your four corners sewn, press your seams open.

Making the Elastic Pocket

Next you’re going to create the elastic pocket. You first go around the sheet and press in a ¼” all the way around. Then you go around again and press in about another ½”. You just need to make sure that your elastic will fit inside the pocket you’re creating - you can see how I tested this in the photos below. You'll also need to make sure to sew your pocket seam to the outside edge of the fold to make sure to allow enough space for you elastic and safety pin to pass through. Place pins every 10” or so as you work your way around the second time to hold the fold in place when you sew.

First 1/4" fold pressed in
First 1/4" fold pressed in
Checking to make sure the elastic will fit inside the second fold
Checking to make sure the elastic will fit inside the second fold
Second 1/2" fold pressed in
Second 1/2" fold pressed in

Now you’re going to sew your elastic pocket. In order to avoid accidentally sewing all the way around, I like to place a pair of pins at a 90 degree angle about 10” apart where I want to start and stop my sewing. These act as my red flags. You want at least 10” left un-sewn because it’s a lot easier to join the ends of the elastic when you have some wiggle room. For the same reason, I also find it easier to start and stop on one of the long sides of the sheet.

Feeding the Elastic

Once you have your elastic pocket sewn and leaving about a 10”+ gap, you can now add the elastic. Adding the elastic is probably the hardest part of this project, but it’s really pretty easy once you get the hang of it. The measurement of the elastic is somewhat debatable. I’d say that using a 52” length would make a snug fitting sheet that is still easy to get on and off. Of course, if you like it snugger or looser, adjust your elastic length accordingly. Take your safety pin and attach it to the center of one end of your elastic (seems silly to emphasize center, but I’ve learned the hard way that if you attach it closer to the edge of the elastic sometimes the elastic frays and falls apart midway through your "feeding" process and you have to start all over).

So, you want to feed your safety-pin into the elastic pocket. Slide it as far forward as you can, then with your other hand hold the safety pin in place through the fabric and pull the fabric you’ve just fed the safety pin into back over the elastic.

Continue doing this until you’ve made it all the way around. Once you get all the way around, make sure to hold the safety pin firmly and spread the fabric around the elastic evenly (because it will most likely be bunched up by the end of your safety pin). If you need to put the sheet down for a minute at this point, make sure to safety pin both ends of the elastic together, so that the end of the elastic doesn’t accidentally slip back out of the pocket.

You can also take the sheet as is and place it on your mattress to see how taut it is and if you want to shorten or lengthen your elastic before doing the final sewing.


Safety pin the ends of the elastic together before you set your sheet down!
Safety pin the ends of the elastic together before you set your sheet down!
Checking the "snugness" of the elastic length before I sew the ends together
Checking the "snugness" of the elastic length before I sew the ends together

Final Steps

Now take the two ends of your elastic and lay them over each other and pin them in place. Place this under your presser foot and sew it together (obviously removing the pins as you go). You might want to go over this seam a couple times to reinforce it.

The last step is to sew those last 10”+ of your elastic pocket. There you go! You have a beautiful, custom mini crib sheet.

You’ll notice that when not on the mattress they sort of look like oversized fabric shower caps.

Notes for Different Sized Mattresses

NOTE: Since I've received many comments asking what size fabric to start with for different sized baby mattresses, I thought I'd add this helpful tip.


If you're mattress is 3"-4" thick, you just add 12" to the length and width of your mattress dimensions. For example:

Your mattress is 10" wide x 3" thick x 20" long.

That means your fabric should be cut to 22" wide x 32".

And then you just follow the rest of the directions from there on.

Comments

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    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Fantastic How to Hub. Easy to follow instructions and great pictures. Welcome to HubPages.

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 5 years ago from US

      Wow you show it so well anyone could do it. Now teach me to make a dress, lol! Great hub! Voted up. Welcome to hubs.

      Polly

    • profile image

      Susan 5 years ago

      Great tutorial! So easy. Thanks.

    • profile image

      rebecca 4 years ago

      what size is the mattress? I am trying to make fitted sheets for a matress that is 37.5 x 23 x 2

    • profile image

      dee 4 years ago

      Wow, amazing. I have been looking for mini crib bedding and it is so expensive and there aren't a lot of styles to choose from. So, thanks to you, I am going to try to make my own. At, least I can design it exactly how I want it.

    • profile image

      Toni 4 years ago

      If I have a 5 inch thick mini crib mattress would my corner squares need to be cut out bigger than the 4 1/4? Please help!

    • profile image

      Robert 4 years ago

      What size is this mattress?

    • GenevieveStevens profile image
      Author

      GenevieveStevens 4 years ago from Sacramento, CA

      This mattress is 18"x35.5"x3". It was for an Alma mini crib. Hope that helps.

    • profile image

      Judy 4 years ago

      I have a mattress that is 15" x 2" x 33" which is for a bassinet. How do I figure out how much fabric I need and how much would I need to cut out from the corners. Your help would be greatly appreciated.

      Thank-you

    • profile image

      Judy 4 years ago

      You instructions for the mini crib sheet is fabulous. Very easy to follow instructions with your photos.

    • GenevieveStevens profile image
      Author

      GenevieveStevens 4 years ago from Sacramento, CA

      Hi Judy,

      I believe you should use a 44"x 26" piece and cut out four 3-1/4" corners and then follow my directions for assembly. Basically I take the length dimension and add the depth of the mattress (not forgeting to double the depth so that it covers both sides) and then add 7" to the total to allow for the elastic pocket and for it to wrap under the mattress, and then I do the same for the width dimension.

      I hope that helps.

      Good luck with your project.

      G

    • profile image

      Olivia 4 years ago

      I have a mini crib mattress that is about 37x24x6. Would it be correct to then work with a 56x43 fabric square? How do I figure out how much to cut out for the corners?

    • GenevieveStevens profile image
      Author

      GenevieveStevens 4 years ago from Sacramento, CA

      Hi Olivia,

      Yes the piece of fabric you would need is 56x43, and I would cut out 7 1/2" corners. I should have mentioned in my last answer that to calculate the corners, you take the depth of your mattress - in this case it is 6" - and add another 1 1/2" to accommodate the elastic pocket and ensure it will tuck under the mattress. Good luck with your project!

      G

    • profile image

      CostumeDiva 4 years ago

      If this helps anyone: Im making sheets for the Dream on Me 3" mini mattress and Im cutting a 51" x 37" rectangle with 4.5" corners. The mattress is 38"x 24" x 3".

    • profile image

      Ivonne 4 years ago

      Our minicrib mattress is 28x34x1.5 what size should my cut out be? Thank you so much!

    • GenevieveStevens profile image
      Author

      GenevieveStevens 4 years ago from Sacramento, CA

      Hi Ivonne,

      You should use a 36"x42" piece of fabric and cut out 3" squares at the corners and then follow the rest of the directions as usual.

      Good luck!

      G

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      Nancy 3 years ago

      My mattress is 14x33. What size should my cutouts be? Also, do you allow for 1/2" hems in your measurements? Your instructions seem clear and precise--thanks for the pictures--can't wait to try it.

    • GenevieveStevens profile image
      Author

      GenevieveStevens 3 years ago from Sacramento, CA

      Hi Nancy,

      I would need to know how deep your mattress is too. I am also not certain what you mean by 1/2" hems. My directions include allowances for the elastic pocket, and the sheet wraps around the bottom of the mattress securely, but there is no hem per se. Once you give me your mattress depth, I can help you with the size of your fabric.

      thanks,

      Genevieve

    • profile image

      Kathy 3 years ago

      Great, easy to read and follow instructions Genevieve. And the comments were so helpful as well. I've been searching for easy to follow instructions to make cute sheets for our church nursery which has new mini cribs. Thanks everyone!

    • GenevieveStevens profile image
      Author

      GenevieveStevens 3 years ago from Sacramento, CA

      Thanks Kathy! I'm glad you found these directions helpful. Good luck with your project!

      -Genevieve

    • Shanda L Lewis profile image

      Shanda L Lewis 3 years ago from Perrysburg, Ohio

      Hello I am looking for direction to make a crib quilt and skirt for a mini crib..

      Thanks.

      Shanda L Lewis

    • GenevieveStevens profile image
      Author

      GenevieveStevens 3 years ago from Sacramento, CA

      Hi Shanda,

      Unfortunately I do not have a pattern for a crib skirt or crib quilt. I would try searching on Etsy. Also, a lot of quilt and fabric designers offer free quilt patterns on their websites/blogs.

      Good luck with your project.

      Genevieve

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      Kathy 2 years ago

      If I make the larger sheet, 56 x 43, how long do I cut the elastic?

    • GenevieveStevens profile image
      Author

      GenevieveStevens 2 years ago from Sacramento, CA

      Hi Kathy,

      If I understand correctly, your mattress dimensions are 56 x 43, so the total circumference is about 198. Based on how my sheets have turned out, I'd estimate your elastic to be around 100. However, because the depth of the mattress affects this, and some people like snugger or looser fitting sheets (pros and cons to each: one is hard to get on but stays on like a charm and vice versa), I would keep the elastic about 20 longer at 120. Feed that through your elastic pocket and then pin it with a safety pin to see where you'd like the length to be, and then follow the rest of the directions.

      I hope that helps.

      Good luck with your project!

      -Genevieve

    • profile image

      tv tran 2 years ago

      hi, thanks for the tutorial. three questions:

      1. I was thinking of just tugging the fabric over the mattress.. so would I need more than 1.5 yards of fabric? I have the alma too.

      2. is the alma mattress waterproof? it came with plastic wrapped and I was t sure if I should take that plastic out?

      3. what type if fabric should I get??

    • GenevieveStevens profile image
      Author

      GenevieveStevens 2 years ago from Sacramento, CA

      Hi TV Tran,

      I am not sure what you mean in question 1. Are thinking of making more of a pillow case? Regarding question 2: The Alma mattress is not waterproof and they sell mattress protectors for it, that you can put under the sheet. And 3: I would use 100% cotton like the kind used for quilting, which you can find at any fabric store.

      Good luck with your project!

      Genevieve

    • profile image

      Dondi 2 years ago

      I have a dream on me mini crib mattress that measures 38x24x3. How much fabric and elastic should I get? Thank u

    • GenevieveStevens profile image
      Author

      GenevieveStevens 2 years ago from Sacramento, CA

      Hi Dondi,

      If your mattress is 38x3x24, you will need a piece of fabric that is 50x36, and then follow the rest of the directions, including cutting out the 4 1/4 x4 1/4 squares from each of the corners.

      Good luck with your project!

      Genevieve

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      Wendy 2 years ago

      What would happen if I cut D+2 1/2 for the corners, instead of D + 1 1/2...I think I just cut it wrong and am trying to figure out if I can still sew it or if I should start over...

    • profile image

      Meg 2 years ago

      Hi! I'm using this tutorial to make crib sheets for my little sister's mini crib mattress (LA baby compact crib 3" mattress). The dimensions are 38x24x3 so I was planning on on cutting 50 x 36 rectangles with 4.5 corners. I'm hung up on the elastic though. Has anyone made a sheet for this size mattress and can recall the length of elastic used? I don't have the mattress in my possession (she's on the other side of the country) and she doesn't sew at all, so it will need to be completely finished when it gets to her!

    • GenevieveStevens profile image
      Author

      GenevieveStevens 2 years ago from Sacramento, CA

      Hi Meg,

      I've done a little research on calculating elastic lengths, and my best recommendation, is to take the overall circumference of the mattress and subtract 4". In your case, that should make the elastic 120".

      I hope that helps. Good luck with your project!

      Genevieve

    • profile image

      Carly 2 years ago

      I noticed in the section where you cut the 4 corners, you then sew them together, and then press the seams outward... however, they are raw fabric edges... your pictures don't look like you serged or hemmed them. Didn't they end up fraying badly when you washed the sheets??

    • GenevieveStevens profile image
      Author

      GenevieveStevens 2 years ago from Sacramento, CA

      Hi Carly,

      You could definitely serge the raw fabric edges before sewing them together. However, most people don't have sergers or know how to to do that and the sheets held up just fine through the amount of time the baby and toddler used them. I hope that helps.

      Good luck with your project!

      Genevieve

    • GenevieveStevens profile image
      Author

      GenevieveStevens 2 years ago from Sacramento, CA

      Hi TV Tran,

      I am not clear what your first question means, could you clarify further. The Alma mattress is not waterproof, and you should definitely remove the plastic - it's a suffocation hazard. I would use high quality quilting cotton, which you can find at any Joann's store.

      Good luck with your project!

      Genevieve

    • GenevieveStevens profile image
      Author

      GenevieveStevens 2 years ago from Sacramento, CA

      Hi Kathy,

      The rule of thumb is to cut your elastic about 2" shorter than your circumference. In your case that is 198" minus 2", which would be 196". However, I find it best to feed the elastic and connect the ends with a safety pin to test it out before finalizing the length. I hope this helps.

      Good luck with your project!

      Genevieve

    • profile image

      Deesc 2 years ago

      Genevieve great information. I am getting ready to start one for my daughter. This is the calculations I get after reading everything. Is this correct?

      Width = Width + Depth (times 2) + 7"

      Length = Length + Depth (times 2) + 7"

      Cutouts = Depth + 1 1/2"

      Elastic = Circumference of Mattress minus 2" to 4"

      Fabric = 100% cotton

    • profile image

      Deesc 2 years ago

      Now I have a question about fabric. I see 100% cotton is the best fabric. I have seen it in Cotton, Jersey and Flannel, but my daughter wants minky fabric. Now I am worried about that, how do you feel about that.

    • GenevieveStevens profile image
      Author

      GenevieveStevens 2 years ago from Sacramento, CA

      Hi Deesc,

      My daughter loves Minky fabric too, so I am not surprised by this request. The challenge with Minky fabric is that you cannot iron it/press it, because it would melt. The step where this is most helpful is when you make the channel for the elastic. If you think you could fold the Minky twice over and sort of finger press it into place, then I'm sure it would work out great. No one will be looking under the mattress, so if your channel is a little wavy no one will know. I'd also look at getting a thinner needle that works well with thicker fabrics.

      I hope that helps and good luck with your project!

      -Genevieve

    • profile image

      Deesc 2 years ago

      Thank you.

    • profile image

      Deesc 2 years ago

      Genevieve - I am going to drive you crazy, sorry. The crib mattress is 36x23x3. What would you say the elastic would be. Somewhere I saw circumference minus 4" but that really doesn't work. I cut it in half and that seems to work.

    • GenevieveStevens profile image
      Author

      GenevieveStevens 2 years ago from Sacramento, CA

      Hi Deesc,

      I don't mind the question at all, and it seems to come up a lot. I actually got the -4" from another expert sewing blog. However, I personally do what I show in the article. I feed it through the channel, safety pin the ends together where I think it works best, even try it on the mattress, remove it and then carefully sew the ends together. It is difficult to give an exact measurement, because it will depend on how much stretch or give there is in the fabric you are using, etc. If you have a really stretchy fabric, the elastic may need to be a lot shorter.

      I hope that helps! :)

      -Genevieve

    • profile image

      Deesc 2 years ago

      Thanks.

    • profile image

      Antonia 24 months ago

      Genevieve...this was a fabulous tutorial!!

    • profile image

      Cindy 23 months ago

      Hi Genevieve, I need to make a portable crib mattress sheet for a mattress that is 5" thick. The mattress is 38.0 x 24.0 x 5.0 Could you help me figure out what size I cut out and how large the square i would cut out? Thanks!

    • GenevieveStevens profile image
      Author

      GenevieveStevens 23 months ago from Sacramento, CA

      Hi Cindy,

      You would need a 37"x51" piece of fabric and to cut out 6.5" squares at the corners. You would then just follow the directions as usual.

      Good luck with your project!

      -Genevieve

    • profile image

      Cindy 23 months ago

      Thank you so much! I have looked everywhere and cannot find reasonably priced sheets to fit this mattress! I am so excited!

    • profile image

      Joselyn 20 months ago

      Hi Genevieve,

      I have a mini crib mattress & the sizes are 1in thick 181/2 inches wide and 351/2inches long . Can you please help me with the measurements and the square cut out ?? Please ...

    • GenevieveStevens profile image
      Author

      GenevieveStevens 20 months ago from Sacramento, CA

      Hi Joselyn,

      Based on your mattress dimensions (1" x 18 1/2" x 35 1/2"), I would use a 23" x 40" piece of fabric and cut out 2 1/4" squares on each corner and follow the rest of the directions as is.

      Good luck with your project!

      Genevieve

    • profile image

      Joselyn 20 months ago

      thank you! (:

    • profile image

      Ellie 18 months ago

      Thank you for the great instructions and for helping resize the measurements! This was one of my first real sewing projects and the mini crib sheet looks adorable. Saved so much money! Thank you Thank you!

    • GenevieveStevens profile image
      Author

      GenevieveStevens 18 months ago from Sacramento, CA

      Hi Ellie,

      I am so happy to hear that your project turned out well. :)

      Happy Sewing!

      Genevieve

    • profile image

      Hannah Caudle 18 months ago

      I sewed up an Alma Mini Crib Sheet using you exact dimensions down to the smallest measurement and made sure her mattress was the correct dimensions. Now she's upset though because she said it is too loose and is a hazard to her child. Why did this happen when I precisely followed your directions? Is 54" of elastic too much?? Does she need to just simply open the seam and shorten the elastic?

    • profile image

      Hannah Caudle 18 months ago

      My apologies, meant to mention that this sheet was for a friend lol

    • GenevieveStevens profile image
      Author

      GenevieveStevens 18 months ago from Sacramento, CA

      Hi Hannah,

      It sounds like the elastic is probably too loose. That measurement is definitely not exact as it depend on the elasticity of the elastic - some stretch more than others. You can open it up and shorten it to the point that it is snug on the mattress, which is how I did it. I test it with a safety pin holding it at length before sewing it together and sewing the seam shut.

      I hope this helps.

      Thank you,

      Genevieve

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      Akeara 17 months ago

      Hi Genevieve,

      Your tutorial is amazing and I look forward to creating 3 fitted sheets for my little one. I hate to bother you with this question since you've given instructions for the measurements several times however my math isn't adding up to what you've told some others. I'm very much a newbie at sewing so I want to make sure I have all measurements correct before cutting and wasting fabric.

      I'll be creating fitted sheets for the Davinci Crescent Mini Crib 50 Coil Mattress.

      The measurements are as follows:

      37"L x 24"W x 5" D.

      I calculated that I would need 54" X 41" fabric with 6 1/2" corner cutout.

      However when you answered Olivia's Post from ~ 2 years ago in which or Length and width's are the same you instructed her to use 56" X 43" fabric. Can you tell me advise me on wether I should go with my calculations or those that you gave to Olivia? Please and thank you!

      Also, A while back there were some that were interested in a mini crib quilt pattern. I found a lovely easy to follow free tutorial that I'm willing to share with the blessing of Mrs. Genevieve. Thanks!

    • profile image

      Rebecca 8 months ago

      my mattress pad is for a square bassinette. My measurements are 14 1/2' wide and 33 " long and a 2" pad. I have the foam cut. Now I need to know how to cut my corners. Its for a friend and she wants a box corner on each corner of the mattress. I need help. Thanks

    • GenevieveStevens profile image
      Author

      GenevieveStevens 7 months ago from Sacramento, CA

      Hi Rebecca,

      Based on your mattress measurements, you should use a 40"x 21.5" piece of fabric and cut out 3.5" squares at the corners and then follow the rest of the directions as is.

      Good luck with your project!

      Genevieve

    • GenevieveStevens profile image
      Author

      GenevieveStevens 7 months ago from Sacramento, CA

      Hi Akeara,

      My apologies for not responding sooner - I somehow missed your comment when you originally posted it! Hopefully you were able to figure out what size you needed and had success in making your crib sheets.

      I looked at your mattress dimensions and came up with a 37" x 50" rectangle with 6 1/2" squares cut out at the corners. I'm sure the dimensions you came up with work too, as the mattresses are pretty forgiving.

      Fee free to post your crib quilt link too.

      Thank you!

      Genevieve

    • profile image

      Debbi 6 months ago

      I am trying to make a cushion cover using your pattern but I am having trouble The cushion size is 44 x18 x 1. Please tell me how long fabric should be and how much to cut from the corners. I'm also making 2 sheets for my grandson. Your instructions are wonderful. Thank you

    • profile image

      BWMeier 4 months ago

      This is very helpful. I'm making sheets for an old family cradle. I had to custom order a mattress 12 x 33 x 2 inches. Do you think you have a formula for something that small?

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