DIY crib sheet tutorial. Making your own crib sheets is a fun and easy project, even if you’re a beginner. With a wide variety of fabric prints and patterns to choose from, you can create a unique and beautiful crib sheet to complete the look of your nursery.
Not only are homemade crib sheets a great way to save money, but they also make a thoughtful and practical gift for a baby shower.
Don’t settle for store-bought sheets when you can make something even better yourself!
If you’re interested in making your own crib sheets, this tutorial will provide all the information you need to get started.
It covers the size of a standard crib mattress, the best fabric options, and a step-by-step guide to creating your own fitted crib sheet.
Cotton and cotton blend fabrics are the most common choice – they’re breathable, hypoallergenic and durable. Flannel is a good option too for added warmth in the winter.
How much fabric do you need for a crib sheet?
Standard size for a crib mattress is 51 5/8” long by 27 1/4” wide, and no more than 6” thick. Typically, a crib mattress is thinner than 6 inches.
So, 2 yards of 44” wide fabric will be just enough to make a crib sheet that fits the standard size crib mattress.
How much elastic for a fitted crib sheet?
When determining how much elastic to use for a fitted crib sheet, it’s important to find a balance between a secure fit and convenience.
The sheet should fit snugly on the mattress and be easy to put on and take off.
1/4 inch wide elastic that is between 60 to 70 inches long is generally a good length, but it may vary depending on your desired fit and the elasticity of the material.
Be sure to only use elastic that returns to its original length after stretching. Some elastics stretch more than others, so adjust your elastic length accordingly.
It’s always a good idea to have a little extra on hand, in case you need to make some changes.
DIY crib sheet instructions
Here’s the step-by-step guide on how I made my fitted crib sheet. I’ve included detailed instructions that are simple and easy to follow, even if you’re a beginner.
These dimensions fit standard U.S. crib mattresses – 27-28″ wide, 51-52″ long, and 3-6″ deep.
Note: Pre-shrink the fabric by washing and drying before you start sewing!
- 2 yards of fabric – cotton / flannel
- approx. 60-70” of 1/4” elastic
- sewing machine
- sewing machine needle
- matching thread
- sewing pins
- safety pins
- fabric scissors
- measuring tape
- 8″ square paper pattern for cutting out corners
How to make a crib sheet tutorial
First, cut your fabric so that you get a piece measuring 68” long x 44” wide.
But why these measurements, specifically?
Here’s how to think about this.
First, you need enough fabric to cover the surface of your mattress. The standard crib mattress is 28” x 52” (if you’re making a fitted sheet for another mattress size, feel free to replace these measurements with your own). So you’ll need at least a rectangle that measures 28 by 52.
But then you have to accommodate the mattress depth as well. Your fitted sheet has to be deep enough to be tucked under the mattress on each side, as well. Nobody wants a fitted sheet that keeps coming off the mattress. So how do you go about that?
Take a look at this graphic. The starry part in the middle plays the role of the crib mattress.
How do you know what depth of fitted sheet to make?
Well, you are going to LOVE my simple answer!
The side length of the square will become your fitted sheet corner. If you cut an 8” square out of all four corners of your fabric piece, you’ll get an 8 inches deep sheet corner.
How do you know that’s enough for your mattress?
You need to take into account a small hem/elastic casing (1″), then add your mattress depth. After that, you still need approximately 3 additional inches so you can tuck the sheet under the mattress.
I would recommend that the fitted sheet be 2″ to 4″ deeper than the mattress depth for a good fit. You’ll tuck that excess under the mattress, so the sheet will stay tight. That way you’ll never struggle with sheet corners that won’t stay on.
The standard U.S. crib mattress shouldn’t be more than 6″ deep, and it’s typically thinner than that. You need 1” for the hem / elastic casing. That’s why cutting an 8” square out of the corners of your fabric is enough to make a crib sheet.
If you need more room to work with, cut a bigger square out of all corners.
Note: If your fabric is only 42” wide, you can still make a crib sheet, on two conditions. 1. make sure to leave on the selvages, and 2. measure your mattress depth. If your mattress is no more than 3-4 inches deep, then you can cut a smaller 7.5” square out of all corners. In this case, your fabric piece will be 67” x 42”.
How to make a fitted sheet in any size you want
Calculate your fitted sheet depth like this: 1 inch for the hem/casing, X inches for the mattress depth, and Y inches for the „tuck under” section (generally, somewhere between 2 and 4 inches). FD (fitted sheet depth)=1+X+Y inches.
Make a square paper template for cutting out corners that measures FD x FD.
Then, multiply this FD number by 2, and add it to both the width and length of your mattress. Easy, right?! After that, cut a square out of all four corners of your fabric sheet.
For a standard crib mattress, your fabric piece should measure 68” x 44”.
Cut 8-inch squares out of all four corners.
Okay, so now your fabric should look like this:
Pin the edges of your cut corners, the wrong sides together. You don’t need a serger with this method, because we’re aiming for a French seam finish. The result is so pretty and neat! Just trust me on this.
Here’s how to make your crib sheet using a serger.
Sew with a 1/4” or 3/8″ seam allowance to create the first corner seam. Use a backstitch at the beginning and end of each seam.
Trim the seam down to 1/4” if needed, then flip the fabric over so that the raw edges of the seam are enclosed within the fold.
You’re now going to sew another seam with a 3/8” seam allowance, this time with the right sides touching.
Now, your corner will look like this.
This is known as a French seam, and it’s used to enclose the raw edges of fabric within the seam itself so that they won’t be visible on the finished project. It looks so cool, doesn’t it?
Repeat for all other corners.
Hem the edge of the sheet. You can use a serger or a zig-zag stitch. This time, I chose to fold the edge under 3/8″ and press with an iron.
Now you need to make a small casing for the elastic. Fold the edge under 1/2 inch and pin every 4-5 inches, or so (it’s enough, I promise).
When you get to the corner seams, snip into the seam allowance but not into the seamline. Then, push one side of the seam allowance in one direction and the other side in the opposite direction to reduce the amount of bulk.
Also, make sure you keep all corner seams going in the same direction. It will be way easier to thread the elastic inside the casing.
Now, sew the casing with a straight stitch (here are my top tips and tricks for sewing a straight stitch). Make sure to leave a 1” opening, so you can insert the elastic.
Cut a piece of elastic that measures between 60 and 70 inches in length and attach a safety pin to each end. Then, thread the elastic through the casing.
Once the elastic has been fed through the casing, overlap the ends of the elastic and sew them together to join them. Finally, sew the remaining small opening in the fabric casing shut.
Did you find this easy crib sheet tutorial helpful? I’d like to hear what you think of it! And I would LOVE to see pictures if you give this project a try.