Yellow & Gray Nursery tutorials: DIY Custom crib bumper

I know today is typically “You're Welcome” Wednesday, but baby girl is coming in 4 days (AHH!) and I just have to finish showing you all the fun/cheap/free things I've been doing to get her room ready! So instead today I'm going to show you this project:

DIY Custom Crib Bumper

I couldn't find any bedding that I wanted (plus, it's SUPER overpriced most of the time), but found some super cute fabric that I fell in love with. Solution? 
Make your own!
  • I got a bunch of sturdy indoor/outdoor fabric from Hancock Fabrics. The yellow/white is usually about $18/yd (ouch) but I waited until it went on sale for 50% off, then used coupons to help bring the cost down even more. 

***Remember, patience pays off! Everything will go on sale eventually, so be patient and DON'T PAY FULL PRICE FOR ANYTHING…EVER. That's the “F” in my F.A.C.T's of saving.
***Remember, Hancock's and Joanne's take competitors' coupons!
  • The blue/white fabric was remnant home decor fabric on sale for $4/yd. YAY! I ended up spending about $50 on fabric, but have used, reused, and reused it again throughout the entire room (I'll show you how very soon!). 

I found this crib bumper for $4 at a yard sale
It was in great condition; nice and sturdy. I threw it on gentle cycle in the wash and it came out like new! 
You could find an old crib bumper:
  • at a thrift store, 
  • at a yard sale,
  • the online classifieds, 
  • ask around to your network to see if anyone has an old one they don't need any more,
  • or you can even buy new crib bumper batting from a craft store.

 I don't particularly LIKE sewing and was intimidated about this project (I didn't want to mess up!!), but luckily my Madre was in town and basically did the whole thing for me (thanks Mumsie!).
Here's how she did it:
 (To picture the process…you are basically sewing your fabric together to make a long “tube”. Once you have the tube you stuff the crib bumper inside of it, close it up, and there you go! Ok now you have the visual, here's the step-by-step…)
  • First step, wash and iron your fabric!! You want it to be super pressed and clean. 
  • Next step, measure, measure, measure, and measure again. (I hate that part.)
    • We measured the length and width of the crib bumper, and added 1 inch (length AND width) to allow for a 1/2 in seam. 

    • Even if you are only doing the bumper in one kind of fabric you will still need to cut it into individual panels (2 for the long sides of the crib, 2 for the short sides of the crib). Otherwise it won't bend in the corners properly.

Then we marked it very meticulously on each piece of fabric. This is tough because the fabric is NOT straight most of the time (it's either cut crooked, or printed crooked!)

Once we had it measured, we cut it and laid it out next to the bumper to make sure it was correct BEFORE sewing.

We found some matching ribbon I had and cut some to match the ties that were on the bumper.

Next, we started pinning. 
I wanted each panel to be a different type of fabric. We pinned the different pieces of fabric in order of how I wanted them, printed side facing each other like so:

Note: if you pin fabric this way (with the pins horizontal) you can actually sew right over the pins rather than having to pull them out as you go! (thanks for the tip, mom)

Flip the fabric over and make sure they are BOTH facing the right direction! You don't want one panel of fabric to be upside down…
Unfortunately, I don't have pictures of the rest of the process, but it's pretty simple! You just:
  • Follow your pins and sew the fabric together. You now have your front panel.
  • Once the fabric is sewn together you can flip it over and should have one long train of fabric with nice clean lines.
  • Do the same with the back panel of the bumper. For the back I just did it all in the blue and white fabric. 
    • Even though it was all the same fabric we still sewed it in 4 pieces so it would bend properly in the corners of the crib.
  • Lay the front panel (my yellow/white/gray strip) on top of the back panel (my blue/white strip) and pin 3 of the 4 sides (leave one of the short sides open) allowing for that 1/2 in seam. 
    • Make sure to pin the printed sides together so when you turn it right side out, the fabric is facing the right direction!
  • Pin your ribbon crib ties in there too! (We used the crib bumper as a map to see where to pin the ties).
    • Pin them on the inside so that when you turn the finished bumper right side out, the ribbons will be OUTSIDE of the bumper.
  • Sew three of the 4 sides of the panels together then turn it right-side out (as if you were sewing a pillow case.) Make sure to get the corners well.
  • You should have a long “tube” of fabric; one side being the front panel (my yellow/white side) the other being the back panel (my blue/white side), and the ribbon ties hanging correctly on the outside of the tube.
  • Stuff the bumper into the tube of fabric (this is the hardest part). Make sure to get the corners well!
  • Tuck in the final un-sewn short end of the tube, pin it so it has nice clean lines, and sew. 
  • There you go!

Now you have a CUSTOM crib bumper that no one else will have, for way less than it would cost to buy one!

I used some leftover fabric to make a few coordinating pillows for the rocker, and couldn't be more pleased with the outcome.

Not bad for someone that typically hates crafts, eh?! 🙂


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