22 June 2010

Doll Crib Mattress and Sheet Tutorial

Welcome to my first Little Mama Tutorial...making a mattress and crib sheet. You'll need the following supplies:
  • Crib
  • Thick foam, like what you take camping
  • Pillowcase
  • Matching thread, for mattress cover and sheet if needed
  • 1/2 yard fabric for sheet
  • 1 pkg 1/4" elastic
  • Sewing supplies (including scissors, pins, sewing machine, measuring tape, and iron)
  • Helpful to have: straight edge, and marker.
Let's begin.

Step One. Measure your crib, and cut the foam to the correct size.

I marked the length with a sharpie pen, and trimmed it with my scissors.
Then, I carefully cut the line with my scissors, too.

Step Two. Cover the mattress.

Take out the pillow case, and slip the foam inside it.

You'll want to leave about an inch on each open side. Remove the pins and the foam, and turn the pillowcase wrong side out. Stitch the seam closed along the long side of the mattress. I used a 1/2" seam. Turn the pillowcase right side out again, and re-insert the foam.

To close up the final seam, fold the fabric as shown...like you're wrapping a present. I tucked in the short edges, then pressed the top down.

For the final fold, I ironed down the flap about 1", so that no cut edges would show.

Finally, hand sew the mattress closed.

Now at this point, you may be wondering why in the world I went to the trouble of covering the mattress. I covered the mattress so I could make a small removable sheet. Yes, I wanted my girls to practice changing sheets.

There are sacred moments in the everyday service I provide my family. (I'm still trying to convince my oldest boy that changing sheets is not only hygienically necessary, but also feels so good to get into). Sometimes it is difficult to see family work as just that...working together as a family rather than drudgery. But to my mind, the physical and spiritual parts of our lives are not separate, they are blended. The little things we do to care for our families have eternal consequences. Each act of service knits our hearts together. You can't help but love those you serve.

So on to making the crib sheet.

Step Three. Determine the size you need.
To make your sheet fit the mattress, measure the width and length of your mattress. Now measure the depth of your mattress, and double it plus 1/2", adding this to your original size.  [EDIT:  You need need the width of the mattress plus half an inch for EACH side, so in this case that equals to 5.5" additional width.]
For example, my mattress is 12" wide by 24" long, and 1" wide. So, I cut out a rectangle for my sheet that was 17 1/2" by 29 1/2".

Step Four. Trim your corners, and make a box.
To make the seams to fit the corners of the mattress, cut out a square from each corner. The size of the square will be determined by the depth of your mattress. You'll take out double the depth, or in this case, 2".

Sew each corner together.

Hint: If I was making this for a full-size crib sheet, I would have finished the edges with a zigzag stitch.

Step Five. Casing and elastic.
Create a casing for the elastic to go into. Around the entire unfinished edge, press the fabric down 1/4".

Fold the fabric down again, this time 1/2". Pin in place, and then sew 1/8" from the edge.

Be sure to leave about a 1" gap between the beginning of your seam and the end to be able to slip your elastic through.

Cut your elastic to length. I found that half of the perimeter was plenty. In this case, one long side was 25" and one short side was 13", which meant 38" of elastic. I used less in this example...and it pulled a little too much. Half the perimeter should be plenty.

Slip a safety pin onto one end of the elastic.

Slip the elastic into the casing, and sew the casing closed, following the same topstitching line you used before.

Congratulations! Now slip the sheet on and make sure it fits snugly.

Here are the links for the accompanying tutorials:

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    10 happy thoughts:

    Jess@craftiness is not optional said...

    LOVE the little sheets! too cute, Chris!

    Unknown said...

    Darling post. I have a vintage cradle that will need a sheet & mattress in the future. I love the nostalgic feel to your site; it's like looking through our old photo album. Did you use a Holga for your header pictures? Lovely.

    Thanks so much for your sweet comment on my blog today. They always mean so much!


    Deidre said...

    This is so great, Chris! Now I just need a little bed for Alanna's babies!

    brandi @ tales of a domestic goddess said...

    so cute!!!

    KJ@letsgoflyakite said...

    Wow, found you via Craft Gossip. This is a wonderful tutorial.

    Unknown said...

    Could you re-explain the measurements to me? I don't understand the depth part if the depth is 1" and your width is 12" and you double the 1" that be 2 plus the 12 plus the 1/2" making the total width only 14 1/2"?

    chris said...

    Oh, Angelica! You are making me think! It's been a long time since I made these sheets. The correct answer is you quadruple...1" for each side, since there are four sides to the mattress. I hope that helps. :) Thanks for catching my mistake. I'll edit the post to correct it.

    jmlindy422 said...

    Thank you so much for this. This is so clear and easy to follow. I might go to Goodwill and pick up some vintage sheets in addition to making the plain white ones.

    cowthy said...

    You sweet, sweet lady! I made the perfect fitted sheet for two different containers and it was so easy with your directions. My husband likes to help me fold the fitted sheets from our bed because he is always so impressed that I brought that skill to our marriage.....I called him in to help me fold a fitted sheet after I finished my first one -- he got the BIGGEST kick out of folding the LITTLEST fitted sheet! Thank you so much!

    helen daniels said...

    Thank you I was wondering how to measure for the dolls sheet so the flat sheet same size just leave it straight no elastic thanks again H.Daniels

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