Crib sheets are a necessity when it comes to a successful nursery. And, as is the case with all things baby-related, you’ll need plenty of them. If you’re having a hard time finding crib sheets that match your nursery décor, or if you have excess fabric that you’d love to use up, one great option is to make the crib sheets yourself. It’s a simple solution, really.
This tutorial will show you how to make your own crib sheets in two different ways: (1) with French seams, and (2) with standard corners. Once you learn how easy it is, you might never buy another crib sheet again. (Bonus: This makes a great baby shower gift as well!)
DIY Level: Beginner
- 2 yards prewashed fabric of your choice (100% cotton recommended)
- 60” to 72” of 1/4″ elastic
SEWING A CRIB SHEET WITH FRENCH SEAMS
French Seams Step 1: Cut fabric to size. Lay your prewashed fabric out flat. If you chose 44”-45” wide fabric, you don’t need to cut any off the width.
Measure 69” and cut straight across so you end up with a piece of prewashed fabric that is 45” (or 44”) x 69”.
French Seams Step 2: Cut corners. Measure 8” squares out of the corners of your fabric. I used a clear quilting guide, but because my guide was only 6” wide, I had to supplement with my measuring tape for the last 2”.
Cut the 8” squares out of all four corners.
Your fabric will look something like this when you’ve cut the corners out.
French Seams Step 3: Sew a corner seam, right sides out. With RIGHT SIDES OUT, fold a cut corner over onto itself, so the two raw edges you just cut line up together.
Still with the RIGHT SIDES OUT, sew a 1/4” seam along this cut edge.
Carefully trim 1/8” off the freshly sewn edge.
I know it feels strange and goes against every sewing instinct to sew with right sides out on this step, but trust me. The end result is so pretty.
French Seams Step 4: Sew the corner seam, wrong sides out. Flip the fabric over so that the WRONG SIDES ARE OUT. The seam will be inside. Again, this may feel counterintuitive, but go with it. If your fabric is stubborn at this point, feel free to press the seam in place.
Still with WRONG SIDES OUT, sew a 1/4″ seam on the outside of the first seam.
Your corner will look something like this after your second seam. This is called a French seam – the raw edge is completely encased within the double seams. Isn’t it pretty? All tidied up.
When you flip the fabric to be right-side out, your seam will look something like this.
French Seams Step 5: Sew all corners. Repeat steps 3 and 4 on the other three corners of your crib sheet.
French Seams Step 6: Sew elastic casing. Fold (and press, for greatest accuracy) the raw edge of your sheet over 1/2″ all the way around.
Fold another 1/2″, so that the raw edge is completely inside the casing.
Sew as close to the edge of this second fold as possible, to close up the casing, almost all the way around the crib sheet.
Leave 2”-4” open on your casing seam. This is where the elastic will go in and come out.
French Seams Step 7: Add elastic.
Cut 62” of 1/4” elastic.
Note: Others have suggested anywhere from 60” to 72” of elastic length. I like a snug crib sheet fit, so I recommend 62”-65”. It will be snug to put the sheet on your mattress with a 62” elastic length, but the corners will be safely taut and the sheet will fit perfectly on a standard sized crib mattress.
Use a safety pin to attach one end of the elastic to the fabric near the opening of the casing seam.
Attach a second safety pin to the other end of your elastic and begin threading it through the casing, all the way around. You might feel a bit of carpal tunnel. Just saying.
TIP: The bigger/longer your threaded safety pin, the faster and easier this step is.
French Seams Step 8: Sew elastic & finish off casing. Overlap the ends of your elastic by about 2”.
Sew a zigzag stitch on the overlapped elastic, stretching both sections of the elastic gently as you sew.
Pull elastic into casing, then use a straight stitch over the opening to close it off.
Congratulations! You’ve just created a lovely, customized French seam crib sheet. Isn’t it pretty, inside AND out?!
SEWING A CRIB SHEET WITH “REGULAR” SEAMS
Start with a piece of prewashed fabric that is 69” x 44” (or 45”). (See French Seams Step 1.)
Crib Sheet Step 1: Cut 9” squares out of all four corners.
TIP: For a time-saving option, carefully fold all four corners on top of each other and measure and cut the 9” square a single time.
Crib Sheet Step 2: Sew a corner. Starting in one corner, fold the two freshly cut 9” edges to line up with WRONG SIDES OUT.
Sew a 1/4″ seam along this edge.
Sew a zigzag stitch along the raw edge.
(Or, if you’re lucky enough to have a serger, do this seam-and-finish in one fell swoop.)
Crib Sheet Step 3: Sew other three corners. Repeat step 2 for all other corners, so that all four corners are finished up before moving on.
Crib Sheet Step 4: Fold & sew casing. Fold the raw edge of the crib sheet’s perimeter in 1/2″; press. Fold this end another 1/2″ in, so that the raw edge is encased. Start at French Seams Step 6 and continue until your “regular” seam crib sheet is complete.
Congratulations! You’ve just sewn a custom crib sheet (or two) for a very lucky baby.