Recovering a Crib Bumper Tutorial

If you are like me you really want to use your crib bumper again for the second baby but you looked at blue for soooo long that you just have to make the room pink.  I didn’t want to buy a new one, for obvious reasons so I decided to make a cover.  Something that I could put together quickly, that could be removed as needed and that was cheaper than buying a new bumper.

Here she is, I didn’t tie the ties because this is still Robby’s crib and as much as he likes the birdies on it I couldn’t seeing him surrounded by all that pink.

My first goal was to find cheap fabric.  After browsing through quilt stores to no avail I stumbled upon some really cute sheets at Target.  They are twin sheet set that I got on sale for $10.  That is far cheaper than any fabric I could purchase.  Plus I will have plenty of fabric to make other crafty things to decorate the room.  I was planning on making a bumper cover and a crib skirt but I found a Pottery Barn crib skirt at the local thrift store for $2.50 and couldn’t pass up the deal.

What you’ll need:

Fabric ( I can’t give amounts because I used a twin sheet set but I would guess between 1 1/2 – 2 yards would be plenty) 1 twin flat sheet is plenty, you will use about 3/4 of the sheet.

Coordinating thread


Rotary cutter

Cutting mat

First gather and prepare your materials.  All fabric should be washed and ironed before you get started.

Measuring the bumper and ties:  I measured the total length of the bumper.  Mine was 156″ x 10 1/2″.  The ties were 9 1/2″ x 1/2″ and there were 24 of them.  I also measured the position of each tie.  Mine were located at both ends, plus 24″, 50″, 68″, 92″, and 128″.  The ties also come in pairs at each location and there is one at the top and bottom of the bumper at each location.  Which makes 4 per location mentioned above.  At each end you will only need 2 because the ends are tied together.  So trust me on this you will need 24 ties.  That sounds confusing but just look at your own bumper and you will see what I am talking about.  The measurements above will produce ties at the four corners and one in the middle of the long side of the crib.  This seems pretty standard so feel free to skip the measurement step and use my numbers.

Cutting the fabric:  I cut my bumper pieces so that I could obtain a total length of 156″ and I cut it 11″ wide.  That would allow a small 1/4″ seam allowance on each seam.  I relied on my cutting mat and rotary cutter to get all my lines straight with such a large piece of fabric.  I folded the fabric in half (like it would have come on the bolt) to make it easier too work with.  After I cut my first strip I sewed a small portion together and checked to see if it fit my bumper.  Mine was an exact match.  Cut out as many strips as needed to cover the total length of the bumper.

Next you will need to cut pieces for the ties.  I cut my tie pieces to 11″ x 1 1/2″.  I made sure I had 24 of these pieces plus a few extra.

Ironing the ties:  To iron the ties, place fabric wrong side up and fold one side in about a 1/2″.  Press then fold the other side in about 1/2″. Spray with spray starch, fold in half and press.  This will give you a tie that is about 1/2″ wide.

Sewing the ties:  Sew down the length of the tie with a very small seam allowance.  I didn’t measure mine I just keep it close enough to the edge that I caught both sides with my stitches.  Sew all of the ties as a chain and it will go much faster.  Now to prepare one end of the fabric for finishing, fold under 1/4″ twice.  Sew this edge closed.  It will help if you look at the tie on your existing bumper to get an idea of what I am talking about here.  The other end of the tie can be left raw because it will be buried inside the cover.

Sewing the cover together:  Sew strips together to make one long piece of fabric.  You should have two long pieces (each side of the bumper), match right sides together and measure and mark where the ties should be positioned.  As you sew, insert 2 ties at each measured location (stack them on top of each other), hold the tie in place and sew to secure.  When finished sewing sides together, sew one end closed, then turn it right side out.  Fit on the crib bumper and sew the other end closed, either by hand or on the machine.  You could add a zipper or velcro here but I was lazy and sewed mine closed.  If I need to take it off then I can undo my seam and resew.

To make a perfect and tight fit, I cut put the cover on the bumper and cut the end to the exact length needed and then sewed it closed.  This is a better option than trusting my measurements because goodness knows that I always make a mistake somewhere.  Plus I want it to be a tight fit so it’s not a hazard to the baby.  It was very easy to sew the end ties in place while the cover was still on and then seal it all up.  Much easier than trying to take the cover off and sew the ties.

Good luck, Courtney

3 responses to “Recovering a Crib Bumper Tutorial

  1. What a great way to repurpose and update your crib. Since Katherine’s bedding is a bit girly for Baby Boy on the way, I’ll probably do something like this myself. Thanks for the tips!

    City Roots, Country Life

  2. Just followed your tutorial and recovered a crib bumper for my daughter. Turned out great – thanks!!

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