How to Sew Your Own Crib Sheets


How big is Brady?

Sewing your own crib sheets is a fun way to personalize a nursery, and they make cute gifts, too! You can make holiday sheets, or Paw Patrol sheets, or sports team sheets, and it’s cheaper to MYO than buy special bedding. If you have a sewing machine, it’s fairly easy to sew your own sheets. I promise! In fact, it’s exactly like sewing your own changing pad cover, just larger.

I find the hardest part to be lugging my sewing machine up from the basement. Once it’s up and running, I can churn out a few crib sheets in a couple of hours. And I consider myself a sewing beginner. 

I’ve listed out my steps below and included a photo tutorial. One note about finding the right fabric: Fabrics come in different widths, and the narrower fabrics (like 41″ and 42″) won’t be wide enough to fit around a baby mattress once you add a pocket for the elastic. Check the white label on the fabric bolsters at the store to see fabric width (usually ranges from 41″-45″), and look for one with 45″ width.

I fell in love with this ABC with Me Animal Alphabet fabric. It’s 44″ wide, but I just needed it. We’re in a major animal/animal noises phase over here, and the bright colors look good in Brady’s nursery. It’s also really light fabric (100% cotton), so good for summer. If you’re working with 44″ wide fabric, too, here are a few options to ensure it will fit around the sides of the mattress: 

  • Don’t iron a seam, and instead just iron a pocket for the elastic. It won’t look as pretty without the seam (you’ll still see the white selvege edges), but it will be underneath the mattress and out of sight. This is what I did in the photos below, then used a thin elastic cord. 
  • Try fold-over elastic. You sew the elastic directly to the edges of the fabric, like in this sheet tutorial. Just be sure to stretch out the elastic as you sew it to the fabric. 
  • Follow the instructions closely using the smallest 1/4″ seam, then 1/2″ elastic pocket and 1/4″ elastic. This might still make the sheet too narrow with fabric that measures less than 44″ wide, so be sure to measure the width of your fabric again after washing it. If it’s <44″ stick to one of the first two options. 

Sew Your Own Baby Crib Sheet

Total Time: 60 minutes

Sew Your Own Baby Crib Sheet


  • 2 yards of fabric (ideally 45" wide)
  • 1 spool of thread
  • 62 inches of 1/4" knit elastic (don't stretch when measuring)
  • iron
  • fabric scissors
  • tape measure
  • sewing machine
  • large safety pin


    Prepare your fabric:
  1. Wash and iron your fabric. {Washing ensures that it won't shrink when it's washed later on}
  2. Cut your fabric to a 45"x 69" rectangle.
  3. Fold fabric in half width-wise, then again length-wise. There should be one corner with no folds (see pic below).
  4. Measure a 9" square from the corner with no folds. Cut out square. By folding your fabric twice, you only need to cut this square once, through all four layers of fabric.
  5. Sew corner seams:
  6. Match up two adjoining 9" edges, RIGHT (print) SIDES FACING EACH OTHER, and sew along the edge with a straight stitch.
  7. Next, use a zig-zag stitch at the edge to keep the fabric edges from fraying (see pic).
  8. Repeat on all four corners.
  9. Sew elastic pocket:
  10. Fold frayed edges over 1/4-1/2" and iron in place (see pic). This simply tucks the frayed/selvege edge out of view.
  11. Fold edge over again, this time 1/2". Iron in place. This creates the pocket for the elastic.
  12. Sew around the edge, near the inside of your pocket, leaving a 2" gap at the end to insert the elastic (see pic). Backstitch or sew in place on both ends to keep the thread secure.
  13. Attach the 62" piece of elastic to a large safety pin and feed it into the gap and around the pocket perimeter (see pic). Try to keep the elastic flat as you feed it through. Take care that you don't pull the other end of the elastic into the pocket! You can use another safety pin to tether the outside end to the sheet.
  14. Once you've threaded the pin all the way around the pocket, remove pin and sew the elastic ends together, overlapping about 1-2". {No points for perfection; this will be hidden inside the pocket} If you use elastic cord, double knot the ends of the cord together (see pic).
  15. Sew the gap closed. Done!


These sheets fit most standard baby mattresses (our mattress measures 52 x 27 x 5 inches). Also, when making the seam and elastic pocket, you can either iron or use pins to keep the fabric in place. I use an iron, but pins work better on fleece and other thick fabrics.

Steps for sewing your own crib sheet

Click on photo to enlarge steps

Here's a pic of Brady on his cozy fleece Christmas sheets. How cute is this fabric?

Here’s a pic of Brady in his cozy fleece Christmas sheets. If you can look beyond his delicious baby thighs, how cute is this fabric?

How to make your own crib sheet

August 1, 2016

2 thoughts on “How to Sew Your Own Crib Sheets

  1. I read your instructions for material less than 44 inches wide but my material is 41 and 1/4 after washing. Should I just forget it or do you think I can get away with it by sewing no seam pocket for elastic. Thanks.

  2. Hi! I’ve been looking at several tutorials on sewing crib sheets. (I can’t believe how easy it really is!). I just have a quick question….. when using cotton knit, is it okay for the length of fabric to be less than 69″? The fabric I have is 3″ shorter (66″). Will the stretch of the fabric make up for the shortage?

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