Wednesday, November 14, 2012

crib rail covers


Here’s a little project I’ve been working on.  I knew at some point that I would have to cover the rails, but it really snuck up on me once Nolan got teeth!


So I got online, and I quickly ordered a cover, and was disappointed when it arrived.  It didn’t cover the whole rail, and it peeled up within 24 hours.  Maybe it’s not meant for a round rail.


I decided to go the fabric cover route.  Here is how I did it, in case you like the idea for sprucing up and protecting your crib!

Materials Needed:

  • 3 yards of fabric (I chose two different fabrics. I made the side rails from the same yard of fabric, and the front rail was made from a 2-yard piece)
  • one yard of fabric to make the ties
  • one yard of cotton batting (you could use quilted muslin fabric, but I found it more $$)

Step 1: Measuring the Crib

In order to start, I measured and found the lengths and widths of my crib rails—don’t use my measurements (unless you have the same crib), since all cribs are slightly different.  Our crib is a DaVinci Emily 4-in-1 that looked like this pre-covers.

I measured only the rails themselves, not the entire length of the sides. (Take a look at the picture of the finished product—notice how the guard doesn’t cover the entire side.)

To find the width, I wrapped the tape measure around the rail until it touched itself.
For the long front rail, my length was 51” and the width was 6”.  
My side rail lengths were 27”, and widths were 9”.

Step 2: Cutting the Fabric

I cut my three pieces of decorative fabric, after adding two inches to each dimension. The long piece I cut 53” x 8” in green & white striped fabric, and the side pieces I cut 29” x 11” and 29” x 11” in the animal print.

Then I cut the three pieces of batting to be the exact measurements of the crib rails themselves (so 51” x 6”, 27” x 9”, and 27” x 9”).  Since I only had a yard (36”) of batting, for the long rail, I had to sew two pieces together to make it long enough (I cut a 26” x 6” and another 26” x 6” and sewed them together, overlapping a bit to be 51” x 6”).

This photo shows my material for one of the side rails:


Step 3: Pinning

I put the decorative fabric face-down onto my table.  Then I centered the cotton batting onto that decorative fabric.  I folded all four sides in a half inch.  Next, I ironed them so they would stay.  I folded the four sides in another half inch, over the cotton batting.  I ironed those folds, and pinned every few inches.


Step 4: Making the ties

For the long front crib rail, I made 10 ties (to tie onto the crib in 5 places).  For each of the side rails, I made 6 ties (to tie onto the crib in 3 places).  22 ties in total.

I cut pieces of my blue fabric into strips.  I made 12 long ties, and 10 short ties.  The long ties were 3 x 20 inches, and the short ties were 3 x 10 inches.  I folded each over, lengthwise, and ironed them.  Then I sewed them shut, with a straight stitch down all of their lengths, plus one side, leaving the other side open.


I turned them all inside-out (using a pencil), and they became round tubes, so I ironed them flat.


Once the tubes were ironed, the long ones were tucked under the seams of each of the four corners, and the short ones went in the middle.  I pinned the long ones at a diagonal (see photo below of one of the side rails).  The middle ties are not perfectly in the center of the cover—this is because I had to measure where the ties needed to be on the crib, so that it was in an open spot between the vertical slats.


Step 5: Sewing

I sewed all the way around the entire piece, straight-stitching close to the inside (the batting side).


Then I removed all of the pins.  I flipped all of the ties backwards so that they were now stretching out like little arms and legs.  Then I sewed all the way around the edge of the piece a second time, this time close to the outside.



Voila! Easy enough, right?

crib rail cover tutorial2
crib rail cover tutorial

Then I tied them onto the crib.  The corner ties are long so they can be double-knotted and wrapped around the corners.

Also, I found out that he could still get at certain sections of the big rail, in-between the ties.  So I took a needle and thread and hand-sewed the holes shut.  It will be easy to snip off someday without ruining the cover.

Thank you to this post at “Baby Rabies” for helping me protect our crib from further teeth damage!


He loves his newly decorated crib!


  1. Great job on the rail cover! I love the animal print :)

    ps: Southern Color nominated you for the Liebster Award!

  2. I love the fabrics you used. It turned out pretty cute.

  3. That is cute! I need to make that. Thanks for sharing :)


Thank you so much for your comments! I enjoy reading each one!


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