In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. ~ Proverbs 3:6

Thursday, July 10, 2014

DIY No Sew Crib Bumper

Today I want to share with you how I made no-sew crib bumpers for our twin boy nursery.  Before I begin, I know that bumpers are controversial these days.  Some people are not comfortable with bumpers, due to recent studies saying that they can be a suffocation hazard.  Others prefer the mesh bumpers that they sell separate from crib sets.  Some still prefer padded bumpers, so their babies don’t bump their heads when they start moving around.  Personally, we have kept our babies in bassinets in our room while they are small, and will not move the babies to their cribs till they are bigger and sleep through the night.  We feel comfortable using bumpers on our cribs, but it is a personal choice that each individual parent needs to make for themselves.

Having said that, the first thing I had to do when making my own bumpers was to buy the following:

1) crib bumper inserts - You can find them at most craft stores. They are called Nu-Foam bumper pads.  I bought mine from JoAnn Fabrics. They are packaged as six foam inserts that fit the inside of a standard crib.  Regular retail price is around $30 for one standard crib. Remember, I had to purchase two packages, because I was making two crib sets.  I waited until inserts and pillow forms were half off in the weekly ad, and then I purchased two sets for around $30 total.
2) fabric -  I actually found my fabric on Ebay for $3.99 a yard. Unlike the crisp upholstery fabric I used for the crib skirts and curtains in the nursery, the fabric I purchased for the bumpers was a basic cotton fabric.  I bought two yards of the navy and white polka dot fabric and two yards of the white and navy polka dot fabric.  I spent $16 on all of my fabric.  That was enough fabric for both cribs, and I have fabric left over if I want to make some pillows in the future. is also a good place to buy fabric, as well as Hobby Lobby, Michael’s or JoAnn Fabrics.  Just be sure to use a coupon from the weekly ad or wait for the fabric to go on sale, if you want to get the best deal.

3) ties for the bumpers -  The ties were navy blue ribbon and bias tape. I chose to use ribbon on the front of the crib and bias tape on the other three sides of the crib. I bought my ribbon from JoAnn Fabrics when ribbon was half off.   It took two spools of ribbon for each crib. The spools were regular priced around $3-4 a spool. You can find bias tape near the quilting section of craft stores. It is fabric cut into long strips. It usually comes with three yards in a package and cost about $2-3 per package. I used three packages total for both cribs. I spent close to $25 for all of ribbon and bias tape. Of course, you don't have to use ribbon at all. Bias tape on all four sides will work just fine.  I personally love the way the ribbon dressed up the front of the crib.

Making the no-sew bumpers was really easy.  First I cut my material to fit my bumper, allowing an additional one inch on all four sides of my fabric.  I ended up with eight pieces of cut fabric for each crib. Two short navy and white polka dot pieces, two short white and navy polka dot pieces, two long navy and white polka dot pieces, and two long white and navy polka dot pieces.

Second I cut my ribbon for the front of each crib.  I chose to use six bows on the front of each crib, three across the top and three across the bottom.  Each bow took two pieces of ribbon, so each crib took 12 pieces of ribbon.  I don’t know exactly how long I cut the ribbon.  I cut it just long enough for a good sized bow, but if I had guess it was maybe a foot long.

Next, I cut the ties for the remaining three sides of the crib.  I chose to use four ties for the sides of each crib and six ties for the back of each crib.  Each tie took two pieces of cut bias tape.  I cut each piece just long enough to tie a double knot.

Once everything was cut, it was time to start ironing with the Heat and Bond.  I started with the sides of the crib.  I turned two pieces of my fabric for the side of the crib inside out and ironed three sides together with the Heat and Bond (keep one shorter side open to insert bumper pad), leaving an inch opening on each side where each bow and each tie needs to go.  Then I turned the fabric right side out, and inserted a foam bumper pad.  Next I neatly tucked my fabric in on the remaining side and sealed it with my hot glue gun.  Lastly, on each of the openings I left for the ribbon and bias tape, I secured my ties to the inside of the fabric using my hot glue gun.  As with any bumper, store bought or home made, make sure the ties are secured well.  You don’t want babies pulling them off and choking on them.  I feel as though mine are secure, but you may choose to make them more secure by sewing each one on with needle and thread.  I repeated these steps for the remaining three sides of the crib.  With the two longer sides, I inserted two foam bumper pads instead of one.  Again, my version of my entire crib set was a no-sew version, but the steps would be the same if you were sewing with a sewing machine.  Just replace the Heat and Bond with thread.

The total cost for the finished crib bumper was close to $70 or about $35 each.  I know what you are thinking, that’s kind of high for a DIY project.  Maybe it is, but keep in mind that I only spent $15 for each DIY crib skirt and $10 for each green polka dot sheet from Target.  My mother-in-law made the crib blankets, for a cost of $40 for each blanket after shipping and supplies.  And in case anyone is wondering where I found the green and navy elephant fleece blanket, those were from Burlington Coat Factory for $15 each.   So the total cost of each crib set with a bumper, skirt, sheet, quilted blanket and fleece blanket is about $115 each.  Now I know that is about the same cost as a crib set from Wal-Mart or Target.  But I didn’t want a crib set from Wal-Mart or Target.  Unfortunately, I have a little more expensive taste when it comes to design.  I really wanted this crib set that I saw in Carousel Designs, which would have cost me a total of $500 a piece.  Rather than spending $1,000 for two navy blue and green chevron crib sets from Carousel Designs, I ended up spending about $230.  And I have to say that I actually like the look of my finished crib set better than what I saw in the catalog.  Plus, my MIL made the boys their quilted blanket, so my finished product even has a little sentimental value.


  1. Hi Rachel, I know this is an old post, but I am attempting to make a no sew bumper (no time to purchase a sewing machine before baby!!). Can you explain a little more how you did the bow's? I am probably just missing something here, but why do you need two pieces for each bow?


  2. Also, how did they hold up using Heat & Bond? Thanks!!