Baby Z’s Nursery; Reversible Crib Bumpers


In a previous post we revealed the nursery set we recently created to welcome Baby Z (our new granddaughter) who is due to make her debut on or about March 6th. And in response to popular demand, we’ve created this little mini-series in which we’ll share the construction details photos and tip for the items we created.

Next up– Reversible Crib Bumpers*

*Please note: choosing to add bumpers to your crib linens is a personal decision. There have been safety concerns circulating for years regarding “fluffy” pillows of any kind in cribs. We made sure our bumpers followed the best-practices guidelines for construction, length and number of ties used to secure the bumpers, and the we used flat, dense padding instead of puffy batting. Additionally, these bumpers can be tied on the OUTSIDE of the crib rails, if we choose. How cool it THAT? 

Supplies List:

  • Fairfield NU Foam® Baby Bumper Pads – package of six measuring 10″ x 26″ x 1″ (FYI- I got mine on Amazon)
  • Fabric for outside of six crib bumpers: 2 yards of 45” wide fabric: we used “Zany Zoo” from the Australiana collection, a new Zealand import.
  • Fabric for outside of six crib bumpers: 2 yards of 45″ wide fabric: we used “Ring Toss -Scarlet/Gold” from the Laurel Burch Basics collection.
  • Fabric for bumper ties: 1 yard of 45” wide fabric: we used “Ring Toss -Mango/Gold” from the Laurel Burch Basics collection.
  • Fabric for the piping: 1 yard of 45″ wide fabric: we used “Bubbles- Bright Purple” from the Laurel Burch Basics collection.
  • 6 yards 3/8″ diameter cotton cording

Getting Started:

1.  Click HERE to download the Crib Bumper Corner Template then cut it out along the solid lines.    IMPORTANT: This file is one 8.5″ X 11″ sheet. Print the file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. 

2.  Cut TWELVE 27″ X 11 3/4″ pieces of fabric. SIX from the “inside bumper” fabric (Red Ring Toss), and SIX from the “outside bumper” fabric (Zany Zoo).


3.  Using the Crib Bumper Corner Template, mark and cut a rounded edge on each corner of each                 27″ X 11 3/4″ piece of fabric.   Note: If you have a good pair of scissors or a nice, sharp rotary cutter, you can fold each piece into quarters and cut four corners at a time.


4.  Now cut rounded edges into your Nuform Baby Bumper Pads using the same Corner Template.

5.  Cut SIX 30″ lengths of cotton cording.

0256-diagram_03_stitch_two6.  Using the Purple fabric, cut TWENTY-FOUR 15.5″ X 2.5″ strips for the ties, AND ALSO cut enough 2″ wide bias strips to cover your six cotton cording lengths. (You’ll eventually need 5 yards of bias tape.)  You may need to join two bias strips to make one that is the necessary 30″ long. To do this, take two of your strips and place them right sides together at right angels to each other (as shown at right), then stitch straight across.

Cover Your Cording

7.  Place one 30″ bias strip right side down on a large flat surface.

8.  Lay a 30″insert_cord length of cord in the center, then fold fabric over the cord, keeping it centered and matching the raw edges of the fabric. Pin in place.

0256-diagram_06_cording_on_machine9.  Using the Zipper Foot, stitch slowly staying close to the cord and keeping your seam allowance consistent.

10. After sewing entire length of piping, trim back the seam allowance so it’s 1/2″ in width from the stitching line.

Make Your Ties

10. With right sides together, fold each 15½” x 2½” fabric strip in half lengthwise. Stitch ¼” from long raw edges and across one end. Trim seams & corners. Turn right side out and press flat. Now repeat procedure with your other 23 ties. Yeah, I know… very repetitive, but it’ll all be worth it.  🙂bumpers3

11. Pin four ties to the right side of each bumper piece (we chose to attach them to the “red” side, but it really doesn’t matter which side you attach them to). Align two ties raw edges together on each short side 2.5″ away from top or bottom edge.

Once all four are pinned in place, your bumper should look like the picture below. Now baste them each in place 1/4″ from raw edges. Secure loose tie ends with pins.


Stitch piping to Bumper pieces

bumpers512. Now pin a cording length to the right side of a bumper. Start by matching the center of your cording to center of your bumper’s long top edge, aligning raw edges. Continue pinning in place along entire top edge and around top curved edge. Your cording edge should trail off the edge of your fabric. Clip into the seam allowance of your cording as you ease it in place thru the curve on each end.

bumpers613. Stitch in place close to piping edge (1/2″ from raw edges) using a zipper foot. You’ll need to stitch OVER the cording at each curved end. Reinforce stitching in this area and trim away excess cording and bias tape. Repeat this procedure attaching your cording to your remaining 5 bumpers.



14.  Now place 2nd bumper piece (for us it was the piece cut from the “Zany Zoo” fabric) right sides together with your corded bumper aligning all outside edges. Stitch in place 1/2″ from raw edges but be sure to leave about 20″ along bottom edge of bumper open and unstitched (so that you can insert a Nu-Form Bumper Pad).

bumpers815. Turn the completed bumper cover right side out so the cording “pops out”. Remove the pins from your tie ends to release them and there you have it!

16. Carefully insert your bumper pad and all that’s left is to whip stitch the bottom edges together to close the opening!

And there you have it!

17. Here’s how the completed bumper looks. Now I just have 5 more to finish to make the complete set!  🙂

I like this set of bumpers a WHOLE lot better than the ones I made for Canaan’s nursery four years ago. They were fun to make and I love that they can be flipped around to create an entirely different “look”.

So…Now it’s YOUR turn!

What questions or comments might you have for me?

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5 Comments So Far, You're Next!

  1. It’s been a long time since I have written, but your pics of your grandaughter’s room made me want to send these pics. We did things rather alike!! I used a velvety upholstery material for the bumper pads and the bedskirt, but I think a lot of the other things are similar. My daughter used this for both grandsons and the wall hanging is still in their playroom.
    I still enjoy your patterns, FB posts and newsletter!!! You are still one of my favorite pattern designers!
    Jan S

  2. Fabulous and amazingly similar!
    I love the choice of colors! you did a great job and its no wonder she used it for two
    Thanks for sharing the pictures and especially for the kind words!

  3. Creative ideas and the colors are wonderful. Appreciate your clear directions.

  4. Makes me want to sow again…great directions.

  5. Wow, this is my second post and I am really embarrassed! I thought the date was Feb. 2016 NOT Feb 2014!! LOL, your Baby Z is now a little more than 2 years old! I’m really late in discovering your web site and would like to know if you or your son/daughter has a blog for the site as well. Your writing and instructions are so easy to follow and I have always wanted to learn to sew “properly.” Just signed up for your newsletter, too.