Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Crib Rail Teething Bumpers--Pattern and Tutorial

My almost-one-year-old has taken to standing in his crib and gnawing on the crib rails all the time.  It's really gross and I'm always agonizing about him getting lead poisoning or some other horrible disease from trace toxins in the varnish.  Not to mention, it was ruining our really nice wooden crib.  Then I saw this awesome idea online:  cover the rails with bumpers!  This is one of those "why didn't I think of that??" projects.  I couldn't find a good tutorial, so I came up with a pattern.

I wanted to share these with other moms who are also imagining all the terrible things that can happen when their babies eat the crib.
Protecting your baby from all kinds of dangers, real or imagined ;)

What you need:
  •   1 and 3/4 yd 40" fabric for the bumpers.  I used a cotton flannel, but quilting cotton would also work.
  • 1/2 yd fabric for the fabric ties.  I used the same fabric as the bumpers, but a coordinating fabric would also look cute.
  • thread to match, I used Gutermann 100% cotton.
  • polyester batting 
-With this fabric, you'll have enough to make two bumpers that measure 28 x 9 inches and one that measures 51 x 9 inches, which should fit a standard crib.
-Use a 1/2" seam allowance

 Let's get sewing:
1.  Trim selvedges off bumper fabric.  Cut six 10" strips.

Cutting guide:   (Sorry it's so ugly, I drew it in Paint.  Don't judge my non-tech skills!)

2. To make the short bumpers, cut three 10" strips in Step 1, into 29" and 11" pieces.  Sew two 11" pieces right sides together on a 10" edge.  Repeat with the third piece.  Trim so the final piece measures 10 x 29".  You should now have four 10 x 29" rectangles.

3.  To make the long bumper, take a 10" strip from Step 1 and cut two 13" rectangles.  Sew each one to a 10 x 40" strip from Step 1, right sides together.  You should have two 10 x 51" rectangles.  Press open all seam allowances.
4.  Now, cut the fabric ties.  Trim off the selvedge, then cut seven 1 3/4" strips across the width of your tie fabric.  Cut each strip into 3 ties about 13" long.  You'll need 20 ties.

5. To make the ties, press under 1/4" on both long sides and one short side, then press in half. 

6.  Topstitch closed, about 1/8" from the edge.

7.  To make the first short bumper, lay out one 10 x 29" panel, right side up.  Pin one tie at each corner, 1" from the long edge.  Pin one tie in the middle of each long side.  Refer to picture:

It should look like this:
8. You're going to make an "inside-out" quilt sandwich.  Lay a second 10 x 29" panel right-side down on top of the pinned ties.

9.  Cut one 10 x 51" piece of batting and two 10 x 29" pieces of batting.  Lay one short piece on top and pin all three layers together.

10.  Sew around the edge, leaving 6" open for turning.  Turn out, pin under the opening, and topstitch 1/4" from the edge all around the bumper.  

11. I quilted these very simply with a rectangle 2" from the edge, then a second rectangle 4" from the edge. 

12.   Repeat steps 5-9 for the second short bumper.

13. For the long bumper, I laid out the strips as shown in Step 5, except I had two on each long side, 17" apart.  Then I repeated steps 6-9. After quilting, I hand-cut an elephant applique and used fusible web to attach it.

Ta-da!  Now your baby can chew all night and not damage himself or the crib!


  1. Wish I'd had this a year ago, before Amy traumatized our crib!

  2. Wow, thanks for sharing a step-by-step guide. I would much rather make my own than spend $40-$60 on crib rail bumpers from a major retailer.


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