DIY: No-Sew Crib Rail Cover

A few weeks back I started noticing little white flecks on my baby’s face whenever I picked her up from her crib. Upon further inspection I discovered she was gnawing on the crib rails. Our crib was painted with non-toxic paint, so I wasn’t too concerned, until she chewed all the way down to the wood and I started seeing little specks of paint in her mouth. Non-toxic or not, I didn’t like that she was ingesting pieces of her crib, so I began looking at crib rail covers.

The most affordable options I found were ‘Gummi’ covers that ranged from $16-$26. Problem with those was that they only cover the edge of the crib rail. If we had a crib that had narrow crib rails, I think they would have worked. Ours, however, are wide, and our child would likely chew around the gummi material that wasn’t covered, and/or chew+pick at the gummi cover until it comes off.

They do make fabric covers for cribs like ours, but it starts at $26 just for the front piece. It will cost you an additional $26+ for the two side rails. If you look on etsy some are $70 and up! I’m all about supporting small business, hand-made things, but $70?? I really didn’t want to spend quite that much.

Enter Instagram: I follow this account on Instagram, (For all my mama readers out there, you have to check them out. Chances are if you have a question regarding pregnancy/newborns/sickness/post-partum/health issues/travel tips etc., someone has asked about it, and there are hundreds of responses from other moms.), and they had recently posted the topic of biting on the crib rail. A lot of moms responded saying they just covered their crib with pieces of fleece, similar to a tie-blanket. What a brilliant idea! I didn’t have high hopes that it was going to look very attractive, but that was not the point. I just wanted some sort of barrier between my child and the crib rails.

After finishing one of the sides, I sat back and was amazed at how cute it looked! I mean, it looked like something you would order from Pottery Barn, with cute little bows in between each of the slats. I said to myself, I have to share this because it is so easy, and so cheap! If you are having the same issues I was, here is how you do it:

No-Sew Fleece Crib Rail Cover:

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Step 1: Measure how big your crib rails are. You need to know the length across the top, and also measure the width. When measuring for the width, keep in mind that you need to measure front side and back side, because the fleece needs to cover both sides. I measured with a soft measuring tape so that I could wrap it around like this:

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Something else to bear in mind is that you will need a few more inches or so, to add to the bottom of the width (beneath my thumb in the picture), so that you have enough fabric to make strips to tie. I added 6″ to the width, so that I would have an extra 3″ on each side. I would recommend adding a little more, so that you can make long enough strips to tie around the corners. As you can see in the photo above, I only had enough to tie it once. So give yourself some wiggle room, as you can always cut off any extra that you end up not using.

Another thing that will help you to tie around the corner is measure out the entire length of the crib rail. You can see below that I only measured to where the last space between the crib slats ended, so there’s a gap, and my strips just made it around the corners to tie.

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Step 2: Buy your fleece fabric. I bought mine from Joann’s. Don’t worry if your measurements are not in yards. I just told the lady what size pieces I needed and she was able to calculate what I needed from that.  For 1.306 yard of fabric it would have normally been $13.05, which is still a lot cheaper than any of the previously mentioned options. However, it happened to be on sale for half-off, so the grand total was $6.96! How amazing is that?!

Step 3: Measure out your front and side pieces onto the fabric. I used a charcoal pencil to mark out my measurements on the fabric, because I wasn’t sure if I could get pen to wash out.

*note: if you are a very patient, precise person, you could also measure out exactly where the slats are on your crib, mark them all individually on the fabric, then draw the lines for your strips, so that when you move to the next step, you can cut everything out all at once. I, however, am lazy. The following steps are my not-as-precise, easier way of doing things.

Step 4: Cut out the pieces.

Step 5: Wash the pieces. I washed mine on cold, and tumble dried at a low temperature and the fabric didn’t shrink at all.

Step 6: Working with one section at a time, lay your piece over the corresponding crib railing, and make sure that the bottom edges of the fabric line up:

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Step 7: Cut small slits on either sides of the slats, all along the edge of the fabric, being sure to cut one slit that is as long as you want your strip to be (I did mine with the last slat, and just cut all the way up to the bottom of the crib rail):

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Step 8: Lay your fabric, folded exactly in half, out onto the floor, making sure that it is flat and the edges match up. Using the piece that you cut longest as a guide, cut vertical strips where each of the slits in the fabric are:

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If you are cutting slits for the side pieces, cut a longer/higher slit at the last slit nearest the front of the crib, so you can tie the strips around the corners. Once you are done it will look like this (this was my front piece):

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Step 9: Lay the fabric back over the railing,

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and tie strips once, (not too tightly), together in between the crib slats. If you’re working on the sides, tie the front end long strips around the corners.

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There will be strips hanging down in front of the crib slats. you can either cut it off, front and back, as you go,

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or you can do them all at the end after you’re done with the ties.

Step 10: Tighten the ties. I didn’t tie mine tightly in the previous step, so that I didn’t get any uneven bunching. If you want yours to look more playful, and more like a fleece-tie blanket you can leave it just tied once:

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Or if you want it to look more tidy, and like there are pretty little bows, tie it twice:

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That’s it! You’re done!

You might be telling yourself, ‘Ugh another DIY? I just don’t have the time or the patience. These things always look and sound easy, but end up being way more complicated.’ I get it. After Esmé was born I decided that I had to make her a floating fish mobile to complete her nursery:

IMG_1176It took me over a month to finish, and I was stabbed a bajillion times by small craft wire. This crib rail cover is NOT one of those DIY projects. It might seem like a lot with all the steps written out, but it really is the easiest thing. You’re going to be so impressed with yourself and your mad skills every time you look at the crib. Promise!

IMG_3030Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

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