Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Easy and Adjustable DIY Crib Skirt

Crib skirts are certainly not a necessity, but I wanted one in Baby Girl's nursery because it gives me an extra place for concealed storage  and makes the crib look more "finished." But since I was keeping myself to a pretty low budget, I was determined to make one as inexpensively as possible.

I must give credit where credit is due. I got the basic plan for this skirt from Variety By Vashti's "Easiest DIY Crib Skirt" tutorial. I loved almost everything about it!
  1. It's economical. I considered saving myself the hassle and buying a skirt this time, but the more research I did, I realized that store-bought crib skirts can be quite expensive! Plus, I just didn't love any of them - most of them seemed really short.
  2. It's custom. You can choose any fabric you want and make the skirt to fit your crib perfectly - length, width, and height.
  3. It's not gathered. I made a gathered crib skirt for Kiddo's nursery and it used more fabric and required extra steps.
  4. It's really and truly adjustable as you drop the level of the crib mattress. Kiddo's crib skirt was not. I just tucked the excess skirt under as we adjusted the mattress, but it would get caught in the wheels if I ever wanted to move the crib.
  5. It's super-easy. Since my projects needed to be accomplished during naps or after Kiddo went to bed, I wanted to find something that I could bang out fairly quickly. 

However, I did find the need to make some modifications:
  1. Fabric width. The tutorial called for fabric 56" wide, which is unfortunately hard to find, especially since I wanted to use an inexpensive quilter's cotton.
  2. Number of Panels. The original tutorial called for 3 panels. Since the crib is against the wall, you really don't need that fourth panel, but I much prefer having a skirt on all four sides of the crib.
  3. Sewing. The original tutorial called for stitch-witchery to make the project no-sew. While I'm sure it would have worked fine, I chose to use my sewing machine instead.
  4. Ribbon trim. This was actually a trick to save fabric. By adding the 2" ribbon to the bottom of my skirt, it made it just the right length for when the mattress is on the highest setting.
  5. Attaching the skirt. I chose to use binder clips instead of ribbon or scrap fabric.
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You Will Need:


Taking Measurements: 

The beauty of this tutorial is that you can customize it to the exact dimensions of your crib. Measure the crib and determine how wide each panel should be. Be sure to add 1-1.5" to the crib dimensions so you can hem the fabric. I found the best way to figure it all out was to draw diagrams. The last thing I wanted to do was come home with my fabric and realize I had made a mistake!

Making The Cuts

Iron your fabric to remove any folds. A smooth surface really makes a difference when you cut your material!

Cut the fabric to the appropriate lengths. Using a rotary cutter is the best way to guarantee you will have straight edges and make the most of your fabric, (A big shout-out to my friend, Ruth, who was kind enough to lend me hers!), but sharp sewing scissors can work if necessary.  I was able to cut 2.5 yards of fabric into four panels, with only a 10-inch strip of fabric left over.


Hem the side edges of each panel. Whether you are using the sewing machine or stitch-witchery, you will want to use an iron to get a nice, crisp fold. For the 51-inch panels, I hemmed a half-inch and for the 29-inch panels I hemmed 3/4 inch.

Since my panels were only 22 inches long (before hemming the bottom) and the crib is 22.5 inches at its highest setting, I needed to find a way to add length. This is where my 2" wide ribbon came in. I sewed the ribbon to the cut edge of each panel, adding just enough length to allow the skirt to skim the ground. As a bonus, I didn't have to hem the bottom!

Attaching The Skirt

Rather than add ribbon to my skirt, I chose to use simple binder clips to attach my skirt to the crib frame. I already had some clips, but ended up buying a few more because there wasn't enough for all four panels. I also safety-pinned the panels together at the corners to make it extra-secure.

Unfortunately, when I put the mattress back into the crib, my (brand new, never used) crib sheet snagged and ripped on the crib frame (BOO!). Thank goodness for iron-on patches!

So if you have an older-style wire frame like I do, you may want to lay something between the frame and the mattress. I used some receiving blankets that we brought home from the hospital when Kiddo was born.

No, we didn't steal them. In my defense, the nurses told us we could take them - promise!

Et voila! A finished crib skirt!

I was very pleased with how quickly and easily this project came together. My only concern was that the skirt was a bit bland and boring. It "needed" something, and I figured out just the thing! Come back Friday to learn how to make these cute little flowers. They are super-easy, no-sew, and guaranteed to dress up just about anything!

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