Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Bassinet or Play Yard Fitted Sheet Tutorial

I wrote this tutorial the day before I gave birth to Forrest. Apparently nesting took the form of making several fitted sheets for our bassinet/co-sleeper.
The night before I wrote this tutorial I had gotten out our co-sleeper, a bassinet that has a side that drops down so you can strap it to your bed so the baby is close to grab for middle-of-the-night feedings but still sleeps in their own space. It is a must for us since we sleep on a full size bed and there is barely enough room for the two adults that occupy it. When we used it with Gabe we didn’t have any fitted sheets for it so we used to just slip the mattress in an extra pillowcase for a bottom sheet. It worked okay, but wasn’t so great for those quick bed changes when a diaper explodes.
So, the day before I went into labor I decided to pull out some fabric and experiment with making a fitted sheet for a bassinet. The first couple turned out great, so I’ve made up a tutorial so you too can make your own fitted sheets for your bassinet, co-sleeper or pack ‘n’ play/play yard.

How to Make a Fitted Sheet for a Bassinet or Play Yard Mattress:
Measuring tape
Fabric Marker or pencil
Scissors or Rotary cutter
Fabric (For a bassinet, about a yard will suffice)
¼ inch elastic (1 yard for a bassinet, 2 yards for a play yard)
Take out your bassinet or play yard mattress and measure it’s width and length.
Add 10 inches to each dimension and cut your fabric to fit those dimensions. (For example, a co-sleeper mattress measures 17 inches wide by 31 inches long, so I cut my fabric piece 27 inches by 41 inches)
Fold your fabric piece in half and then half again, matching edges. At the raw edge corner (the one with no folds) mark a five inch square and cut it out through all layers.
Unfold your fabric, you should have a 5 inch square cut out of each corner. (Or just cut a 5 inch square out of each corner individually, whichever you find easiest!)
At one corner match up the raw edges of the missing square, wrong sides together and pin.
This should form an edge that is diagonal to the long sides.

Sew a ¼ inch seam along this edge and press. Repeat for the other three corners.
Trim seam slightly.
Turn seam wrong side out so fabric is now right sides together and press.
Sew a ¼ inch seam from the edge and press. Repeat at each corner.
This makes a nice French seam on each corner so there are no raw edges exposed.
Fold raw edge under ¼ an inch and press all the way around sheet. Fold under again ¼ and inch and press and pin to make a hem.
Stitch hem and press.
Set your sewing machine to the longest zig-zag stitch.
Make sure your stitch width will catch the ¼ wide elastic so make your width on the narrow side.
Starting at the middle of one of the short edges secure one end of elastic to the wrong side of the sheet hem, back-stitching to secure. Stretching the elastic as much as you can while you stitch, secure the elastic all the way around the sheet, back stitching when you get to where you started.
The sheet should gather as it comes out the back of your machine.
Trim the excess elastic after back-stitching the end, overlapping the start of the elastic slightly.
Tah dah! And you have yourself a fitted sheet! Fit for your purposes! (Ha ha! I'm so "punny".)
Put the sheet over your bassinet mattress to make sure it fits, place baby on bassinet mattress and say, "Awwwww." (I'd love to try making a fitted with some soft minky for winter. Oh the possibilities!) Feel free to email me if you have any questions!

Be blessed!


  1. Such a great idea! I've been wanting to do this for a long time! I don't have any 1/4 in elastic right now. Think I could substitute 1/8 or 3/8 instead?


  2. 3/8 elastic would probably be better than 1/8, I don't think I'd go any smaller than 1/4 just because you want your zig-zag stitch to catch the elastic as much as possible.

  3. These look really great but I do not quite understand why you have to do this part: Fold your fabric piece in half and then half again, matching edges. At the raw edge corner (the one with no folds) mark a five inch square and cut it out through all layers

  4. It makes it so that you don't have to cut a five-inch square out of each corner individually. You need a square cut out of each corner because you create the corner pockets that the mattress corners fit into by sewing together the two edges of the square you just cut out. Does that make sense?

  5. Thanks for the tutorial... I also used the video one for the bias tape. I just happened to notice that you pin your fabric with your pins parallel to the edge you're sewing. If you put the pins in perpendicular to the edge you'll be able to sew right up to the pin before needing to remove it. I've also noticed I poke myself less. hth

  6. Thanks for the instructions! I'm due a week from today, and I decided this morning I had to make sheets for the co-sleeper because with the puddle pad and the mattress pad, the king-size pillowcases don't fit! Plus, as you mentioned too, they'll be hard to change for the middle-of-the-night diaper blowouts.

    I found your instructions and made the first sheet. I only had 1/2" elastic, and it worked fine; I also didn't have enough to go all the way around, so I made 8" strips, one for each corner (baste at the center, then zig-zag from the center out), and a 4 -inch strip at the center of each of the long sides. It works fine, but it would actually be faster to have a yard of elastic and go all the way around, which I'll do for the next several. Thanks again!

  7. Thanks for this tutorial! Just made a sheet with minky, but the elastic didn't seem strong enough....I'm new to sewing so I'm sure it could be a mistake I made. What would cause the elastic not to gather but instead just make the edges look curly? Could I simply need a wider elastic since minky is such a thick fabric? I'm sure it will still work fine though I would rather it be as pretty on the underside as your picture.

  8. A thicker elastic would help with minky but you also may want to straight up make a casing for the elastic and slip it through since minky is pretty bulky. I have a few made out of minky but they have encased elastic! Hope this helps!

  9. Thanks so much for this tutorial. JUst finished my bassinet sheet. It is a little short on the sides - what size thickness was the mattress for this tutorial?

  10. I made this for a pretty thin mattress, probably only about 1 to 1.5 inches thick, if you're making it for a thicker mattress, measure the thickness of the mattress and add that measurement to your width and height, then when cutting out the corner squares for the corner pocket make sure you add your thickness into that measurement as well. Make sense? I use mine on our changing table pad which is about 4 inches thick and they're just the right size for that!

  11. I want to make a bassinet sheet for this size of mattress: 2" x 15" x 33". I followed your instructions and added the depth measurement which makes it 27" x 45" and then added the 10" to those measurements which is what I would need to cut for the fabric. How do you go about figuring out how to measure the correct amount to cut out from the corners.

    Thank-you for your help.

  12. I also have a 15x33x2" pad for a cradle & would like to know how deep to cut out the corners. Nice trick in getting a french seam on the corners for added strength!

  13. The pictures of your tutorial aren't showing up on any of my devices. I was wondering if something happened to them, or if the problem is on my end. I'm anxious to try this, any chance the pics can get fixed??

  14. Size of corner block cut = thickness of mattress + 1 ?

    1. If you're making a fitted sheet for a thicker mattress I would recommend adding more than an inch since your hem is going to take up at least half that. I wrote this tute for a playard or bassinet mattresses which are typically very thin. For a standard crib mattress the formula should go more like: Size of corner block cut= thickness of matress + 3-5 inches

  15. Thank you for this tutorial. I made my friend a couple of sheets with it for her bassinet. I used 1/4" elastic and added some PUL onto the back area that covers the top of the mattress. I wanted it to be water resistant for her. Worked beautifully. Thanks again!


Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment! Blessings!