Friday, June 14, 2013

Reversible Crib Rail Cover Tutorial

I wish I had thought of this sooner...

before Vera's six little teeth made this happen:

Better late than never I suppose.

Below are step-by-step instructions for making your own reversible, padded, machine washable crib rail cover. 


2 yards 1/2" wide twill tape or ribbon
Two 52 1/4" x 9" pieces of coordinating fabric
Two 51 1/4" x 8" pieces of batting or fusible fleece
Sewing machine
Button hole foot for sewing machine
Scissors or rotary cutter
Tape measure
Fabric marking pen
Safety pins
Fabric turner


My crib rail measures 51 3/4" across so I wanted the finished cover size to be 51 1/4" x 8". Measure your crib rail and adjust the measurements as needed.

Cut out two 52 1/4" x 9" pieces of fabric. (I pieced together one of the sides from two different fabrics because I didn't have a piece of fabric long enough.) Also cut out two 51 1/4" x 8" pieces of batting or fusible fleece.

Cut 6 lengths of twill tape, each 12" long. Fold the ends over 1/4" and press. Fold over another 1/4" and press. Stitch along the edge.

Right side facing up, make 6 marks along the long edge of one of the pieces of fabric. Make the first mark 4 1/2" in from the short edge and space the remaining marks 8 1/2" apart. (You may need to adjust the spacing depending on your crib).

Fold the twill tape in half and pin to the right side of your fabric at each mark.

Using safety pins, pin the batting to the wrong side of the other fabric panel, from the right side of the fabric. ie the clasp should be on the right side of the fabric so you can remove the safety pins when you turn the cover right side out. Make sure it is positioned so there is about 1/2" of fabric hanging over on each edge. This will keep the seams from being too bulky. If you're using fusible fleece, press one piece of fleece to the wrong side of each piece of fabric.

Place the two panels right sides together and pin. The batting should be on the outside.

Sew around all four edges, 1/2" in, leaving a 4" opening in the side with the twill tape for turning. Clip the corners, turn right side out, remove the safety pins, and press.

Close the opening with a slip stitch and topstitch 1/4" in from the edges.

Fold the cover in half lengthwise and make a mark on the side opposite the twill tape. This is where your button holes will go.

You will be making two button holes for each piece of twill tape. You want the holes spaced about 1/4" in from the topstitch and 1/4" apart.

Attach the button hole foot to your sewing machine. Select a button hole stitch and button that will give you a button hole slightly longer than the width of the twill tape. Sew the button holes.

Now you're ready to attach it to your crib! Wrap the cover around the crib rail, pull the twill tape through the button holes, and tie a knot. The knots should be on the outside of the crib.

Here's how it will look from the inside:

Now crib and baby are protected!


  1. I've looked at a lot of tutorials and yours is the prettiest one.

  2. Thanks for the tutorial. I'm in the process of making a crib rail for my first grandchild :). I also love your wall bookshelf. May I ask where you purchased it?

    1. Congratulations on your first grandbaby! We actually purchased the wall bookshelf used, on craigslist, but I believe it was originally sold at Pottery Barn Kids. Hope that helps!

  3. Love love love your tutorial...and the buttonholes for ribbons is very finished look! Going to store to get fabric to make! Thanks so much for sharing!!

  4. Awesome tutorial! One question - is the 1/4" topstitching around the edge enough to prevent the batting from shifting and bunching over time?

    1. Hi! I haven't had any problems with it bunching or shifting, and have used it for 4+ years with two kids. Hope that helps!

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  6. Thank you for posting this tutorial! I have got to the very last step - sewing the button holes - and I am stumped. Normal thickness fabric is no problem for me to create button holes with my machine's boron hole foot. The batting has made this too thick and it keeps getting knotted underneath. :( Did you have this problem? If so, how do you suggest I circumvent to finish this? Thanks in advance!!!!

    1. Sorry, I'm not sure why you are having that problem. Have you tried adjusting the bobbin tension? You could also try using a walking foot, and placing a piece of tear-away-interfacing underneath the fabric and a piece of water-soluble interfacing on top of the fabric. This helps when sewing button holes.

  7. Great tutorial! What kind of batting did you use?