Monday, June 18, 2012

Bassinet Mattress Tutorial

With my due date quickly approaching, I pulled our bassinet out of storage for reassembly.

I've been planning for some time to make a new mattress for the thing.....The one that came with it was just so.....pathetic.

With my last baby, I had added padding under the sheet but it was still woefully inadequate. I don't know how she slept on it. Hence my decision to make sure this baby wasn't sleeping on a wafer-thin abomination to mattresses everywhere.

I also decided I'd do a little tutorial!

What you'll need to make your very own Bassinet Crib Mattress:
 - Measuring tape
 - Foam by the yard
 - 3/4 yrd vinyl
 - Sewing machine
 - Matching thread

Step 1: Measure your bassinet.
My bassinet dimensions turned out to be 30 in by 15 in. You'll need this measurement to determine the amount of foam you'll need.

I got my foam by the yard at Joann's during their Memorial Day sale - it was all 50% off. Since the thickness I choose (which is 1 1/2 inches, by the way) was $30.99 /yd normally, I was eager to get a deal.

Step 2: Cut your foam to fit snugly into the bassinet.
I initially cut the foam to 30 in x 15 in, knowing that I would need to trim it down a little to fit. I then set the foam on top of the bassinet and used a Sharpie to mark where I needed to round the corners and/or cut off a little foam. The final dimensions were 30 in x 14 1/2 in.

Again, make sure the fit in the bassinet is snug. Safety first(!) when it comes to the kids!

Step 3: Pin your vinyl around the foam.
Place your foam on a single layer of vinyl (vinyl is located in the 'utility' fabrics area of your local craft store - available in many colors). Make sure you have a buffer around the outside of the foam - 2 or 3 inches is sufficient.

Fold the vinyl over the foam, tightening the vinyl against the foam on the folded side (creating a vinyl-foam ...taco?).

Pin the top layer of vinyl to the bottom layer of vinyl around the foam. Try to get your pins as close to the foam as possible for a tight fit.

Cut off the excess vinyl.

Step 4: Sew around the foam.
Top-stitch around the three open sides, as close to the foam as you can get. You may need to squish the foam down a bit as you go.

Note: If you're wondering why I only pinned/sewed three sides here, the reason is that I am inherently lazy and cheap. The less work I have to do and the least amount of materials I have to use, the better. You could, indeed, pin/sew all the way around (you masochist, you).

Step 5: Make vinyl binding.
You'll need to make some binding to hide your raw edges. Cut 2 inch strips from your leftover vinyl - enough to cover all your edges. 

If you need to sew several strips together, here's how to do it:

Place the two pieces perpendicular to each other at their ends. Sew across the two pieces at a diagonal.

Cut off the excess.

Fold open. Repeat if needed.

When you've got a strip of vinyl sufficiently long for your needs, fold it in half lengthwise. Unlike fabric, vinyl won't stay folded so you'll need to pin it to make it stay - do NOT iron! Vinyl is plastic, afterall - it will melt.

Fold the raw edges in to the center fold and pin. (Incidentally, this is the same method you'd use to make normal fabric binding.)

Step 6: Pin the binding to the raw edges.
Cut off the raw edges of the vinyl around the mattress to 1/2 an inch.

Fold down the end of your binding.

Apply the binding to the raw edges of the vinyl and pin.

Top-stitch around, back-stitching at the beginning and end. Again, try to keep the vinyl tight around the foam. Sew within a 1/4 inch of the edge of the binding.

And voila! You're done!

Behold! My new awesome mattress versus the old, wussy mattress:

The final product installed. Now all I need are some new sheets!


Annette said...

Thanks so much for this! My due date is in 1 month and I am using a cradle that has been in the family for over 150 years! I will use your tutorial to make a mattress for it! :D YAY!

Stacy said...

Glad to hear it!

Amber said...

Thanks for the great tutorial! I have a great money-saving tip. Instead of buying vinyl I just bought a lightweight plastic shower curtain for $2 at Walmart and used that. It worked great and was a lot cheaper than the vinyl at Joann's.

Stacy said...

Excellent idea!

Tammi Schneiderman said...

Do you have to do the binding? Is it necessary or just for looks?

Stacy said...

It's probably not necessary... but it does reinforce the initial seam...You could do a double seam and leave off the binding.

Jennifer Greenfield said...

Just wanted to say thanks - this tutorial concept really saved me.. I had an antique bassinet with an odd shaped mattress requirement.. But I couldn't find anything commercially that would fit.. But thanks to this idea, my issue was solved.. Thanks so much!