How to Make a Baby Mattress

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Things You'll Need

  • Fabric (ticking, denim, canvas or flannel-backed vinyl)

  • Sewing machine

  • Straight pins

  • Thread

  • Scissors

  • Foam or sponge for mattress

Baby cribs and cradles have been in use for centuries, but time has seen an evolution in the construction of such baby beds. According to, the earliest cradles were hollowed logs that evolved into elaborate "miniature great beds of state. . . used to cradle the children of royalty." Whether for a crib or a cradle, a baby bed mattress is a simple project that you can make at home.


Step 1

Measure your crib or cradle width by length. The standard crib mattress measures 28-by-52-by-4 inches. The standard cradle mattress measures 18-by-36-by-2 inches.

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Step 2

Fold fabric with right sides touching. You will need 4 yards for a crib mattress and 3 yards for a cradle mattress.


Step 3

For a crib mattress, cut two rectangles from your fabric according to your crib measurements plus 6 inches on your width and length measurements (for example, 34-by-58). For a cradle mattress, cut two rectangles according to your cradle measurements plus 4 inches on the width and length (for example, 22-by-40). The extra inches allow for the thickness of the foam/sponge and the seam allowances.


Step 4

Pin the two pieces of fabric together, right sides of the fabric together.

Step 5

Sew with a straight stitch--using a 1-inch seam allowance--the two sides and one end, leaving one end open. Remove the pins.


Step 6

Reinforce your seams by using the zigzag stitch around the sewn edges.

Step 7

Turn right-side out. Slip the foam or sponge inside your baby mattress cover.

Step 8

Turn the edges of the open end under, pin, and hand sew the end closed. Remove the pins.


A standard yard of fabric measures 44 by 36 inches.

If you use flannel-backed vinyl, the needle used in your sewing machine must be made to sew through vinyl.

Foam or sponge can be purchased at sewing stores and most craft stores.


An ill-fitting mattress can pose a suffocation or strangulation risk for an infant. Your new mattress must fit snugly against the rungs of your baby bed.



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