How to Make a Cot Bumper

baby in the crib image by Tatyana Gladskih from

Things You'll Need

  • Yardstick
  • Pencil
  • Kraft paper
  • Fabric
  • Cotton batting
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Needle

A wooden baby cot or crib has hard slats from which the baby needs protection. She may hurt herself by rolling over onto them or even get her head stuck between them. Therefore, many parents install cot or crib bumpers to provide a soft barrier between the child and the bed slats. Even a beginner sewer can create crib bumpers in an afternoon and save a lot of money in the process. Handmade crib bumper sets make a good gift as well for expecting parents.

Measure the width of the sides and ends of the baby crib. Measure inside the sides of the crib, which is where the bumpers will be installed. Add 1 inch to each measurement for the seam allowance, which is a 1/2 inch on each side. Make a note of these measurements. Also decide how tall you want the bumpers to be and write that down as well. In addition, measure from one end of the side of the crib to a slat near the middle. You will need this measurement to know where to sew the ribbon ties.

Make the pattern for the cot bumper set. Roll out the kraft paper on a large, flat surface. With the yardstick for a straight edge, draw a pattern for the bumpers on the paper using the measurements you recorded in Step 1.

Draw two large rectangles. One will be used for the end bumpers and one will be used for the side bumpers. Mark the side pattern with the measurement you took for the slat near the middle so that you will know where to place the ribbon ties.

Cut the fabric and batting. Spread two layers of your fabric out on the work surface. The right sides should be facing each other. Place a layer of cotton batting over the fabric layers. Place a pattern piece over all this and pin in place. Cut out the fabric and batting using the pattern as a guide.

Cut two sets of fabric and batting for each pattern piece.

Place the ribbon ties. Cut 12 pairs of ribbons 10 inches long. Pin the end of one pair on each corner of the fabric rectangles. Place the ribbons between the fabric layers so that they are on the right side of the fabric and extending toward the center of the fabric rectangle.

Pin another pair of ribbons at each place you marked on the side pattern pieces for the location of the slat near the middle. Again, the ribbons should be between the fabric layers and extend toward the middle.

Make sure the ends of the ribbons are even with the edge of the fabric so that they will be sewn into the bumper when the fabric is sewn in the next step.

Sew all the rectangles a 1/2 inch from the edge almost all the way around. Leave about 5 inches unsewn so that you can turn the fabric right-side out.

Turn the fabric right-side out. Now the cotton batting should be inside and the ribbons will all be on the outside.

Sew the openings shut by hand or machine. Turn the edges under a 1/2 inch to match the previously-sewn seams. Top stitch them with matching thread. Now the bumpers are ready to be installed into the crib and tied with the ribbon to the slats.


  • Use fabric print and colors that match or accent the room where the crib is to enhance the room’s décor.

    Organic cotton batting is a good idea for the padding.

    You can use foam sheets instead of cotton batting for the bumpers as well.


  • Make sure the ribbon ties are on the outside of the crib when the bumpers are installed so that the baby will not be able to reach them.