Make Your Own Play Pen Sheets

It’s funny how certain brand names become synonymous with the product they are. How often do you ask for a facial tissue instead of a Kleenex? I remember when play pens were play pens and now they’re all called Pack n Plays even if they aren’t. We have a knock off, so I try to call it a play pen rather than it’s more popular counterpart. No matter what you call it if you have a baby it’s pretty darn handy. Our crib didn’t survive one of our moves and since we co-sleep most of the time we didn’t see the point in reinvesting in a crib. Our play pen gets daily use for naps and the bean goes to sleep in it at night before I get to go to bed myself.

With daily use we have to wash the sheets pretty regularly, but it’s not always easy to find sheets that fit and when you do they’re usually pretty boring. Ours are white and after several years of use are getting kinda dingy. I could hunt some new sheets down, but I’ve decided I want cute sheets and I already have fabric laying around. You could easily use an existing sheet as well.

*pre-washing and ironing your materials makes all sewing projects easier.

You could probably use about a yard of fabric, but I wanted my stripes to run along the width, so I needed about a yard and a third. I put my mattress on my fabric and cut out about 5 inches bigger all the way around.

I had a straight selvage on one side. I left it intact and just cut the other 3 sides. Then I cut a 4″x4″ corner out of each point. The one inch difference between your added edge and this cut compensates for the mattress thickness.
I’m using a knit which shouldn’t fray or unravel. Enter in that lazy bit I’m often talking about and I’ve chosen to leave the edges untouched. I could finish them by running them through my serger and if you’re using a woven fabric you’ll want to do a small hem. Or maybe cheat and use fray check.
Line up the small edges of your square (right sides together) and sew them, mitering the corner. I forgot to take a picture; I got distracted listening to the boys outside. Midkid says to Eldest “throw the ball at the bat.” Apparently his swing was off today. Back to sewing; once sewn your sheet will resemble a fitted sheet. The picture above is after I’ve sewn the corners together. I then lined up the short side with the long side at each corner these edges are perpendicular to our sewn edge. I drew a line at a 45 degree angle from the point of the last seam to my un-sewn edge and then sewed along that line. Once sewn and turned right side out it’ll look like this:
Re peat for each corner. Since I serged it the corner we mitered was cut off. If you’re just sewing you’ll end up with a triangular flap; you can cut it off or leave it folded inside your sheet. The mitered corners are what holds the sheet on without elastic.
Here it is on the play pen mattress;
I love the stripes!
I do not sew and sell bedding for children as I don’t want to deal with flammability requirements and liability. If you choose to do so please make sure you’re aware of the laws regarding children’s bedding as well as the CPSIA.
Happy Sewing!
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