Tuesday, November 29, 2011

IKEA Hack: DIY Crib Bumper and Monogrammed Pillow

Mason's nursery was full of little projects, two of which were courtesy of some clever usage of inexpensive IKEA items.

I knew I wanted to use custom fabrics for the room's curtains and crib linens, but had I made a crib bumper or crib skirt before? No. And Julianne still trusted me to make hers? Yes. She is a good friend. Or maybe I just didn't tell her that I had never done it before.

I'm not sure where in the recesses of my brain I had stored this information (or why), but I recalled that IKEA has a fantastic, very simple crib bumper that I could use as my starting point. The Kompisar bumper is only $14.99, white, and very thin so it's easy to cover with fabric.
The short version of this story is that I took several strips of my 54" wide fabric, sewed them together to make two very long strips, and then sewed them right onto the crib bumper - one on the front and one on the back. I know that is not very helpful if you don't sew, but if you do sew, I hope that makes sense.

And if it does make sense, you can scroll to read about the monogram pillow now.

If not, here are some more details.

First, I cut off the ties that come on the bumper. Later, when I installed the bumper, I made a note of where the ties should go according to the crib I was using and I sewed small strips of grosgrain ribbon to these spots for affixing the bumper to the crib. 

To cover the bumper, I used a sewing machine to essentially sew on strips of fabric to both of its sides.  I measured out six strips of 54" wide fabric - three of which were 2-3 inches taller that the bumper on top and bottom, and three of which were about the height of the bumper. I sewed the first three together on the short sides to make one very long strip of fabric that was 2-3 inches taller than the bumper on top and bottom so that I could essentially wrap this one piece of fabric around one side of the bumper and its edges - folding the fabric around the edges as I went. I sewed my seam about 1" inside of the bumper's edges to create the look of a welt. If you look at the picture, the bumper already has this kind of edge, so I basically just followed it.

Here is a picture of this strip of fabric wrapped around the bumper, and the placement of the needle shows about how far in I made this seam:

So I just sewed around this long, long rectangle until that piece was affixed. The bumper was longer than my strip of fabric, so I just cut off the excess bumper and finished up as usual around the raw edge. (When I initially tried out the plain bumper in the crib, I knew that it was a good bit longer than I needed, so I was safe chopping off the excess - make sure your crib doesn't need that extra length)

Then I took the three strips of fabric that were about the same height of the bumper and I also sewed their short sides together to make one long strip about the height of the bumper. For this strip, I did the same thing as the first in that I just sewed it right on to the bumper - but in this case, I didn't fold the fabric over the bumper's edges. Instead, I just folded down the strip's own edges to make a bit of a hem and sewed over this hem following the same seam I sewed on my earlier strip.

Let's recap - one long strip is taller than your bumper and this strip you wrap around the bumper, covering the edges. Then on the other side, you take the other long strip whose edges have been folded over to make a hem, and you sew this hem right on to the seam from the first strip (but this second strip doesn't fold around the bumper like the first).

Yes? Make sense? I didn't take good pictures, I know. Email me if you have questions.

The second, MUCH easier project was Mason's monogrammed pillow:

This pillow uses one of my absolute favorite, favorite items that IKEA sells - the 16x24 Fjadrar pillow insert! It's an amazing fluffy insert (I think it's down?? not sure) whose quality seems much higher than the price of $6.99. I LOVE it. Love it. 

In Mason's case, I also used the Sanela velvet pillow cover from IKEA, which comes in some really handsome colors - like navy, hunter and paprika - and only sets you back $7. I went with the taupe-ish color for baby M.

So, total, the velvet lumbar pillow is only $14. Bananas. And my secret to the monogram is felt and fabric glue....that's it.

Get yourself a piece of felt in the color of your choosing from any craft store. Find a font on your computer that you really like - I find that fat fonts work the best - and print out each letter. You'll have to play around with the sizing you want each letter to be.

Then cut out each letter to use as a guide on your felt. Pin the paper letter to your felt and follow its edges to cut out the felt letter. Then glue the felt letter right to the front of your pillow with fabric glue. I use Unique Stitch, but any fabric glue will work.

That's it! I will add a disclaimer that my letters are a bit more fancy than computer font. I actually drew the letters to make them look Leontine-esque in Illustrator and then printed them from there. Being a graphic designer does come in handy with projects like this, but you can definitely still do it using fonts you like from your computer.

More details on the room tomorrow!



  1. Love it! The lily pad fabric is adorable with the stuffed frog! What a great idea to use the Ikea bumper as a pattern. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Anonymous11/29/2011

    Looks great. One question, the aquatic fabric says dry clean only. Have you tested it in the wash or is she going to dry clean the crib bumper? Also do you think this fabric is heavy enough for slipcovers?

  3. Anon, I did not test it in the wash. My suspicion is that washing it on a gentle cycle in cold water and laying it flat to dry will likely be OK. Dry cleaning is probably the best option, though - perhaps by a "green" or "organic" dry cleaner to cut down on chemicals used :)


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