Flower and Whale Crib Sheets :: Two Stories and a Tutorial


I originally published this post in January of 2013, but found myself referencing it to make baby #3’s crib sheets. Baby #3 is another boy and will be getting sheets made from this fabric. Fun, huh? I’m pretty much loving all of Teagan White’s art right now.

I’m very visually-oriented. From my day planner to the Kitchen Aid mixer, to where I hang the picture frames–if it’s not just the right design, shade, or placement, I’ll fixate on it until it feels right.

It’s a bit compulsive, really. Or HSP. Or whatever.

Is the result of this neurosis a perfect-looking house? (Snort-laugh) No.

But as far as I have the time/energy/money, I’d rather not just tolerate, but truly enjoy the things I look at daily.

Inspirational Decor

And yet with some items in my home, it’s not just about them being pretty–I’d also like them to be meaningful.  To not just please the eye but also remind me of a truth, a fond memory, or a vision of what might yet come.

Bear with me if you think I’m getting too lofty for a post on baby sheets.

Case in point: the bedding for my kids’ rooms. I’m going to look at it every day. And every night. I’m going to launder it, sometimes multiple times a day depending on who’s potty training and who’s sick and who’s got reflux.

So, I might as well really like these darn sheets. And if they’re somehow encouraging? Even better.

Flower Sheets

For Bun, I was drawn to ones called “garden party;” they were kind of vintage-y and pretty without being too pink.


And  then as I registered for those flower sheets, I got a vision for my sweet unborn daughter. She would be like a garden. Her father and I would plant seeds of truth and words of life in her soul. We’d tend her little life and pray that all of this would cause her to flourish.

I wasn’t planning to get all spiritual over my crib sheets, but there it was. Every time I saw them, I was reminded to pray for our little Bun and for us to be the kind of parents she needed.

Whale Sheets

Then along came baby brother, whom I was sure (ok, hoped) would be another girl–only because I was grappling for some kind of consistency in my life at a time when our future was very uncertain.

But, at 20 weeks pregnant, you know what helped me get over the initial freak-out of having a little guy?

The fabric I found for his bedding.


Yes, it was just the right combo of yellow, grey, pale blue and cream, in quaint patterns of Dutch-looking windmills and whales that made me ok with–even excited about–having a boy.

Call me shallow. But there it is.

Sorry, Buckaroo. We love you dearly. And you are the perfect baby for our family.
Sorry, Buckaroo. We love you dearly. And you are the perfect baby for our family.

Not only were the colors just right, but the whales were a nice touch. I’ve always been fascinated by blue whales. Their massive size (their hearts are the size of cars, people) simply makes me stand in awe of the God who made them.

(Now I’m really tempted to go on about whales for a while, but I’ll resist and leave you with this instead. You’re welcome).

So, my daughter’s bedding prompted a vision for parenting and my son’s reminds me of the glory of creation. Pretty impressive sheets, right?


Now, let’s pick a pretty (and inspirational?) fabric and make some.

Crib Sheet Tutorial

{for a standard size crib mattress, typically about 51 5/8″ x 27 1/4″–for other size sizes, simply measure the length and width and add 16″ to both}


*2 yards of fabric
*80 inches of 1/4 inch elastic
*ruler/measuring tape

1.) Wash fabric, cut out a rectangle that’s 45″ x 68″. (If your fabric is only 44″ that’s ok).


2.) At each corner, measure 8″ squares and cut them out.


whale sheets21

3.) Next, take the two sides of one corner of the sheet and bring right sides together. Pin and sew, using about a 1/4″ seam allowance.

You’re basically making pockets that will go around the corners of the crib mattress. Do this on all four corners of the sheet.

whale sheets

4.) After sewing, serge or zig-zag stitch the seams.

5.) Then, serge (or use a sturdy zig-zag stitch) around the entire edge of the sheet. You can also iron + hem your fabric 1/4″ all the way around to keep the edges from fraying.

(I don’t have a serger and didn’t even have a great zig zag stitch at the time. But, my fabric was too narrow to hem 1/4″ around so I just made do with a simple zig zag on the rough edges. All sides have held up just fine over the course of a year).

See? Really lame zig zag. I think something was wrong with my machine. But it’s held up fine.
See? Really lame zig zag. I think something was wrong with my machine. But it’s held up fine.

6.) Iron about 1/2″ around all edges of the sheet. You’re making the casing for the elastic.

whale sheets331

7.) Sew the casing. I didn’t pin around the whole thing because it takes too long and ironing seemed to keep the fabric in place just fine.

**Remember to leave a couple inches of space to get the elastic in and out. Marking that space with two pins is helpful. Start sewing at one pin and stop at the other**

Sheet Tutorial

8.) Grab the elastic and attach a safety pin to one end. Insert into one opening in the casing and thread it around the entire sheet until it comes out of the other opening.


9.) Take the two ends of the elastic and pin. Sew a zig zag stitch over the length of the overlap.

Sheet Tutorial1

10.) Sew the opening in the casing closed.


11.) Admire your new sheet! And then go wrestle your kid’s mattress/crib bumpers until it’s securely on.

whale sheets221

About Jenn

Jenn is a mommy of three and wife to her best friend. She enjoys good books, dinner guests, elevenses, and proper apostrophe use.

  • brenda v.

    Just found this 1 too, you have gone beyond pretty amazing my dear! I am so glad you are finding the time/taking the time to get back into writing. And a tutorial on crib sheet making?…. I almost want to make 1 too. But will stick to pinafores & aprons for now. What can I make for RLD????

  • Anne

    Wow…love the sheets and most impressed you can see! Inspires me to expand my boundaries of homemaking.

    Beautifully designed blog with lovely photos! Way to go.

  • Alan

    I think I could make a sheet for a crib now and I don’t know a serge from a selvage.

  • lol 🙂 love you

  • You have now inspired to think a lot more about sheets. And I actually love that. If we had a boy, I would be all over that fabric and I love your choices for baby #3.