Thursday, August 20, 2009

Moses Basket Redo - Bedding Tutorial

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I had a Moses basket from when my 3 yr old was a newborn which had been really handy as a light & portable alternative to clunky, space hogging bassinets & cradles. I've planned to reuse it in a few weeks, but felt it needed some sprucing up. It was a basic, no-frills one for about $35, but the bedding that came with it was pretty cheap, thin and well, kind of blah:

I have been AMAZED at how pricey a lot of Moses baskets are when they are all about the same basket-wise. The difference between my $35 & the $140 ones? The bedding. And some have way cute bedding, but seriously who wants to pay that kind of $$ for something that will be outgrown in a few, short months?!? So, here's a quickie tutorial on how to make your own super cute, custom bedding for a fraction of the cost!

You need:

- 1 3/4 yds of fabric (got mine with coupons @ Joann's for under $7)
- Crib size (36"x45") quilting batting
- 1 yd of 1/4in elastic
- 3 3/4yds of ribbon/bias tape for the ties (I used grosgrain ribbon - $1 for a big spool)
- Thread
- Paper to make pattern (I use the Ikea kid's easel paper: cheap & much more sturdy than tissue)

Start off by making the fitted sheet pattern - it's super easy. Take out the basket's oval pad and trace around it. Add 3" all the way around & cut out.

Now make bumper side pattern by measuring one side of the basket. Start at the middle of the top of the head end of the basket and pull your measuring tape along one side to the middle of the foot end of the basket. Mine is the standard size, but is a bit higher in the front than the back, so I also measured the height to see how much it sloped down and where. Mark paper with dimensions (height, length, slope) and use yard stick to draw out lines. Add 1 in seam allowance and then cut out. My dimensions were 37" long, 8" high at head end, 6" high at foot end.

Cut out pieces. You'll need to cut 2 side pieces each of the batting and the outer fabric and cut it so the bottom of the pattern is along the fold of the fabric. Open pieces, matching head & foot ends with right sides of outer fabric together and layer batting over each side & pin those sides together:

You may want to try it out in the basket just to make sure you have the length right before the you stitch up the sides. If it seems the right length, stitch sides together, so you have a giant oval.

Then fold wrong sides together so the open ends are at the top.

Fold layers inward 1" inch and pin together for your top seam.

Measure your ribbon/bias tape to make the ties. Cut 6 pieces that are each 22" long and fold each in half. Take each ribbon and sandwich the folded end into the bumper about 1/2" down & space each equally around the bumper (1 at each end and 2 on either side). Top stitch about 1/4" from edge all the way around the bumper top, so it looks like this:

I choose to make a few seams down each side so that the batting won't get bunched up after repeated washings:

Now your bumper is done and can be tied onto your basket. To make the fitted sheet, sew on elastic around each curved end on the wrong side of fabric, about 1" from the raw edge, pulling the elastic taut while you stitch so it will "bunch up"& cut off excess elastic at end.

You can either leave it as is or to make it look more finished, fold the raw edge over the elastic and along the sides and then stitch to make a finished hem. Place on mattress pad and ta-da! Your new, stylish Moses basket is ready!


  1. You are quite the crafty one! One of the last things I did for my daughter before leaving her at law school was put together a sewing basket. You can never be too prepared, ya know? SITS sent me by, and I'm glad they did!

  2. Seriously, WAY too cute! Now I have a sudden urge to find a Moses basket and get down to business!

  3. I did this to my moses basket too. Same basket. Same issue with bedding. Great tutorial!

  4. I Love the Owl pattern! I still have my sewing machine that I received from our wedding (5 years ago). I really need to learn how to use it! Happy SITS Sharefest!

  5. Ahhh, you just gained a new follower! Found you thru SITS. I love the retro owls flannel.

  6. This is such a great idea!!! I posted a link to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:

  7. Thanks for this! I bought a moses basket used for $15 with hideous bedding! I used a pattern to make new bedding for it for my first baby, but it didn't fit so well, as mine is higher in the back also. Seeing your tutorial reinforced that I will be able to make new bedding that will fit for baby number 2 (due in Feb)! Found you thru

  8. I'm so glad I found you, SITS sister :)
    I love this tutorial and thanks for posting. I'm going to have to try this!!
    Have a great week!

  9. So glad you posted this... I also bought that exact same basket, and now I can sew bedding for it that matches the bedding I made for the crib (I like bright colors, and found very little bedding that I liked to buy). Thanks so much!!

  10. Great timing thanks so much. I just purchased a basket and was thinking how am I going to get extra bedding, viola you post. Thanks so much.

  11. I just purchased the exact basket you photographed simply because it was relatively cheap and had a hood. I didn't care about what the bedding looked like as I planned on sewing my own but couldn't picture in my mind how to do it. Thank you soooooo much for your tutorial!

  12. YOU are my new hero and about to become my daughter's as well. She is expecting our first grandchild and has happily tasked me with re-doing the interior of a Moses Basket a sweet friend is going to pick up for us at a consignment shop. I LOVE to sew and am stunned that there are no longer ANY fabric stores in my town--none! I love your pattern for the lining and your directions. I can do this thing! The funniest thing of all is, Annie, my daughter is not finding out the sex of the baby and has given me permission to chose the colors and design. When I saw your adorable fabric, I just laughed aloud! She too, is a fan of Joann's Fabrics and is doing her own nursery...with owls!! Not your fabric, but certainly similar! Annie has her own blog and I will send her your link asap. thanks so very much for sharing your creativiy. love, one very happy grandmother to be

  13. I must thank you for posting this. I am 19 weeks pregnant with my third and my other just gave me my old basket and I really want to use it but had no clue how to make bumpers or anything. I am very excited now to find out the sex of our baby and get started on making his/her bedding :-)

  14. Thank you for the tutorial! I may use it. I love our moses basket. Do you know where I can find instructions for sewing my own mattress (oval pad) for it? Ours had been rained on so I threw it away.

  15. I featured this on my my blog!

  16. I got a free moses basket, all it had was the bottom mattress. After frantically looking for places to buy bedding I figured hey! lets get crafty. Your tutorial is amazing and I can't wait to try it out(hand sewn though). Thanks!!!

  17. Thanks so much for this post - I have just finished making this pattern for my own (previously bare) moses basket and I am really pleased the with results!
    thanks again

    1. I'm so glad this helped Megan - didn't see your comment until now (it was marked spam). I'd love to see a picture of it!

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