She’s Crafty! DIY Crib Rail Guard Tutorial

Greetings! I posted this tutorial 2.5 years ago, and it’s still one of my most popular posts. If you’re visiting today, chances are you’re coming from Pinterest, so hi Pinners! You can find me on Pinterest here. If you make one of these and post a picture, please let me know so I can pin it or re-pin it. I’d love to see it. 

The pictures in the tutorial below are for the first crib rail guard I made for my son. I made another last year for my daughter, along with everything else I made for her nursery:

Now, onto the tutorial…

Not only do I make people, but I also make things that keep those people from turning their gorgeous convertible crib that I once envisioned gracing children’s rooms and guest rooms for decades to come (HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAAHA!!  My ignorance and naivety…oooh!  It’s so funny!) into chomped up little bits suitable for sturdy beaver dams.

After discovering several dozen notches scratched into the top of Kendall’s crib a while back, I began looking for things to not only prevent him from ingesting polyurethane and other lovely chemicals, but also to preserve what is left of the once beautiful crib.  I found the stick on plastic and rubber guards, but those, I felt, would make the crib look worse and leave behind a sticky residue.  Then I saw a few cloth teething guards listed on sites like Etsy.  I was contemplating shelling out the $30 for one of my own and realized that they looked incredibly easy to make.  After a lot of digging around on Google, I never really turned up a tutorial that showed me exactly what I wanted to make, so I winged it.  That says a lot considering I just got a sewing machine for Christmas and have only ever made a couple nursing covers, thanks to this blog.

So, without further rambling, I present to you my haphazard tutorial on how to whip up one of these puppies.  However, let me state for the record that I am no sewing expert!!  My stitches aren’t straight and I wasted a ton of fabric because I got the measurements wrong the first time around, but here’s the final product.


It’s actually three separate pieces, so I’m only going to spell out how to do one.  I’m sure you all can figure the rest out from there, based on your own crib measurements.

Materials: (this is enough to make all three pieces)
3 yards of fabric (I chose three contrasting fabrics)
1 yard of single face quilted fabric

1. Measure the length of the side of the crib you are making the cover for from inside corner to inside corner.  Add 2 inches to this measurement for your length.  I decided to make mine 9 inches wide, but I have a pretty fat crib rail.  If you’d like to customize your own width, just take your tape measure and wrap it around the crib rail until it tightly touches underneath, then add 2 inches to this measurement.  So, for example, I cut my fabric to 53″ x 11″ for the front guard.

Now, I did have to do some additional math since I decided to make that front guard out of three pieces of fabric instead of just one.  If you’d like to do something similar, just make sure that you account for the seams when you cut the fabric and add an extra half inch where each piece will meet.  ( I really hope all this is making sense.  Damn.   I knew I should have written this before the glass and a half of wine.)

2.  Cut your quilted fabric to the exact width you want your final measurement to be.  Since you only have a yard of this, you are going to have to sew together two pieces for the long guard.  Again, make sure  you account for seams when you cut the two pieces.  My final quilted piece ended up being exactly 51″ x 9″.

3. Lay your decorative fabric strip face down, fold up the sides half an inch and press with an iron, starting with the long sides first, followed by short sides.

4. Center the quilted fabric, right side up on top of the decorative fabric.  Then fold the decorative fabric half an inch over the quilted fabric, press and pin.


5. Make your ties.  For the long guard, I made bows that tied the guard together at 5 spots (either end around the corner posts and three down the middle).  Each bow needs two long strips of fabric, one on each side of the guard matched up.  I cut the corner ties (4) 3″ x 20″ and the middle ones (6) 3″ x 10″.  Then I folded each in half lengthwise, pressed them, stitched down the long side and one short side, and turned right side out. (This was, by far, the biggest PITA.  Grosgrain ribbon would probably work well and be easier, but it’s much more expensive than a yard of fabric.)

6. Place your ties for the bows.  Since all cribs are different, I’m not going to bother with telling you exactly where I placed my ties for the bows.  I just took the raw guard and placed it over the crib, then marked with some pins where I wanted each bow to tie so that it would be centered between the crib rails.

7. Lay your raw gaurd piece back face down and place each tie where you marked, making sure it’s up all the way underneath the edge of the folded seam over the quilted fabric.


8. Straight stitch around the entire guard at the edge of the folded seam closest to the exposed quited fabric.  Then fold the ties back and stitch again all the way around, this time closest to the outer edge.  I also reinforced each tie by back-stitching over each one.

9. Place over your crib rail, double knot it and tie it up.  Note- these ties are long, but I made them that way so that I could double knot them and, on the corners, double wrap them around the posts.  If the length makes you leery, you could certainly shorten them.

10. Repeat the same steps with adjusted measurements for the other two gaurds.  Here’s another look.


Hope that makes sense!  Again, I’m by no means saying this is the best way to do this, just what I figured out on my own.  If you are a sewing goddess, feel free to chime in with tweaks and tips!  I do think it turned out pretty cute.  Kendall likes to chew on it.

Kendall is 9 months and 1 week old