I have always used a pack n play or playard with my little ones! They are really nice now… WAY fancier then anything my mom had. The only thing is the sheets to cover the mats are pricey, & if you use them often you really want at least one sheet! SOOO I have made a free tutorial/pattern for a standard size Graco Pack ‘N Play / Playard… this will fit most brands that you buy in the stores as they now use a pretty standard sizing. I know it will NOT work on square playpens, Travelite (mini playpen) or the outdoor ones that are unique shapes. Most standard playpens dimensions are approx. 30″ X 40″ give or take an inch or two.
If you know how to make crib sheets already this process is identical! If you don’t you can check out my full photo crib sheet tutorial click here.
PLAYARD SHEET TUTORIAL…
They are SUPER easy to make & a HUGE money saver, you can even make them out of old sheets from the thrift store! Some patterns call for a little less fabric, but I like this sizing because it fits over the mattress VERY well with the extra on the back, & I have never had any of them come off my sons bed. You do want these to be snug fitting!
You need 1 yard of fabric (I LOVE JoAnn’s Suggle Flannel for this!) PRE-WASHED. Knits stretch all over, but not in the seams so they require different measurements (cut them 1″ smaller in each direction, but use the same cut out for the corners)
4 9″ peices of 1/4″ or 3/8″ elastic
Scissors or Rotary cutter
First you want to cut your fabric to be 42″ X 34″ (43″ X 35″ if you want to hem the ends) piece of Fabric. This MUST be pre-washed, otherwise the first time it is washed it very well may never fit the mattress as well again!
Next if you want to just serge or zig zag the raw edges then you just do that. If you want to hem the raw edges then cut it 35″ instead & on each end fold it under 1/4″ & then again another 1/4″ to hide the raw edge & sew it down!
Then you take your big rectangle that you now have & you cut 4″x4″ squares out of each of the 4 corners. I have found the easiest way to do this is to fold the fabric in half so your newly finished edges meet. Then take the edge that we haven’t done anything to & fold it over to the matching edge… this quarters it & puts all 4 corners in the same place.
Lay your 4″ by 4″ template down (or mark with ruler) & cut it out of all 4 layers. You can also do it one corner at a time.
Then with the WRONG side of your fabric facing up you want to match to two side that are now left from where you cut the square out together (right side facing right side with wrong side out) & sew (I use 3/8″ seams, its up to you!) Do this to all 4 corners.
Next is the elastic! Fold the elastic in half & mark the center… now line this up with the edge of the seam you just made (again on the out side of the fabric) & pin in place. Then you want to mark out 9″ from both sides of that point & pin the lose ends of the elastic to the sheet.
Now with your machine set to zigzag… I found the width 5-7 works best depending on the with of your elastic. I also set my stitch length to 4, or the longest or ‘basting’ stitch that your machine has. Now place your starting end under the needle & lower the pressure foot, you want to make a few stitches & back stitch or two to make sure it is secured & stop with the needle in the down position. Now you want to grab the next pin & stretch it so the fabric is tight… holding both the back & front of the fabric, pull it through as sew… once you needle gets to the next pin, grab the last pin & repeat, just make sure to back stitch it to secure the end. Again this is done to all 4 corners & then you are done!