Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Nursery DIY - How to Re-purpose Crib Bumpers

I originally wrote this post for the blog Mommys Craft Obsession. You can check it out (along with my extremely awesome bio) by clicking here.

When I was pregnant with my son, I decided to decorate the nursery in a jungle theme. We chose to wait until L was born to find out his sex, so I wanted the nursery to be gender neutral (although it ended up looking more boy-ish then gender neutral, which worked out well in the end.) I found a cute bedding set that I liked and used the blanket as a decorative wall hanging. 

After I made up the crib with the sheet and bed skirt, I was left with adorable crib bumpers that I had no use for. We had decided not to put them in L's crib (since the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents don't use them,) but it seemed like a waste to just throw the bumpers in a closet (or even worse, in the garbage.)

I Googled a hundred variations of "how to reuse crib bumpers," but all of the ideas required both a sewing machine (which I don't have) and some sewing and design knowledge (which I definitely don't have.) Finally I found a post on an online forum that suggested using the crib bumpers as window valances, but there were no instructions or accompanying pictures. So I decided to wing it.

Since I don't have a sewing machine, it had to be a no-sew project. But since crib bumpers are already the right height and shape, they can easily be repurposed as valances even by those of us who can't sew. 

First, I took the two longest pieces of the crib bumper and cut off the ties on the bottom (as close to the seam as possible). Then I pinned them to the back of the top of the bumper in between the other ties with safety pins (very high-tech.) I measured the window and then folded over the edges of the bumpers so that they would be the right length for the window and then pinned them so they'd stay the right length. I didn't cut the bumpers because I knew we were planning to move within the next year, and I wanted to be able to use them again on windows of a different size. (The window in our old house was long, so I used two bumpers side-by-side to cover the top of the window.) Then I just looped the ties over a curtain rod and tied them in bows to hang them.

My grandmother made the green curtains for my mom when she was pregnant with my older sister. They were a little too short, but I loved the idea of having something made by my grandmother in the nursery, since she passed away when I was 15.

The finished nursery. I used the extra ties I had cut off of the bumpers to tie back the curtains.
If you can sew, you can make the backs of the valances look more "polished" than mine do, but since no one sees the back anyway, it will still look nice if you can't sew (like me.) Now I have valances that match the bedding, and I didn't have to spend a lot to get them.

Do you have any other ideas for repurposing crib bumpers? If so, please share them in the comments!


  1. Ok, so I am totally excited because i pinned this on pinterest and one of my friends who doesn't even live it Toledo repinned it!! How cool is that?!! You are going to be famous!!;)

  2. Sarah - Sweet!! :)

    Renae - Thank you!!