Since we Gwyneth repainted my old doll cradle, her poor dollies have been sleeping without a mattress.
Well, we had to remedy that!
I designed this simple mattress with fun details – piping and fabric covered buttons!
So here’s how to make a cute doll mattress for ANY SIZE doll bed or cradle:
Start by measuring the length and width of your doll bed. (Mine was rather long and narrow, 18.5″ long by 6″ wide.) We’ll just call these measurements L and W. Determine how high you want your mattress to be. The cradle was rather deep so I chose to make the mattress 2″ high. We’ll call your height measurement H.
Keep in mind the final mattress keeps it’s shape well. You wouldn’t even need a doll bed if you didn’t have one! A mattress on the floor would be an excellent simple bed for a doll.
So now that you have your final desired hight (H), length (L) and width (W) of your doll mattress, we can figure out how big your fabric pieces should be. Using a 3/8″ seam allowance, we add 3/4″ to the height and length. So we need to cut two pieces that are L + 3/4″ by W + 3/4″. (For me that’s: 19.25″ x 6.75″.)
The final piece to cut gives the mattress it’s height. To determine the size of this piece, the length will be the same as the perimeter of your top piece plus 3/4″. The perimeter is determined by adding the length of all sides. P = L + L + W + W OR P = 2L + 2W. (For me that’s: P = 18.5 +18.5 + 6 + 6 = 49) Now add 3/4″ to that. This is the length of the side piece. The height will be whatever you want (I made it 2″ plus 3/4″.)
Now that we have our pieces, we can start sewing. . . . . Yay!
Add piping to both the top and bottom pieces on the right side of the fabric. To see instructions on how to add piping, go here.
Make sure you go all the way around, and finish it nicely.
Set those pieces aside and grab the side piece. Sew it into a loop (with a 3/8″ seam allowance.)
Pin the side to the top piece (right sides together) and sew around following the piping sewn line. For further explanation, see the piping tutorial.
Be careful at the corners so you don’t get any puckering.
Sew on the other side of the mattress, making sure to leave a few inches for turning.
Turn right side out and stuff with fiberfill. To make a sturdy mattress, stuff rather well, our buttons will help shape it a bit later.
Hand sew the opening closed.
Next figure out how many buttons you want to add – mine looked good with eight 1/2″ buttons, but you can use however many you like. If you’re using fabric covered buttons, cover them with fabric. Since I used store-bought piping and wanted the buttons to match exactly, I purchased quilting binding in the same color and just used a bit to cover the buttons.
Grab some thread and a very long needle. I used a doll needle, but any long thin needle will work.
Determine where you want your buttons and mark those spots with a pen.
Sew on your buttons, sewing all the way through the mattress, pulling the mattress together a bit with the thread so that the buttons are a pulled a bit inward. This will help shape your mattress.
And your done!
When Gwyneth saw the final result she said “Ohhh, Big Baby has a mattress . . . but Mom, she needs a pillow too.” 😀
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