Do you remember a few months ago when I made the new bunk beds for our American Girl dolls? Well, our poor dolls have had nothing but a hard board to sleep on since then. I was just kind of dreading the doll bedding pattern. Not that is it hard stuff to sew, it is just that sometimes I put off pulling out the sewing machine and making things like this. I think I make it worse than it really is in my mind. Ever been there, done that?
Well, I finally got over my mental block and made new mattresses for the new beds. Yay!
If you have been a follower of my blog for a long time, you may remember when I made bedding a few years ago for our first set of doll beds. This time Fairfield offered to sponsor this post and sent me a couple of products with which to make the doll mattress.
I had originally been planning to make the doll mattress in the exact same way that I made it a few years ago. However, when Fairfield sent me their project foam (affiliate link) as one of the possible items to use to make the mattress, I realized the 1″ thick foam would be perfect for the doll mattress. I also realized it would make the mattresses even easier to make. I always love when I can make a project more simple!
Now I realize that this isn't directly a fun activity with the kids and myself, but I also know that when I make something like this for my girls they have a great time playing. To me, that helps make for a Real Summer of Fun. That is why I'm including this in my list of ideas for making this a summer of real fun. You can check out all the other Real Summer of Fun ideas in that post.
So let me show you how I made this doll mattress.
- Doll bed(affiliate link)
- 1″ Foamology Project Foam (affiliate link)
- Sewing machine
- Fabric marker
- Measuring tape
Start by measuring your bed. This pattern can be adapted for any size doll bed.
Our doll beds happen to be the beds from IKEA that I painted and customized. The portion for the mattress measures 12″ x 19″.
You will want to add 1.5″ to your measurements. Cut your fabric at that measurement. My fabric cuts were 13.5 x 20.5″.
Cut two pieces of fabric at this size.
I tried making the mattress casing the same size as the original mattress that I made a few years ago, but because this foam is thicker than the batting that I used last time, I needed to increase the cut fabric size.
Mark off your Foamology 1″ Project Foam with the dimensions of your bed.
Mine was 12″ x 19″. I was making 2 mattresses. One for each of my daughter's beds. I marked off two mattresses.
Cut your foam to size following the lines you marked.
Now you need to sew your mattress casing. Place the two right sides (or patterned sides) of your fabric together and pin. Sew with a 1/2″ seam leaving an opening at the top or bottom of the mattress.
Before you turn the mattress casing right side out, pull each corner to a point and pin. This will give you your box corners for the thickness of the mattress.
Since I was using 1″ foam, I marked a line across the pointed end at the point where it was 1″ across. Use a fabric marker for this.
Sew on that line making sure to backstitch both at the beginning and end. Clip the excess fabric.
Now here is where I made this a super simple project. Turn your fabric right side out and place the foam mattress inside. You will need to wiggle and work the foam into the corners.
Last time I made these mattresses, my mom was in town. She doesn't mind doing the hand sewing. She wasn't in town this time. I really dislike hand sewing. I decided that the mattresses were going to be closed on the machine. In order to do it that way, you will need to pin the opening closed. Then add a second row of pins that will allow room for the presser foot, kind of like when I turned the one IKEA pillow into two.
To get a really narrow seam, if your machine has the ability to move the needle position, move the needle position to the right. Sew the opening closed remembering to backstitch both at the beginning and end.
Easy peasy! It may not look as perfect as the hand sewn closure, but it entailed no swear words and a happier mom, so it worked fantastically for me!
The dolls love their mattresses as well. They don't mind that I went for the easy closure. I also didn't add any buttons to the mattress this time. You could add a few buttons to help hold the mattress in place. I dislike sewing buttons as well and the foam is in the casing nice and snug, so I think it will have a hard time sliding around (which would be the point of the buttons).
These doll bed mattresses are just adorable. Both of my girls really thought about the paint for the bed as well as matching the bedding to the paint. So far they look great! Next week, I should be able to show you the reversible sheets we are going to add to the doll bedding.
In the meantime, you can whip up a doll bed mattress easy peasy. You can sew with your kids or you can sew it for them. Either way, it gives something fun for your Real Summer of Fun.
For more American Girl Doll ideas, follow my AG Pinterest Board. Tons of great ideas!