How to shorten a crib skirt

Choosing a crib bed set was really fun for me when I was waiting for David’s arrival. We didn’t know if he was a boy or girl, but there were still plenty of options.

I used mostly navy blue in David’s nursery because 1) I was sure he was a boy 2) if I was wrong, I could add girly/pink/floral touches. I chose Pottery Barn’s Harper crib set (one of my most practical, frugal friends recommended PB’s crib sheets, and she was right. I’ve heard people complain about crib sheet issues, and ours have been great). The only problem with the adorable set is, the instant you lower the crib, your crib skirt drags the ground and looks horrible. So most people just take it off, right? Then you pack it away when your kid is only like six months old.

We use David’s crib for storage (our table leaf is under there), and since I loved my crib skirt and didn’t want to store it away, so I decided to shorten it — without sewing (which is easier and makes it re-usable).

I’ve heard friends lament saying goodbye to their crib skirt too soon, so I decided to do a tutorial. (By the way, this is what moms talk about…ad nauseam. We talk passionately about crib skirts and germs on the playground. Remember when you thought your mom was like the MOST BORING EVER? You were right.)

Before you jump to conclusions, this isn’t nesting either. I did this almost a year ago and am just now getting around to posting. (I checked the timestamp on the photos, I took the “before” photo June 1, 2012 and completed the project August 13.)


Here’s David’s crib with the crib lowered and the crib skirt dragging the ground. It looks so sloppy. This is back when David dragged himself around. A year later, he still has the same haircut.

After lowering the mattress, the first step is to measure how much of a drop you need for your crib skirt needs; from the floor to the top of the mattress platform. I actually had a better photo, but it didn’t include a chubby hand, so I chose this one.


Next, give your measuring tape to your baby and switch to a paper measuring tape that isn’t as appealing.

Take the crib skirt off the crib and lay it flat on the floor. Measure the skirt, from the bottom, and mark how long the skirt should be. My skirt needed a 10″ drop, but the drop was about 16 inches, so we had to get rid of 6 inches. I placed a pin 10″ from the bottom of the skirt (I used safety pins, which are much more cumbersome than straight pins, but important when curious little fingers are lurking).


Do the same thing all the way around, marking the desired length.

Now’s where things get real. Fold up the fabric, pinning it to the interior part of the skirt. Pin it to the part that will be covered by the mattress, then remove the pin you used as a marker.

Here’s a shot of it pinned:



So, I had 6″ to get rid of. I folded it about 3″ up (which doubled over, makes 6″). Are we following here? Am I over complicating this?


Then remove the pin you used as a marker:


Make sense? It’s really easy, and sometimes the easy things are the most complicated to explain. In a writing class I once had to write an essay about how to make a PB&J. We had to keep it to something like 20,000 words and with that limit, most of us only got as far as the part where you get out the bread.

Here’s a photo of the crib skirt shortened all the way around. It gets a little weird around the corners, but only because there are multiple layers of fabric to work with. The most important thing is just to make sure your folds are neat and flat.


And here’s the final product, back on the mattress platform. It looks so much more tailored and neat. And we don’t have to look for a new place to stash our table leaf. DSC_2576


I finished this the week of David’s first birthday party. I was a maniac that week, cleaning and preparing for guests, finally getting things done that needed to be done anyway. (The crib skirt is a great example. No one went into David’s room, but the party created a deadline for me for things I’d been meaning to do it for a while.)

We’re in a similar place this week in the Krieger home. Every day that passes is another day that I can get things accomplished before the baby arrives. I’ve finished Father’s Day shopping, knitting for the baby, and am eating my way through all of our junk food because obviously Tom isn’t going to do it, so someone has to.

Last night there was a huge pot in our sink and I asked Tom if he could wash it. He was exhausted and offered to do it in the morning. I told him he could do it in the morning, or when I wake him up in the middle of the night to tell him I was in labor; which ever came first.

He looked at me and told me he’d do it in the morning. And he was right.

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Click here for the ultimate guide to baby sleep safety and SIDS awareness


  1. Tiffany @No Ordinary Homestead October 8, 2012

    sounds yummy! I think they would be a great side dish or vegetarian main course. And super simple 🙂

  2. Jenny June 6, 2013

    Okay, this might not be nesting, but it IS crafting, which is nearly as bad. I need to get over there with an over stuffed pillow and a pint of ben and jerry’s STAT!

  3. Grammy June 6, 2013

    I’m surprised David Andrew hasn’t crawled under his bed and discovered your table leaf. Mary Virginia will handle that.

    • andrea mulla June 6, 2013

      I agree with Grammy! We kept Daniel’s “out of town pacNplay mattress” under his crib and it made appearances in the middle of his bedroom every few days for fun and adventures! maybe it’s covered well. and certainly it’s heavy…

      • amandakrieger June 6, 2013

        the leaves are really heavy — i can barely move them!
        they aren’t covered, though. we find toys under/in/around them all the time…so he’s definitely discovered them.

  4. Lynsie June 7, 2013

    I need to make mine longer. We bought a girl set when Peyt was born that was super duper cheap and the crib skirt is only long enough when it is at the bottom, so it looks silly when it is in the higher positions. Not as easy to fix without sewing and adding fabric to it, and for 6 months seems a little silly, so ours just looks bad for the first little bit. My frugality causes problems like this occasionally 😉

  5. Brittney June 13, 2013

    I love this idea! Great job!

  6. May June 13, 2013

    I have needed to do this to a full sized bedskirt forever and have just put off dragging it out and figuring out the right way. I will do so much better now that I have pictures!

  7. Della July 3, 2016

    Thank you so much for your post we have the crib skirt and we would have never figured this out without you! Ours looks great now!

  8. Berry February 4, 2020

    Sleep training made such a difference for me and my baby. I’ve read a lot on the internet, and a lot of people were saying good things about “How to teach a baby to fall asleep alone” by Susan Urban and her HWL method ( ). I was skeptic about any sleep training method but it’s a method without CIO, so I decided to give it a try. It was the best decision I could make. After only 3 days my LO beacame a sleep champion 🙂

    • Rosane February 10, 2020

      Berry, this guide is brilliant! I’m surprised that I haven’t heard of it before. I’m so grateful that I stopped by here for a moment to read this article and your comment. Thank you for sharing the link. I can easily say that my life as a mom has changed and I’m finally well-rested

    • Ginger February 18, 2020

      I know the Urban’s guide from a few years back, it is fantastic. I’m six months pregnant now and going to use it again for sure 🙂


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