DIY Changing Pad Cover

As my less-than-clever title suggests, this is a story about a changing pad and it’s desire…umm, my desire…for it to be covered.changingpadcover 021crop   The existing plastic doesn’t scream warm and cozy to me and the thought of four little warm buns repeatedly being shocked by it’s chill at every diaper change is haunting and insensitive so I set out to change that.  When searching the web for a good tutorial on how to make my own cover, I came across this one at Prudent Baby.  It seemed like the one with the greatest detail for someone like me who’s a little freakish at the thought of sewing from scratch.  It was also the simplest I could find.  I followed the tutorial word-for-word for the most part (opting to not use two different fabrics), but made a few adjustments and added an extra couple of steps at the end to get the custom changing pad cover of my day dreams.  I’ll lay it all out for ya in case you’re in the market to give some baby buns a warm landing spot as well.  Oh, I forgot to mention the best part of this whole undertaking - you’re making a changing pad cover out of ONE piece of fabric!  No sewing lots of different pieces and sections together which can get overwhelming and way too involved, especially since if you’re making this, chances are you’ve got a babe or two (or three, four, five…) of your own that’s vying for attention too.

So, first things first – fabric.  You’ll need a little under a yard of 54” wide fabric, a 48 x 32 inch piece to be exact.  I used an 84” long, Target curtain panel I found at Dirt Cheap for $3.  I only used half so the plan is to make a spare cover with the other half lest one get stained with excrement…which we all know never happens…  Also, make sure you wash your fabric beforehand…unwashed might mean shrinkage later along with a few choice words.  Second, this tutorial is for a standard, contoured changing pad measuring 34” x 16”.  We own this one.  Third, this is what you’ll need:changingpadcover 001

To start, cut a 48” x 32” piece of fabric.  I used a plastic quilting square I picked up at JoAnn’s to get straight edges and perfect corners.

Once you have your 48” x 32” piece, fold it in half length-wise with the right sides facing each other and then in half width-wise.  Draw an 7.5” x 7.5” square on the corner where there are no folds.  (I followed Prudent Baby’s instructions and drew an 8” x 8” square however, now that the cover is finished, I’ve realized I could use an extra half inch at each corner, so next time I’m going with a 7.5 inch square.) 
Untitled2 Again, my quilting square comes in handy.

Next, cut out the square making sure you cut through all four layers of fabric.
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When you unfold your fabric, it should now look like this:
changingpadcover 008

Now, sew the two sides of each square cut-out together, making sure the right sides are facing each other.

After you’ve sewn your square sides together, you’re former piece o’ fabric will look like this:changingpadcover 011
Got it so far?  Good!  Let’s move on!

Next up, fold over the bottom, raw edge of your future cover one inch and iron it down.changingpadcover 012 

And then fold it over one inch again, ironing and pinning in place this time.
changingpadcover 013 
  The elastic will run through this seam. 

Once you’re done ironing and pinning, sew your hem, keeping as close to the folded side as you can and making sure to leave a couple of inches unhemmed where you’ll insert the elastic.  Also, make sure you backstitch at each end of your hem to make sure it doesn’t come undone!

Now, grab your elastic and cut a 52 inch piece.  (Prudent Baby instructs to cut a 36 inch piece, but I found that my cover was way too tight, pressing and pulling on the corners of my changing pad.  So, after a few indignant huffs and puffs, I pulled out my seam ripper and veered from her path.)   Thread it through your new hem by pinning one end to your cover and sticking a safety pin through the other end. 
changingpadcover 017

Simply guide the safety pin end through your seam, sew the two elastic ends together, and stitch up the hole you left for the elastic.  (Never mind that mine is as crooked as Pisa’s tower.  It does the job.)  Untitled5

(At this point, I thought I was done.  But after putting the cover over the pad, it was a little too loose and a lot too frumpy in some areas than I liked.  So, I customized it.)

Next, put your newly sewn cover over your pad inside-out and gather the loose fabric near the ends, pinning it in place right over the contoured edges like so:
Make sure you do this to both ends.

To make my life easier, I drew a line across my pins along which to sew. 
changingpadcover 025

Take your cover back off and, while it’s still inside out, sew a straight stitch along the pin line, making sure to backstitch at each end.
changingpadcover 028 (You can cut the excess fabric off with a pinking shears, but I found that it’s not at all noticeable after you put your cover on.)

After all is said and done, your cover should now look like this:
changingpadcover 029

Now go ahead and change some diapers in style!
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 changingpadcover 034

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Whew!  Talk about a lot of pictures!  All in all, this project took me about an hour and a half to complete and that’s with correcting the inadequacies mentioned above.  I promise you it’s easier than it looks and much more budget-friendly (and way more chic) than buying a cover!  This cover cost me $5 to make - $2 for elastic and $3 for the curtain panel I used half of.  The twins’ bums will never again be subjected to a cold mat while I clean up their acts and I will be forever smug in the fact that I won’t have an ugly plastic pad ruining my decor vibe.

.           .           .

If you take on a changing pad of your own using this tutorial, let me know how it turns out!  I’d love to see your “buttiful” creations!  Ha!  Butt seriously, post pictures on Bean In Love’s facebook page or leave a link in the comments section below! 

Have a great weekend everyone!


  1. Where do you find time to do all of this amazingly adorable stuff???? :-P

    1. :) I get asked that a lot! I know it seems like I should have zero time but the girls take naps together everyday (2-3 naps per day), so while they sleep, I make stuff. Bedtime is also key too! It's therapeutical!!

  2. HI,

    any tips for knowing the size of your fabric according to specific size of change pad?


    1. Hmmm...good question. I guess I'd just say you'd have to measure the length and width of the top and then the depth at the deepest part (the corners probably), add the length + depth with the width + depth and then add three or four more inches to that to allow the fabric to gather with elastic underneath. Make sense?

  3. I did this tonight and it was a quick 30 minutes to a perfect finished product. THANKS!!

    1. Awesome!!! You're the first person to tell me you've done it too and it works/my tutorial makes sense!! Thank YOU!!

  4. Made this tonight and it was perfect! Thanks for easy to follow instructions and pictures. My husband was even impressed. :)

    1. You are so welcome! So happy you made it! I love that it's easy and earns the impressive stamp!

  5. I am a 1st time grandma and am making this wonderful cover for my new grandson thanks to your tutorial! I'd like to add a professional tip to those who happen to own a serger. After sewing the corners inside out, I went back over the edges with the server to prevent any raveling or fraying when washed. I also did a shortcut on the elastic casing by eliminating the 1st 1inch fold and simply serged 1inch in then folded the 1 inch hem and sewed that closed leaving an opening for elastic. You can also use the server for the c shaped fitting at the end of project. I am using a fabric of cuddle soft from Joanna fab and its kind of stretchy so this makes everything easier.

    1. Awesome! Thank you so much for the tips! I actually own a serger but it's been sitting a closet for over a year because I haven't had enough free time to learn how to use it...they're so intimidating! You make it sound so easy though so thank you! I might have to pull that thing out soon!

  6. You can probably find a tutorial on U tube or any family owned sewing machine store. I did. Once you learn, you'll have so many shortcuts and never have a fraying problem again. Solo much fun!

    1. Yes! I watched lots of YouTube videos to learn how to sew so I'll probably try that avenue again when I have time to pull out the serger!