Crafting While Katy Sleeps: The Bumper Snake

About a month ago I saw a cute and clever crib bumper on Pinterest.

So cute. So serpentine. So EXPENSIVE.

So cute. So serpentine.
So EXPENSIVE.

If this were in a Splurge vs. Save magazine column, it would be on the Splurge side, and Ikea’s plush snake would be on the Save side.
I decided that I’d go for the 3rd option: Sew!

Before I could begin, I hit up Fabric.com for a ridiculous assortment of printed flannel. It’s a good thing that they sell fabric by the half yard. Spotlight doesn’t have nearly as many nice options.

When it all arrived, I procrastinated for about a week before I knuckled down to business. First, I cut up flannel strips of varying lengths and 29 cm wide. This was a nice project for using my rotary cutter and mat; they weren’t absolutely essential but they made the measuring and cutting go a lot faster.

Foreground: flannel strips. Background: all that leftover flannel that I need to find new projects for.

Foreground: flannel strips.
Background: all that extra flannel that I now need to find new projects for.

I sewed the strips together and then joined them up lengthwise, so I had a long skinny flannel tube.

Like so.

Like so. Not pictured: I added ties to each end of the snake, and one more in the middle.

We had some surplus brand-new pillows in storage that we got for free with our new mattresses, so instead of buying a bag of polyfill, I opened up a pillow and used that as stuffing instead. This was the easiest part of the entire project: I finished stuffing it while watching an episode of The Good Wife.

It should go without saying that the long skinny flannel tube needs a gap through which the stuffing gets stuffed.

It should go without saying that the long skinny flannel tube needs a gap through which the stuffing gets stuffed.

Closing up the gap with a basic blanket stitch was also easy. Then came the really fun part – setting it up in Katy’s crib.

Before: the mesh bumper we've used since Katy was a newborn.

Before: the mesh bumper we’ve used since Katy was a newborn.

After: our fantastically colourful interpretation of the snake crib bumper!

After: our fantastically colourful interpretation of the snake crib bumper!

I’ve read extensively about crib bumpers and their correlation to SIDS, but frankly, I’m no longer as worried as I used to be now that Katy’s constantly changing her sleeping position by flipping back and forth. Ever since she started doing her mid-sleep gymnastics routine, we’d been using a variety of little pillows and bolsters to keep her from banging her head against the crib bars and waking herself up crying. I didn’t feel entirely comfortable using those loose items – they seem even more risky as suffocation hazards than a bumper that’s tied in place – so this was a solution that made sense to me.

Katy seems pretty cool with it too.

Katy seems pretty cool with it, too.

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3 Comments

  1. Norma - September 30, 2015

    Love this! Exactly what I’ve been looking for. I am going to attempt it soon. I will let you know how I get on. Thanks for the directions.

    • Germaine - September 30, 2015

      I’m glad this was useful for you :) It’s a fun and easy item to craft, and the cost of materials is very low if you have a spare pillow or cushion to up-cycle! (I could’ve bought fewer flannelette prints and spent even less, but I couldn’t help myself.)

  2. Norma - October 17, 2015

    I’ve finished mine. It won’t let me post a photo here, but I’d love to show you. Thanks again for the inspiring. X

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