Double Whammy: First Sewing and Baby Project!

A bassinet mattress cover

I might’ve mentioned last week that we were heading out of town last weekend to help my mom with a garage sale at her house.  While we were there, some folks stopped by and helpfully commented that they’d just been to another garage sale where a nice looking bassinet was for sale.

There are a few things I really hope to find second-hand for our bun-in-the-oven, and although I wasn’t sure we needed/wanted a “bassinet”, I figured it could easily be a pack-n-play (which is a great secondhand contender in my mind) so we headed down the street to check it out. 

And before we get too far, let me just say that YES, I know buying a used pack-n-play isn’t recommended due to recalls etc.  But something told me (our bank account, perhaps?) it was still worth checking out.

The “bassinet” actually did turn out to be a Graco pack-n-play with a bassinet insert.  It was in really good shape, in proper working order, a neutral color, the nice smaller size of pack-n-play (see! I’ve done a little homework), and it had a pretty fantastic $20 price tag.  We didn’t pay that…but I’ll get to that in a minute.

Knowing Graco was the top recommended brand of pack-n-plays in the proverbial “Baby Bargains” book, we decided it was worth it to buy it and do more research once we got it home.  Plus, it’s black and white (the colors of the future baby room – though granted, that doesn’t matter much for a pack-n-play).

Graco Bassinet

Long story short, it was a total score.  I found the exact model online (retailing for $90 and with fantastic user reviews), was able to verify it hadn’t had any recalls, and after a thorough washing of all the parts in a couple bathtubs full of soapy water, it looks beautiful and ready for a baby!  (uh, “our” baby….whoa……)

But wait… this isn’t a perfect happy ending (yet).  There was one minor problem.  One of the 4 narrow support boards in the “mattress” was broken in two and would fall down inside the mattress while transporting the pack–n-play in its bag.  Then, we’d have to be shake it back to the proper end when we set the thing up again.  Annoying, yes.  Totally fixable……yes!

Enter me, armed with a seam ripper and my brand-spanking new sewing machine!  To save the day, of course.  Or just make things nice and smooth and as functional as they’re supposed to be…

Removing trim

I carefully cut the trim away from one end and slid the board out.  Initially, I thought I’d use duct tape and some paint stir sticks to reinforce it to being one long piece again…..but a piece of junk posed a better solution.

Broken support board

While rummaging in the basement for paint stirrers, I noticed an old framed poster I’ve been using to spray paint on.  And lucky me….the frame backboard was the same material as the broken board!

Junk can be handy sometimes...

I traced out the proper size and cut it out with the miter box saw and then roughly rounded off the corners with the coping saw, since the original (broken) board had rounded corners and I figured they might be rounded for a reason.

Replacement support board

I didn’t even bother sanding the edges (gasp!).

I slid the new board back into the “mattress” (this thing is like….1 inch thick, so “mattress” is a stretch) and christened the sewing machine by sewing the trim back on.

Fixing 'er upMad sewing skills!

While I was doing this, I’d been thinking about the mechanics of this mattress thing and how the cover really should be able to come off and be washed.  Babies get poop on stuff, right?  Like, all the time?

Call me poop averse, but I decided the mattress needed a vinyl cover on it to prevent messes from soaking in.

So…I ran to the fabric store to find some picnic-table-tablecloth fabric – you know, the kind that’s vinyl on one side and fuzzy on the other. 

In the second easiest “sewing” project ever, I cut it to size and sewed an elastic loop onto each corner to keep it on the mattress.  I think a sheet then goes on top and will cover the vinyl.

Bassinet mattress cover strapsBassinet mattress cover

BOOYAH.  A perfectly functional, poop-proof bassinet mattress for our little bundle!


Bassinet before


Bassinet after - with mattress coverBassinet vinyl mattress cover

Oh yeah, and we didn’t pay $20 for it…..because there was booster seat also at that garage sale that got thrown in.  We paid $20 for both, and the booster turned out to be the top rated “Baby Bargains” booster, too.  Clearly, Garage Sale Lady had bought all the “right” gear!

I put the removable parts in the dishwasher, scrubbed the rest of it down in the sink, and it’s looking brand new and ready to be splattered afresh with our kid’s messes.

Booster seat - made my day!

Moral of the story:  there’s good stuff at garage sales!!!  (Even if it needs a little cleaning/fixing up)

Thanks for stopping by!!


I’m linked to:

The Thrifty Home’s Penny Pinching Party

House of Hepworths

The Shabby Chic Cottage

Fireflies & Jellybeans


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