DIY Contoured Changing Pad Cover – A Tutorial

Hey guys! As you may know, I’m 9 months pregnant and still in design phase mode for our nursery. My husband and I bought a house and will be moving a few hours away from where we currently live in an apartment. Our place now has no room for a nursery, but that’s ok since we are planning on having baby sleep in a bassinet attached to our bed for the first few months anyway. So, I’m still dreaming up the perfect nursery for when we move.

At our baby shower, we received a nice changing pad – the kind that is contoured and made to fit on top of a changing table. I didn’t register for a cover at the time since I had no idea what colors or designs would work with our future nursery. Plus, I enjoy making things, and sewing for baby was a must. I decided to start with a basic project – making a cover for the changing pad.

Supplies needed:

  1. Changing pad
  2. Measuring tape
  3. Paper to make a pattern piece on
  4. Marker
  5. Fabric sheers (or bonus if you have a rotary cutter, straight edge, and cutting mat)
  6. Fabric – (1 yard – but this depends on your changing pad size) I used Modern Jersey from Spoonflower in one of my original designs, which you can find here:
  7. Sewing machine with needle for knit fabrics
  8. Thread
  9. Pins
  10. Elastic – I used 1/2 inch braided elastic, but any kind would work

First, measure your changing pad length and width. Length is the longest part, just along the top (since we will be adding contoured side pieces) and width is from one sides bottom edge, all along the middle to the other side’s bottom edge.

For the length, add seam allowances on both sides. I added 1/2 inch seam allowances – mine was 31 inches + 1 inch = 32 inches. For width, add 3 inches on each side for the cover to fit around the pad. Mine measured 26 inches + 6 inches = 32 inches.  This final measurement (32 in. x 32 in.) will be what you need to cut out.

I didn’t make a pattern piece on paper for this large square because it was so big and a simple shape that isn’t hard to cut out.

Next, I held the changing pad on its side and traced out the curvy edge exactly onto paper. To this, I added 1/2 seam allowances on the top and sides and 3 inches to the bottom. Then, I cut out the pattern piece to make it easy to trace onto the fabric. You will need to cut 2 of these from your fabric.

If you have directional fabric like me, make sure to turn the pattern piece the opposite way when cutting out the second piece.

Now it’s time to sew. Set your machine up with a needle made for knit fabrics and choose a stitch that will stretch when you pull on it. I used #3.

Start by lining up your pieces, good sides together. (You could pin this part, but I like to avoid pinning when I can.)

Below are a few diagrams of the whole process that hopefully help make it more clear. Keep reading below diagrams for instructions, but refer back to them as you go.


Start at the corner and sew until you get 1/2 inch before the curve starts.

Stop you needle here, but keep it down in the fabric. Lift the foot and turn the top piece of fabric to keep the edge lined up with the bottom piece.

Here is mid-turn.

And then lower the foot and keep sewing. Once you get to the other curve, do the same thing.

Your two pieces should now look like this. Repeat for the other side.

Now, lay your sewn pieces on top of your pad. They should fit the top well and hang down on the bottom.

Flip the pad over and start at one corner. Grab the fabric and pull it up. Place a pin right where the pad ends. Then, fold the corner over itself and pin again.

Here is what your corner will look line. The pins are where a seam will be. Pin all your corners, carefully remove the cover from the pad, and sew each corner from pin to pin at 45 degrees. I flipped one corner at a time, right sides of fabric together, and repinned before sewing. I just realized I could have put the cover onto the pad with the good side of the fabric down instead of up, which would have made this part so much faster.

After sewing each corner, cut off the excess, leaving about 1/2 inch of fabric. Since this is knit fabric, it will not fray, so you don’t have to finish it.

Here are all 4 corners sewn and trimmed.

The last part is to put elastic around the bottom edge. You could do this a number of ways, but I decided to put it around the entire bottom, like a fitted sheet. I used elastic that I had already, but feel free to use a different kind if you already have some, too.

To sew the elastic, I used a zigzag stitch and made it as wide as I could.

I started on one of the long sides of the cover. Place the good side of the fabric to the sewing table, the elastic as far in as it’s wide – about 1/2 in, and fold over the excess to conceal the elastic.

As you stitch, stretch the elastic slightly for the sides and stretch it as much as you can for the corners.

Once you get back to where you started, you are done!

Here is my finished cover from the bottom.

And here it is from the top!

I ended up making a second cover, too.

And matching pillowcases for the nursery! (I used the same fabric design in Minky for these.)


I can’t wait to see these changing covers on the changing pad on our actual changing table, which is at our new house. The setup we have now is temporary. If you missed it, I already re-finished our hand-me-down changing table and wrote all about it in a previous post. Really, I just can’t wait to have an actual nursery and space just for baby.

Let me know if you have any questions about this tutorial. I’d love to see the covers you make!

7 Replies to “DIY Contoured Changing Pad Cover – A Tutorial”

  1. Kelly, I’m wondering if you can help me. Ive cut my pieces and starting sewing but got off track. When you show where to put the first end piece on the main piece good sides together, it looks like you are working with a large rectangular piece but mine is square 32 x 32 in. can you help me know where to sew on the end pieces. Also, on your diagram can you show where you stitch and where you leave it open when sewing on the end pieces? Thank you!!

    1. Hi Rachael,

      Thank you so much for asking! I have now added some new and better diagrams. You were right, my piece was also a square, so I shouldn’t have made the diagram a rectangle. I hope these new diagrams explain everything. Let me know if you have any more questions!

      1. You are awesome for responding! I still am having a hard time understanding how you got from diagram 1 to diagram 2 since you starting with the straight edges lined up and then in diagram 2 the curves are all the sudden on the outside of the cloth?

        1. Of course! You are basically lining up one of the straight large square pieces edges with the side piece starting with one of the short sides, moving along and following the curve of the curvy side and then finishing up with the other short side. It works best to put the large square on the bottom and the curvy piece on top to follow the lines better, as pictured. Just keep turning, lining up, and sewing the top piece with the bottom piece until you get to the long, flat side of the curvy piece. It’s confusing because the pieces will not lay flat once you start turning the top piece to line up, but this is because you are sewing a 3-D cover. If you still find this confusing, let me know and we will figure out a better way to communicate, maybe a video? Thanks!

  2. All cut out and ready to go but I am confused about the placements in diagrams 1 and 2. I’ve read above and can’t determine if you have the main fabric folded or not. Hoping you respond soon. thank you!

    1. Susan,

      Thank you for asking. I apologize they aren’t the best to-scale drawings, so I’ll try my best to explain. Diagram 1 is showing the large square of fabric laying flat (not folded, completely flat) with the right side facing up. You then lay one of the side pieces, with the wrong side up, on top of the large square. (Right sides together.) Place the side piece directly on top of one of the large square’s corners, matching both straight sides of each piece. Start sewing in that corner, go the length of the side piece’s short side until you get about a 1/2 inch away from the end of the side piece, you will not reach the end of the large square yet – you’ll now need to leave the needle down, pick the foot up, and twist the side piece laying on top so it continues to line up with the large square piece below. It will no longer lay flat because you are now sewing it 3D, which is what Diagram 2 is trying to depict. I did this process very slowly, picking up the foot every couple inches while leaving the needle down and twisting the top fabric to keep everything lined up. Keep this up until you reach the corner of the large square piece. When you finish, the small side piece will all be sewn up around every side but it’s largest straight one. Please let me know if you have any other questions! I hope this helps.


      1. Thank you so much, Kelly. That definitely cleared up my questions. I especially your getting back to me so fast! Okay, so now I see this is a “piece of cake”, ha! I’ll be on the look out for more of your creativity! Thank you, again. — Sue

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