DIY Mattress Protector for Leaky Toddlers

mattress protector

Recently, I did a guest post over at Saved By Love Creations for a quick and inexpensive project.  Now I’m going to share it with all of you, just in case you missed it!

Often, we create out of necessity.  Having children usually kicks that into overdrive, especially babies and toddlers.  I know all of you mothers are nodding your heads in agreement.

We very recently transitioned our 20 month old son to his big boy bed.  Foster is very tall (like his Mom & Dad) and could escape his crib.  Needless to say, it was time to switch!

We put his bed together, popped in the new mattress and made up the bed for the night.  It was then that I realized I didn’t have a protector for the mattress.  I thought… “he should be fine for one night… he probably wont leak his diaper”…. wrong!  First night and the mattress was christened.  Gah… I should have known better.

The next day, I made a trip to my local dollar store to get some supplies.  A 30×30 inch blanket from the baby section, and a flannel backed vinyl tablecloth from the kitchen aisle.  I couldn’t resist the cupcakes!  I was now armed with everything I needed to make my own, $2 mattress protector.  Yes!  $2!  And even better, this project took only 15-20 minutes to complete.  A do-able nap time project indeed.  Here’s how!

Spread out the table cloth and lay the blanket out over top of it.  Cut out the table cloth so it is an inch or so larger then the blanket, all the way around.  I had enough table cloth left over to make a second mattress protector.  It’s always good to have a back up when one is in the wash.

Pin the back side of the blanket and flannel side of the table cloth together, folding under the table cloth so it ends up with a finished looking edge.

Sew the… wait… take a few minutes to fix your broken sewing machine :(  Luckily, I was a repair technician in a past career!  Not of sewing machines mind you, but I figured it out!

Sew the fabric together all the way around.  I used blue thread so you could see what I was doing, but you may want your thread to blend in.  In the end, it’s going under the bedding, so nobody will really see it.

I added extra stitching in a grid pattern across the fabric so that it wouldn’t shift or bunch up while on the bed or in the wash.

Done!  A crinkle free, soft mattress protector for your toddlers bed.  The table cloth side will keep things dry, the blanket side will absorb any leaks, keep the pad from shifting under the bedding and make it softer to lay on.  (Use it blanket side up).

This would also be great to take on an overnight trip to slip under the bedding.  I’m sure your friends / relatives would appreciate it! 

For washing, I recommend cold wash, hang to dry.  Remember, sunshine is the best bleach.

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  1. Hopeful1 says

    This is genius! I have a leaky toddler and wow am I tired of washing entire sets of bedding. Seriously, LOVE LOVE LOVE this!
    – Hope :o)

  2. says

    This is awesome! I need to make one of the for our pack and play – it never fails, we put our ten month old in there and his diaper leaks!
    So happy I found this post!
    Thank you!!!
    Rhiannon at

  3. says

    This is an awesome idea. I’m not sure that tablecloths like that are available here. I’ll be popping into the £1 shop to look though. And pinning this so I remember how!

    Thank you!

  4. Tara @ Tales of a Trophy Wife says

    Great idea! As the mother of bed wetters, here’s another tip. My boys still occasionally (a few times a year) wet the bed until middle school. I had to use the plastic sheets on the mattress, but they were noisy and would make the boys all sweaty. I would put the plastic sheet, then a regular mattress cover, and then the regular sheet on top. They slept comfortably and it protected my mattress.

  5. Sparkle and Co says

    Great idea!!! My toddler is nappy (diaper) free for few months now. At night, he wears nappies but sometimes, he wet his bed… That what I need thanks! What did happen to your sewing machine?

    I’m now a new follower (GFC)

    • says

      Ahh… well, my sewing machine had a TON of thread tangled up inside of it on the shaft that controls the movement of the arm and needle. It wrapped around a shaft in there that the arm mounted on, and wouldn’t allow the needle to move up and down any longer because it was on a severe angle! I had to dismantle it a bit to get the jammed up thread out blah blah blah lol.

  6. says

    okay – this is GENIUS!!!!

    I hope you will consider hopping on over and uploading a photo of this into SewSet, a new on-line sewing directory. This way others will be able to find this amazing project in the tutorials, and link back to your incredible site!

    – Jess

  7. The Bean Sprout Notes says

    Another great idea! Does it tend to shift during the night? (I have a very squirmy sleeper)

  8. Cheerios and Lattes says

    What a great idea! I would love to invite you to share this on Saturday Show and Tell: ( I know that my readers would appreciate this and some of your other posts. Thanks and have a great weekend.

  9. Nancy says

    Such a great idea I have to be one of your followers! Can’t wait to see what you will come up with next. Consider checking out my simple ideas over at


  10. Marie Ellen Gaudet says

    Your photo’s and clear explanation are appreciated. I have 6 rescued dogs of all ages and a few have bladder/kidney issues. This practical and economical idea you have is a wonderful help to “us.” Thank you for taking the time to share and put this together. Very gratefully, Meg, Eastern Canada, Prince Edward Island.

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