Friday, February 21, 2014

How to recover a tired pack and play

We bought a pack and play when I was carrying our second child. That was 7 years ago. Where or where did the time go?

Since that time, it has housed 5 children through early days of sleeping in our room and many months of play time. It has been well loved to say the least.

Before my 5 year old was born, I took off the original fabric used in the bottom, and replaced it with some thin fleece. I did this because our fabric had been damaged (though I don’t recall how). It was down and dirty job, done very quickly without much preparation or thought as we simply needed it to be functional again.

Now, it’s 5 years and 3 kids later, and the thing needs some love. Bad. The twins use it daily, though hopefully that will change once we move to a one story house, and they can spend more time free ranging all over the house without worries of stair climbing.

I’d been considering doing this for a while, but never had the nerve. What if I messed it up? Then we’d be down a place for the twins to play safely, and with a new baby coming to boot.

BUT, I also had this adorable Raggedy Ann flat sheet that came from my Grandmother’s house, and it was doing nothing. Sitting in a closet, not being loved. It was from  my childhood, and I treasured it, but I couldn’t bear  to do anything with it either. What if it got damaged?

So one night, I decided enough was enough, I was going to man up and do what needed to be done.
The way the pack and play bottom was constructed was pretty smart. When folded up, the bottom actually wraps around the pack and play and keeps it sturdy while you zip it up into the carrying bag. This means that there are 4 slats inside, allowing it to wrap around the folded item. When unfolded, you simply unroll the mat, and place it in the bottom. Smart. It also meant, that I needed my measurements to be exact, or risk it not fitting anymore. Scary.

So I measured and measured and measured again. Then I sketched. And plotted.

Then I cut. The first part was pretty easy, a big rectangle. Actually, 2 big rectangles. Sewed up on three sides with a hole at one end to insert the slats. I put the slats in, careful not to overlap, and realized I had a bit of room on each end, so I top stitched about an in in, creating a “Stopper” line for the slats. Then I folded in the end, and hemmed it down. I wanted to leave the end open, so I could remove the slats and wash when the fabric got dirty. We know it’s going to happen, it’s a matter of when and with what. Such is the nature of raising children am I right?

So I opted for snaps. Velcro could work, but with kids eating in there and stuff, I imagined it filling up with crumbs and other various grossness. No thanks.

I have snap pliers and plastic snaps, though metal would work as well. I added 6 (or was it 8?) snaps to the hemmed open edge, and snapped it up. Then I placed it back into the pack and play, tucked any extra fabric under the bottom piece and admired my work. Not too shabby, and it looks so cute.

Now the pack and play is revived and getting love, and so is my old Raggedy Ann sheet. So fun!

Now to figure out a way to recover the rails….stay tuned,  I have a few ideas kicking around in there

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