The following is by contributor Amanda Morgan of Not Just Cute.
When my husband and I had our fourth baby boy this summer, we thought we wouldn’t need a single new thing. Other than diapers. And a minivan.
But the interesting thing is, ideas and tools are always evolving and improving, and I found there were a few things I wouldn’t mind adding to our supply. Fortunately for me, many of those things I could make myself.
I’m a fan of DIY, but I’m somewhat limited by my skills. I can sew. As long as it doesn’t require much more skill than it takes to sew a straight line. These great projects, however, are simple enough to meet that standard.
1. Gauze Blankets
Gauze blankets are quite popular right now. And rather expensive. I made gauze blankets with a tutorial from Dana at MADE (including the ones pictured at the top of this post) for about half the cost of those in the store.
They’re light, which is particularly great in the heat of summer, but their stretch makes them wonderful for swaddling, which is great any time of year. I simply went around the edges using a rolled hem on my serger rather than actually taking the time to hem them. Easy-peasy!
2. Baby Sling
Baby carriers are nice for any parent to have. Baby carriers for parents with multiple children are an absolute necessity! I used a Bjorn with my older children, and will likely still use it in the future, but I have loved this pocket sling I made using a collection of tutorials. (I found tips from Delia Creates, Mama’s Milk, and Handmade Adelaide Baby useful as I made mine.)
It’s not only convenient, giving me both hands to work with, but it snuggles my little guy in so naturally and comfortably that I also use it to soothe him during his fussy times. As another advantage, this sling folds flat so I can easily pack it in my diaper bag, which is wonderful since I use it so often. It’s gotten me through many trips to the store, the playground, and even a three-day conference. My little man seems absolutely content through it all. (Be sure to become aware of all instructions and cautions associated with any baby carrier before using.)
3. Infant Seat Cover
With my older three boys, I would drape a blanket over their infant seat whenever I need to shield them from a breeze, bright lights, or curious fingers. Inevitably, I would end up dropping or dragging the blanket somewhere in the course of my travels. Nobody wants to pick up a dingy dragging blanket and put it back over a new baby.
Sometime in the three years that have passed since my next youngest was born, car seat covers have begun to pop up everywhere. I immediately recognized the simple genius! By adding fasteners at the top, the cover stays in place and is easily draped over the seat.
I made my car seat cover following a simple tutorial from Cluck Cluck Sew. A friend of mine gave me a great tip to make it even easier, sewing right sides out with double-fold bias tape to finish the edges. (As you’ll notice if you look closely, when I said I could sew a straight line, I actually meant I could sew a “mostly straight” line.)
4. Nursing Shawl
This nursing shawl (pictured above) may be my favorite discovery. And it was the easiest to make. With a cowl neck and a poncho-like design, it looks more like a piece of clothing than a giant bib. It’s modern and discrete. (I wish I had had it when my attempt at discrete public nursing was interrupted as a marching band suddenly appeared on the scene. I do not lie.)
The fact that it offers coverage in both the front and back makes me much more comfortable in the many scenarios where nursing has become necessary. It’s just a lot harder to sneak away from the fray when you have three other boys running around! I made a nursing shawl like the one I saw on The Coterie Blog in a matter or minutes, and I’m planning on making several more for baby gifts.
Do you have a favorite DIY baby project you’ve made or received for yourself or as a gift? Do you have your own tutorial to share? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!