Four simple DIY baby projects

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 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!

[really_simple_share]
About Amanda

Amanda Morgan is a full time mom to three busy boys and a part-time trainer and consultant for a non-profit children's organization. She also writes at Not Just Cute, a blog full of ideas that are more than just cute, for preschoolers who are much more than cute too.

Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler's Guide to Unshakable Peace

Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing! I made my daughter a nursing cover using this tutorial:
    http://www.sew-much-ado.com/2009/02/description-stylish-and-practical.html
    She loves it because it’s hands free and cool. I made her another one this year for her second daughter. One of my favorite easy tutorials.
    Southern Gal´s latest post: Ava Pearl

  2. I was thinking that when we have a second kiddo I would want to get a sling. Maybe I can make one. I can sort of sew a straight line too…
    Steph´s latest post: Ministry, Google Documents and Random Sidebars

    • I absolutely love mine — and I really think my son does too! It’s often my first go-to when he hits a crying jag that can’t be soothed by the regular suspects (feeding, diaper, etc.). If you’re intimidated by the project, I’m sure there are artisans on Etsy that would sell them to you. Just be sure that if you buy one, it is made to your measurements so that it will fit correctly.
      Amanda Morgan´s latest post: Look Ma, I Can Sew! :: 4 Simple DIY Baby Projects

  3. Amanda, these are terrific! So simple, but so practical and useful. That nursing shawl might be my favorite also, it looks so stylish and chic. I’m not sure how many nursing days I have ahead of me, but I may have to make one just the same :-)

    Love these projects!
    Kara @SimpleKids.net´s latest post: Four simple DIY baby projects

  4. Adorable! That burp blanket in the last pic is cute, too. Thought you might say you made that, too! ;)
    I can do the straight line thing but have some very willing, crafty-sewing older women in my church that I know would LOVE to whip up some of these cute items if I birth another!! And I wouldn’t hesitate to ask, by any stretch!

    Thanks so much for these links.
    Kerry @ Made For Real´s latest post: On social graces…

  5. I love that nursing cover with the cowl neck! I had a cotton one with the neckstrap which I loved, but the one you made looks more like clothing. I had wanted to make a gauze blanket but ran out of time before my baby was born. He is almost two now, but maybe he would still like one! :D
    Christie´s latest post: Nesting

  6. Great ideas! I wish I’d known about making my own gauze blankets when my babies were little (my littlest is over 1 now- crazy!). We have one that was a gift and they really are the best, most versatile receiving blankets. I was always wanting more but didn’t want to pay for them!
    Nicole @ Simple Homemade´s latest post: No Posts Were Found!

  7. Hi! These are really great ideas. I am new to sewing and blogs. But I was wondering if you could post the instructions for the nursing shawl. I have been trying to pull up the site but I unable to for so reason. I would really like to make one for and to give a gifts. Thx

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