Burp Cloths DIY Instructions and Variations

Last night I got the sewing bug and decided to make some more burp cloths for our little guy that should be here in just a few weeks. There are lots of different ways to make burp cloths, but it mostly boils down to two different variations:

Enhanced cloth diaper (to be used as burp cloth), where fabric is sewn onto the middle of the diaper, like HERE and HERE.

and for lack of a better description, a more “from scratch” or layered burp cloth. These burp cloths are usually shaped to fit around your shoulder, or in a rectangle, and utilizes different fabrics on one side and more absorbent fabric on the other side (or double sided flannel).

I made some of the second variety.

I love using Homemade by Jill’s basic template to get started. I like the curve because it allows the cloth to be up against your neck and over your should comfortably. I too, like to use flannel as my go-to pretty burp cloth fabric; I like how soft it is.

Decorative fabric to use for burp cloths:

  • Flannel (my favorite)
  • Fleece
  • Quilting or non-stretch cotton

Absorbent layer/side:

  • Another layer of flannel
  • Cloth diapers (prefolds or the 1-ply, thin layer kind, using 2 layers)
  • Terry cloth/recycled towel

Different variations:

  • Flannel on both sides
  • Flannel on both sides with a thin layer of cloth diaper or batting in the center
  • Flannel on one side, cloth diaper on the other
  • Flannel on one side, terry/towel on the other
  • Fleece on one side, terry/towel, or cloth diaper on the other side
  • Cotton fabric on one side, terry/towel, or cloth diaper on the other side

Directions:

Prewash all fabric and print out template

Cut out a layer of decorative fabric using template

Cut out the absorbent layer or side, or cheat like I do, and lay the decorative fabric wrong side up against it, and sew around the edges, leaving a spot open to turn right-side out.

Trim the edges and turn right-side out.

Tuck open edge inside and stitch around the whole burp cloth

And you are done!

Fleece and flannel burp rags

Washable Fleece Dusting Mitt

Today I was in productive clean mode (yes, the Christmas tree and the decorations came down!). While I hate cleaning them, I noticed our blinds were a little too dusty to leave alone and they can be such a pain to clean too! I then remembered something I had seen online; fleece dusters. I was thinking of this:

From Dollar Store Crafts

However, in the midst of my cleaning storm, I did not consult the interwebs and developed my own dusting friend with the inspiration of the above photo; a washable fleece dusting mitt!

Two scraps of fleece, sewn on 3 sides, then cut in strips - super easy!

If the picture isn’t explanation enough, here are the instructions:

  1. Take two pieces of fleece, bigger than your hand
  2. Sew on 3 sides (leaving the bottom open) enough room to fit your hand inside
  3. Cut the sides (do not cut into the seams) into strips, rounding the corners if you would like
  4. Get to dusting!

This mitt worked fabulous for picking up dust off those pesky blinds! You can wear it on any side – the smooth or the strip side. Plus, with the fleece on your hand instead of another tool, you have much more control around those small corners and edges. Then when you are done, throw it in the wash! I won’t post the after pictures because the amount of dust I picked up was a bit scary!

*UPDATE:

I found an even better use than using your mitt for cleaning blinds: Cleaning a ceiling fan!

I coaxed my husband the other day to finally dust the darn thing and since my mitt was dirty, I whipped up another one in about 2 minutes. He sprayed one side with cleaner, and kept the other side dry (double duty) and it worked great! The dust clumps didn’t fall off and fly everywhere which is what happened the last time we cleaned our fan.

Best 2 minute, minimal sewing, super cheap, craft cleaning product I have made so far!

10 Days Until Christmas: Festive Centerpieces

TEN DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS. Holy Moly. My list of things to do seems longer now than it did a week ago!

Our Christmas decorations have been up for a couple of weeks now, but I’m still missing a centerpiece for the table (I’m also hosting Christmas Breakfast at my house). Here are some easy centerpieces that still look elegant and festive.

Supplies you may need:

  • Jars
  • Vases of varying sizes
  • Candles
  • Ornaments
  • Cranberries
  • Flowers
  • Pine cones
  • Pine branches/sprigs
  • Ribbon (anyone else LOVE ribbon?)

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Salt Dough VS. Cornstarch Clay

As part of my holiday craft to-do list, I decided to try and make ornaments/gift tags this year. Not wanting to go to the store and get any special ingredients, I was able to make a batch of salt dough and a batch of corn starch clay. I will also cheat and use this as part of my December Photo Month (DePhoMo) entry; one photo, every day.

Corn Starch Clay Recipe:

(There are a lot of different variations of the same recipe, and for the life of me, I can not find the exact recipe I used)

  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  1. Combine ingredients in large sauce pan and stir until dough is thick and can no longer be stirred (takes 5-10 minutes)
  2. Dump onto parchment paper or flat surface to cool
  3. Knead until smooth once dough has cooled enough to do so
  4. Mold into shapes or roll out and cut shapes out with cookie cutters

Salt Dough Recipe

  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups flour
  1. Blend ingredients until flour and salt is well incorporated
  2. Take out of bowl and knead until smooth
  3. Mold into shapes or roll out and cut shapes out with cookie cutters

(Check out Katy Elliot for some pretty ideas!)

Now onto the comparisons:

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Homemade Christmas Gifts: Yarn Wreath

Do a Google Image search for “Yarn Wreath” and lots of pretty things will come up; Christmas wreaths, colorful spring wreaths, and everything in between. My friend Nichole is a big fan of yarn wreaths and got me interested. I decided to try my hand and create a yarn wreath with felt flowers for my aunt’s new home for Christmas.

Yarn Wreath with Felt Flowers How-To:

Yarn wreath using felt wrap rosettes and scrabble tiles

Continue reading

Natural Dishwasher Detergent Fail

Looks like I have been M.I.A. these last few weeks. I have just been busy doing random things and haven’t spent too much time on the internet. Give me another couple of weeks and I should be back here full-swing!

Anyways, I wanted to post about homemade dishwashing detergent. There are plenty of recipes out there for you to substitute store bought cleaner for you dishwasher with something natural and homemade. The many recipes I looked at involved 2 or more of these ingredients:

  • Borax
  • Baking Soda
  • Castille Soap
  • Vinegar
  • Lemon Kool-aid (or citric acid)

Despite using various ratios and different recipes my dishes did not turn out very clean. Even with the vinegar and lemon kool-aid rinse the dishes still came out cloudy with a powdery film.

Maybe my dishwasher is too old or our water too hard, but we had to turn back to store bought dishwasher detergent.

Anyone else successfully use homemade dishwasher detergent?

 

 

DIY cheap and easy nursing cover

If you or a friend are planning on breastfeeding and may want to do so discreetly in public, a nursing cover is a great DIY project. Not too experienced with sewing? The cover is practically just hemming. I made one for a friend and spent about $6 for all the supplies to make one; to buy a cover it can cost on average, $15-$35.

Combine two fabrics for a different look

I found this nursing apron tutorial at Prudent Baby. Of all the ones I came across, this one seemed the best. Plus the step by step picture tutorial really helps!

Supplies:

  • 26″X38″ for the cover (you can make larger for older and bigger babies as well)
  • 30″x3″ for one side of the strap
  • 10″X3″ for the other side of the strap
  • Boning 14″ long
  • 2 D-rings

Recommended Fabrics:

  • Home Decor Fabrics – Heavy weight and wrinkle resistant
  • Flannel – Soft and less likely to wrinkle than cotton
  • You can also use quilting-type cotton, but keep in mind it may wrinkle easier

Want to do two different fabrics?

Keep the length measurement for both fabrics (38″), split the width measurement (26″) between your two fabrics and add 1/2 inch to both for seam allowances.You can cover the seam that joins the two fabric with ribbon or ric-rac.

Other variations:

  • Sew weights into the bottom corners t make sure corners stay down
  • Sew pockets or a rag into the corners
  • Add a ruffles or other decoration

Visit Prudent Baby for detailed instructions on how to make your nursing cover!

How to Make a Hair Flower or Brooch Clip

Here I use two small flowers

I wear a lot of hair flowers. I also see a lot of them on sale for outrageous amounts; that’s why I make my own. You can too! Never buy a hair flower again – make your own hair flowers that can double as a brooch! It’s easy, inexpensive, and has endless varieties.

Supplies:

Silk or fabric flowers (a flat flower works best, such as daisies or orchids)
Alligator Brooch Clips
Hot glue gun
Fabric or felt scraps
Pliers or metal cutters (to trim flowers)

Find flowers that are fairly flat and the size you want

Directions:

Remove flower from stems and cut as close to flower as possible – you want the flower to have as flat of a back as possible. You may have to glue some flower layers back together.

Depending on how flat the flower is, you may or may not need to use a pad under the clip. If needed, glue a piece of fabric or felt the same size or slightly bigger than the clip where you will glue the clip onto.

If you use fabric, the cloth may fray with use. Felt is a better option if you have any.

Glue the clip to the back of flower

Or you can glue the clip straight to the flower

And after it dries – congrats! You have your own hair flower/brooch! Wear in your hair, pin to your sweater or bag!

Add feathers under the petals, use vintage flowers, add or remove different petal layers from different flowers, or put a cab into the center of the flower for more variety.

How to wear hair flowers:

I like to wear the flowers either with my hair half up and the flower to the side (as pictured above), behind the ear when my hair is down (like my avatar photo), or to the side of my “poof” as shown below. If you are wearing a low pony tail, you can also clip the flower on the side of the ponytail (wearing a low side ponytail looks cute this way). If you want more ideas for flower and how to wear them, you can just do a search on Etsy, and see how other people are making and wearing them.

Fabric flower with feathers, worn to the side of a "poof" (and not a very good poof on that day)