Tag Archives: baby gear

Many “crafternoons”

21 Sep

This week I have been very creative… or at least productive. Having an upcoming baby shower (and a person with a new baby to whom you want to give a present) will do that to you. I also completed a much overdue project in the nursery: curtains for the window to replace partially broken shades.

I love our cute, Walter-sized duffel bag very much and thought it would be a great present to buy and fill with little gifts for friends. That, however, got expensive, so I decided to make my own using this tutorial — thank you crafters who share free patterns/tutorials! It is smaller than I expected (because apparently I don’t equate measurements with real life), but it’s super easy and is adorable.

The girlie version.

For a boy!

Already quilted fabric is very expensive. So is pre-made webbing. I’ll have to do some bulk shopping in the future if I want to make these on a regular basis, cause with the zipper (which was a first for me and surprisingly easy to do) it was almost as expensive as buying a factory made one from China/Amazon.

I’m almost done with the curtains. One is a little too lopsided for my Type A personality, and I need to sew on the ribbon to make it easy to undo them and tie them up. The whole point of replacing the broken shutters was it drove me crazy to open them to look out at the pretty, tree-filled view. I made them blackout curtains, which we’ve never used before with Walter, because, well, why not?

Cutsie koala fabric.

Ta-da! Looks so cozy in his play corner now!

There are several more projects ready to go (cut out and everything!), but for now I’m happy to have gotten some things done that have been on the back burner. Go, mama, go!


How to make crib rail covers

18 Sep

Since I don’t really have a desire to make and sell many of these (except for friends if they want them), here’s how I did it, for all you crafty mamas out there.

I used two yards each of cotton duck and cotton muslin fabric. I wanted something durable but also lightweight for easy washing. Always pre-wash your fabric before sewing.

I measured how wide and long I needed each of these covers. Since I don’t have seamstress tape, I used scrap fabric, marked how long I needed it, and held it against my straight ruler. I only wanted it an inch or so past the railing so it wouldn’t cover up much of the open space of the crib. For the front I needed it to be 50″ x 18″ finished. Because the front piece was larger than my cut of fabric, I put a seam down the middle and needed two pieces of 26″ to sew together. For the two sides I needed 27″ x 10″ finished.

I put the muslin on top of the duck fabric, used a disappearing marker to measure my pieces, then cut them out together. Because of the seam allowance, I added an extra inch to each side (so I cut out 4 cuts of 26″ x 19″ for the front piece and 4 cuts of 28″ x 11″ for the side pieces). I pinned the right sides of the fabric together (first sewing together the fabric for the longer front piece) and sewed them together using a 1/2″ seam allowance. On the shorter ends of each rectangle I left a 3 inch hole so I could flip them inside out so the right sides faced outward once sewn together. I also cut the corners off (make sure not to cut the thread) before I turned them inside out so the corners will lay more flat. I then ironed them (how you iron them will be how they look when they’re top sewn). Top sew them as close to the edge as you want (I am usually a couple millimeters from the edge) with reinforcement stitches at the beginning and end. Cut off all your thread ends.

Then I took them to the crib and figured out where I wanted the snap pieces to go. I used the fabric marker to mark one side of the fabric – 4 each for the shorter pieces and 6 for the long piece. I used no-sew snaps, size 15, and put all the front ones on, making sure they faced the correct way (inside). One by one I did the matching back snaps, leaving them snapped as I finished them so the fabric would be flush when all snapped together.

Voila! Awesome handmade product! Feel free to ask any questions if something is not clear!

Homemade Crib Rail Covers

16 Sep

Yesterday was a very creative day. I spent the morning taking head shots at my church (we’re putting together a new directory), and the rest of the day I made crib protectors. Walt has done a good job so far gnawing at the railings, and when I went to Amazon to buy something to protect the easily scratched wood, a reviewer gave me the idea to make my own. I think they turned out pretty well. Simple design, fun fabric, and snap closures. Walt has already tested them out!

I love using cotton duck fabric; so durable!

Here’s how I made them!

Mama’s Recommendations

4 Apr

Inspired by several friends having babies this year, I decided to make a list of the items we’ve used a lot and love.

1. BreathableBaby mesh crib bumper – fits every crib! We tried Carter’s super soft bumper which was soft but it didn’t fit our standard crib well and was too bulky for easy sheet changes, which is a must.
2. Graco Sweet Slumber Sound Machine (has an audio input wire plus sleep timer)
3. Warm air humidifier (necessary for cold weather and colds). Get one with auto shut off.
4. Changing table with drawers and shelves
5. Charlie Banana one size cloth diapers. Or any cloth diaper! There are so many types out there.
6. OsoCozy flannel baby wipes (to use with homemade diaper spray). Even if you don’t want to do cloth diapers, this is a great way to save money and help out the environment. I got three packs and just throw them in with regular baby laundry. I got a spray bottle from CVS and just use a little bit of soap and water – you can add some drops of baby oil too – for the wipe spray. I think these clean better than disposable wipes.
7. The First Year’s Infant to Toddler Tub with sling
8. Everything Burt’s Bees Baby Bee
9. Bouncy seat – make sure to get one that won’t scrunch them up
10. I have mixed feelings about the Bumbo. I’ve used it a lot with babysitting charges but Walt hated it so we never used it. Same with the Bumper Jumper.
11. Exersaucer! SO useful when they outgrow the bouncy seat but you need your hands free.
12. Clevamama bath towels. Don’t even try to use any others. These are the best. They’re big and wonderful.
13. Catbird Baby Pikkolo carrier. This is so comfortable and fits from newborn+ . I also would get a simple sling for quick and easy in/out needs. I wanted to love the Moby Wrap but Walt didn’t care for it unfortunately. I think we successfully used it for one afternoon, but some babies love it.
14. Graco SnugRide 22. I like the smallest one because it’s the lightest and when they outgrow it (about 6 months) they’re already big enough where you won’t be carrying them around in the bucket seat anyway. Don’t forget the extra car seat base for the second car. It’s only like $30 and will ease your mind.
15. Britax Marathon 70. You won’t need another car seat after this one.
16. Diono Easy View Back Seat Mirror. Love this.
17. Fisher Price Healthy Care Booster Seat. I don’t like the idea of them in a separate high chair. For one thing it takes up a lot of room, and for another I like them at the table we’re eating at.
18. Halo sleepsacks. The small size fits up to 18 lbs (about 6-8 months depending on your baby). Microfleece for cold weather, cotton for warm weather. We have about three in each size and that works for laundry/throwup needs.
19. Summer Infant Swaddleme, again several for peeing/throwing up laundry needs. We only used these until he could fit into the sleepsacks cause I don’t think he really liked to be swaddled. I’ve also heard Halo swaddle blankets are the best for Houdini babies.
20. Several crib sheets. I have and like the Carter’s jersey ones but they’re also really thin. In the future I’ll try to find thicker ones. We put a towel under the crib sheet so we didn’t buy a mattress pad.
21. Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams Crib Mattress
22. Graco Pack ‘n Play – has the bassinet feature for when they’re really little. Kinda big/heavy so if you’re traveling by air a lot I would buy a second or different one.
23. Carter’s Wrap-Me-Up Receiving Blankets – we had a 12 ct rotation. Used them a bunch for the first few months for just about everything, including wrapping him up.
24. LA Baby 4 sided changing pad – and several covers. Don’t forget a travel changing pad (Kushies) and a travel wet clothes/diaper bag (Planet Wise).
25. Lots and lots of sleep n play pajamas. I ended up liking snap ones better than zippers when he got a little bigger because when it’s cold out you don’t have to freeze them all the way to get their diaper off.
26. Boppy pillow. We ended up using this more for playing than nursing cause it was more comfortable to use a regular pillow after a while.
27. Avent double electric pump and manual pump. Both fantastic for different occasions. Very comfortable (well, as comfortable as you can be pumping). Walt also really likes the Avent bottles/nipples the best. We tried Born Free but Walt always struggled with those. Lansinoh milk storage bags and nursing pads. The Nursing Mother’s Companion.
28. Simply Saline nose spray, bulb syringe, baby nail clippers, thermometer
29. Favorite toy ever: Sassy Ring O’Links Rattle Development Toy. I divided them into sets of three and have them all over the house.
30. Leap Frog Learn and Groove music table
31. Also first blocks, Fisher Price donut pyramid, stacking cups, & the Sophie giraffe chew toy is a must
32. Good food processor to make your own baby food. Food trays. Earth’s Best Cereals. Nuk spoons
33. Nuk pacifiers (we only use these for special occasions e.g. at church and in the car). Booginhead Pacigrip, which he likes as much as the pacifier.
34. Monitor. We have the sound-only kind and are just fine with it.
35. Diaper Bag. Such a personal preference. But don’t get one too small or it’s useless.
36. People will give you lots of clothes, blankets, toys, and towels (seriously return the towels and just go for the Clevamama ones. Except for maybe when they’re brand new a smaller towel works well)
37. Boon Grass countertop drying rack, Green Sprouts waterproof bibs (people will give you lots of cloth bibs)
38. Safety 1st Easy Saver Diaper Pail. This is a must and inexpensive. It contains the smell SO well and uses normal trash bags so you don’t have to pay for special bags. When we switched to cloth it also holds a reusable diaper pail liner (Planet Wise)
39. Carter’s Hosiery socks – they stay on!
40. Take n Toss spill proof cups (I don’t toss). I like small Pyrex dishes to serve his food in. People will give you cups and plates etc. too.
41. If you use disposables, Costco brand diapers or Pampers Swaddlers for when they’re young.
42. Nellie’s Laundry Soda to wash all your laundry in. No more dryer sheets! Vinegar in the rinse cycle (with a Downy ball).
43. I love the BOB stroller (and it adapts to fit the infant car seat too) but it is really big and heavy. But to take it on walks and stuff it’s fantastic. I will probably get an umbrella stroller for easier travel.

Whew is this it? I’m sure I’ve forgotten something!