Baby stuff is really expensive, especially if you’re expecting your first child and you need to buy everything. But the good news is you don’t have to ‘buy’ everything. If you can manage some basic sewing, or you know someone else who can, then you can make a lot of the stuff yourself. Today I’m sharing my five favourite thrifty crafts for new mothers!
1. Make your own fitted cot sheets
Start simple and save some money from the get go
Let’s start with making sheets for the cots as this is probably the easiest of the tutorials, and can save you a lot of money. I couldn’t believe how much stores were charging for cot sheets, way more than you’d pay for a sheet for an adult-sized bed!
We had some spare twin and double sheets in the cupboard that we didn’t use any more so I followed this tutorial from Amanda to make my own sheets. All I needed to buy was some elastic for the corners.
If you haven’t got any old sheets then ask your friends or family for a donation or check out your local thrift or charity store. If you want brand new sheets for your babies then go to the store and buy a super-king sized sheet, you’ll be able to make a few sheets out of that one and still save money over the cost of a cot sheet.
Oh and Amanda’s instructions work for bigger beds too, so they’ll come in handy when your little ones move into their ‘big beds’ and you want to make them some fun sheets to encourage them to stay in bed!
2. Make your own crib/cot caddy
Handy nursery storage at a fraction of the price
Hanging storage for your cot or crib is so handy, when the babies are young you hang it on the outside of the cot and fill it with bottom changing items, and when they’re older you hang it on the inside and fill it with books or toys.
If you’ve looked at these in the store you will know they can be ridiculously expensive, and as it’s just a few squares of material sewn together you can definitely make these yourself.
This tutorial from Jess is really easy to follow and if you’re feeling brave you can adjust the measurements to make sure the pockets are just the right size for things you want to store in them.
3. Make your own ruffled crib skirt
Add some frills to the nursery
It looks like it would be a really complicated item to make, but Amy has really clear steps for you to follow, complete with photographs so I say go for it, you could save yourself a couple of hundred pounds/dollars!
4. Make your own wet bags
Perfect for carrying anything that gets wet as well as cloth nappies
If you’re planning on going down the disposable route don’t dismiss the handiness of wet bags, if you’re out for the day you’ll still end up with soggy clothes and yucky muslin cloths and you’ll want somewhere to store them until you get home.
You’ll need some cotton fabric for the outside and then some waterproof stuff for the liner, as well as a zip. I used a pillow case to make my outers and a shower curtain for my linings as I couldn’t find anywhere that sold PUL – if you’re in the US you can just head to Joanns (I managed to pick some up there while I was in Florida recently on vacation). Zips are pretty cheap if you just look on eBay.
I made my bags in all different sizes, some small ones to go in my changing bag, some medium size ones for when my mum was watching the kids at her house, and then a couple of large ones to use for wet nappies by the changing station. When they’re full you just unzip them and throw them in the wash, no need to empty them first the stuff just falls out in the machine. Don’t tumble dry them though or the waterproof lining will fail and you’ll start to get leaks!
5. Make your own dribble bibs
Because shop bought ones are useless!
We received a couple of backs of dribble bibs as gifts when the babies were born. We didn’t use them for a while until it became apparent that Master J was going to be a master dribbler! I dug out the bibs and stuck one around his neck, commenting on how dapper he looked, but when I checked it an hour or so later it was soaked through, and so were his clothes underneath.
It was at that pointed I turned to Pinterest for some sewing assistance. After some searching I found this dribble bib tutorial, but instead of using old Tshirts I bought some micro fibre dish cloths and used those instead. Result? A bib that Master J can dribble on all day without soaking his clothes or causing his chest to get damp.
If you’re not keen on the dish cloth look you could use the cloth for the back of the bib and a funky Tshirt for the front, just have a play around and see what works for you.
What are you going to make?
There you go, my 5 favourite tutorials for making baby stuff that would cost you a fortune to buy from the store. You don’t need to spend a fortune on fabric either, I bought a cute pair of cotton Winnie the Pooh curtains from my local charity shop and made a whole heap of stuff just from that bit of fabric. Just use your imagination!
So what are you going to make for your twins? Have you made something already? Let us know in the comments below or hop over and share a photo on Facebook for us to see.