Thursday, June 11, 2009
We are at a season in our life where many people we know are having babies. We discovered when Goose was born that our friends and family are extremely generous, and I really want to be able to reciprocate love without going over budget.
Each week I compile a post of links (they can be found here) and most if not all contain handmade gift links that I've bookmarked, so when I need a gift I can often turn to my stash of fabric and ribbon scraps and come up with something lovely.
Two things I've made as baby gifts are taggie blankets and decorated burp cloths. I keep the cost of these low by shopping the remnant bins where I buy fabric (typically Wal-Mart and Hobby Lobby) for both fabric and ribbon. You want the fabric to be at least 14" long (usually it is the width of the bolt) and ribbon ought to be at least five to six inches long for blankets and 12-15" long for burp cloths. (It depends on the size of the diaper you find.) I usually go by feel as to what fabric I purchase - anything soft is good, especially minky and some fleece, and I try to keep a mix of pink, blue, and gender neutral colors.
I also buy spools of cute ribbon when it is on sale for 50% off at Hobby Lobby, and since HL frequently offers 40% off coupons (check HobbyLobby.com to see if there is a current coupon) (and see how I use clothespegs to store ribbon here, you could use that if there's something you've been eyeing that doesn't go on sale. (Or if you're impatient, like I am.) (Or if you don't plan ahead very well, as I tend not to.) I haven't kept an eye out to see if the pre-fold cloth diapers that I buy for burp rags ever go on sale, but at about $1 each ($12 per dozen), they're not too bad.
I found the idea for the blanket at Melissa Sews. The changes that I make to my blankets are to base the size on the size of the remnant I have and I put fewer ribbon tags per side, especially on 12" blankets. You may want to experiment a bit with ribbon length but keep in mind that too long ribbons will tickle baby (not really in a good way, either); too short and they won't be able to get a good hold on them.
While I've bookmarked a couple of sewn flannel burp rags (here and here), so far I've just embellished prefold diapers with ribbon. This post from modobject at home was my first inspiration, and this one from Make and Takes provides a different perspective on it.
I was disappointed that when I finally went to embroider, the link on how to do the stitch was gone. Thankfully I have a number of old stitching books that gave me an idea of what to do. I wasn't all that pleased with the outcome, so I decided I need to practice more before I give them away embroidered again.
Also, I stitch my ribbon on instead of using the iron-on adhesive. If the ribbon is wider than 1/2", I stitch down each side, as close as I can get to the edge. I've also tried putting it on all four sides, but I think I like it better with just two sides. Please note that you really do want to wash and dry them before putting the ribbon on. They will shrink and dry wonky regardless of what you do (or what the recipient does) so you want a head start on it. I suppose you could iron them . . . I didn't.
One final suggestion - if you're making something for a bloggy friend, take note if they indicate in a post what they've made for baby themselves. No need to double up if they already have plenty!
For more frugal ideas, visit Life As Mom.