Easy, Useful Baby Gifts

Usually, half of the squadron gets pregnant within a few months of the husbands getting home.  This deployment, however, has been different – we have 5 wives pregnant now, with due dates ranging from a month before they get home (bummer) to 2 months after they’re back!  So I’ve been busy making baby gifts for a couple of my closer friends.  Joann’s just caught up with the fox trend, which is convenient because they have some super cute fabrics to use now!  This post will include a tutorial for 3 simple baby gifts to make: burp cloths, a crinkly taggie toy, and a pacifier clip.

Supplies for all 3 projects:

  • 1/2 yd fabric
  • 1/2 yd minky
  • Fox Pattern (optional)
  • 2 suspender clips
  • 2 ponytail holders
  • 1/2″x1″ piece of Velcro
  • Stiff felt, orange and white
  • Black and orange puffy paint
  • Heavy duty glue (I used Gorilla Glue Minis)
  • Ribbon scraps
  • Clean chip bag (I’ll explain later)
  • Coordinating thread

The burp cloths are super simple to make, and I’ve never heard a mom complain that she has too many!  Many tutorials I’ve found use the Gerber diapers as a base and add fabric, but I’ve found that they shrink funny when washed, and they’re hard to fold.  I had some deliciously soft minky fabric left from a quilt I made another friend’s baby, and knew this was the perfect application – it’s so cozy as the backside of the burp cloth!

The standard size for the diaper burp cloths is 14″x20″, but you can really make it any size you want.  The minky I had from my other project was already cut into 6″ strips, so I just stitched two together to make an 11.5″ wide piece (seam allowance took 1/2″ away).  I honestly don’t even know how long it was… somewhere in the ballpark of 18-20″.  Cut the front fabric to be the same size.  Place the two right sides together and sew around the edge, leaving an opening about 2-3″ long on one of the sides.  Clip the corners and turn through the opening, then fold the opening edges in and topstitch around the whole edge to seal the opening and give it a finished look.

IMG_3268

The minky makes it super easy to turn because it’s so slippery!

The crinkle taggie toy combines two things babies love – noise and texture!  They key to the crinkly sound is a chip bag!  Just be sure to clean it up well before you use it.

Start off just like the burp cloths – cut your minky and front fabric to the same size.  Mine was about 5″x7″, but you can do whatever size you want.  Cut various ribbons into 2.5″ pieces, fold in half, and pin to the front piece of fabric.  Keep the tips of the pins at least 1/4″ from the edge so you don’t hit them with your machine.  Then place the fabric with ribbons right sides together with the minky and stitch 1/4″ around the edges, leaving an opening about 2″ long on one of the sides (between ribbons).  CAREFULLY remove the pins that held the ribbons in place – don’t stick yourself!  Then clip the corners and turn right side out.

Crinkle 1

Left: Pin the ribbons to the front. Right: Pin to the minky, right sides in, and stitch together.

To get the crinkle, cut your chip bag to be about the same size as your toy.  Roll it into a tube, push it through the opening, and unroll it to fit snugly in the toy.  Then turn the opening’s edges in and topstitch around the edge, closing the opening and holding the chip bag in place.

Crinkle 2

Left: My favorite chips! Right: Inserting the crinkle.

The last baby gift is the pacifier clip.  I actually call it a leash because it keeps pacis under control!  It is also handy for snack or drink cups, or even toys (for instance, you can loop it through one of the ribbons on the crinkle toy to keep baby from throwing it away in the car).  I made my friend 2, because I know they can be super useful!  In the supplies list above, I linked to my favorite suspender clips to use for these.  They have plastic teeth, so they won’t tear clothes, and they have a large clip surface to add embellishments to – I’ve included a fox pattern here!  Just another way to make it more fun for a kiddo.

For each paci clip, cut a piece of fabric 4″ wide and 8-10″ long.  Don’t go too long, or it poses a strangulation hazard (plus, if it’s longer than baby’s arms, they won’t be able to reach the goody on the end).  Press the short ends 1/4″ on the wrong side.  Then press in half lengthwise, open it up and fold each of the raw edges into the center fold, creating a leash that’s 1″ wide and 4 layers thick.  Stitch around the edge a scant 1/4″.

Paci Holders

Left: Ends pressed 1/4″. Right: 2 completed straps.

On one side, insert the suspender clip, fold over the end and stitch in place (go back and forth a couple of times, it will take some stress).  On the other end, stitch the hook side of a 1/2″x1″ piece of Velcro at the very edge, then the loop side about an inch up the strap.  Add a ponytail holder for pacis that won’t fit the Velcro through (like Soothies).

The paci leash is technically complete now, but I wanted to make mine a little extra special!  I included a pattern for a fox face.  Cut the pieces out of the stiff white and orange felt, then layer and stitch around the orange with orange thread.  Add eyes and a nose with black puffy paint, and put some orange paint around the edge of the ears.  Let dry for 24 hours.  Then use heavy duty glue (a glue gun won’t work here, you need something to stick to the metal) to glue the foxes onto the clips – be sure to follow the directions on the package, the kind I used needed water to cure.  Clamp it and let it cure.

Fox

Left: Stitch the orange to the white piece. Right: Glue and clamp. Don’t use clamps like I did, they put marks across the fox’s noses! I have to redo a couple of them because they’re so bad.

And there you have it!  A personalized, sweet baby gift that any mom will love!

IMG_3296

3 burp cloths, 2 paci clips, and a crinkle taggie toy

What are your favorite baby gifts to give to your friends who are expecting?

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4 thoughts on “Easy, Useful Baby Gifts

  1. My cousin is having a baby soon and since Grandma already made the quilt these look like the perfect back up plan!

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