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Crafting the Perfect DIY Baby Shower Gift


Two diaper straps holding diapers and wipes and a stuffed elephant.

When caring for a baby the name of the game is "easier". How does one make all of those daily tasks, like changing diapers, "easier." And by "easier" I mean one handed and as swift as possible.

This easy-to-make diaper strap is designed with "easier" in mind. The strap wraps around a few diapers and a bag of baby wipes that mom or dad can just grab out of the diaper bag and carry to a diaper changing station. No need to dig around and gather the supplies while the tiny tot is trying to get down and crawl away with a full diaper.

 

I have loved the idea of the diaper strap for a long time, but when I made a similar one years ago to use with my kids, I didn’t like it. The diapers kept slipping out the bottom of the strap which made the whole thing more work than just grabbing the items individually.


The solution to the problem is quite simple – shelf liner. Have you ever used this stuff? It’s grippy and is sold as an easily customizable way to keep bowls and plates etc. secure in a cabinet, drawer or cupboard. If you sew a piece of this magic stuff onto the inside of the diaper strap – viola! – no more sliding out the bottom. The shelf liner clings to the diapers and wipes but does not stick to anything.


Plus, this strap has three plastic snaps to keep it closed so no matter how many diapers are in it, and how full the wipes package is, the strap will still fit. I like snaps a lot more than Velcro for this sort of project because I think Velcro sticks to too many things I don’t want it to in a diaper bag. Sometimes it even damages them. Over time it also begins to look scruffy and stops working as well. And worst of all, it can be hard to open Velcro one handed which is how most parents are operating while dealing with a squirmy baby.


If you are dealing with daily diapers or want to make a gift for someone who is or will be soon, you're going to love this project!


Watch the video tutorial here:

Supplies:

Optional:


Get started making a diaper strap:

After you have your fabrics cut to the right sizes, iron the interfacing onto the piece of cotton fabric you will be using on the outside (the side you will see).

Hands holding a piece of cotton fabric pinned to a piece of shelf liner.

Next pin the shelf liner onto the center of the TOP pretty side of the second piece of cotton fabric.


Then, sew around the outside of the shelf liner as close to the edge as you can.

Hands sewing a piece of cotton and shelf liner together on a sewing machine.

Because the shelf liner is designed to be grippy, it will stick to your sewing machine foot. I tried sewing with a non-stick foot but that seemed to make the process harder, so I don’t recommend it. I find it easy to sew this part if I just use my left hand to guide the fabric and my right hand to gently hold BOTH fabrics (shelf liner and cotton) and pull the fabric from the back as I sew. This moves it forward and advances it as you are sewing.

A piece of cotton fabric pinned to shelf liner with lines drawn on to show where lines should be sewn.

Now sew three more lines down the length of the liner. I sew the first line down the center and then sew lines down the middle of the left and right sections. I just eyeball the distances and use the grid from the shelf liner to sew straight lines.

Fingers pointing to spots marked with green sewing clips not to sew when sewing around the perimeter.

Place the right sides of the cotton fabrics together, line up the edges and clip in place. The piece of cotton with the shelf liner will have shrunk a bit. Just line of the edges as best you can.


Mark a 3-inch section to NOT sew in the next step. I used different colored clips to do this.


Sew around the outside of the two pieces with a ¼-inch seam allowance but stop at the 3-inch section you marked.


Clip the excess fabric from the corners being careful not to cut your stitch line.


Flip the whole thing right side out through the hole you left making sure to get the corners poked out. A turning tool is completely optional but makes this process easier.


Iron the cotton fabric side so the seams do not show and are even on the front and back.

Hands folding the edges of a piece of fabric to the inside in order to sew shut the opening.

Fold the edges of the 3-inch opening to the inside of the diaper strap lining up the folded edges so they match the sewn edges on either side.

A hand guiding a piece of fabric sewn to shelf liner into a sewing machine to sew shut an opening and top stitch the item.

Place the diaper strap with the shelf liner up facing you for the next step. If you sew it as you normally would with the top of the strap facing up, the grippy shelf liner will stick to the sewing machine plate and won’t move. You want to top stitch the whole thing, but from the back side. Beginning just before the opening, sew around the entire outside of the diaper strap with a 1/8-inch seam allowance. This will close the opening and top stitch the strap.


Adding snaps to a diaper strap:

Now it’s time to add the snaps. I am righthanded so for me it’s easiest to open this diaper strap from the left to the right and since most parents will be working one handed to use the strap, it’s something to take into account.


If you have any trouble with snaps, here is a full tutorial.

Hands using a seam roller on fabric to create a crease at the center.

You want the snaps to be centered and even on the front of the diaper strap. The easiest way to find the center is to fold the diaper strap in half the long way and finger press or use a seam roller to press a line down the center.

Next you need to decide where to place the snaps.

Hands using an awl to push a hole into two fabric layers of a diaper strap to determine where to install plastic snaps.

If you want to size a specific type of diaper or wipes, place the items in the strap, fold the right side of the strap over the top and use an awl to lightly press a hole into the fabric to mark where you need snaps to be.

Hands using a fabric marking pencil to draw a dot one inch from the side of a piece of fabric.

If you want to use my measurements, make marks with a fabric marking pen or marker 1/2 inch from the left and marks from the right side at 1 inch, 2 1/4 inches and 3 1/2 inches.


Use an awl to punch a hole through the fabric at each of the marks.

Hands using an awl to punch a hole in fabric in order to install a plastic snap.

I install the male side of the snaps on the left ½-inch mark and one female snap at each of the three spots on the right. The cap (flat on one side, point on the other) should be on the top of the fabric for the male snap, and on the inside of the strap for each of the three female snaps. Watch the video here to walk you through the installation of the snaps.


Don’t forget to test all your snaps to make sure they are installed properly!


If you like, you can finish the whole thing off by carefully ironing the cotton fabric to get rid of the line you pressed into the fabric. Just don’t iron the shelf liner or the snaps because they will melt.


These make a fantastic baby shower gift. Include some diapers and wipes so they know how to use the strap and you have an easy and helpful gift for any new parent.


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Happy crafting!

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