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Sew the best baby burp cloth in just minutes

Three flannel burp cloths made with PUL fabric to make them waterproof.

If you have ever cared for a baby, you know there are a lot of messes to clean up on a pretty regular basis. Besides diapers, you have feeding messes, and baby drool, and even spit up.

One of the best things I got as gift when I was having babies was a stack of great burp cloths. They were the perfect shape to throw over a shoulder, they were made with cute fabrics so I didn't mind wearing one around all day, and they absorbed the goo leaking out of a baby's mouth.

This tutorial will show you how to make a burp cloth that has all those qualities AND is waterproof. It won't just slow the seeping through of the spit up, it will stop it from leaking through at all. And I have a template you can print out for the best shoulder- sitting burp cloth around. These take just minutes to sew up so you can make a whole stack to give away!


If you want other baby gifting (or using) ideas, I also have tutorials for waterproof changing pads and bibs – both things babies (and their caregivers) need to stay dry and clean.

Let's get started!

Watch the video tutorial here:


This post may contain affiliate links which means at no extra cost to you I may receive a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links.



Start by washing the flannel fabric. Because it is 100 percent cotton, it might shrink a bit when dried. And since the PUL fabric will NOT shrink, if you sew them together before washing the flannel, the finished product will become a bit wonky as two layers tighten up and one doesn’t.

Tow hands holding a template to cut the shape of a baby burp cloth to fit over a shoulder.

Print out TWO copies of the template. Cut out both. Flip one copy over and line up the two edges that say “Match up to the second side” and tape them together.

Fold the white flannel and the outside/cute flannel so that there is enough fabric on both sides to fit the entire taped template. You want the back side of the fabric to be facing up.

Two hands positioning a paper template over the back of flannel fabric to trace and cut out a baby burp cloth shape.

Line up both flannels with the folds together. Use a fabric pen or pencil to trace the template onto the back of the top flannel.

Hands using fabric scissors to cut layers of flannel fabric pinned together.

Pin all four pieces of flannel together with sewing pins and use fabric scissors to cut along the template line you drew.

Take out the pins and unfold the pieces of flannel.

Hands using a fabric pencil to trace the shape of a template onto the back of PUL fabric to make a baby burp cloth.

Now fold the PUL fabric the same way as the flannel. Make sure there is enough fabric on both sides for the template to fit with the back side (the rubbery side) facing up.

Trace the template onto the back.

Do NOT pin this fabric but carefully cut out the shape while holding it in place. You want to minimize how many holes you put into the PUL fabric since the holes never go away. We want this fabric to maintain as much waterproof-ness as possible.

Three pieces of fabric cut and clipped together to sew into a baby burp rag.

Make a fabric “sandwich” with your three fabrics. Place the white flannel with the right side up (if there is a right side), layer on the cute flannel with the right side up and top it all with the PUL right side (fabric feeling side) down. Clip all the edges together with sewing clips. Once again, try not to use pins.

Mark a 3 ½ inch section at one end to not sew in the next step.

Sew around the outside of the fabric sandwich at a ¼-inch seam allowance except at that 3 ½-inch section you marked off.

Hands using snips to cut slits into the curved edge of fabric.

Use your fabric scissors on the two rounded ends to snip right up to your stitch line (but don't cut your stitch line). Do this every 1/2 inch to 1 inch to help the fabric lay flat once it is right side out.

Hands flipping a baby burp rag right side out after sewing.

Flip the whole thing right side out so the cute flannel and the PUL are on the front and back.

Iron the whole thing flat and make sure the PUL fabric is "rolled" to the back.

Hands folding the open edge of a baby burp cloth to the inside to sew the opeing shut.

Turn the edges of the 3 ½-inch opening toward the inside ¼ inch so the edge matches up with your sewn edge.

Hands holding a sewn burp cloth and pointing to the edge clipped shut to sew around the top side.

Take it back to the sewing machine and, starting at the opening, sew around the entire thing with a 1/8-inch sew allowance. This closes that opening and top stitches the burp cloth so things don’t shift around.

Done! Wasn't that quick and easy?! You can whip up a whole stack in no time and have a really great set of burp cloths for yourself or to give away.

A printable template to make a burp cloth.

Happy crafting!


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