Friday, April 4, 2014

Embellished Burp Cloths

Happy April!

Ah, the Spring.... baby birds, baby bunnies, and baby people everywhere!

So, if you have little ones coming into your life this Spring too, it's great to have some sewing projects up your sleeves to help shower their beautiful mommies.  :)

We'll be doing a few simple sewing projects this April, so pull out those sewing machines and ironing boards and get ready!


Today, we'll be making burp cloths!

This is a simple project, but an incredibly useful gift for moms!  From what I hear, burp cloths quickly become mandatory accessories. :)

You can make these as simple or detailed as you like; have fun with it!  If you have to wipe up spit-up all day, you might as well use something cute to do the wiping!

Today, I'm going to show you three different ways to embellish these burp cloths.

You can buy plain burp cloths that are ready to go, or make them yourself.  There are several tutorials I've seen that use terry cloth or chenille fabrics to make the burp cloths.  I have found cloth diapers to be absorbent and relatively inexpensive, but you can choose whatever you like!

Here are some links for plain cloth diapers that you can use as burp cloths:

 I usually buy the 3-fold cloth diapers made by Gerber, which come in a package of ten.  
This time, I accidentally bought the unfolded cloth diapers, which added a couple of steps to the project.

These are a few dollars less expensive than the tri-fold diapers, and the package looks like this:

Whatever fabric/cloth diapers that you buy, be sure to wash them first and then either air-dry them or use the dryer, but do not use fabric softener.  When making things for babies, you want to avoid as many potential irritants to their skin as possible.

After washing these cloth diapers, I ironed them (ugh), then folded them into thirds, length-wise.  

These ended up measuring ~7"x22"

Once they were folded, I used a top-stitch to sew the entire perimeter and secure the edges in place.

Now, I have a burp cloth that is ready to be embellished.

I decided to use soft flannel fabrics to embellish these.  I happened to find a super cute
set of 4 flannel receiving blankets, and decided to use them for my fabric.

Once you have washed, dried and ironed your fabric of choice, you're good to go!
PS- Know that I hate ironing as much as you do, but unfortunately, there is no getting around it in the world of sewing.  If you have any other ironing that needs to happen around the house, just do it all at once to minimize the pain.  :)

Now that your fabric is prepped, use your burp cloth to "measure"* how much fabric you will need.
I am planning to cover one-half of one side of each burp cloth with the flannel. 

*I am not a fan of measuring, hence the name of the blog.  I will do anything I can to avoid it.  Since there are small differences between each of these burp cloths that I sewed, I just matched up the fabric to each cloth and cut an extra 1/2"-1" on each side for the seams.

If you would like to be exact, you can measure your fabric based on the dimensions of your burp cloth, giving yourself an extra inch on the length and the width:

**PS- I also highly recommend pinking shears when cutting fabric.  They help keep your fabric from fraying.

Once you have cut your fabric, get the iron heated and handy again.

We will be sewing the flannel on top of the burp cloth.  Check your sizing by aligning  the folded edges of the flannel (one short side and two long sides) to match up to the edges of the burp cloth. 
Once you are comfortable with where the folds need to be, fold under each side of your fabric rectangle, and use your iron to make a crease.  
You do not want any unfinished edges sticking out of the fabric.  :)

Once you have ironed all four folds, you have a piece of fabric that is ready to be sewn to the burp cloth.  

Pin your fabric to the burp cloth, 

Now, you could go ahead and sew it on with a top stitch all along the edge of the flannel.  (This would be a perfectly perfect option, of course!)  
Or, you could take it one step further with a few more embellishment options, 
(before you sew):

1.) Add a stripe of a complementary fabric.

For this option, once you have the flannel pinned, cut out a smaller rectangular piece of a different fabric and fold/iron until it is your desired size.  Make sure its finished width is the same as your burp cloth.

Pin it and secure it in place.

Now, begin to sew the perimeter of the flannel.  Be careful when sewing over the stripe of fabric.  If your machine is "less-advanced", like mine, it doesn't like to be rushed over thick fabrics.  :)

Once you have sewn the perimeter, back-stitch to secure your stitching.  
Cut your thread and  turn/reposition the burp cloth the sew the width of the stripe.

Sew and back-stitch around the smaller stripe/rectangle of fabric.  
.... Cut your thread and you're done!

Simple, but so cute!


2.)  Add a ribbon to the bottom of the burp cloth.

I used a 2"-wide ribbon in a complementary color for this.

Cut a piece of ribbon about an inch longer than your burp cloth.  Fold in the sides, about 1/2" on each side, and iron.  
Next, fold the ribbon in half, length-wise (for finished edges all-around).  

Pin the ribbon in place, under the flannel, just enough to be able to secure it.  

Now, sew the perimeter.  
Take care to be sure you are sewing close enough to the edge that you are also sewing the ribbon in place on that bottom seam.

Back-stitch when you have made your way around, and you're done!


3.) Add pieces of ribbons to make "tags."

Cute tag blankets are everywhere, and they're so fun and relatively simple to make!  Hopefully this burp cloth can serve double-duty as a spit-up picker-upper, and a baby-occupier. :)

This is a great time to raid your stash of ribbon scraps.  
I cut a 6" piece of 5 or 6 different ribbons.

Fold these ribbons in half.

Secure the loose ends of the ribbon under the bottom edge of flannel, (between the flannel and the cloth diaper), with a pin.

Now, sew away!


And you're done!


I packaged these in sets of three, but I'm sure that any mommy would appreciate any number of these handy burp cloths!

Let your creativity flow, and have fun!

See you next week, for a fun and easy sewing project!


  1. diana! i love your work! these look awesome! holy cow. i'm wondering how long it took you to make one. i feel like i'll need a whole week off to try this out. but i love it! i miiight be trying this soon if time allows. good work!

  2. Ivy!! It took less time than you think, I promise. ;) You can totally do this!.... and you're always welcome to come over for a girly-burp-cloth-making-party for baby Slish! :)

  3. Great idea!! Nice layout and instructions on this page. Continue walking in His gifts!!

    1. Thank you for the encouragement, Kristie! :-)

  4. Great job. I love all the pictures. This totally makes me feel like I can do this♥

    1. Wohoo! That's awesome-- you can TOTALLY do this! :-)