Monday, July 7, 2008

Baby gift, revisited

Burp cloths, personalized with simple embroidery and trimmed with colorful ribbon, have become my standard baby gift. It seems that every few weeks I'm making a set to give to a happy, expectant mama!

A few weeks ago I spotted similar burp cloths in a local boutique... they were $10-12 each. Wow! Several happy hours spent being creative means that I'm able to produce mine for less than $2 each (see the cost breakdown). For $5-6 I can produce a set of three and for less than $10 I can make a set of five!

I'll admit, I have been bashful about giving such inexpensive baby gifts, but a note from a sweet friend and recent recipient encouraged me. She wrote:
I cannot tell you how much I love and appreciate the burp cloths. That you made them yourself just gives them so much meaning to me because I know you had to sit there and think about us when you were embroidering. They are treasures.
Now I will give them without shame! It is a joy to make them. As I work on them I do think about and pray for the mamas and their babies!

They are easy to make. Here's how:

Step 1 -- Start with a pile of cotton cloth diapers. I use Gerber. Wash and dry them, then you're ready to begin.

Step 2 -- Grab a marker with washable ink (Crayola works just fine for me) and scrawl the name, message, or monogram directly onto the fabric. It doesn't have to look perfect, in fact you want it to look like handwriting!

Step 3 -- Using colorful embroidery floss split stitch over your handwriting to embroider the name on the burp cloth. (That's me in Atlanta.) Then, wash and dry the burp cloths once more to wash away the ink. Do not use fabric softener or dryer sheets.

Step 4 -- Next you will need colorful ribbon and a roll of iron-on adhesive bond. Following the directions on the package, iron the adhesive onto the strips of ribbon that you have cut to measure one inch wider than the burp cloth on each side. Then iron the ribbon onto the burp cloth. I like to use two different colors/widths of ribbon, ironing the thinner of the two strips on top of the wider strip.

If you know more about sewing than me and can actually turn on and use a sewing machine you could sew your ribbon onto the burp cloth.

Step 5 -- Your strips of ribbon should be an inch wider than the burp cloth on each side so that you can wrap it around to the back and iron (or stitch) it down.

Now you are finished. That was easy!