DIY baby wraps!

For a while, now, I’ve been a big fan of babywearing. For while the baby is small, there’s nothing better! You can keep your little one close, safe from creepy strangers, and still do everything you need to do.

So, in my third trimester, I made a moby wrap, using a tutorial from A Load of Craft.

Since it was 100% cotton, and the right measurements, I used a bandanna for the fabric panel she suggests. I also used 5.5 yards of turquoise jersey (the thick kind).

Simply cut the fabric 20″ from the edge, in order to have a 5.5 yards by 20″ strip. Then launder it, fold in half lengthwise to find the center, and sew your fabric square directly in the center of the strip. For directions on how to wear it, go here. (Since this is basically a moby wrap, the same directions apply.)

Her head is nicely supported in this wrap, honest. She was just arching her back at the time, because she had hiccups.
Her head is nicely supported in this wrap, honest. She was just arching her back at the time, because she had hiccups.

I must say, it came out pretty nice.

Then, a little bit ago, I stumbled upon a video about how to make an x-back wrap using 3 t-shirts. The lady who made the video made it abundantly clear that after she’d made it, she realized that you need to use t-shirts that fit you, not ones that are too big, like she said in the video.

3 t-shirts, huh? I can do that! So, I got out a few extra tees, lopped and tied, and I had a new carrier in about ten minutes.

This one's pre-hiccups. See, her legs are in sitting position, the sling supporting from her bum to under her knees.
This one’s pre-hiccups. See, her legs are in sitting position, the sling supporting from her bum to under her knees.

The only issue with the original was that the two load-supporting tubes were of different stretchiness-es. (So not a word.) The point being that the weight of my daughter was unevenly distributed on my back, and can certainly say that it made me paranoid and sore the whole time I was testing it out. And as for how my back fared– I’m still feeling it.

If you do try out the t-shirt method, (which I recommend) here’s some tips:

  • use t-shirts that are thick, stretchy, and (preferably) without side seams.
  • Find 2 tees that have almost identical fit, fabric thickness, and color. This will ensure good weight distribution and safety.
  • Try to use at least 1 long-sleeved shirt; the sleeves are good for tying  the two loops together in the back, and if you use  the sleeves of  the front panel’s shirt, it’ll color-coordinate with the front panel.
  • If you do use long sleeves to tie the X in the back, use both the sleeves to make the tied portion of the loops even longer. This creates even better weight distribution. (Save your back the pain, eh?)
  • The same lady who made the first video also made a follow-up video on how to use it safely, and I would recommend watching it, as well.
  • For your baby’s safety, as with all homemade baby gear, pay close attention and use common sense. If the fabric doesn’t seem stretchy enough, or you don’t feel comfortable using tees with side seams, or you think you ought to buy new shirts to use–adapt this to meet what you need. The most  important thing about babywearing is that both you and your little one feel safe with the situation.

Blocks, Part Two!

I said I’d polish the blocks, and polish them, I did!

I used a beeswax wood polish (also from my sister’s blog), which I already had mixed up, from when I made a katana, yea these many moons ago.

See how much deeper the colors are? Just lovely!
See how much deeper the colors are? Just lovely!

 

The basic method of this is pretty straightforward:

  1. Get some of the beeswax-and-oil goop from whatever container it’s in.
  2. Smear said goop all over the surfaces of whatever you want polished and protected, until every bit is covered. It shouldn’t be thick on there, just enough to make it very shiny; maybe a bit slippery.
  3. Let all goop-covered items sit for at least 15-20 minutes. (I let mine sit for a couple of hours, because I got distracted, and it made zero difference.)
  4. Wipe off any excess polish with a soft cotton cloth.
  5. Enjoy your pretty bit of wood!

I also used this polish on my black walnut buttons. 🙂 Just goes to show, a good method is the gift that keeps on giving.

Baby-Safe Colored Blocks

So, I don’t know if it’s shown much yet, but I have a profound love of woodworking. Something about the smell of sawdust, the feel of well-sanded wood, the look of the grain– it all has a special place in my heart.

So, when I think of what toys I want my daughter to play with, what else? I want her to have wooden toys. (And, being me, I just have to make them.)

I started off my adventure with a pack of plain wooden blocks. Unfinished, sanded smooth, and about 1 cubic inch apiece.

Next, I pulled up this lovely tutorial from my sister’s site.

So I got four little containers out, covered the bottoms with a teeny bit of water, and put some food coloring in, about 1 part food coloring to every 5 or 6 of water. I painted the coloring on 4 blocks this way.

She also suggested putting drops of food coloring directly onto the wood, for stubborn spots.

Me, being me, (who else?) I had to try a couple different ways.

The four on the left are dyed with drops of coloring painted directly on the wood. The four on the left were diluted.
The four on the left are dyed with drops of coloring painted directly on the wood. The four on the right were diluted.

See the difference? Pretty striking. 🙂

Of course, I couldn’t stop there! Next, I just sat a couple of blocks in the dye containers.

green, yellow, blue, and red!
green, yellow, blue, and red!

…and let it soak up into the block, about halfway…

See?
See?

And then pulled it out, tapped the drips off into the container, and set it bare-wood-side-down in another of the colors. (Sorry I don’t have a picture of this!)

I let the dye soak up the other side until the colors sorta…meshed.

These really came out nice.

Yaay! They look so festive.
Yaay! They look so festive.

I’ll polish them in the morning. ^_^