Category Archives: tutorials

Reusable Sandwich Baggie Tutorial

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The school year has officially started. This is the first time I have ever had to pack a lunch and I am pretty excited about it! I thought of all the plastic baggies I would be using and decided to invest in some reusable ones. I figured I might as well buy some for my husband’s lunches as well. Besides the fact that they cost about 10 bucks each, most of them had waterproof lining which is questionable about touching your food. They are PBA free and made of “food safe” plastic materials like PUL and nylon but I read up on the fabrics and terms like “chemical leaching” popped up. I decided I would just line my bags with organic cotton. Its not waterproof, but it is washable so as long as I don’t put something slimy or gooey in the bag, we should be good. I feel a lot better about my daughter’s food touching organic cotton than a synthetic waterproof plastic. I also chose a zipper because I read reviews that crumbs got all stuck in the velcro. I have already used these for homemade fruit rollups, graham crackers, crackers, and trail mix (without melty chocolate). After a use, just shake out the crumbs and you are ready to use again. If there is a mess or leaking of a sandwich, just throw in the washer and dryer.

I made 6 total and it only took me about 2 naptimes. Everything is measured in how many naptimes something will take me, that’s valuable time.

What you’’ll need:

(1) 8.5 inch by 16 inch piece of outside fabric (cotton)

(1) 8.5 by 16 inch piece of inside fabric (undyed organic cotton or PUL or nylon if you want the waterproof)

(1) 7 inch coordinating zipper

Cut out 2 pieces of fabric.

Sew right sides together of outside and inside fabrics along the longer 16 inch sides using 1/4 inch seam allowance. If you have a serger, finish the edges.

Turn right side out. Sew shorts edges together. if you have a serger, just serge across. If you don’t, fold both pieces towards the inside 1/4 inch and sew down.

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Fold in half right sides together. Pin where the zipper will start and stop. It will be 7 inches between the pins. Sew from edge of fabric to pin. So you should only be sewing about a 1/2 inch section. This will make the opening for the zipper.

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Sew in zipper according to instructions on zipper package. If you are not a big seamstress and don’t want to fool with a zipper then add velcro. Iron under 1/2 inch on each edge and sew along edge. Sew velro on using a zig zag stitch.

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You should now have the bag all together besides the sides.

Pin sides closed (inside fabrics together!) and sew down both sides. I know you usually sew right sides together and then flip it inside out to get a more finished look. I tried this with one bag, but it was just too thick to sew through. The edges are already finished so it still looks nice to just sew them together.

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Voila. A reusable sandwich bag for just a couple bucks. I tried to make mine gender neutral so my husband could take them to work as well. Although if his lunch gets packed in that pretty pink one, he’ll just have to suffer the comments from his fellow Marines. Hey, at least his wife packed him a nice healthy homemade lunch!

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DIY Ergo Teething Pads

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We saw a bumper sticker today that said “I am a breastfeeding, babywearing, organic, co-sleeping mom”. Minus the cosleeping (SIDS scares me too much), I am one of those moms, although I’d never put the bumper sticker on my car. I own 5 different baby carriers and each one has its place and time. The one that I keep in the car to use while walking through Walmart or the grocery store is the Ergo performance baby carrier. I really like it and its comfortable to me, although Cassidy seems antsy in it. Part of that is her gripping onto the sides and gnawing at them aggressively.

Which leaves it looking like this. Baby snot, drool, spit up…Gross.

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Ergo sells Chewing Pads but they are 20 bucks and a boring white or grey color. Etsy had some really cute ones but they were like 35 bucks. Needless to say, I busted out the sewing machine. I had everything I needed on hand so I whipped them up during naptime. Yes, they are that quick. Only took an hour!

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You will need:

1/3 yard flannel (outside fabric, so make it pretty)

an old towel (inside fabric, who cares what it looks like)

(2) 3.5  inch pieces of ribbon (coordinate with flannel)

(6) sets of snaps OR (2) 1/4 inch by 7 inch pieces of velcro

Fold flannel right sides together and cut out an *almost* square. The length is 8.5 inches. The width at the bottom is 9.5 inches and the width at the top is 9 inches. The reason it is slightly smaller at the top is because the ergo strap is slightly smaller as it goes up. I am a perfectionist and an experienced sewer, so it wasn’t a problem for me. If you just want simplicity, just make it 8.5 by 9.5 inches all the way down and it will be less confusing. It just won’t have quite as snug of a fit at the top.

Mark the top of the square with a star using a fabric pen. One side will be slanted.

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Cut out towel pieces the exact same size. I just laid it over the towel and cut using it as a pattern piece so I didn’t have to measure again.

So lets just do this one side at a time. Then repeat for the second pad.

Sew one flannel piece and one towel piece right sides together, leaving a 3 inch opening at the top (where the star is) closest to the slanted edge. Use 1/4 inch seam allowance.

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Turn right side out. Fold ribbon in half, pin in place, then sew around entire edge, as close as you can to the edge. Fold under fabric 1/4 inch at the opening to close it off. Add snaps or velcro. I have a snap press but if you don’t just use a 1/4 inch strip of velcro 7 inches long.

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This direction is for the pad that will be on YOUR right when you are wearing the ergo. Do the opposite for the left.

When you lay the pad flat, flannel side up, the slanted side (with ribbon closest) will be on the LEFT.

Place the female (flat) side of the snap is face UP on the NOT-SLANTED, RIGHT side.

That means the male side of the snap will be on the LEFT, SLANTED side faced DOWN.

Here is a back view. Nice towel fabric to absorb all that drool.

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Repeat on the second side. Make sure you pay attention to snap placement on the second side, doing it opposite of the first. You want the closure on the outside of the strap so its not the part the baby gnaws, sucks, and chews on. Especially if you use velcro, it may tear up their mouth.

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Alyssa was my little model.

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She said her baby approves. Today her baby’s name was Bubbles Bandaid. No last name. I asked.

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The ribbon is a toy clip.

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The toy is actually not too annoying clanking around and if it keeps Cassidy a little calmer it is well worth it. Honestly, she will probably prefer just playing with the little ribbon piece. Anyone else’s kids LOVE the tags on toys and blankets? Both of mine did. I made Alyssa a Taggie blanket when she was little.

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Now when Cassidy drools all over my covers, I can pop them off, wash them with her clothes, and pop them back on. Won’t have to worry about hand washing the ergo and laying it out to dry!

Momma Jewelry

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I asked for something called Chewbeads for Christmas. They are kind of like a teething ring you wear around your neck. I know it sounds gross to have a kid slobber all over your jewelry but its better than her chewing on my nice white gold cross. They also kind of looked like Betty Rubble jewelry according to Dave. So I forgot about them. Well now Cassidy is teething. She chews on everything and she is also very busy and always needs something to do. When I hold her or breastfeed her, she grabs all over my chest and neck. She grabs hunks of skin and scratches leaving me looking like a cat got me. She likes to tug on my nice cross necklace, so much so that she actually broke the clasp from tugging so hard. Chewbeads were my answer. But at 30 bucks a pop and a less than desirable “flinstone” look, I figured I could make my own! With some etsy inspiration I got going during naptime…

For all you Momma’s out there, I figured I’d give you a little tutorial. Although they are pretty cute aside from being functional so anyone could make these, and quickly!

First get some wooden beads (roughly 1/2 inch diameter). I actually took them from an old necklace I had and never wore. You can also get them from a craft store for a buck or two. Then take a piece of fabric about 3 inches wide by 46 inches (the width of fabric off the bolt) long. Fold it in half with the right (front) sides together. Stitch the entire length making a long tube. Turn it right side out. You should now have a long tube with the right side of the fabric showing and the seam hidden on the inside.

Now tie a knot roughly 10 inches from one end. Drop a bead in the long end of the tube.

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Tie another knot, right up next to the bead.

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Drop another bead, tie another knot. Repeat. I used 7 beads total.

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Take the leftover fabric and trim it to 10 inches.

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Finish off the edges and sew them together. Make sure it fits over your head before you sew it! If it doesn’t, make the ends a little longer than 10 inches.

Put it on and let baby at it!

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Cassidy seems to like it so far!

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So here is a close up…

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I actually really like how they turned out. They are really cute and I think I am going to make a couple more in some more fun prints. The possibilities are endless and they cost under 5 bucks to make!

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These took about 30 minutes to make. Would be great for a homemade gift!