You don't need the latest and greatest fancy carrier to wear your baby. All you need is a little creativity, some sewing skills and a lot of fabric. A tablecloth can make the perfect baby carrier because it is made out of long lengths of durable fabric that can be found in a ton of cute styles and prints. Here's how to make one of your own:
- 60 x 104-inch 100 percent cotton rectangle tablecloth
- 1/2 yard canvas or other heavyweight fabric
- High quality sewing thread
- Tape measure
- Iron & ironing board
- Sewing machine
- Poster board
Start by cutting the straps out of the tablecloth. Lay the tablecloth flat and cut out 2 long straps that are 15 inches wide and 84 inches long. Next, cut out 2 shorter waist straps that are each 10 inches wide and 40 inches long.
Fold over the unfinished edges of the fabric straps 1/4 inch, then fold the edge over a second time. Use an iron to press the hem, then sew the hem with your sewing machine.
Use a piece of poster board to create a template for the body of the baby carrier. Cut out a rectangle that is 18 inches wide and 20 inches tall, then cut off the top 2 corners to create an angled space where the strap will go.
Use the poster board template to cut out 2 body pieces from the tablecloth fabric, and 1 piece from the heavyweight fabric.
note^ 18 x 20 inches is a good standard size for a larger baby or smaller toddler. If you plan to use the carrier for a small baby or a large toddler, you may want to adapt the dimensions of the carrier. The rest of the instructions will be the same, regardless of the size of the carrier.
To attach the long straps, gather 1 end of 1 of the straps and fold it to make pleats. Place it on top of the heavyweight fabric piece at a 45-degree angle, then pin it a few inches inside 1 of the angled corners at the top of the carrier.
Sew the strap to the heavyweight fabric by sewing a box with an "x" through it. Sew over the box several times to make sure that the strap is securely attached. The weight of the carrier falls on the straps, so you can't reinforce it too much.
Sew the waist straps on using the same technique as the long straps. Sew them to each side of the carrier about 1/2 inch from the bottom edge of the fabric.
Once your straps are attached, lay the heavyweight fabric with straps attached flat on the floor. Place 1 of the body pieces cut from the tablecloth fabric face up on top of the heavyweight fabric, then place the second piece face down on top of the other pieces.
Sew all 3 layers of fabric together, but do not sew over any of the straps, just leave those spaces open for now.
Now it's time to turn your carrier right side out. Stuff all 4 straps into the carrier through their respective openings. Gently turn the carrier right side out through one of the strap openings. It might seem like a tight fit at first, but if you go slowly you can work the entire carrier through the opening until it is right side out. Once the carrier is right side out, pull the straps back out through their openings.
Turn under the edges of the fabric around the openings, then pin into place. Sew along the entire perimeter of the body of the carrier, including the strap openings. Sew about 1/4-inch away from the edge of the fabric.
Trim away any excess threads, and then your DIY baby carrier is ready to wear.