Month: July 2019

Reasons To Try Cloth Diapering

Reasons why to cloth diaper

I absolutely love cloth diapering! As soon as I learned more about it, I never questioned if I would use cloth diapers or not. My husband was on board early on because all of the fantastic benefits. Below you will find my top reasons for choosing cloth diapers.

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliated links. As an associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my readers best interest at heart.

The Environment

Babies on average go through 2500 diapers in their first year and each diaper can take hundreds of years to decompose in a land fill. I did not want to add to that, so I started looking for alternatives. Enter the cloth diaper. They are more modern now with all in ones, flip, and pocket diapers. It makes it much easier, although the old version of flats are pretty user friendly, too.

While it does take more water to wash cloth diapers it doesn’t create anywhere near the amount of waste. The conscientious user can offset this added water usage with modifications to other water-using habits, like showers and washing dishes.

The Money

Depending on what cloth diapers you use this can be very inexpensive. I personally like Alvababy and Anmababy but I have a few others I use for specific purposes, like Mama Koala. On average, they cost $5 per diaper (some of the high end ones can be $20-30 per diaper). I would recommend 28-32 diapers, bringing it to a total of only $160 for all of the diapers! These diapers can last years, all the way through potty training years and on to multiple kiddos. Here’s the rough math: 1 year of disposable diapers can cost $850, and after 3 years of diapering it would cost $ 2550 for each kid!

We actually didn’t end up paying anything for our cloth diapers. I added them to my Amazon registry, and had loving friends and family members purchase them for Little One. I ended up receiving all that I needed through baby showers, so my diapering costs went down to $0!

We did end up purchasing more bamboo and charcoal inserts, which I would highly recommend over the micro fiber inserts. Not only are bamboo and charcoal natural products, they are able to absorb a little more pee than the micro fiber.

The Bum

Cloth diapers are so much better for Little One’s bum. They drastically reduce the risk of diaper rash. Many disposable diapers have chemicals in them that are bad for babies’ bums, though there are some brands that are addressing the issue. They also dramatically reduce the risk of blow outs (meaning poop goes all over the place if you aren’t familiar with the term). We have been cloth diapering for over a year and have only had 3, and really they weren’t too bad. I remember my sister-in-law, who used disposables, sending me a pic of my nephew and it was all the way up to his neck!

The Cuteness

Cloth diapers are so cute! I don’t really need to elaborate…check them out for yourself.

Reasons why to cloth diaper
Reasons why to cloth diaper

Have you thought about trying out cloth diapers, but not quite convinced? I hope this post on the reasons to try cloth diapering helped. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments blow!

Next, check out my Harry Potter Nursery post.

Reasons why to cloth diaper

Zero Waste Switch to Felted Soap

Zero waste switch to felted soap

We recently made the zero waste switch to felted soap. I personally loved the Shea Moisture brand but disliked having to toss away the plastic bottle when it was done. One of the things I loved about using body wash was that I could use a loofah to get a nice foaming lather to wash up. But as a plastic-based product, it was another thing that needed to be thrown away quite often.

So we made the switch to felted wool soap. I found this soap at my local farmer’s market. It is a wonderful white tea and ginger homemade soap wrapped in sheep’s wool.

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliated links. As an  associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my readers best interest at heart.

The Benefits

One of the benefits of switching to felted soap is the anti-microbial aspects of the wool. Meaning that you can keep using it time after time without worrying about those little bacteria growing. Unlike the loofah, you don’t have to worry about throwing it away after so many uses.

Another benefit of using felted soap is that generally (depending on where you get it) the soap is created with all natural wholesome ingredients. Obviously these are super healthy for your skin and your overall heath.

As for cost, I bought my bar of soap for $7. My husband showers probably as much as the average person and his first felted bar of soap, which was smaller than the ones we use now, lasted several months. The cost effectiveness is pretty incredible when compared to the other methods of cleaning.

Using The Soap

Switching to felted soap is very easy: just place it in the shower and run it under the stream of water. Use your hands to lather the wool and then use it like regular soap. I loved the lather the loofah gave me and the wool is able to give a similar effect. It does take a couple of showers with a new bar to get a really good lather going.

Store it in the shower but keep it raised and out of standing water. We use a soap tray like this one.

Zero Waste

This soap is a great zero waste option because the whole soap can be used and it does not come in plastic packaging. In addition, the remaining wool can be repurposed. You can reuse it as face wash scrubbers, kitchen scrubbers, or a million other uses you can come up with. If you are unable find a new purpose for the wool, it can be composted. Check out my post here about making the most of your composting. The wool and the soap being made of natural materials is what makes it compostable – talk about zero waste!

Where To Find It

The first spot I recommend you check is your local farmer’s markets or specialty shops. Try to buy local when you can to support small businesses. I bought mine from a farmer’s market. Luckily there is one vendor at mine that makes them and I love all the scents that she uses. I requested her business card so I can order more during the farmer’s market’s off season.

If felted soap is not available locally for you, there are two places online that I’d recommend. You can find them on Etsy and you can find them on Amazon here or here.

I hope this post inspired you to make the zero waste switch to felted soap. Let me know how it went, or if you have discovered any other fantastic brands of felted soap in the comments below!

How To Make a Rope Shelf

As part of my small bathroom makeover Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4 I wanted to put some shelving on the far wall. I had originally made box type shelving but didn’t like it. So, Plan B is this rope shelving. Honestly, I was surprised at how easy it was to make! So join me in my latest post on how to make a rope shelf.

This rope shelf turned out great and was made in an afternoon. Luckily I had extra wood and the rope was left over from another project. I used 1*8 pine and 1/2 inch sisal rope. All I needed to get were the hooks and the O rings for hanging up the shelf.

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliated links. As an associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my readers’ best interests at heart.

Materials and Tools

Materials needed:

Tools needed:

  • Saw (electric or hand)
  • Sander and sand paper
  • Clips or heavy duty scissors
  • Drill and 5/8 inch paddle drill bit
  • Rag
  • Tape
  • Straight edge
  • Pencil
  • Tape Measure
  • Level
  • Clamp
Step One

The first step is to cut the wood to size. I chose to make three shelves using a piece of 1*8 cut to 20 inches. The great part of this project is that the shelving unit can be very customized to meet the needs of the space. The depth, length, and number of shelves can all be changed. If the length gets to long, add extra rope in between for stability.

Step Two

The second step is to drill holes in each corner of the shelves. Measure one inch from each edge, and mark with a pencil. Using the drill and paddle drill bit, drill holes though each corner.

Pro tip – do not drill all the way through on the first side. Drill through enough that the drill bit has just broken though the bottom of the wood. Once this is done, flip the wood over and use the small hole to position the drill bit and continue from the other side. This will prevent the wood from splintering (see the second picture with my helper Samoa).

How to make a DIY rope shelving unit
Step Three

The next step is to measure and cut the rope. For this project, cut two lengths measuring 8 feet. I left plenty of extra rope because I would rather cut some away at the end then have too little to complete my project.

Next find the center of each rope. From the center, measure and tape the distance between each shelf. I used 12 inches between each. When I got it into the bathroom, I ended up wanting to change the distance. The great thing about this shelf is that it is easy to change.

Step Four

Before threading the rope through the wood, insert the O rings on to the middle of each rope. Next, line up the end of the tape with the top of the shelf. Then tie a knot under the shelf. Keep it fairly loose for now. The knot can be tightened when you’re checking that it is level during the hanging process.

How to make a DIY rope shelving unit
Step Five

Using a level and tape measure, determine where the hooks should be placed on the wall. Mark where the screws should be inserted with a pencil. Drill holes in the walls and insert dry wall anchors. Next, install hooks using the drill and screws. Hang the rope shelves using the O rings. Take the level and place it on each of the shelves, adjusting any of the knots that need to be adjusted and tightening the remaining knots. Finally, cut off the ends to the desired length and either rap the ends with string or fray the ends to the knot. Then decorate!

How to make a DIY rope shelving unit

I found this project to be pretty easy and it’s a great look for the bathroom!

What did you think of this post on how to make a rope shelf? Have you given it a try? Let me know in the comments below!

how to make a rope shelf

Floor Pouf

DIY Floor Pouf

I wanted to add a floor pouf to Little One’s nursery. We spend a lot of time snuggling in the chair and realized it would be really nice to have a foot rest. I also wanted something soft for Little One to climb over. He is getting to the age where he is climbing on everything, which is great for his motor development, just not always great for my furniture.

I decided to make this floor pouf out of some Marauder’s Map fabric that I had left over from another Harry Potter project. I also picked up some starry night fabric form JOANN Fabrics. Both of the fabrics are flannel and 100% cotton, and I repurposed a zipper from an old craft project that I am no longer using. You are never going to believe what I used to stuff it…keep reading to find out!

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliated links. As an associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my readers best interest at heart

If you’re in the beginning stages of sewing, check out my beginners guide to sewing terminology.

Cutting the fabric

For this floor pouf I cut the following pieces of fabric. You can find the Marauder’s Map fabric here.

  • 20 1/2 inches * 20 1/2 inches – 2 pieces (top/bottom)
  • 13 inches * 20 1/2 inches – 4 pieces (sides)
  • 9 inches * 13 inches – 1 piece
Floor Pouf
Step One

The first step in creating the floor pouf was installing a zipper along one of the sides. I thought this was a necessary step for what I chose to stuff the pouf with. You can skip this step and just leave a hole to flip it right side out and hand stitch closed, if using regular stuffing.

Sew one of the sides together with the 9 inch piece. Line up right sides together and loosely stitch with a basting stitch. Press with an iron.

Floor Pouf

Placing the zipper centered on the seam, pin one side of the zipper down on the seam allowance. Stitch it into place and repeat with the other side of the zipper. You may have to move the zipper while stitching. To do this place the needle down into the fabric. Then lift the presser foot and slide the zipper tab out of the way. Place small horizontal stitches at the beginning and end of the zipper. For the rest of the seam go back over it with a regular size stitch, back stitching at the beginning and end.

Flip the fabric over and use a seam ripper to open the fabric where the zipper is. The next part is optional – fold a piece of fabric over the zipper, iron down and pin in place. I decided to do this step to help prevent Little One from undoing the zipper. After finishing I realized that I should have added Velcro to help keep this closed. You can do that now.

Floor Pouf
Step Two

Stitch the side piece to the top, placing right sides together and stitching with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Be sure to back stitch at the beginning and end, also stop the run of stitched 1/4 inch from the edge of the fabric. Repeat this process on all four sides.

Step Three

Pulling the top piece of fabric out of the way, pin the right sides together. Sew with a 1/4 inch seam allowance and back stitch at the beginning and end. Repeat with the remaining sides.

Floor Pouf
Step Four

Stitch on the bottom piece placing right sides together, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance and back stitching at the beginning and end. Either open the zipper or leave a hole in one of the seams for flipping. Flip right side out press the seams with an iron.

Step Five

The final step is to stuff the floor pouf. You could use stuffing like this…but I stuffed it with baby clothes! I know it’s a little weird but I have so many outfits that Little One has outgrown, I don’t want to get rid of them yet. This puts them to good use. With the zipper I can easily take them out and replace them with stuffing later on. But for right now it is great storage. It also adds a lot of weight to the pouf, which helps keeps it stable when Little One is climbing all over it.

Floor Pouf

What do you think of this floor pouf? Have you tried making it? Let me know in the comments below! Also, for more Harry Potter decor/nursery ideas see my post here.

How To Make A Produce Bag

How to make a reusable produce bag.

One major but easy switch in helping us reduce our plastic use was switching to reusable produce bags. I found some great ones here on Amazon. What I liked about these ones are that they are 100% organic cotton. But, of course, instead of ordering them I thought to myself “I can make that!” So join me in this post on how to make a DIY produce bag.

This is a simple bag design with a draw string. I used some mesh that I had left over from a curtain panel that I got from IKEA. If you are an IKEA fan you have most likely seen these panels for about $4. I purchased these panels to decorate for my wedding and have been storing them for 5 years so I am happy to put them to good use now. While these bags that I made are not organic cotton, I feel better using something that I already had instead of ordering something new.

Any material could be used to make these bags, but a mesh like this or a sturdy cotton would be best. I used left over ribbon, shoe string, and cording for the draw strings. My goal was to reuse what I had, so although none of the bags match each other, that’s okay with me.

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliated links. As an associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my readers’ best interests at heart.

Step One

Step one for making a DIY produce bag is to gather the following materials and supplies:

  • Fabric
  • Draw string
  • Rotary cutter or scissors
  • Straight edge
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Pins
  • Safety Pin
Step Two

The second step is to decide how big the bag needs to be. I did a variety of sizes for different types of fruits and vegges. A large size would be 12 inches by 17 inches, medium would be 10 inches by 14 inches, and a small bag is equal to 8 inches by 12 inches. These are great sizes to start with but what’s great about making these yourself is that the bags can be customized to meet your needs.

Measure out the size needed for the bag. The width of the bag should double the size that the bag needs to be. So if making a 12 inch by 17 inch bag, cut a piece of fabric 24 inches by 17 inches.

Cut out the bag using the straight edge and a cutting tool.

Step Two, cutting DIY produce bag.
Step Three

Next, fold the top edge of the fabric down and pin it. Fold enough fabric over to contain the chosen draw string.

Then stitch down the folded fabric using a straight or small zig zag stitch, back-stitching at the beginning and end. When stitching mesh, go slow and try to keep the fabric from stretching.

Step Three sewing casing on DIY produce bag.
Step Four

Fold the fabric in half and pin along the open sides. Do not pin or sew over the area stitched for the draw string. Sew along the edge, leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance and back-stitching at the beginning and end.

Step Five

Using the safety pin, pin it to the tip of the draw string. Feed the draw string through the pocket at the top of the bag. When the draw string is through, remove the safety pin. Tie the ends of the draw string together in a secure knot.

Step Five inserting draw string in to produce bag.

That’s it! You now have a draw string bag. This took me less then 10 minutes to make. I have now made 5 of these and take them to the grocery store every time we go. Our grocery store has a great foods section where I can get most of my produce without using plastic packaging! My next goal is to make a couple of bags that are solid fabric that I can utilize for the bulk food bins. We routinely get beans, rice, and seeds from the bulk bins and using jars can be challenging, so bags might be our perfect solution.

Check out my tips for zero waste shopping here.

Have you tried this how to make a DIY produce bag tutorial? How did it go? Let me know in the comments below!

Finish DIY produce bag.

How To make the Most of Composting

how to make the most of composting

Yay, making dirt! Composting is awesome because it turns our food waste into nutritious dirt for our garden. It also helps our waste become productive for our family instead of being sent off to the landfill. Here are some tips on how to make the most of our composting bin.

I have been composting for most of my life, first at my family home and now in my own home. It’s been relatively recently that, with the help and determination from my husband, I’ve really begun to understand the process of composting.

We have been composting for about 3 years now, and for the first time this summer we had dirt suitable enough to put in our flower pots!

Below are my tips to make the most of your compost bin and make it work for you.

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliated links. As an associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my readers’ best interests at heart.

Types of Compost Bins

There are many types of compost bins. The first one I had experience with was the type at my childhood home. We had a bit more land, and our compost was a big open heap at the end of our garden. I wasn’t too involved in the process, other than dumping the organics on the pile. It seems this method would work best if done in small piles so the dirt is easy to rotate. I have heard anecdotes about people encountering critters/pests in their open compost pile so keep that possibility in mind if you go with the open style.

Right now we have a cylindrical outdoor bin that is open to the ground (see the picture below), the reason being that we live in town and don’t have a lot of extra space. I like this one because it can contain the compost, it doesn’t attract critters, and it is open to the ground so the worms and insects can help break down the organic material. We got our compost bin from a free program that our city put on, but a similar one can be found here. Additionally, I know there are also many DIY methods out there to create your own bin.

There are also tumbler-style systems, like this one. These seem to appeal to a lot of people presumably because they’re transportable, easy to stir (you simply rotate the bin), and they work great for smaller places. They are great for apartments and condos since they don’t take up much space and they look good.

Types of Materials

There a two main types of materials that need to go in to the compost bin: greens and browns. The browns are carbon-rich materials that consist mainly of dried yard waste, such as leaves and grass clippings. The greens are nitrogen-rich materials and consist of food scraps. It is important to have a balanced compost bin to help decompose the organic material and make a balanced soil. The ratio should be around 25-30 of the browns to 1 of the greens. While it is best for the compost to have more browns then greens, it is okay if the balance isn’t exact. It will just take longer for the greens to decompose.

We utilize grass clippings, dried weeds/plants, leaves, and pine needles in the spring, summer and fall. However, being northern Minnesota, we have 5-6 months of winter each year. During this time we don’t have as much brown material to add to our compost bin. We still keep adding to our compost bin with our food waste throughout the winter. When the snow melts and the ground thaws we make sure to add a bunch of browns and turn/rotate the compost bin.

Also keep in mind that your organics need a certain level of moisture. It shouldn’t be bone dry but not sopping wet, either. It’s all about finding that happy medium. This is not an exact science – simply leave it alone if it’s too wet and add water if it looks too dry. If you can’t see any moisture on the surface, that’s a good indication it’s too dry.

For those of you with warm temps and sunshine, your compost will benefit from brown materials year-round.

Small Pieces

This next tip can sometimes be a pain but can also be very useful. Cutting up food waste into smaller pieces and tearing up leaves and grass before adding it to the compost bin can accelerate the composting process. This is especially relevant to materials that take longer to break down, a perfect example being egg shells like in the picture below. When I am chopping veggies for meals I also chop up the waste bits before putting them in the bin. I try to aim for quarter size for my pieces but some are larger and some are smaller.

In all honesty, sometimes I get busy and don’t have time to chop up the scraps. During those times I put everything in a waste bowl and leave them to deal with later. In these cases my husband normally takes care of them when cleaning up after dinner.

how to make the most of composting
Inside The Compost Bin

When I was a kid, we used an ice cream pail as our indoor compost bin. This was great because it meant periodically we would get a new pail of ice cream to eat. Because my mom went though a lot of food scraps, she had to empty the pail frequently, which helped control the smell.

In my own kitchen I started using an ice cream pail but with only the two of us producing food waste, the pail didn’t get emptied enough. This caused a bit of a smell which I was not cool with so we started to change our habits. There are lots of metal compost bins on the market that are very cute, like this one. However, I opted for a large glass jar, like this one. I like glass because it is a natural product and I can see in it (is that weird?). It might be strange, but the food scraps can actually be fun to watch decompose considering they do start decomposing in the jar.

Knowing What to Compost

There are so many great charts out there that beautifully illustrate what to compost. A general rule of thumb is vegetable and fruit scraps, coffee grounds, tea bags, grain products, egg shells and carbonaceous materials such as grasses, leaves and dried plants. Things to avoid include meat and bones, oils, metal scraps, animal waste, and diseased plants/chemically treated products.

Rotating The Compost

The more the organic materials are rotated, the quicker it will break down. Some places say to rotate it once a week. That might be a bit excessive for a ground compost bin in my book. We try to rotate it once a month while we are free of snow and cold temperatures. Sometimes it can only be a couple times a season.

It’s up to you how often you decide to rotate your organics. The beauty of composting is that it produces such a good product with such minimal effort because you just let the microorganisms do their work. However, rotating with a pitchfork or shovel (unless you have a tumbler) is still necessary because the microorganisms need oxygen in order to properly break everything down.

We love our composting routine and producing dirt for our garden. It gives us satisfaction to put our scraps to good use and reduce our trash output. We also have a great place to put our yard waste products. If we didn’t compost we would have to hall all of our yard waste to the public land fill. It is definitely easier to just put it into the compost bin and reap the rewards!

Check out my guide and getting started on an eco friendly lifestyle.

Have these tips helped you on your composting journey? Let me know in the comments below!

How to make the most of composting

DIY Toddler Hammock Swing

DIY Toddler Hammock Swing

Little One’s first birthday is just around the corner, I can’t believe it! He is just growing up way too fast. So, as well as planing a birthday party, I wanted to make something special for him as a gift. During our brainstorming for gift ideas a swing came up. Of course, trying to rid ourselves of plastic, I didn’t want to get him a traditional baby swing. So off to the craft store I went with plans for a DIY toddler hammock swing. I had found a couple of tutorials online; however, I wanted to make some changes to those plans.

The biggest issue was safety. In addition to gathering supplies that could safely hold 200 pounds (a little overboard for my 20 pound baby, but still), I also added a safety strap to the hammock swing using a couple of D rings. All the supplies I needed were found at JOANN Fabrics and Home Depot. (I linked all products that I was able to on Amazon since I know some people don’t have access to the same stores). Some additional changes I made included doubling the fabric and adding a layer of batting for added comfort.

You can see my post on basic sewing terminology here if needed for this project.

I do have this hammock swing available in my store, click here to find out more!

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliated links. As an associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my readers’ best interests at heart.

Supplies for the DIY Toddler Hammock Swing
DIY Toddler Hammock Swing

Found at Craft Store

  • Outdoor fabric 1 1/2 to 2 yards, depending on how much extra you want
  • D rings
  • Batting – I had some left over from a quilt that I used. Remember, reusing is one of the 5 Rs of sustainability
  • Poly-fill – I also had some left over from another project. See, craft hoarding can save some money!
    • Find Batting and stuffing here I would use this instead if I did it again. I happened to have some old poly-fill and batting, but in the future I would go 100% cotton.

Found at Hardware Store

Additional supplies

Step One – Preparing Pieces

Each of the following pieces need to be cut out of the outdoor fabric. If the fabric you choose has a pattern to it, double check that it matches up. While the fabric I chose has a pattern, it is a little more random and allows for more flexibility. Cut the following pieces out of your fabric (and then proceed with the other cuts and measurements for the other materials that follow):

  • Fabric
    • 37″ x 12″ pieces for the seat – cut 2
    • 12″ x 11″ for the back – cut 2
    • 6 1/2″ x 11″ for the front – cut 2
    • 15″ x 3 1/2″ for the front strap – cut 1
    • 27″ x 3 1/2″ for the long strap – cut 1
    • 8″ x 3 1/2″ for the strap with D rings – cut 1
    • 12″ x 12″ pieces for the pillow (optional) – cut 2
  • Batting
    • 1 1/2″ x 10 1/2″ – cut 1
    • 6″ x 10 1/2″ – cut 1
    • 36 1/2″ x 11 1/2″ – cut 1
  • Dowel
    • 4 pieces that are 15″
  • Rope
    • 2 pieces that are 11 feet long

When starting to stitch the DIY toddler hammock swing, I wanted to make sure that every seam was very secure. So technically I sewed them twice…a little more work but so worth it. (Check out basic sewing terminology to help with following this tutorial.)

Step Two – Stitching Base

Start out by using the 6 1/2″ x 11′ pieces, placing right sides together and pinning. Starting at the base of the long side, start stitching up the side. Back stitch when first starting out using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Stop stitching 6/8″ from the edge of the fabric.

You will now have to turn the fabric; however, there is a neat trick I learned to make a crisp corner. Instead of making a 90 degree turn. stitch one stitch at an angle, then turn the fabric again to begin sewing straight as shown in the picture below.

Stitch along the 11″ side to the 6 1/2″ side and back down the 11″ side, back stitching when done. This should leave the 6 1/2″ side open. Clip the corners before turning. Use this side to turn the front piece right side out. Next, press the fabric with the iron. The outdoor material will be hard to get to lay flat. Try using a pin to pop the seam out (note that it will want to collapse inward) and steaming the fabric. Once complete, insert the piece of 6″ x 10 1/2″ batting between the two pieces of fabric.

Once complete, stitch around the edges again. This time stitch on the right side of the fabric with a 1/4″ or 3/8″ seam allowance. When turning the corner on the right side of the fabric, use the traditional 90 degree turn. Continue to leave the one 6 1/2″ side open – we will deal with it later.

Follow the same procedure for the pieces that are 12″ x 11″, leaving the 12″ side open for turning.

Step Three – Assembling the seat

For this next part, use the 37″ x 12″ pieces and the front and back that had already been finished. It’s a bit tricky so please stay with me. Find the center of the 37″ side and mark either side. Next, find the center on the front and back piece on the open side. Lay the back piece on top of the right side of one of the 37″ x 12″ pieces, lining up the center marks on each side. The raw edges should be together and the back piece should be on top of the seat piece. Next, line up the front piece with the center of the other side of the 37″ x 12″ piece and pin it down.

Lay the other 37″ x 12″ piece on top, right side down, and line it up and pin. Sew around using a 1/4″ seam allowance while leaving an opening to flip right side out. It is best to leave the opening on one of the 12″ ends. Use the same method as listed above for the corners. Flip the seat right side out and press with an iron. When flipping the seat, the back and front pieces should now be hanging out of the seam.

Next, insert the batting and stitch around the seat again. Fold in the open part and stitch closed. This is the basic seat structure.

Step Four – Creating Pockets

Next, on each of the sides, front and back, create pockets for the dowel. Using the dowel, estimate the pocket size needed by folding the top part of the fabric over the top and pinning it down. Make sure the pocket is even all the way across and is snug enough that the dowel doesn’t easily move, but still loose enough that you can easily insert the dowel into the pocket. Stitch a straight line where pinned, making sure to back stitch at the beginning and the end. Repeat these steps for each of the sides and the front and back. Measure each side to ensure that all the pockets are the same width and make changes if needed.

Step Five – Create Safety Straps
  • 15″ x 3 1/2″ for the front – strap cut 1
  • 27″ x 3 1/2″ for the long strap – cut 1
  • 8″ x 3 1/2″ for the strap with D rings – cut 1

For the next step use the the above pieces and iron press each of the straps in half the long way. Next, fold in the raw edge on either side and press with the iron. Fold in the ends to from a clean edge and pin. Stitch all the way around the strap. Fold down the shortest strap to create a pocket for the other straps to sit in. Stitch the edge of the pocket down. Using the medium strap, place the flat edges of the D rings on the strap. Fold over the fabric and stitch down.

Attach the two longer pieces to either side of the back piece (not the side that has the D rings attached). Make sure they are evenly placed on the center of the back side piece and pinned down. Back stitch at the beginning and the end. I chose to sew in a square around the tab of the strap to ensure it was secure. Next stitch the smallest strap to the center front of the seat in a similar manner.

DIY Toddler Hammock Swing
Step Six – Sewing The Pillow

This step is optional but adds a whole lot of comfort. It’s also really cute. Create a simple pillow using the 12″ X 12″ pieces. Pin the pieces right sides together. Leaving a small gap for flipping, stitch around the pillow using the corner method as described above. Flip the pillow right side out and press with an iron. Next, stuff the pillow with poly-fill (or cotton stuffing if able) to the desired amount. Then hand stitch the opening closed using a needle and thread. There you have it – a cute little pillow! The pillow is especially great for little ones because it gives extra support and helps them sit better in the swing. The pillow can be removed for older toddlers, which makes this swing versatile for a number of years.

Step Seven – Making Supports

The next step is to cut the dowels to the length of 15 inches. Then using a drill bit, drill a hole 1 1/2 inches from each end. Using sand paper, sand the dowels down and curve the ends to take away any sharp edges.

Step Eight – Finishing The Dowels

At this point I wanted to finish the dowels, but didn’t want to use a product like polyurethane because I know Little One will end up munching on them. Instead, I used coconut oil! This is a natural alternative and is something I keep in my cupboard. Using a small glass bowl, melt the coconut oil in the microwave. Next, apply a small amount to each dowel with a rag. The dowels will remain wet feeling for some time, so give it a day or two to dry completely. I think the coconut oil brings out the natural beauty of the wood and gives it a really nice shine.

Step Nine – Securing The Rope

Cut the rope into two 11 foot long lengths. Finding the middle of each piece, combine and tie around the metal rings. Create a loop through the metal rings and pull the remaining length of rope through the loop that was created. I added an additional knot for security.

DIY Toddler Hammock Swing
Step Ten – Inserting the dowels

The next step is to insert each dowel into the pocket on each side, as pictured below.

Step Eleven – Tie the Dowels Together

Layering the sides over the front and back and dowels. Insert the rope through the top hole and then through the second. Tie the rope with a secure knot and repeat with the other three sides. Burn the ends of the rope using a lighter.

DIY Toddler Hammock Swing
Step Twelve – Hanging The Hammock Swing

Find a good place to hang the hammock swing, ensuring that it is sturdy enough to hold the weight of the swing and your baby. We used a thick tree branch, but plan to use a C hook in a beam in our basement playroom for winter time. Using the left over rope tie around the tree, use the other O ring and tie to the bottom of the rope. Using the carabiner attach the two O rings together to hang the swing.

DIY Toddler Hammock Swing

While the fabric is weather resistant, the hammock swing will last longer if it is not left outside for extended periods of time. The carabiner makes it really easy to put up and take down. We store ours in the bin that holds our outdoor cushions.

Little One is only 12 months old right now, and has room to grow with it. My three year old nephew can fit in it, too. I absolutely love how this turned out. I know that is it many steps but it was fairly easy to make. This DIY toddler hammock swing was definitely worth the time, and is so much cuter and softer then the plastic ones available in stores.

Have you tried this DIY toddler hammock swing? How did it turn out for you? If so, left me know in the comments below!

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Note

Please check that all materials are intact and strong enough to hold your child before each use. While I hope you have success with this DIY toddler hammock swing. I am not responsible for any injuries. Ensure that you have tested all the equipment before using with your child and never leave your child unattended in the swing. While there is a safety belt, kiddos can be squirmy and get free. Use at your own risk. If you have any questions about the product or how to make this please contact me at maria@littlefamilyonthebiglake.com

Hammock swing