Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tutorial: Quick & Easy Burp Cloths

In case you didn't know, my husband and I are expecting our first little one sometime in the next month. I have been doing lots of baby sewing projects, but it feels like they have mostly been for other people's babies (we have moved past the season of wedding gifts, and now it is the season of baby gifts - do you know what I'm saying?). We don't know if we are having a girl or a boy yet, so with the sea of neutral, I am waiting to make some gender specific items until after the baby is born.

But, there are some things that I know we need before I can make correct color choices - and one of those things is burp cloths. Now, I haven't had a lot of babies spit up on me before, but I've heard it can be messy :). So, I decided to make a few burp cloths to get us started. And, I thought since I was already making them I might as well show you how I did it :).

Warning: I don't actually have a baby yet, so I am guessing at the level of absorbency needed (which I hear varies baby-to-baby). I also averaged out the many sizes of burp cloths that people seem to enjoy to make a size that made sense for me and the fabric I had on hand. The general idea of the burp cloth can be modified to fit your fabric needs.

So, I started with some very cute fabrics (Oh Boy! by David Walker) and a white towel. Everyone has an extra towel lying around, so I used one that we rarely pull out of the closet. This project would also be great for a well-loved towel that has some salvageable parts - or you maybe could use a hand towel!

#1 - Cut two 18"x7" rectangles (one from the outer fabric, one from the towel).

#2 - Using a bowl, round all four corners of each rectangle.

#3 - Pin the rectangles right-sides together, and sew around the burp cloth (I used a 1/4" seam allowance). Leave a 2"-3" opening along one of the straight edges.

#4 - Clip little triangles out of the rounded corners.

#5 - Turn right-side-out and press. Pin the opening closed.

#6 - Sew a small seam allowance around the entire burp cloth (I sewed this at 1/8").

#7 - And, you are done! See, it was a quick & easy burp cloth!

The fun part is all of the cute colors you can make them in!

Now - I have a question for all of the people out there who regularly grab a burp cloth.
How many do you need to start with?
I know it probably depends on how many times a week you do laundry - but,
How many do you go through in a day?

Thanks for reading!

Other fun baby projects:
Baby Kimono Shoes

Baby Log Cabin Tag Quilt
Bopple Ball

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  1. thanks for sharing this tutorial! what a great way to reuse the better parts of older towels! I would suggest 12 burp cloths, just in case one day you find you need a fresh one after each feeding & you can't get a load of laundry in the wash - you know you have enough to get you through until you get a moment for housework. because some days with baby are just crazy busy & messy - but so worth it. enjoy your new little one!

  2. Such a cute idea - and love the thickness! Some of the burp cloths I had were not as absorbent as I would have liked :) In addition to the amount you have on hand at home, I was a big fan of keeping a diaper bag packed with clean supplies so I would always leave 1 in my diaper bag as well as an extra bib or two just in case. You never know when you will need to *try* and dash out the door - you will find it helps a lot!

  3. I think I will have to try some of these for future nieces/nephews. Thanks for the tutorial!

  4. Congratulations on your first little one! I am expecting #2 in a couple months but it's been 5 years since I had a newborn in the house so I don't even remember how many burp cloths we had but it seemed like we never had enough. I sewed up some just like this for our baby coming and I think I have 10-12 ready. Especially with a newborn, I'd rather have too many and not HAVE to go do laundry as often.
    Found you on Delightful Order.
    Sarah -

  5. Featuring YOU tonight. You were one of the top viewed links at last week's {wow me} wednesday party! Congrats. Thank you so much for linking up. :)

    Ginger @

  6. Love these burp cloths! I featured them today on Sew Woodsy!

  7. love the colors you picked! i have some similar burp cloths in the works for a friends shower coming up...never thought of using an extra towel in these (you are such a smartie pants!)

  8. Here's the scoop with burp cloths: make a bunch of cute ones, then buy a pack or two of the cloth diapers for messy nastiness when the baby food starts. This way, you have your cute ones for going out, and you have ones you don't have to care too much about. Congrats!

  9. Congratulations on your growing family! As far as burp cloths go, you can never have enough. And a big square might be a good size for a few of them, as well (maybe double the width you currently have), because a major spit-upper may not project in a nice straight line down the burp cloth, and also this gives you a "clean" corner to wipe little mouths off with. Yes, it covers more of your shoulder, but yes! it covers more of your currently clean clothes. The towel is a great idea - I found that microfiber cloths (usually for garage purposes) are awesomely absorbent, and wash up great, as well. You could also keep a few by your diaper changing area, in case baby likes to squirt every time they are exposed to the air (both of my girls always peed when I changed them, and with greater trajectory than our little guy).

  10. Just made these and am blogging about it! Thanks!

  11. What a great tutorial! Thanks so much! I love the idea of using a towel on one side.
    I've made a few for a baby shower gift and blogged about it (where I mentioned and linked to your post, if that's alright).

  12. No need for Burp cloths here, but I'm looking for a fun Towel to use in place of Paper Towels. Washing is not an issue for me, I'd rather wash a load of cute hand-sewn towels and hang on the line for my neighbors to envy, than spend all that $$ on Bounty!

  13. Hi! I used your tutorial to make some burp cloths for my little man! I hope you don't mind, but I posted a link to your blog from mine! Check it out at

    Thank you for the GREAT and easy tutorial! I love your blog!

  14. I am a great grandma, I would want at least a couple of dozen... some days you might only use three, but some days you might use a dozen.. they are the handiest things since sliced bread... and I love your simple design. I sew for charity and make baby things for mamas that don't have much when they go home from the hospital... jo in Oklahoma

  15. These are just perfect!! I just had a friend contact me about making some and this is exactly what I will make!! Thanks for sharing.