DIY Changing Pad Cover

As my less-than-clever title suggests, this is a story about a changing pad and it’s desire…umm, my desire…for it to be covered.changingpadcover 021crop   The existing plastic doesn’t scream warm and cozy to me and the thought of four little warm buns repeatedly being shocked by it’s chill at every diaper change is haunting and insensitive so I set out to change that.  When searching the web for a good tutorial on how to make my own cover, I came across this one at Prudent Baby.  It seemed like the one with the greatest detail for someone like me who’s a little freakish at the thought of sewing from scratch.  It was also the simplest I could find.  I followed the tutorial word-for-word for the most part (opting to not use two different fabrics), but made a few adjustments and added an extra couple of steps at the end to get the custom changing pad cover of my day dreams.  I’ll lay it all out for ya in case you’re in the market to give some baby buns a warm landing spot as well.  Oh, I forgot to mention the best part of this whole undertaking - you’re making a changing pad cover out of ONE piece of fabric!  No sewing lots of different pieces and sections together which can get overwhelming and way too involved, especially since if you’re making this, chances are you’ve got a babe or two (or three, four, five…) of your own that’s vying for attention too.

So, first things first – fabric.  You’ll need a little under a yard of 54” wide fabric, a 48 x 32 inch piece to be exact.  I used an 84” long, Target curtain panel I found at Dirt Cheap for $3.  I only used half so the plan is to make a spare cover with the other half lest one get stained with excrement…which we all know never happens…  Also, make sure you wash your fabric beforehand…unwashed might mean shrinkage later along with a few choice words.  Second, this tutorial is for a standard, contoured changing pad measuring 34” x 16”.  We own this one.  Third, this is what you’ll need:changingpadcover 001

To start, cut a 48” x 32” piece of fabric.  I used a plastic quilting square I picked up at JoAnn’s to get straight edges and perfect corners.

Once you have your 48” x 32” piece, fold it in half length-wise with the right sides facing each other and then in half width-wise.  Draw an 7.5” x 7.5” square on the corner where there are no folds.  (I followed Prudent Baby’s instructions and drew an 8” x 8” square however, now that the cover is finished, I’ve realized I could use an extra half inch at each corner, so next time I’m going with a 7.5 inch square.) 
Untitled2 Again, my quilting square comes in handy.

Next, cut out the square making sure you cut through all four layers of fabric.
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When you unfold your fabric, it should now look like this:
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Now, sew the two sides of each square cut-out together, making sure the right sides are facing each other.

After you’ve sewn your square sides together, you’re former piece o’ fabric will look like this:changingpadcover 011
Got it so far?  Good!  Let’s move on!

Next up, fold over the bottom, raw edge of your future cover one inch and iron it down.changingpadcover 012 

And then fold it over one inch again, ironing and pinning in place this time.
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  The elastic will run through this seam. 

Once you’re done ironing and pinning, sew your hem, keeping as close to the folded side as you can and making sure to leave a couple of inches unhemmed where you’ll insert the elastic.  Also, make sure you backstitch at each end of your hem to make sure it doesn’t come undone!

Now, grab your elastic and cut a 52 inch piece.  (Prudent Baby instructs to cut a 36 inch piece, but I found that my cover was way too tight, pressing and pulling on the corners of my changing pad.  So, after a few indignant huffs and puffs, I pulled out my seam ripper and veered from her path.)   Thread it through your new hem by pinning one end to your cover and sticking a safety pin through the other end. 
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Simply guide the safety pin end through your seam, sew the two elastic ends together, and stitch up the hole you left for the elastic.  (Never mind that mine is as crooked as Pisa’s tower.  It does the job.)  Untitled5

(At this point, I thought I was done.  But after putting the cover over the pad, it was a little too loose and a lot too frumpy in some areas than I liked.  So, I customized it.)

Next, put your newly sewn cover over your pad inside-out and gather the loose fabric near the ends, pinning it in place right over the contoured edges like so:
Make sure you do this to both ends.

To make my life easier, I drew a line across my pins along which to sew. 
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Take your cover back off and, while it’s still inside out, sew a straight stitch along the pin line, making sure to backstitch at each end.
changingpadcover 028 (You can cut the excess fabric off with a pinking shears, but I found that it’s not at all noticeable after you put your cover on.)

After all is said and done, your cover should now look like this:
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Now go ahead and change some diapers in style!
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Whew!  Talk about a lot of pictures!  All in all, this project took me about an hour and a half to complete and that’s with correcting the inadequacies mentioned above.  I promise you it’s easier than it looks and much more budget-friendly (and way more chic) than buying a cover!  This cover cost me $5 to make - $2 for elastic and $3 for the curtain panel I used half of.  The twins’ bums will never again be subjected to a cold mat while I clean up their acts and I will be forever smug in the fact that I won’t have an ugly plastic pad ruining my decor vibe.

.           .           .

If you take on a changing pad of your own using this tutorial, let me know how it turns out!  I’d love to see your “buttiful” creations!  Ha!  Butt seriously, post pictures on Bean In Love’s facebook page or leave a link in the comments section below! 

Have a great weekend everyone!

You Know I Love Stripes

And so it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that I did this:
feb92012 025  to the other side of our newly stamped kitchen rug.

I debated a few other options – diagonal stripes, chevron, etc… – but in the end I loved the idea of the horizontal stripes not to mention that it was the easiest option because all it involved was laying down tape and painting…no cutting, trimming, or measuring.

All I used this two-inch wide masking tape (from Target) to create the stripes: feb92012 020

Before I started I ripped off a small piece of tape and stuck it to my rug to make sure that when removed, it wouldn’t ruin the rug.  Lucky for me, it came off as clean as can be.

So, starting at one end, I laid strips of tape about two inches apart…feb92012 021 
giving me lots of even stripes all the way down the rug.feb92012 022(I actually started laying two pieces of tape together for thicker stripes, but then changed my mind and went with the thin stripes.)

I made sure to wrap the tape around the sides and under the rug so that, if any paint got on the sides, it’d still be where it was supposed to be – part of a stripe.feb92012 023 
Then I carefully took the rug outside and gave it a couple of coats of spray paint, letting the first coat dry (about 30 minutes) before I sprayed the second coat.  After a few hours of leaving it outside to rid it of the paint smell, I brought it in, carefully removed the tape, and laid it in our guest room for 24 hours before bringing it into the kitchen to be walked all over.

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We love it!  It seriously looks like it was bought this way.  I noticed that the spray paint preserved the texture of the rug much more than the sponged on latex paint did.

[Update:  Read about how the rug is holding up here!] 

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Budget breakdown for this side:
Tape:  $4 (used only about 1/8 of the roll)
Spray Paint:  $4 (used one leftover can and half of another)
Total:  $8
…which brings the Grand Total of the entire project to:  $34
Thirty-four beans for a reversible rug that we can flip and reverse depending on our mood, that can be easily washed, that adds some much need pattern and color into our kitchen, and that gives our dish-washin’ footsies a soft place to land.  Not bad, I’d say!

So, the only question that remains is, which side do you like better?reversi      stripes                                                  or                                             patterned   

.           .           .

I’ve been busy in the nursery and I’ve got a good read/tutorial coming your way this weekend!  Hope to see you then!

P.S.  It’s party time!  Linking up at A Bowl Full of Lemons, Ginger Snap Crafts, and Gingerly Made!

A ‘Rug’ged Outlook

We’re still trying to infuse some much needed color into our white, white kitchen and I knew that one of the biggest steps I could make in that direction would be putting down a rug.  I wanted a runner but, you know me, I didn’t want to spend a bunch of cash on one.  I wanted something with a big geometric pattern but unfortunately, unless I settled for a plain old solid, nothing with a price tag low enough (say under $25) was popping up.  Never fear, pinterest is here (my new mantra?).  I’ve seen dozens and dozens of stenciled and painted rugs before and those rugs usually hailed from IKEA, which we don’t have anywhere close.  Lucky for me, I’ve got a friend named Allyson who does.  She’s going to school 30 minutes from an IKEA and so I had her swipe up a rug for me and bring it down home last summer.  Well, then the twins were born, I lost a bunch of sleep, I was feeding them allthetime, other projects got in the way, I couldn’t decide what color, yadda, yadda, yadda…  But, last weekend while Anthony was away on a trip to St. Louie, I got my rug on.

First of all, the inspiration.  John and Sherry from Young House Love created the ultimate dollhouse for their little girl, Clara, and this is one of the rooms:kitchrugpattern

When I saw it, the first thing my eyes went to was the “rug”.  I had to replicate the pattern.  So, I did.

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And here’s how:

feb92012 005I used a 3/4 inch thick piece of insulation styrofoam to make a stamp and stamped the design over the entire rug.  You could probably use a thick piece of cardboard or a piece of packing styrofoam as well.

The first thing I did was draw up the design.  I made the outside square one foot by one foot and  guessed at the rest of the design’s measurements.   feb92012 001

Then I traced it onto my foam piece and cut it out using one of our knives (I really, really need to invest in an exacto knife).  I made sure to get a clean cut on the side of the foam that I’d be stamping with.  The other side crumbled a little as the knife cut through but since it wouldn’t be touching the rug, it didn’t matter.
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To give me something to hold onto while I stamped, I glued a wood block to the back of the inside stamp and two folded pieces of cardboard to the outer square. feb92012 008

Enter the rug.  Lucky for me, it’s almost the same size as our dining room table so I had a perfect work surface.feb92012 009

As for the color, I finally decided on this:  feb92012 019
Valspar’s Secluded Garden.  It’s part of their pre-mixed sample selection at Lowe’s this season.

So, starting with the outside square of my design, I brushed a coat of paint onto the foam using a small foam brush.feb92012 010

Then I stamped the very center of the rug, which I measured for and found beforehand.feb92012 011

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I worked my way out and around the entire rug… feb92012 013

until I had a basic lattice design. feb92012 014

Next I grabbed the inside of my design and stamped it inside each square.feb92012 015

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After I was done stamping, I filled in the design by sponging on paint using my foam brush.feb92012 018

I let it dry for 24 hours before I laid it down for fear that if I didn’t I’d be tracking blue paint all over our house…a nice surprise Anthony would’ve loved to come home to, I’m sure.

[Update:  Read about how the rug is holding up here!]

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The cost?
Rug:  $20
Paint: $6 (two sample-sized jars)
Foam:  already had
Foam brush:  already had
Total:  $26

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But wait!  There are two “sides” to every story, including this one.  I’ll let you in on the other side sometime this week.  Until then, I’m linking up with Ana and her infamous Valentine’s Day Cabin Fever Creativity Link-Up and this weeks Martha Mondays.  Go check out the craftiness that’s flowing and have a great weekend!

P.S.  I’m back from the future and linking up with Remodelaholic here!  Check out all the DIY goodness!

Bean Sprouts: 7 Months

Seven long and short months have passed since the twins exited the confines of mwah and seven long and short months have also passed since the last time I slept more than six hours at a time, had a schedule not dictated by feedings, I could wear a shirt more than once without washing it, “doing laundry” didn’t include washing diapers (many, many diapers), or since I’ve spent a peaceful morning with a cup ‘o joe by my side, just wisting away my big plans for a wide open day.  But, I’ve loved every minute of it…nope, that’s a lie.  Those hundreds of times now where my peaceful slumber has been ripped to shreds by baby pipes aren’t so loved…accepted, but not loved.  Anyway, I’ll stop my rambling and get on to what I know you really all care about anymore (becausemommyischoppedliver), the offspring.7 mo

feb92012 042 The girl with two bottom teeth, barely protruding from the surface of her gums.  The girl who hated food at the beginning of the month but is now open wide at the sight of her rubber spoon.  The girl whose hair I still just can’t wrangle…another trim of the left side is impending.7 mo 3 Her new thing as of this past week, being the girl who can get up on knees and elbows and wobble back and forth before falling and getting right back up.feb92012 014  First one to get teeth, first one to start making mobility moves, first-born…it all just makes sense, I guess.  She talks and talks and talks, whether something is in her mouth or not and, speaking of her mouth, loves it to be always occupied.  Not in a ‘hungry’ sort of way, but just always ‘chewing’ sort.  As a matter of fact, anything and everything she gets her long fingers on goes straight to the mouth usually preceded by a monstrous “arggghhh”.

7 mo   The girl who eats anything and everything – pears, oatmeal, squash, medicine, Mommy’s hair – it’s all one and the same to this girl.  Her mouth is always WIDE open, ready for any sort of nourishment that might find it’s landing there.  She’s the girl who, even though she was falling asleep whilst eating two seconds before, suddenly thinks that once we make our way with her to the crib for bedtime, that it’s now play time.  Girl without a tooth to be seen, girl with the two biggest baby dimples I ever did see, girl with her hands always behind her head:
c arms up Seriously, this girl can chill.  My sister took all of these pictures during her five-day stay a couple of weeks ago.  It’s her go-to position.  One.of.a.kind.


Per monthly tradition, we sat the sprouts on the ‘ole loveseat to get some proof of growth the other night and they just wouldn’t have it.  The first snap was okay but then it just went downhill 7 mo 4from 7 mo 5 there.7 mo 6

So the next day, after being reminded that we are dust (Ash Wednesday, in case I lost ya there), I sat them back down for another try:
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 7 mo cu

Happy St. Valentine’s Day!

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