One thing you will learn as a mother is that babies require a lot of STUFF. And that stuff can be very, very expensive!
On a military budget we can’t afford to buy all the newest and greatest things for our little guys, but that doesn’t mean we have to go without! A little time, creativity, and some searching can lead to a variety of different solutions to everyday problems at a much lower cost.
Yesterday I shared with you some tips and ideas on how to homeschool your toddlers or preschoolers on a budget. Today I want to share with you a few crafts that I have done to help make life with babies easier while still being affordable.
I love babywearing! It provides such wonderful snuggle opportunities. But my moby only worked well for the first few months, and I have never been a huge fan of my bjorn. I would love to get an Ergo but we just can’t afford the $100 (although it is on my list for the next child…hint hint ;) ) for something so unnecessary.
I spent hours searching for another option to carry my older babies. I liked the idea of the mei tei, but wasn’t sure about the tying. Then I discovered the Pea Pod Hip Carrier. Perfect for carrying an older baby or toddler, and it has buckles!
I love this carrier! I’ll admit that T does get heavy in it now that he is 13 months old. And the back isn’t quite as high as I would like. But he still fits in it. And I can still carry him for a decent amount of time. It was absolutely perfect when he was 8-12 months and would have worked even at a younger age. As long as your little one is has good head control, and can be safely carried on your hip, this carrier will work.
The one problem that I did find was that when he fell asleep I had to hold his head. There was no where for his head to go other than back. But this was a minor detail.
If you are looking for a transitional carrier, and you can sew, this is perfect!
I saved money making this by using repurposed fabrics for the body fabric, minkee remnants as the soft inner part, and leftovers from a quilt for the decorative outer part. The only thing I had to buy were the buckles and the interfacing. The buckles were tricky to find, and I recommend ordering them online.
In total it ended up costing me around $15 and some sewing time. That’s a great discount over the $100 or more that most carriers on the market cost!
Note: If you are more well endowed then some (I was wearing a size 16 when I made this), I would recommend making the straps a bit longer around the waist. In her picture there is a lot of strap left over after she tightens it. On me I found that there was very little. Keep this in mind when cutting your fabric and adjust accordingly.
I’ve made two of these wonderful covers so far. I just wish I had made one sooner!
The first one I made for T. I wanted to be able to cover him up when we were out and about and he was sleeping. I also wanted him to be nice and warm. Since we live in a place where it is chilly or rainy many days of the year I went ahead and made it with fleece on the backside in order to keep him dry and snuggly warm.
This was one of the simplest projects that I have made, and it has come in handy many times. It only takes an hour or so, and would be perfect for someone who doesn’t have too much sewing experience because it is fairly simple.
The whole project cost me nothing because I had all the materials on hand. The fleece was upcycled from something given to me, the velcro was leftover from another project, and the monkey material I bought with a coupon for another project (that never got done). If you count the monkey material as a purchased item then the total project was probably under $10.
The second one I made for a friend. She provided me with all the materials, and I stitched it up for her. Since she lives in Arizona I suggested that she go with a flannel backing instead of the fleece.
One of the things that I love about the design of this project is that it works well on the strollers. I have used it on the double stroller many times as a blanket for the two boys. It has also worked by using the velcro tabs on an umbrella stroller. Plus, it works as a cuddly blanket for the car or when out and about. My boys used to fight over who got to use it!
3. Baby Ties
Easter was coming and I had NO clue what to do with my little guys. I didn’t want to spend too much money but I really wanted them to look nice for church. We also have a few upcoming events that will require us to dress more formally than usual. I wanted to save money by getting just one outfit that would work for all of the events.
The idea of ties on my little guys was very charming. I had seen photos of other babies all decked out in their ties and thought that it would be a simple option. So I scoured through my scraps and got to work. These were completely free because they were both made from left over scraps, most of which were given to me from my mom’s quilting scraps!
I did add some scrap interfacing. When I make them again I probably won’t include the interfacing and will probably make them a bit longer.
They did not want to take pictures. But aren’t they adorable?
What projects have you done lately? How do you find ways to cut costs in your life? Have you found any good ways to cut costs through your crafting?