The other day while at the Library, I came across Amy Butler’s book Little Stitches for Little Ones and got inspired to make this changing pad using only materials that I already had lying around.
Amy Butler creates some of the most beautiful fabric patterns that I’ve ever seen, but when I found this project I immediately got really inspired to do some upcycling.
I really like the look of vintage bed sheets and have amassed a good quantity over the last several years. Most of the ones that I’ve purchased from thrift stores are full or queen sized flat sheets as well as some pillow cases, since fitted sheets don’t tend to hold up very well over the years.
Amy Butler’s Changing Pad Pattern calls for a piece of mid-weight printed cotton for the exterior and coordinating solid-color terry cloth for the portion where the baby will be placed down for changing.
For the mid-weight printed cotton I used a very retro butterfly bed sheet in browns, orange, and gray set on a cream background. This was a sheet that I cut up years ago to make curtains with (note to self; curtains are probably not the best application for vintage bed sheets).
For the terry cloth I used an old brown towel. I chose it because it was nice and soft but we don’t ever use it for showering, as we have about 6 really nice fast-drying towels that where recent gifts. Also, I figured that the dark color would mask some of the inevitable stains.
The pattern also called for two pieces of batting for the inside, which I just happened to have from another project, but if I wouldn’t have had enough of that I would have used pieces of an old felt-like blanket that I’d already cut up to use as batting for another project.
My finished piece is just a little bit different from the original pattern. For instance I ended up making the changing pad two inches longer to coincide with the width of the towel because I couldn’t see just wasting those two inches for no good reason. The second thing I changed was the tie. In the pattern you are supposed to make the tie with the printed fabric and this gets velicroed to itself around the mat when it’s rolled up. Since I didn’t have any sew-on Velcro to use but did have a spool of brown grosgrain ribbon I decided to use two lengths of that and make it tie closure instead.
Now we’ve got a changing pad to use on the go that’s completely washable and almost 100% upcycled!
This is a great project for people who have a sewing machine but who aren’t that ambitious or who feel overwhelmed by the thought of following a sewing pattern. I for one usually have a hard time following sewing directions, but even this wasn’t too much of a challenge. (bonus points for my first “quilting” project!)
What have you made for your little one out of recycled/ reclaimed materials that you have found indispensable as a parent? I would love to hear about it! I’m looking for some more things to make and would love some inspiration! I think that one of the next things I’ll try making are some fitted crib sheets (there’s a pattern for those too in the book mentioned above). Something tells me that you can’t have too many of those! I’m thinking that my vintage bed sheets would be a great application for baby bed sheets.