Sunday, July 13, 2008

DIY Project: Placemat into Diaper Clutch

I've got a good green, DIY-er mommy project for you today!

So here's how this little project started out. I was getting tired of lugging around a big diaper bag on short errands just in the rare case my baby had a blowout away from home, when I almost never even open it. I wanted to get one of those little diaper change clutch thingies that just hold the essentials for one change: diaper, wipes, changing pad, that would fit into my purse. (or now, my big Mommy bag)

Then I decided to go to Target and check out the diaper wallet they had for $16.99. I had seen it on another trip but then couldn't find it. I thought it was too expensive but I was getting desperate. I then saw that they had this little diaper pouch thing for $9.99 which I thought was also rediculously over-priced for a pouch with a velcro flap that would have taken me 5 minutes to make. This is where I decided that I could totally just make my own and save money. Yes, many of my DIY projects stem from my cheap-ness coupled with my constant desire to have a project going. On my way out I came across these placemats on clearance for $1.98 on an end cap:

I thought it was a cool blue pattern and decided to pick a couple up and use the fabric to turn into my own travel sized diaper changing kit. So, this is how my logic went on this project, and after I had purchased these placemats I thought...duh, I could have gotten some at a thrift store and re-purposed something that was already used. But, alas, I was thinking in the wrong order. I decided this was still a cool, simple project to post here and suggest that you try it out with some old placemats. I always see tons of them at thrift stores and garage sales so it's another great way to recycle something!

So, here is what I did: (illustrations by GF Design ;-)

1) Get a placemat! Better yet, get two. You can fold up the extra one and stick it in the holder at the end as a matching changing mat! Or, use it in case you mess something up on your first try.

2) lay your travel sized wipes container on it to measure the height, add a couple inches, and trim off the top excess. Save that scrap as you'll use it later!

3) With the outside pattern you want facing up, fold the ends in to create the two pockets you'll have to hold diapers on one side and wipes on the other. Just make sure that when you fold the pockets in that the wipes container just takes up half the width, so you can fold it over on itself when done.

4) Sew the edges of the two pocket ends. Then, turn the two pockets inside out so you now have the pattern on the outside.

5) You'll find the edges curl up a little from sewing the pockets and turning it inside out, so this is where I ironed a seam and sewed them down where shown in the illustration above. It's probably not absolutely necessary but I thought it gave it a more finished look.

6) Take the scrap you cut off and sew the raw edge shut, attach some velcro, and then attach the whole works to the holder as a strap to hold it shut!

And you're done!

Mine is now equipped with a cloth diaper and cloth wipes! I will have more reviews from my cloth diapering adventures coming soon too, by the way!

If any of you try this, I'd love to post pictures of yours, so feel free to send 'em my way! Contact me through my website and I'll reply with an address for you to send attachments to! (Sorry, I dare not post my email address straight out as I already get literally hundreds of spam messages per day! If only I could turn electronic junk mail into gifts as well!)


Latina Librarian said...

I was looking for a pattern for the Target style diaper envelope and found your site. I am definitely going to have to try you idea!

Ginger said...

This would make a wonderful gift this christmas or baby shower thank you so much for posting it!
hugs ginger

Unknown said...

would you be able to make a diaper pad&envelope??those are invaluable:)

Gretchen Fleener said...

Yes, you could totally do just the pad in a smaller "envelope" too. For this one I folded up another placemat and tucked it inside as a changing mat. But, you could just as easily make a single pocket clutch to hold a mat...or, even make a mat that folds into an envelope itself as one piece!

Heather Shertz said...

How do you turn it inside out..... I am not understanding if you sew the sides how you turn it inside out.

Gretchen Fleener said...

Hi Heather...when I say to turn it inside out, I'm just talking about the two pockets being flipped inside out, so the pattern is on the outside of the clutch when it's closed. Does that make sense? None of it is actually fully sewn "shut," this is just so the seams on either side of each pocket are hidden inside the pockets. ;-)

NC Cassagne Family said...

Love it! I LOVE DIY projects and I was thinking about making something like this! Can't wait to get started!!! Thank you for the instructions!!

NC Cassagne Family said...

Love this! I am a DIYer and this is exactly what I was looking for!! Not to mention that I have a TON of placemats already that I picked up to repurpose! Thanks for the instructions!!

Jenn said...

Oh I cant wait to try this!! My girls are (thankfully) way old for diapers BUT I have 2 babies coming in 2 months for cousins! I am thinking that I might modify this just a bit to have a small pocket for cream for sore butts and perhaps try to make a pad to fold out that attaches.. I have fabric I will use that I got on clearance and see about repurposing an old flannel shirt for the pad liner.. hmmm... need to get the pen and paper out for this one! IF I get it all put together soon (HA! kids are off this week!) I will see about sending you pictures! Is it wrong that I want the babies to be girls (even tho they will be boys) so I can add ruffles?? lol
As I sit here I can see this being something to use all thru potty training too! if I can make it so a pull-up thing fit in the pocket. This is also something I can see tossed in the diaperbag for Dad to take into the bathroom, or in the glovebox of the car for emergencies! OH I might have to make them each 3! lol

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