Monday, September 15, 2014

Tutorial: Rice-Filled Baby Warmer

I bought a sewing machine late last year before our big move, and I went ballistic for a while on projects. Then we started packing up boxes as we prepared to change cities in less than five weeks. The sewing machine was packed up along with everything else, and then stayed upstairs in my parent's garage for nine months. I pulled it out of their garage recently to tackle some projects I had saved up our baby and other miscellaneous items.

My sister-in-law had told me how their daughter hadn't yet grown accustomed to her crib. I don't know too much about sleep schedules and four-month-old babies, but I'll definitely know by the end of winter when my own baby is born. I found a tutorial for how to make a baby snuggler, a rice-filled fleece warmer that you lay next to the baby to sort of trick them into thinking there's a warm body next to them. I immediately thought of my niece and wondered if it work for her.

Since I've been super frugal lately, I kept putting off going to the store to buy fleece fabric. I have a small stockpile of random cotton fabrics that I had purchased last year during my aforementioned sewing frenzy. As I picked through the pile, I found a fun chevron pattern with lots of bright colors that I thought I work. I think it's important to mention that I'm very much a novice when it comes to sewing, so I loosely followed the instructions in the tutorial. Here's some quick notes if you want to try making one, as well.

Rice-Filled Baby Warmer

1/2 yard cotton or fleece fabric

1. Cut two rectangular pieces of fabric (mine measured roughly 4 in. × 22 in.; I know that's random, but I just used scrap fabric that I had on hand!).
2. Lay one piece of fabric face up and the second piece on top face down.
3. Sew the edges with a 1/4 in. fabric left on two long sides and one short side. Leave one short side open to fill with rice.
4. Trim the corners off on each side.
5. Flip the fabric inside out. Your corners that you trimmed should be 90 degrees once you're done adjusting the fabric.
6. Sew a trim around the heating pad with 1/4 in. seam.
7. Fill with rice so that you can at least fold it in half to fit in the microwave.
8. Warm in the microwave for 45 seconds when ready to use.
9. Lay the warmer next to the baby.

This was a super quick project, and I made one for my niece and my own baby. I can't wait to try it out, but I'm currently only four months along, so it may be a while before little Oliver or Elanor can test this.

Kelsey is a passionate vegan living in Houston, Texas, spreading the word about the benefits of eating a healthy, plant-based diet. She's also a minimalist enthusiast, a self-proclaimed financial guru of her household, and founder of The Little Red Journal.

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