Tutorial: Cloth Diaper Burp Cloths

Spring seems like the season for babies!  Do you have a baby shower to go to? Want to add just one more quick item to your purchased gift to make it extra special!?!? 

While I totally recommend my chenille burp cloths {if you are going to purchase a gift} these cloth diaper burp cloths are a great substitute if you are wanting to include a little something you made yourself!! 

They are super easy, fairly inexpensive {about $10} and you can customize them however you would like. 

Regarding my fabric placement on the cloth diaper... here's my quick two cents! I like the look of the fabric strip down the middle. It's cute, it looks great in pictures... but is it really practical? Cloth diapers have the extra protection {layers} in the middle for a reason... that's where things get the messiest! Cotton fabric alone is not all the absorbent. I choose to put my fabric on the bottom so that you can still use the bulk of the cloth diaper/burp cloth for soaking up those little messes while still looking cute!

Stuff them in a gift bag, tie them with a cute ribbon and tag, or roll them into cupcakes! 

Want to make some of your own? Here's how.

Gather your supplies:
1 package of 3 or 6 ply cloth diapers - mine are organic
coordinating fabric scraps
sewing machine, iron, scissors, rotary cutter, and all that other fun stuff!! 

When you look for your scraps, double check -- by holding them up to your cloth diapers -- that they are wide enough to cover the width of the diaper, plus about an extra inch.
 {Though I could share my dimensions with you, I find this is the easiest way to make sure they will work. All cloth diapers are slightly different.}

**Be sure to prewash all of your fabric and your cloth diapers. Then iron everything so that they are smooth.

Once everything is ready, cut your fabrics into rectangles. I chose to add two fabrics to my burp cloths, so the larger rectangles are 5" wide x the width of the cloth diaper plus an inch. The smaller rectangles are 2" wide x the width of the cloth diaper plus an inch. 

Take your small rectangles and pin them to the larger rectangles -- right sides together. Then straight stitch where you pinned with a 1/2" seam allowance.

Once you have sewn your strips, iron the seams open. Make sure when you press the seam, that the back of the seam -- on the wrong side of your fabric -- folds down {behind the larger rectangle}. 

Press your seams nice and straight so that your finished burp cloth has nice neat seam lines! 

Then fold down and iron the top and bottom of each sewn piece. You will want about a 1/2" fold. If you want to be exact, you can use a ruler to measure your fold -- otherwise just eye-ball it. 

Here's a front and back view so you can see how they should look. The bottom piece shows the back seam was pressed down behind the bottom rectangle piece. 

Now take one of your cloth diapers and one of your sewn strips. Line of the bottom of the strip with the bottom of your cloth diaper. I like to start by pinning in the middle. Then pin the top to your cloth diaper. 
DO NOT pin all the way to the side edge of the cloth diaper!!  

Now grab your scissors and trim off the excess side fabric leaving about 1/2" on both sides. 

This is the fun part! Ever wonder how those Etsy shops make their side look so awesome?!? Here's my little trick! Turn your cloth diaper over and fold the excess fabric over the back. Then steam iron it. Pull your fabric snug around the side of the cloth diaper as you iron. 

Turn your cloth diaper back over and bring your folded fabric to the top. Simple pin it in place! You will have a perfect edge every time!! 

Repeat for the other side of your cloth diaper. Then you are ready to sew it on! {the fun part!!}

I start by sewing a huge rectangle around the entire exterior of my fabric. I used about a 1/8" seam allowance -- just enough to catch the fabric and the cloth diaper but still be super close to the edge. 

Then I sew a straight line 1/8" from the seam where my two strips join together. Sew it on the bottom rectangle. This is why we folded our original seam down... so that this stitching will serve to hold that seam in place as well as add a decorative look to it.

Here's a close up of my stitching. I use a small stitch -- on my machine it's 2.5 mm long -- so that it looks professional {not hand sewn} and to really hold all that fabric in place!

Once you are finished top stitching your fabric in place, iron everything to secure your stitches. Make as many burp cloths as you want! 

Now they are ready for gift giving... or for using yourself!

These lovelies are headed to a good friend of mine who just had an adorable baby girl!!! 

Happy sewing!! 


  1. Perfection is achieved,what a marvelous description,in my opinion diapers are the basic need of every baby and if they are not made of good quality then they can harm your baby in many ways.So my suggestion is that you should use only those diapers which are best in the opinion of experts.

  2. Those are adorable, love those fabrics! I would love for you to share this (and any other creations) at "Pin It and Win It Wednesday" @ www.cheapcraftymama.com!

  3. Gorgeous! Thank you for this tutorial :)

  4. I have a question . Could you put a pic up of the finished burp cloth not folded up . So they fabric goes on the front and back of just one side of the burp cloth ?

    1. Yes, it is only on the front of the burp cloth. The back is just eh birdseye cloth of the original burp cloth. Good question!

  5. If you scroll up 5 pictures you can see how the burp cloth looks unfolded on the bottom half where the fabric is. The fabric is only on the one side.

    Unfortunately these cute burp cloths has a new home with a cute baby girl in another state so I don't have them anymore to post a picture.

    If you have any other questions, just let me know. :)

  6. This was great and easy. My only problem was with the part about folding the sides to the back, after one wash they frayed like crazy. So instead I'm seeming them in like the other sides and considering a bias tape around the edges of the whole diaper. What do you think?

    1. You only need to fold them to the back to know how far to fold them. Then you move it to the front to sew it on. If you leave it on the back it will absolutely fray unless you serge the edges. If you double check the tutorial it states to bring the folded fabric to the front of the cloth diaper. Try that next time and it will be perfect! :)

  7. Beautiful fabrics, on your burp cloth diapers! Thanks, for sharing your tutorial. I am getting ready to make some for my second grandchild, due in Sept.

  8. So happy to finally have found your tutorial. I've been searching for DIY burp cloths with fabric on the bottom and most have the fabric down the middle. I thought I was crazy...thought I was the only one that thought burp cloths should still be functional. Cotton fabric that covers most of the diaper just didn't seem practical. Need to make a gift for my niece who's expecting a baby girl this month. Can't wait to get started on these! Thanks for sharing!

  9. I used plain cotton diapers as burp cloths for my babies, and I loved them. They last forever (I still have a couple) Now I'm going to be a grandma, and I can't wait to make these! Very cute, and I have scraps galore. Thanks!

  10. Do you cut off the end of your diapers and resew them straight in order for them to have a straight edge at the bottom?
    Sometimes the diapers are not perfectly straight across the bottom.
    Thank you so much for this detailed tutorial!

    1. Thanks for stopping by and for your great question! I actually don't trim the corners because they are serged and if you trim them they will fray since the fabric is only being sewn over the top and not around the edges. I find that when I iron the burp cloth after washing but BEFORE sewing the fabric on I am able to manipulate the corners a little to get them more square. They will never be perfect... but you can get them pretty close. I don't worry so much about the top edge because the birdseye fabric of the burp cloth will shrivel and wrinkle over time with lots of washings. I only worry about the bottom corners where the fabric is going to sit. Hope that helps!


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