How to Make Burping Cloths for Your Newborn, Infant or Baby

Updated on May 14, 2019
Catie Stacey profile image

Catie is working on becoming a new mother. She is learning a lot and is not afraid to share.

What Exactly Are We Talking About?

In this world, there are lots of things that your baby is going to spit-up on. Why not make some of those things fun to look at and homemade to boot? I'm talking about sewing your own burping cloths: bone or bowtie shaped pieces of flannel that protect you from your child's spew. One of my sisters, Amanda, is the queen of whipping these puppies up. She gets super fancy with patterns, stitches, and hems. I'm not that cool and I needed to make about 100 for me and my pregnancy buddy. I used one of the burpers that she had made for me as a template.

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This is one of the burping cloths that my sister made for me. Notice the nice hem and stitch pattern.Here are the measurements for Amanda's final product. I never measured anything before I started so I recommend creating your own template with rounder numbers for simplicity's sake.
This is one of the burping cloths that my sister made for me. Notice the nice hem and stitch pattern.
This is one of the burping cloths that my sister made for me. Notice the nice hem and stitch pattern.
Here are the measurements for Amanda's final product. I never measured anything before I started so I recommend creating your own template with rounder numbers for simplicity's sake.
Here are the measurements for Amanda's final product. I never measured anything before I started so I recommend creating your own template with rounder numbers for simplicity's sake.

The Prep Work

So I took my cute little template and lay it on double thickness of Snuggle brand flannel that I purchased on sale at Joann's Fabrics. Eventually, I got crazy and used quadruple thickness. I did not approach this project with perfection in mind so I traced around my sister's burper with blue tailor's chalk about 1/4" away from the template. I used dashes instead of a straight line for ease and efficiency.

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Double thickness on the fold. I wanted to cut out more than one at a time. You need two identical pieces for one burper.If you look closely, you can just see my chalk marks about 1/4" away from the burper.This is how I was able to cut quadruple thickness. This was much faster and I think I saved a ton of fabric.Another view of the dash marks and quadruple thickness.
Double thickness on the fold. I wanted to cut out more than one at a time. You need two identical pieces for one burper.
Double thickness on the fold. I wanted to cut out more than one at a time. You need two identical pieces for one burper.
If you look closely, you can just see my chalk marks about 1/4" away from the burper.
If you look closely, you can just see my chalk marks about 1/4" away from the burper.
This is how I was able to cut quadruple thickness. This was much faster and I think I saved a ton of fabric.
This is how I was able to cut quadruple thickness. This was much faster and I think I saved a ton of fabric.
Another view of the dash marks and quadruple thickness.
Another view of the dash marks and quadruple thickness.

Once I had everything cut out of all of my different patterns, I realized I had some fabric leftover that could be used as a cloth napkin or something for the baby so I cut out small squares to sew together.

Everything All Cut Out

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To stay consistent, I used the same template over and over; I did not ever change templates.You can see the small squares that I cut out in the top left of this photo.
To stay consistent, I used the same template over and over; I did not ever change templates.
To stay consistent, I used the same template over and over; I did not ever change templates.
You can see the small squares that I cut out in the top left of this photo.
You can see the small squares that I cut out in the top left of this photo.

Let's Sew!

I purchased Singer's Fashion Mate sewing machine on last year's Black Friday at Joann's Fabrics. I took this little girl home for the low price of $99.99. I am just past breaking her in and I really like it so far! It is extremely easy and straightforward to operate. I met a sewing teacher one time while browsing cotton who said to me, "You don't need to know how to sew, you need to know how to operate and maintain your machine." How right she was! I definitely recommend this model to anyone who has a little experience with sewing machines, but I think a complete novice could find their way around.

Black Friday is a great time to purchase a sewing machine. Last year the super fancy machines were hundreds of dollars off! I love my Singer Fashion Mate.
Black Friday is a great time to purchase a sewing machine. Last year the super fancy machines were hundreds of dollars off! I love my Singer Fashion Mate.

Flannel is (for lack of a better term) sort of a "sticky" fabric. It clings to itself easily and doesn't slide around much. If I were sewing pajama pants or some other sort of clothing item, I would use pins to be more precise. In this case, I just stuck two pieces of the flannel right side to right side together and went at it. This was a major time saver.

For this project, I used a simple, medium-sized, single straight stitch.

I started sewing in the middle area and following the edge with just over 1/4" seam allowance. Always make a back stitch when beginning and ending a stitch to lock it in.

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Lining up the edge with the edge of my foot. Easy enough to follow.Ending the stitch with a back stitch is essential!
Lining up the edge with the edge of my foot. Easy enough to follow.
Lining up the edge with the edge of my foot. Easy enough to follow.
Ending the stitch with a back stitch is essential!
Ending the stitch with a back stitch is essential!

Make sure that you do not complete the stitch around the burper and leave a hole behind. This way you can flip the burper inside out. I left 2–3" for my holes so I could get my chubby fingers through!

You must leave a hole in the seam so that you can flip the burper right side out in order to see your beautiful pattern!
You must leave a hole in the seam so that you can flip the burper right side out in order to see your beautiful pattern!

Flippity Flip!

Flip the burper right side out now. Be patient if you happened to leave yourself a smaller hole. You will eventually be able to flip it, it just takes a few more tears and swear words.

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Partially flipped.Ta da! All done! Just kidding, this is what you're left with before you push the seams out.
Partially flipped.
Partially flipped.
Ta da! All done! Just kidding, this is what you're left with before you push the seams out.
Ta da! All done! Just kidding, this is what you're left with before you push the seams out.

Okay, so now you need to push the seams out as much as you can so that you don't just have a lumpy bag like in the last picture. It does not have to be absolutely perfect right now, but this is your last chance to have access to the guts of the burper.

The seams are pushed out of the burper although it is not perfect yet.
The seams are pushed out of the burper although it is not perfect yet.

Closing the Hole

We need to sew the hole closed. Line up the seams the way they would be if they were sewn shut. Sew as close as you can to the edge. Make sure you pass the hole with your stitch at the beginning and end by about 1/2". Don't forget to back stitch when you start and stop!

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Where my fingers are is where I am starting and stopping the tiny stitch. The hole is between them. Another example of where the hole is. Between my fingers. See how close I am to the edge? Of Glory!The finished stitch to close the hole.
Where my fingers are is where I am starting and stopping the tiny stitch. The hole is between them.
Where my fingers are is where I am starting and stopping the tiny stitch. The hole is between them.
Another example of where the hole is. Between my fingers.
Another example of where the hole is. Between my fingers.
See how close I am to the edge? Of Glory!
See how close I am to the edge? Of Glory!
The finished stitch to close the hole.
The finished stitch to close the hole.

To the Ironing Board!

In order to finish these burpers off, trim any extra threads and then grab your iron!

In order to get the seams all the way out, I would roll the fabric between my fingers until I could almost see the stitch on the inside of the seam. I followed immediately with my iron on the hottest and steamiest setting. I ironed one half of the burping cloth, then the other.

Ironing makes a big difference in this DIY project. Especially if you intend on gifting these burping cloths. See the difference in the pictures below?

The stack of ironing to do. My iron came with my house and is very old so I recommend any iron that isn't a thousand years old.
The stack of ironing to do. My iron came with my house and is very old so I recommend any iron that isn't a thousand years old.
Not ironed on the left, ironed on the right.
Not ironed on the left, ironed on the right.
See the difference? No ironed on the left, ironed on the right. The ironed burper looks so polished and complete!
See the difference? No ironed on the left, ironed on the right. The ironed burper looks so polished and complete!

Final Thoughts

These burpers are SO easy to make and are satisfying to complete. They are a hit at any baby shower and extremely useful. Good luck making your burping cloths and remember, with a burping cloth, it doesn't matter if you get vomited on.

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Now just plop a freshly fed baby on your shoulder and you're all done!All of the finished products.
Now just plop a freshly fed baby on your shoulder and you're all done!
Now just plop a freshly fed baby on your shoulder and you're all done!
All of the finished products.
All of the finished products.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

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      • Catie Stacey profile imageAUTHOR

        Catherine Stacey 

        2 months ago from Belgrade

        No problem! I'm glad that you enjoyed it.

      • Emmy ali profile image

        Eman Abdallah Kamel 

        2 months ago from Egypt

        I enjoyed reading this article. Thank you for these simple steps for making burping cloths for newborn.

      • Catie Stacey profile imageAUTHOR

        Catherine Stacey 

        2 months ago from Belgrade

        Hopefully!! The freshly fed baby was the only missing thing from this article. Maybe I'll take the same exact picture with the baby in September and update the article!

      • profile image

        Michelle Stacey 

        2 months ago

        I love the plopping baby comment! You will be an excellent mom! Love, grandma...

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