DIY Gauze Swaddle Blankets for Baby (…light and breathable!)

 DIY Gauze Swaddle Blankets for baby! Light and breathable...great for a nursing cover too! --- Make It and Love It

 

 

When Chloe was a little baby (3 years ago, gasp!), I noticed that stores were carrying these lightweight cotton Gauze Blankets.  I remember them being about $40 for a 4-pack and thinking that was ridiculous.  But the one thing that convinced me that I should try them, was the fact that we were living in hot & humid Georgia at the time….and they were super lightweight.  So, I gave them a go.  And you know, Chloe was a March baby and we used them all spring and then throughout the summer when we moved to Colorado…..and I sucked every penny out of those little gauze-y blankets. 

 

They’re great for swaddling baby and keeping them snug, without over heating them.  But they’re also perfect for draping over bare baby skin while outside and there’s a slight breeze or indoors when the A/C is on and it’s just a tad chilly for new baby skin.  And you know, I used those gauze blankets to cover myself while nursing Chloe ALL THE TIME…..and it didn’t make me so sweaty hot, like other heavier blankets will do. 

 

DIY Gauze Swaddle Blankets for baby! Light and breathable...great for a nursing cover too! --- Make It and Love It
 

 

So, with this pregnancy, I have had those same blankets on my baby-shopping-list for months….but that price tag, aggggh!  I kept thinking that even though that cotton gauze fabric isn’t super common, I’ve got to find it somewhere and just make them myself.  And guess what??  I found some gauze fabric online.  In a variety of colors.  For like $3-$4 a yard (with free shipping).  Yes, please! 

 

DIY Gauze Swaddle Blankets for baby! Light and breathable...great for a nursing cover too! --- Make It and Love It 

 

All of the gauze I found came in plain colors, so I decided to add a little fun to the edges by binding patterned fabric strips all the way around.  Yeah, I could have kept it really simple like the store-bought variety, and just hemmed each edge.  But what’s the fun in that? :)

 

DIY Gauze Swaddle Blankets for baby! Light and breathable...great for a nursing cover too! --- Make It and Love It

 

 

And this gauze is 100% cotton.  So it breathes really well, is absorbent (if needed), and gets softer and softer with each wash.  It also has a slight stretch to it, which helps with swaddling.

 

DIY Gauze Swaddle Blankets for baby! Light and breathable...great for a nursing cover too! --- Make It and Love It

 

DIY Gauze Swaddle Blankets for baby! Light and breathable...great for a nursing cover too! --- Make It and Love It

 

 

3 perfect-for-summer Gauze Blankets complete….and ready for baby boy’s arrival this summer.

DIY Gauze Swaddle Blankets for baby! Light and breathable...great for a nursing cover too! --- Make It and Love It

 

 

But in the meantime, Chloe thinks they’re hers.  So, I wrapped up one of her baby’s in the blanket……and suddenly, her little mommy-mode kicked in.

 

DIY Gauze Swaddle Blankets for baby! Light and breathable...great for a nursing cover too! --- Make It and Love It 

 

Cracked me right up.

 

DIY Gauze Swaddle Blankets for baby! Light and breathable...great for a nursing cover too! --- Make It and Love It

 

 

If you’re not having your own baby this summer, I’m sure you have at least one friend who is.  Maybe?  Or wait, surely you have a pregnant neighbor you’ve seen waddling to the mail box. I’m sure she’d like a set of these.  (Hey, why don’t you offer to mop her floors too……I hear pregnant ladies have a hard time with that during the last couple months.  Just sayin’.)  Just bundle up a few blankets and make a new momma happy!

 

DIY Gauze Swaddle Blankets for baby! Light and breathable...great for a nursing cover too! --- Make It and Love It

 

DIY Gauze Swaddle Blankets for baby! Light and breathable...great for a nursing cover too! --- Make It and Love It

 

 

Wanna make some too?

 

Okay, first of all, I found my gauze over at fabric.com.  There is a nice variety of colors to choose from but there aren’t any prints.  But really, that’s okay.  The fabric around the edges make these baby’s pop!

 

Oh, and the fabric width listed online is probably what the width would be if you pulled it out flat (most are listed at like 52 inches wide).  But gauze fabric never lays flat.  So, don’t be surprised when it arrives in the mail, a little shriveled….and doesn’t actually end up being 52 inches wide.  And the regular price of this fabric is listed at $3.98 right now, but I always search for coupons online and plug one of those in.

 

Supplies:

  • 1.5 yards gauze fabric (for each blanket)
  • 3 inch wide strips of bias cut cotton fabric. (Or, you can buy double fold bias tape, already made for you)
  • matching thread

 

First of all, these blankets will be made exactly like these Knit Receiving Blankets…so refer to that tutorial as needed.

 

Now, before anything else……PRE-WASH YOUR GAUZE!  In fact, go ahead and pre-wash the cotton you’ll use for the edges BEFORE cutting them into strips too.  (I just threw the binding fabric into the dryer after spritzing it with some water to help shrink it up but the gauze, I put through a full wash and dry cycle.)  This way, you’ll get all of the shrinkage out of the way and won’t have any problems with the blanket getting all wonky once it’s washed.

 

Okay, now grab your gauze and look down the manufactured edge of the fabric.  Yeah, most likely, it’s a little wonky.  But don’t let that make you nervous.  Adding the fabric binding will help hide that.

IMG_4212

 

 

Cut your fabric down to the square or rectangle that you’d like (I cut most of mine down to about 45-48 inches long). 

 

Then, stretch out the width the best you can, to even up the sides a bit.  (If you use an iron, I’m worried it will take out too much of the stretch and then when you wash it, the fabric will shrivel back in and then your binding will become like lettuce leaves.)  You still want it to be wrinkly and shrivel-y…that’s okay.  You’re just trying to even it out.

IMG_4216

 

 

Next, round off each corner with your scissors.

IMG_4217

 

 

Then, cut 3 inch wide strips of fabric, that are cut on the bias.  (More on cutting bias strips.)

 

To connect pieces, follow the quilt binding tutorial and sew them together on the diagonal.

IMG_4296

 

 

Then, open up the fabric and iron it flat.  Having a seam on the diagonal like that will lessen the bulk as you fold the strip into bias tape.

IMG_4298

 

 

Make sure that you have continuous strip of fabric that is long enough to go all the way around your gauze piece.  Then, fold your strip into a piece of bias tape.  (More on making Bias Tape.)

IMG_4305

 

 

Then, start along one side, leaving a several inch tail at one end, begin sandwiching your bias tape around the edge of your gauze.  Flatten out the gauze fabric as best you can as you slide it between the bias cut fabric strips.  Pin in place.

IMG_4314

 

 

Once you reach a corner, do your best to pin it around the curve of the corner.  It’s okay if it’s not absolutely perfect…..but the stretch of the bias cut fabric will curve around that corner pretty well.

IMG_4318

 

 

Then, sew the binding to the blanket.

 

Wait…….but don’t freak out if the fabric is a little rippled.

IMG_4325

 

 

Iron and steam it flat and it will shrink into place and will look MUCH better.  Oh, that steam…….it’s magical!

IMG_4330

 

 

And that’s it!  Your little swaddle blankets are ready for baby!

 DIY Gauze Swaddle Blankets for baby! Light and breathable...great for a nursing cover too! --- Make It and Love It

 

 

Enjoy!

-Ashley

 

 

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Comments

56 Responses to “DIY Gauze Swaddle Blankets for Baby (…light and breathable!)”
  1. 1
    trish says:

    I, too was put off by the high cost of swaddling blankets. I ended up buying on Etsy for much less. This tutorial is great (do it before the baby comes). I also liked the gauze ones that only had a rolled edge (not a bound edge).

    • 1.1
      Ashley says:

      Yes, the rolled edge is great too. That’s how the stores sell them. But, they have some really cute printed gauze, that I of course can’t find. So that fabric binding gave me a little more color to my plain colors! :)

  2. 2
    Tina says:

    No babies in my future – those days are LONG gone, but I will definitely be pinning this to my DIY baby board on Pinterest for any future baby showers or grandbabies (many, MANY years from now – LOL!)! We live in Texas, so lightweight fabric is totally REQUIRED like 90% of the year here! Thanks for the tutorials!

  3. 3

    This is such a great idea! I love the colors you chose and your daughter is so cute! She will be a good helper when her little brothers arrives! Enjoy your creative day!
    ~ Vickie

    • 3.1
      Ashley says:

      Yeah, I hope so. She’s a little firecracker….but having a little brother will surely teach her she is not the royal queen of the house! :)

      Ashley

      • 3.1.1
        Chelsey says:

        I love this response Ashley! It describes my daughter perfectly too! A little royal firecracker!

  4. 4
    Rhonda says:

    Wow, I’ve been searching high and low for these!! What great timing! My 3rd grandson is due in August and these will be perfect!!!

  5. 5
    gassmama says:

    Love this and want to make some for my second daughter who is arriving in July. When you say 1.5 yards, was that for all three blankets (.5 yard each), or 1.5 yards per blanket?

    • 5.1
      Ashley says:

      Oh yes, sorry about that. You’ll need about 1.5 yards per blanket. I fixed that in the tutorial…thanks!

      And yay for July babies! Hope you and baby are doing well! (And I would say sleeping…..but I know that’s next to impossible!

      -Ashley

      • 5.1.1
        gassmama says:

        Thanks so much for the quick response! I am ordering now, can’t wait to get started on them! haha, not much sleep, seems crazy that part of the pregnancy has already started back up.

        • 5.1.1.1
          Ashley says:

          Oh, I know. And the sleep just gets crazier from here on out. Boo. But well worth the end prize! :)

          Good luck with the blankets!

  6. 6
    Tracy says:

    I love these… I’m hoping for one more baby, but for now my best friend is expecting her second baby so I will be making some of these for her as soon as she finds out if she’s having another boy or a baby girl. Thanks Ashley!!! I love you blog so much! :)

  7. 7
    Kelly says:

    Hi – I love the idea of adding something to the edges – I tried this a couple years ago after reading a tutorial on MADE, but the gauze I got then was and still is itchy – my four year old uses them for playing outside, but they never worked for swaddles because I could NOT get the gauze softened. I tried everything – salty brine for three days, dryer balls, repeated wash/dry – and still, nothing.

    I would love to know if your gauze is soft – I also got mine from fabric.com —- hoping its a better product now?

    • 7.1
      Ashley says:

      Hmmmm, I think mine feels pretty soft, even after the first washing. I’m just assuming they’ll get softer but I wonder if there are different types that soften up a little easier. I do have to say that the white that I purchased is slightly softer than the colored ones, but I assumed that was from the dye.

      But yes, I think mine will be soft enough to use right away. So maybe they have changed it a bit?? (Or maybe I have alligator skin and don’t notice? ha!)

      • 7.1.1
        Kelly says:

        Thank you! It is worth a try – my sister is due in August, and 3.99 a yard is a lot more attractive (and better colors I might add). I will let you know if you have alligator skin when it comes in – ha!

  8. 8
    [email protected] says:

    I wish I could give you a high five. This is going to be so perfect for my baby! We are moving to AZ in September (due 9-19) and though I’ve never lived there before I know it’s gonna be hot, hot, hot!

    • 8.1
      Ashley says:

      Haha…..consider my hand high-fived! ;)

      And oh gosh, I grew up in AZ until I left for college. Yep, you’ll love these there! And will probably use them most of the year.

      Good luck with your pregnancy! :)

  9. 9
    GM Terrie says:

    Hi Ashley – GREAT tutorial! Do you preshrink the gauze before adding the cotton binding to it? Also, do the store-bought ones have a serged rolled edge? The reason that I ask is because I need to keep my cost down and a yard of cotton for binding (even making my own) can add a few more $$ to my bill.

    How do you make your gauze soft? Do you use one layer or two layers of gauze when you make these? Lots of questions.

    You are terrific sharing so many things with us. Thank you so much and God bless you and your family.

    • 9.1
      Ashley says:

      Oh gosh, I completely forgot to mention pre-washing. Sometimes I skip that step….but for this, yes for sure pre-wash. You wouldn’t want all that work to get wonky. (And thanks, I added that into the tutorial.) And yes, the store bought ones just have a hemmed edge that’s sewn in place. But this fabric is so wonky that even the store bought ones look uneven and stretch funny. But don’t let that deter you…..they’re still great little blankets.

      And no, just one layer is all you need. It keeps the blanket light and airy. And, I washed the gauze, which made it a little softer but I remember with the store bought ones, they kept getting softer and softer…..so I’m sure these will do the same.

      Anyway, hope that helps!

      Good luck!
      Ashley

      • 9.1.1
        Vicki B says:

        Yes you did mention pre-washing away back at the very first of the article

        which I copied and pasted

        “PRE-WASH YOUR GAUZE! In fact, go ahead and pre-wash the cotton you’ll use for the edges BEFORE cutting them into strips too. (I just threw the binding fabric into the dryer after spritzing it with some water to help shrink it up but the gauze, I put through a full wash and dry cycle.) This way, you’ll get all of the shrinkage out of the way and won’t have any problems with the blanket getting all wonky once it’s washed.

    • 9.2
      Michaela says:

      I made some just serging the edges and it worked great. I didn’t even roll the hem over to make it prettier. I planned to but never got to it. They held up great. Search for coupons and check fabric.com, sometimes they have a color to two that are cheaper. If you don’t have a set color you want to get. You can also get 3 yards of one color and cut it in half so you have 2 the perfect size. I did this and gave the other one to my sister-in-law and she loved them as much as I did.

  10. 10
    Heidi K says:

    Do you pre-wash the gauze before you make this? Thanks!

    • 10.1
      Southern Gal says:

      I was wondering the same thing. And is there danger of any shrinkage of the gauze that would cause the binding to be off or vice versa?

      • 10.1.1
        Robin says:

        YES! You need to pre-wash. If you look at the comment above (comment #9), they had the same question and Ashley had responded that she forgot to put that tidbit in and inserted it in the post (yep, it is in there now and pre-wash the binding too).

        I need to make some to keep on hand for great summer baby gifts. Yay! for cheap, cute, and easy.

  11. 11
    Stacey says:

    These are so stinkin’ cute! Much better than the store-bought ones I’ve seen. Another GREAT tutorial!!

  12. 12
    LeAnne B says:

    Thanks for this! I am due in July and live in AZ, these will be perfect. I received some of a 4-pack of these blankets with my last baby as a gift and I loved them! I used them all the time for my fall baby and just folded them in half to make them “warmer” if needed and used in a single layer for cooler temps. I am not finding out the gender of this baby so I wanted to whip up some neutral blankets.

    I purchased some white gauze from Joann’s and it is very soft and nice. It is about $7.99/$8.99 a yard so more than fabric.com but I used a coupon. From what I remember, they just had white. I prewashed mine since it is 100% cotton and pretty lightweight.

    • 12.1
      Ashley says:

      Oh yes, these are great in AZ!

      And yes, pre-washing is a must with this stuff (I just added that into the tutorial…..ack!)

      So glad you’ve loved yours too!

  13. 13
    Caroline says:

    Super cute blankets! I love how the binding really pops:) I haven’t done a bias binding before so about how much fabric do you think you need for the binding?

    • 13.1
      Ashley says:

      Hmmmm…….I just used what I had, but since you’re cutting on the diagonal, you’ll need about a yard to get some longer strips but you’ll only use about half of it.

  14. 14
    Myaela says:

    I made some for my last baby with gauze from Jo-Ann’s, but it never got soft; it just stayed scratchy. Does this gauze get soft? If so, I may spring for some for the next baby =)

  15. 15
    Rachel says:

    They sell some gauze at Joann’s now and I believe it was similar in price. Just in case you need to get some in a hurry and don’t want to wait for shipping.

  16. 16
    Michaela says:

    I made three for my youngest when we were moving to S. TX from northern CA. It was going to be hot! I used them for nursing, mosquito shields in the stroller or the ergo baby carrier and swaddled her in them every night. I didn’t add binding to mine, just used my moms serger to go all the way around and they held up through multiple washes each week and though one has a stain, they are still soft and the serge held up well. Fabric.com was the best bet when I got them almost 2 years ago now. I have a scrap left from one of the brighter colors I got and am planning to make it into a bubble skirt with a knit lining now that she’s older and walking around.

    I love the idea of the soft cotton bias tape around the edge. You could personalize it to match their nursery colors.

    • 16.1
      Ashley says:

      Oh yes, you totally know how great these are!!!!! And good to know yours got softer and held up well. And the skirt is a cute idea!

  17. 17
    Megan W. says:

    These are so cute! I needed these blankets with my daughter who will be 3 this month. She was so sweaty all the time that the price tag was worth it. Even with our January baby we’ve used them all the time for swaddling. On the colder days we just put a warmer blanket over the gauze swaddle. I’d looked for the fabric before, but for some reason I only ever found it for $10-$12/yard. Now I want to make some again!

  18. 18

    Just saw this on craft gawker!! Love love love! We used gauze blankets for our baby who is now a toddler and loved them. Perfect for summer. Your color combinations are great. BTW. I’d love to work with you sometime!

    Marni

  19. 19
    Jenifer Moore says:

    Wow! I love it. I love my store bought gauze blankets for my little man, but they don’t have any bright colors. Thanks so much for the neat idea! Can’t wait to get started!

  20. 20
    Michelle Davidson says:

    Louisiana babies are thanking u NOW! The heat, the humidity, and never enough of the air conditioning. THANK U!!!!

  21. 21
    Kalley says:

    Am I missing the link to where you bought your gauze?

  22. 22
    Linda says:

    Try Hancock for your gauze.

  23. 23
    Mikea says:

    You are having me want to make everything! I made a guaze one for my daughter 2 years ago using fabric paint and folding the edges and never used it because i didnt like it. I LOVE your idea to just bind the edges! I also ordered my guaze from fabric.com. And about to do it again now! Thank you! This baby is due in august so thats perfect

  24. 24
    JAQUELINE says:

    These look great! What size bias maker tool is used for 3 inch wide strips? Also about how many yards of bias tape is used per blanket or how much fabric is needed to make the right amount of bias per blanket? Sorry for so many questions I am still new at this.

  25. 25
    Sally says:

    Ashley, These blankets look great. Two daughters and six granddaughters later, my oldest is about to become a foster mother to infants. I need to get busy making some for her. In the past, we used plisse which is thin and cotton. I have serged them or hemmed them with a zig-zag or decorative stitch and added a sewn on applique to match. We made them 45 inches square. Winter ones were cotton flannel, sometimes with blanket stitch hem done with embroidery floss. Anyway, I do want to try the gauze if it’s soft.

  26. 26
    Jen w says:

    I have made lots of gauze blankets, as gifts and for my own babies, although I have never bound the edges, very cute:) I just get my gauze at Joann’s, they have basic white, cream, black and brown. I get the lighter colors and dye them, super fun and mine have always washed well and gotten super soft. We live in AZ so they are a must. I always use a coupon too:) nice tutorial!

  27. 27
    Megan W. says:

    So the gauze blankets I bought for my daughter (who will be 3 this month!) have been working great even for our January baby. It’s a great swaddle blanket, and then we can tuck a bigger blanket around her on colder nights. Last night one of them started wearing out with a couple rips, and I told my husband “Great! Ashley JUST posted a tutorial with a cheaper fabric option than I’ve ever been able to find!” They are by far my favorite blankets!

    I wonder how stenciling or stamping would work if you wanted cute little prints. Polka dots would be really cute and easy!

  28. 28
    Emily says:

    Love the blankets! How much fabric do I need for the bias? In the picture it looks like double fold bias tape…is it three inches total before you made the double folds or three inches total after you’ve made the double folds?

  29. 29
    Mary says:

    I live in South Texas and am looking forward to giving a set of these to a friend. It was fun matching binding fabric to nursery and lifestyle, in their case cowboys and camo. I prewashed gauze purchased at Hancock and it seems soft enough. Thanks for the great tutorial!

  30. 30
    Elizabeth says:

    Ashley- About how much bias tape would you say you used to go all the way around? I found some delicious printed gauze bias tape that I am debating for the edges… just no clue how much to order!!

  31. 31
    Zoe says:

    What is “bias cut cotton”? And how do i buy it? Will i be able to buy it in strips or do i just have to buy some cotton in any pattern and cut it myself? And where did you get yours? Thanks! This is a great tutorial, i cant wait to make some swaddling blankets for my little one due in 3 months!!

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