Saturday, August 18, 2012

Washer/Dryer safe changing mat/organizer - Pinterest Inspired

I pin.  Ok, not just pin, Pin... as in Pinterest.  I am not a pinaholic, yet, but it is a fabulous place to share ideas.  A lot of those ideas never manifest into anything concrete.  I know a few people who actually use what they find on there, but most people just seem to use it as a place to save pictures of things they might like, maybe, one day... if they ever get away from their laptops/computers/cell phones.

I actually use mine occasionally.  

For instance, I found this changing mat that folds up into a clutch.  I thought it was a really good idea, but as I started reading it, I liked her pattern less and less.  Elastic, batting, vinyl. bias tape, buttons...  I mean, I know how to use/apply those things, but boy they're tedious!  And vinyl can't go in the dryer.  I line dried my laundry all last summer, and intend to resume the practice next summer.  I'm being a slacker this year, because frankly toting hampers of wet laundry up a flight of stairs and hanging it out/taking it in in 110 degree weather just sounds really off-putting this summer, especially since going up and down the stairs has become more and more interesting as my balance has changed.  And yes, I realize that the vinyl is supposed to preclude washing much since you can wipe it off, but what about the fabric of the pockets?  It is entirely possible it'll get messy in ways that will spread.  Vinyl would not only keep it out of the dryer, but it could trap moisture and lead to mildew and mold down in there.  

I know, I'm probably reading way too much into this, but these were my thought processes as I'm reading the pattern.  I also really didn't want to fool with bias tape.  Honestly, I think that was my biggest motivation. And it's small!  What kid doesn't squirm?  If I wanted a small changing pad, I'd use the one that came with the diaper bag.  No offense meant to the wonderful people who gave me the diaper bag, and the little changing pad will be fine for those early days when he's small and can't get far.  But later when he starts squirming, and trying to roll over?  I know that it's good for kids to come in contact with a variety of germs so they can build up a strong immune system, but I don't fancy my midget wallowing around in the potential icky of someone else's child's poo and pee (thinking of public changing stations here).  So I think I'd like a bit more coverage, thanks.  

Another factor that came into play was the fact that I'd made some crib bumpers (yes, I know they're not recommended, don't start) that were of a really fun fabric for visual stimulation.  They were also light weight enough to be breathed through.  Unfortunately the lightness made them unable to stay put.  They drooped and sagged in the middle when I put them in the crib, so I decided to find another use for them, rather than just toss them in the trash.  

The pad ended up being about 20 in wide by about 24 inches long (give or take).  There are two layers of fleece inside for padding.  I sewed the two short bumpers together long ways with an overcast stitch so it would lay flat with no lumpy seam in the middle.  The pockets are about 1/3 the length of the pad.  

It easily holds a few diapers + inserts in one pocket, and the other pocket has room for wipes, a diaper cover, a full size container of powder, and a tube of butt cream.

 It folds up neatly, ties with a couple of ribbons, and fits in the smallest of the two diaper bags that came with my set.
Here it is in the bigger diaper bag along with a fleecy blanket, a receiving blanket, and a full change of clothes (underneath the rest).  

It'll completely eliminate the game of dig for the diapers.  Everyone's played that game where you end up dumping the entire contents of the diaper bag out just to find the tube of cream at the very, very bottom, or the wipes weren't even in there, but had somehow made it to a side pocket.  The outer fabric is duck cloth, which does give some water resistance, though not entirely water proof.  All its bits are machine washer and dryer safe, except maybe the ribbon, but they come right out of the loops they're tied through.  

B thinks it's pretty nifty, and I think that it saved me from wasting a couple yards of rather expensive fabric.  Now to figure out what to do with the pieces I cut for the long bumpers.  I'm thinking a few diaper covers, since I still haven't made any larger sized ones.  


  1. You are so clever! I love the pad and the pattern you made up. You may have a whole new future as an Etsy baby designer...

  2. That would be cool, except I haven't really got much to sink into overhead for an initial inventory. I am hoping to have some typing work before Thanksgiving so I can use the proceeds at Black Friday sales at Hobby Lobby and JoAnn's. If I do start an Etsy, I think I'll have to stick to just inventory, and not take orders. Maybe have some.customization options that can be done fast and easy.


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