Making a Baby Sling Wrap (And Converting To A Ring Sling) in a Few Easy Steps
Are you interested in babywearing but don’t want to spend a fortune for a wrap?
Are you looking for a fun way to pass the time while you’re expecting?
Do you want to make a personalized gift for someone else or as a treat for yourself?
If any of these are true, you should consider making a baby sling wrap on your own!
Making a wrap or ring sling for your baby can be an exciting DIY project that you’re sure to enjoy. Although it may sound difficult, it’s actually quite simple and doesn’t take much time at all. You can make a great wrap for a low cost and in just an hour two, even if you’ve never sewn anything before.
And if you prefer a ring sling, you can convert your wrap into one simply by installing a couple of durable aluminum rings.
No matter which type of wrap you’re interested in, we have all the information you need listed below to help you get started making one. We’ll even recommend a few great products that can help you convert your wrap into a ring sling if you choose.
So what are you waiting for? There’s a lot to learn about making a baby wrap or a ring sling, so let’s get started!
Why Make Your Own?
Making a baby sling wrap may sound like fun, but when it comes down to it, you might be wondering why you shouldn’t just buy one instead. After all, wouldn’t it be easier to just order one and call it a day? While that may be true, there are actually a lot of other great reasons you might want to consider making your own wrap instead. In this section, we’ll explain a few of those just in case you’re still feeling uncertain.
- It’s fun. While you’re expecting, you may be looking for things to do to help prepare for your new little one. Working on a project like this one can be a great way to feel like you’re doing something beneficial while you wait for your special arrival.
- It’s easy. Since cloth used to wrap babies is usually cotton or some other fabric that’s easy to work with, this process is very simple. Best of all, it’s just as easy to locate the necessary items without spending a fortune on them, too. You can probably make a wrap for a lower cost than you’d have to spend on buying one.
- You don’t have to be a crafting guru. Depending on the guide you use, you may not even have to sew your fabric for baby wrap use—and if you do, it will only be in straight lines. You’ll only need to cut it properly and wrap it the right way to get the most out of your handmade baby wrap.
- It makes a great gift. Even if you’re not expecting, you can make a quick and simple wrap for the new parents in your life and give it as a gift for the next holiday or special occasion. Most expecting moms are happy to receive free baby wraps as presents, especially since buying them can be costly.
- It’s personal. When you get to choose your own material for baby wrap use and put your own effort into making it, it will feel a little more personal. And that’s always a good feeling when it comes to products for you and your little one.
Now that you know a little more about why you might want to make your own baby wrap, the next step is to learn how! In the following sections, you’ll find out the materials you need to pick up to make your own simple, lightly sewn wrap, and you’ll be given a few easy directions that can help you get started.
Below are all the materials you’ll need to get started making your easy baby wrap. You don’t need much, and all of what you do need can be found at your local craft store. We’ll also give you a few tips to help you know what you’re looking for and choose the perfect products from the get-go, so you don’t have to worry about any mistakes down the line.
5 yards of fabric for baby sling use
The fabric you choose depends a lot on how you plan to use your baby sling. There are a few different good choices you can pick from, so check out our quick list below to help you make your decision. Any of these will work, but as you can see from the information below, some of them are better choices than others.
- Muslin: This is probably the best choice when it comes to baby wrap fabrics. Muslin is sturdy, woven, and durable enough to be used and washed again and again without showing signs of damage. However, for some babies and wearers, it may be a little too rough and stiff, and this may make it harder to figure out how to tie it comfortably or keep it from chafing your baby’s skin.
- Cotton: 100% cotton is another great option. If you can find it, woven cotton is the best way to go. This way, the material is a lot more durable and sturdy, and it’s reinforced for even greater safety. You can find soft, comfy cotton in just about any color, pattern, or print, including popular character prints if that’s the style you’re looking for. Cotton may wear out faster than muslin but still will have a lot of use before it does.
- Lycra/Spandex and Cotton Blend: This is the number one choice if you want to make a baby wrap that doesn’t require any sewing whatsoever. Choose something that’s 95% cotton and 5% either Lycra or Spandex for best results. This will give you a lot of stretch without compromising durability or comfort. However, take care, because it may wear out faster than cotton and muslin.
- Jersey Knits: You may be able to make your baby wrap out of jersey knits if you’ll only be using it every now and then or if you only plan to use it for the first few months of your baby’s life. Jersey knits are soft, comfortable, and stretchy enough to make great wraps, but they can also stretch out very quickly, so they may not be a sound investment for long-term babywearing.
- Others: Although some other types of fabrics may look attractive, they probably aren’t safe for use in baby wraps. It’s better to stick to the four listed above and try your best to choose fabrics that come from the first three categories in the list. Choosing the right type of safe fabric is the first step toward making sure you and your baby have a great babywearing experience from day one.
Thread that matches your fabric
You’ll need sewing machine thread that matches your fabric so that you can complete the simple sewing involved in constructing this wrap. Choose standard sewing machine thread unless you have picked muslin for your fabric. In that case, you may need to use quilt durable thread instead.
- Note: While you can hand sew your baby wrap, it will take a very long time. If you don’t have access to a sewing machine, you may be better off making a no-sew wrap instead of trying to hand sew all the way around your large piece of fabric.
- If you choose to use a cotton and Lycra or Spandex blend or a jersey knit fabric, you can omit this material. You won’t need it.
A cute patch
Putting a patch in the center of your fabric makes it easier to figure out where your wrap is positioned on your body. This makes tying it and wearing it simpler as well, so it’s a crucial part of the process. You can buy cute iron-on patches from most craft stores as well as some department stores. If you prefer, you can get a sew-on patch and attach it by hand sewing.
- If you don’t want to spend extra money on a patch, simply make one out of a piece of another type of fabric. An old pair of jeans can give up a piece of denim that will work well even as a no-sew patch option.
Here are the few quick and easy directions you need to follow to create the perfect baby wrap for your needs. Once you have the materials listed above, you’re just a few steps away from completing your project! Give yourself about an hour to finish your baby wrap if you’re going the no-sew route, and a little bit longer if you need to complete the sewing part of the process.
1. Stretch out your 5 yards of fabric all the way so that it’s free from wrinkles and not doubled up on itself. You need to be able to see it from one side to the other.
2. Cut the fabric in half lengthwise. This step may be a little more challenging than it sounds, simply because staying on track and cutting in a straight line for 5 yards can be tricky! You may need to use a yardstick to help, and you may also want to mark a straight line down the middle of your fabric with a washable fabric pen or with sewing chalk before you begin.
- Note: If you’re choosing to make the no-sew baby wrap, skip this step and do NOT cut your fabric in half.
Tip: Depending on where you purchase your fabric, you may be able to ask the person working at the fabric counter to cut it in half lengthwise for you. Although not every store will do this, it can save you a lot of time on this step, so it pays to check!
3. Iron your fabric. Be sure to get out any bad wrinkles or other kinks in the fabric before you go on to the next step.
4. Fold down and iron the edges evenly around your fabric. You’ll want to work with a 1-inch or 2-inch hem, depending on your aesthetic preferences.
- Note: If you chose a no-sew fabric, you can skip this step.
5. Pin your edges and then hem them at your sewing machine. Work slowly so you don’t end up getting off track and making your hem come out uneven. Be sure you catch all the fabric in your hem so you don’t end up with pockets of areas where the threads are pulling loose.
- Note: Once again, if you’re making the no-sew wrap, you can skip this step as well.
6. Fold your wrap in half so that you can find the middle of the fabric. Pin your patch or piece of other fabric to the middle and position it so that you can easily find it by feeling for it while you’re wearing the wrap.
7. Iron on the patch or sew it on if necessary.
- Note: If you’re making a no-sew wrap but don’t want to buy an iron-on patch, you can hot glue a piece of another type of fabric to the middle of your wrap. Just be sure to check it frequently to see if it’s pulling loose and needs to be replaced. Do NOT hot glue any other parts of this wrap—only the patch!
8. Learn how to tie and wear your new wrap!
BONUS: Converting to a Ring Sling?
Converting your existing baby wrap (or the one you just made!) into a ring sling is a simple no-sew process that only takes a few minutes to complete. Although there is a sewing option for this conversion as well, most babywearers prefer to keep their options open and don’t want to completely destroy their existing wrap in favor of permanently converting it into a ring sling. Therefore, we’ll be focusing on the no-sew option only today. Remember that you can always undo this option if you prefer to go back to wearing your baby in a wrap instead.
- Ring slings are easier to wear – While baby wraps may be more comfortable for you and your little one, in some cases, you may simply be looking for a babywearing option that’s easier to achieve, especially on your own. A ring sling is much easier to put on, adjust, and take off without risk to your baby or the need for help from anyone else.
- Ring slings are more durable – With the added benefit of rings to help support the weight of your baby, ring slings are more durable and less likely to stretch out and become damaged over time. Both options are safe and can be used for a long time with the right type of wrapping, but ring slings have a slight advantage.
- Ring slings may be more ergonomic – Depending on the wrap style you choose, you may have a lot less pain from wearing a ring sling than you would from wearing a traditional baby wrap.
- It’s easy to find the rings for this conversion – It doesn’t cost much to convert your baby wrap to a ring sling, and the rings are easy to locate.
Be Sure to Remember: It’s always better to make an O ring baby sling than a D-ring one for this project. D-rings may be easier to find, but because of their shape, they don’t evenly distribute the weight of your baby in the ring sling over your shoulder the same way O-rings do. A D ring baby sling also may cause the fabric to snag or be more difficult to adjust than an O-ring will.
Choosing the right materials for your ring sling conversion is just as important as picking the right materials for your traditional baby wrap. In this section, we’ll teach you about how to start with the right products so you never have to worry about whether or not your ring sling is safe for your little one and comfortable for you to wear all day long.
- Baby wrap - You’ll need a baby wrap to get started. You can either purchase one or make one yourself following the directions listed in the section above. Either way, be sure you choose one that’s made from fabric that’s lightweight enough to pass through large O-rings a few times without any trouble.
- Aluminum O-rings - Never use O-rings that are made from anything other than aluminum. Never use O-rings that have been welded and still have welding marks or lines, as these can be sharp as well as weak. It’s better to purchase O-rings that are specifically designed for babywearing use instead of those you may find at hardware stores. Never use O-rings from craft stores, as they aren’t meant for supporting a baby’s weight.
Check out the following product list to help you find some great items to get you started. If you want to convert a durable wrap into a ring sling but you don’t want to go to the trouble to make the wrap yourself, we’ve got a couple of great suggestions that are perfect for turning into ring slings easily. We’ve also listed a couple of our favorite options for O-rings so you can purchase some that are sturdy enough for months of use with your little one.
Below are some of our recommended products to help you get started converting a wrap to a ring sling or making one of your own. If you’ve been wondering where to buy rings for baby sling use or how to find the right kind of material to help you get started, this section should help you out. With a couple of these items in your repertoire, you’ll be ready to make a ring sling in no time!
1. Woven Wrap Baby Carrier for Infants and Toddlers
This Woven Wrap Baby Carrier for Infants and Toddlers is made of 100% woven cotton that is lightweight, breathable, and as comfortable for you to wear as it is for your baby to ride in it. This carrier is a great way for you to get plenty of material for ring sling use without having to make your own sling from scratch. By beginning with this carrier, you only need to attach the rings and adjust the sling properly to make it work perfectly for your needs. And since this fabric is both durable and ergonomically chosen, it’s sure to keep you and your little one comfy for all sorts of adventures together!
- This fabric can be easily washed and dried in the dryer without causing any damage.
- This is fair trade and eco-friendly fabric, which may be very important to some parents.
- You’ll be able to carry larger babies in this fabric than you would in something more stretchy that would give out over time.
- This wrap may be difficult to learn how to tie, especially the first few times you try it.
- The fabric that this wrap is made of is a little more itchy and rough than some others, and it may irritate the skin of very young infants.
- Wearers who have larger chests may find it harder to tie this wrap in every configuration.
2. Little Frog Woven Wrap
When you’re searching for the perfect fabric for ring sling use and want to purchase something that’s made specifically with this interest in mind, the Little Frog Woven Wrap may be the perfect solution for you. This lightweight 100% cotton woven fabric is designed for use as a baby carrier in the traditional wrap sense, but you can easily modify it for use as a ring sling instead with a few simple steps. It’s durable enough for use with larger babies and even toddlers, but it’s comfortable enough that you and your baby won’t feel itchy or overheated after a day of traveling together with it.
- This wrap comes in a size that fits most wearers without any trouble.
- Because it’s cotton, this wrap can easily be washed and dried with no resulting problems.
- This is a breathable fabric that’s safe to use for younger infants as well as older ones.
- This wrap is only available in one color pattern, which may be a problem for some potential buyers.
- It can be difficult to learn how to tie this type of wrap properly the first time, even when you’re using it as a ring sling.
- It may be more difficult to tie this carrier on your hip or front than on your back.
3. Pair of Original Sling Rings
If you’re looking for the perfect ring for ring sling use, you can’t go wrong with this Pair of Original Sling Rings. These durable rings are held to high safety standards and come with a 100% safety guarantee. They’re capable of holding up to 250 pounds with no trouble, which makes them a great solution for anyone looking to convert a wrap to a ring sling. Best of all, they’re available in five different sizes, so you can easily determine which one is best for you and your ring sling needs and purchase a set or two to keep you babywearing safely for a long time to come.
- These are high-quality and very safe rings that can stand up to a lot of use with no trouble.
- These rings are designed to stay rust-free and built with no welding marks, both of which keep you, your baby, and your fabric safe.
- You will receive a matched pair of rings in your order so you don’t have to worry about buying them both separately.
- In very rare instances, customers have received unmatched sizes of rings in the same order, although the company will replace them if this happens.
- It may be difficult to choose the right size for your ring sling’s needs.
- These rings may allow the fabric to slip too easily out of your sling, depending on the type of fabric you choose to use.
4. Roo Threads Aluminum Rings for Slings
When you’re shopping for aluminum rings for baby slings, you want something large enough to pass the fabric in your sling through several times and strong enough to ensure that your baby is going to be safe no matter what. With these Roo Threads Aluminum Rings for Slings, you’ll have all that and so much more! These rings are designed to make your babywearing experience comfortable, safe, and easy for you and your little one both. Best of all, even though they’re aluminum, they don’t feature any welding marks, which means there’s nothing to potentially snag your fabric or cut you or your baby.
- These rings allow for very easy sliding of most fabrics, which is crucial in adjusting your ring sling to the proper height for your baby.
- The rings come with information to teach you how to use them safely and correctly.
- These are much more durable than similar rings you may find in hardware stores and far safer for use with babies than those found in craft stores.
- These rings aren’t available in more than one size, so it can be difficult to find just what you need in every situation.
- Although they are made in several different colors, it can be hard to find the colorful options in stock.
- These rings may cost a little more than some other comparable products on the market.
Completing your ring sling baby wrap conversion is even easier than it is to make a baby wrap to begin with. All it takes is the right type of threading and you’ll be well on your way to comfortable, safe, happy ring sling babywearing in just a few short minutes.
1. Gather your baby wrap and aluminum rings. Be sure you have two rings on hand.
2. Lay your wrap with the wrong (back) side facing up.
3. Thread about 1 foot of the fabric down through both rings.
4. Bring the end of the 1 foot of fabric up over the ring on top and under the ring on the bottom. It should be between the two rings.
5. Be sure the sides of the fabric match up and tighten the fabric in the rings securely.
6. Turn over the wrap so the right side is on top and the threaded 1 foot of fabric is hidden underneath.
7. Grab the other, far end of the wrap. With its right side facing up, thread about it up through the center of both rings.
8. Thread this piece of fabric down over the ring on top and under the ring on the bottom so that it’s passing between both rings.
9. Put the sling on with the extra 1 foot “tail” of fabric spread over your shoulder. Be sure the rings are also at your shoulder.
11. Congratulations! This is the easiest and most common way to convert a wrap into a ring sling without sewing.
Now that you’ve finished reading, you may be ready to run right out and make your own wrap or ring sling. Or you may have already completed the project—and if so, congrats! Making wraps and ring slings can be a fun and exciting way to spend the time while you’re waiting for your little one to arrive. When you make a wrap for yourself, you’ll be able to find the perfect fabric and adjust it to suit your specific needs while keeping track of your baby’s needs and preferences as well.
One of the most important steps in making your ring sling or wrap is to ensure that it fits properly. Take time to practice wearing it, and use a baby doll at first to ensure that you have a comfortable position that works well for you and doesn’t cut off air flow for your baby. Only after you feel confident about wrapping and tying your wrap or sling should you put your baby in it.
For newborns and younger infants, you should always be able to carry your baby in a wrap or ring sling so that his or her head is within kissing distance from you at all times. Always wear younger babies high on your chest for safety purposes. Older infants and toddlers can be worn in hip and back carries.
Whichever type of wrap you choose to make, have fun and get creative with it, and happy babywearing!