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Published on July 9th, 2012 | by Julie Finn


Handmade Gifts for the New Baby Made from Upcycled and Recycled Materials

baby on a scrap biscuit quilt

If I owe you a baby gift, read no further…

…because I sewed you a baby gown out of upcycled T-shirts, and I freezer paper stenciled a TARDIS on it for you.

If you have a baby gift of your own that needs to be crafted, whether it’s Doctor Who themed or not, check out the ideas below. They’re all made using recycled and upcycled materials, so not only are they crafty, but they’re also eco-friendly (and way cheaper than a store-bought gift!).

taggie blanket from Oikology 101

  1. taggie blanket: Babies love to poke their fingers through fiddly little ribbons–if you don’t know any babies of your own, I assure you that this IS a thing. Now that you know, you are going to love making these taggie blankets (tutorial from Oikology 101) because they use up all those last little bits of ribbon that you always have left over after finishing a project. You could de-stash for this project, but you could also repurpose a T-shirt front for your taggie blanket (tutorial from Maiden Jane). For even more recycling fun, sew a (clean and washed!) potato chip bag into the center of the taggie, because babies? They also love that crinkly sound!
  2. baby bonnets: This baby cap sewn from upcycled T-shirts (tutorial from The Handmade Adventures of Captain Crafty) is a project for the hand-sewers out there, since all the little details of running stitches done in contrasting thread, or reverse applique using a second upcycled T-shirt, will shine in their place of honor right on top of the baby’s head.
  3. baby gown: Forget all those identical, store-bought, pastel pink or pastel blue baby clothes! Create a unique, hip, one of a kind newborn gown from a vintage T-shirt (tutorial from This Mama Makes Stuff). I’ve made baby gowns from everything from Violent Femmes T-shirts to Free Tibet T-shirts, including one baby gown sewn from an upcycled tie-dyed T-shirt…with a TARDIS freezer paper stenciled on the front of it.
  4. cloth diapers: Our own handmade cloth diapers round-up includes several options for diapers and accessories to sew for any cloth diapered baby, including a soaker cover sewn from felted wool sweaters and a fitted diaper sewn from upcycled T-shirts.
  5. juice bottle rattle: For a baby gift that a kid can make all by herself for the new addition, check out this plastic juice bottle shaker tutorial. You can jazz the shaker up by using buttons and beads instead of the rice and dried beans, or go on a hike for pretty shells or stones to fill it with.
  6. older baby clothes: Everybody wants to give a new baby newborn clothes, on account of they’re all teeny and adorable. Unfortunately, your typical well-fed baby will grow out of those teeny onesies in a flash; if you want to give a baby a gift that the parents will be thanking you for a few months from now, considering sizing up–this baby leggings tutorial from I Still Love You, which can be made using an upcycled T-shirt, is sized at 9 months. Size the pattern up or down to give some clothing options in a wider range of sizes, not just newborn.

(baby on a biscuit quilt image from Shutterstock; taggie blanket image from Oikology 101)

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About the Author

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now. Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.

4 Responses to Handmade Gifts for the New Baby Made from Upcycled and Recycled Materials

  1. Becky says:

    What great ideas for “green” baby gifts! Being a math teacher, I like to throw in a little education with being green. I recently made these Upcycled Felt Geometry Shapes for a friend’s toddler… fun! Thank you, CAGW, for another awesome post!

  2. Pingback: Comic-Con 2012: The Sunday Schedule!

  3. Pingback: Lastest Baby Gifts News

  4. Pingback: Five Ways to Upcycle Your Kids’ Outgrown Clothes | Everyday Christianity - A Sarcalogos Website

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