Is it weird that making handmade baby gifts is my favorite thing about babies?
I mean, yes, greeting a brand-new life is sweet and precious, and the babies, themselves, are of course adorable and wonderful, but mainly it’s the making of tiny and cute things that I get excited about.
Give me a sewing machine and a friend’s new baby announcement, and I’ll keep myself happily entertained until that kid graduates high school!
I like handmade baby gifts for a lot of reasons, but I especially like how they enable you, the gift-giver, to personalize the entire process, from choosing eco-friendly (or awesomely upcycled!) materials, to fitting colors and styles to exactly what will suit that new baby and their family. It’s fun to think outside the box and come up with something unconventional, something that you’d never find on the shelves of a big-box store.
Below, check out my round-up of my favorite handmade baby gifts to sew. Some I’ve made already (rainbow Sierpinski triangle quilt, I’m looking at you!) and some are only on my to-do list, but all the tutorials are free and call for, or can be modified to use, eco-friendly materials. There’s something on this list for every baby you love!
Rainbow Sierpinski Triangle Baby Quilt
It’s fun to think outside the box for baby quilts! Gamboling lambs and snuggly bunnies are all well and good, but all a baby quilt REALLY needs to be is baby-sized and appealing to the baby. I think this rainbow Sierpinski triangle quilt, with its bright colors and varied prints, perfectly fits both criteria!
Footie Baby Pants
Babies in footie pants are so cute! Footie pants are also hella handy for anytime the kid needs something warmer on top of that onesie.
This particular hooded blanket tutorial is my favorite because it doesn’t call for a ready-made bath towel or hand towel. Instead, this tutorial shows you how to use your choice of fabric to sew the perfect hooded towel or blanket from scratch.
Jersey Knit Baby Hat
Okay, you DO have to subscribe to get the pattern for this baby hat, but the pattern is cute and free and comes in every size from preemie to 12 months! I LOVE this pattern for making masses of little hats with all of my jersey knit fabric stash; they’re fun to give as gifts, and they’re great to donate.
Baby Block Stuffies
I like to add a layer of stiff interfacing to the baby blocks stuffies that I sew, because I think the blocks are a lot more fun if you really can stack them! I love that this tutorial adds ribbon taggies to these blocks for an extra sensory boost.
Jersey Knit Baby Headband
The companion piece to the stretchy baby hat, above, is the stretchy baby headband! Go super mitchy-matchy by making the baby an outfit or blanket, and then sewing a baby headband or two from the scraps.
Gauze Swaddle Blanket
Gauze can be a little fiddly to sew, so this probably isn’t the project for a brand-new beginner. But if the idea of hemming a light and stretchy fabric doesn’t make you sweat, then gauze swaddle blankets are otherwise super quick and easy to sew! This is a great project for a baby nursery with a quirky color scheme, as gauze is one of the simplest and most satisfying fabrics to hand-dye.
Modular Star Stuffie
This stuffed star has so many handles for little hands to grasp, and so many interesting prints and patterns for little eyes to explore! The tutorial calls for a die cutting machine, but 3″ equilateral triangles are easy to cut with a triangle ruler.
Reversible Baby Bib
Handmade baby bibs are endlessly useful, practical baby gifts. You don’t have to be too fussy about making them, because they’re supposed to be used and abused and they’re definitely not heirlooms! A terrific handmade baby gift would be a whole stack of bibs made from all your varied scraps of quilting cotton; if you’ve got a store-bought baby gift in mind, a handmade baby bib or two along with it adds a nice, personalized touch.
Here’s a free downloadable pattern for a reversible baby bib with a snap closure.
A circle is the perfect shape for a playmat! I like to have a cheerful and interesting fabric on one side, and a calm fabric on the other, so the playmat works both for tummy time and naptime.
Puzzle balls are great when you want to make a baby gift AND a gift for an older sibling, because puzzle balls have a fun secret that makes them especially cool for a bigger kid.
Babies learn to love books when they get to play with books! For babies, the reading isn’t even the focus–it’s the sensation of the materials, the challenge of turning pages, and the interest in looking at the pretty pictures inside. This fabric baby book provides all that, and thanks to novelty fabric prints, you can applique on any cute graphics that you can think of! Personally, I try to avoid iron-on interfacing, but even when I do use it, I still sew around the applique for safety.
P.S. Want even more baby gift ideas? I’ve got you covered! Check out these other CAGW round-ups for even more eco-friendly handmade baby gifts: