The Very Best DIY Burp Cloths

DIY burp cloths

Nearly everyone I know is either pregnant or just had a baby, so I’ve got baby shower gifts on my mind right now. I love a good DIY, so I’ve got a few fun ones coming your way, in case you, too, are surrounded by babies.

Burp cloths might not be the most glamorous gift, but it will definitely be the most used, especially during the first few months. And you can DIY a few super easily, making them a great baby shower gift.

When my oldest daughter was born, I received some darling burp clothes with fabric and ruffles and all sorts of cuteness running down the center. But time after time, I reached for my boring old plain white pre-fold cloth diapers because they worked so much better. Turns out that the nice cotton print fabric can’t absorb the crazy amounts of spit up like a soft cloth diaper can.

When I was pregnant with my youngest, I decided to make my trusty, reliable, absorbent pre-folds a little prettier. By putting the fabric on the edges of the pre-fold, instead of down the center, you don’t lose the benefit of the absorbent cotton. They are cute, but not so precious that you won’t want to use them. And they wash up like a champ. (They are meant to be used as diapers, after all!)

DIY burp cloths


  • high quality organic cotton pre-fold cloth diapers– you can forget about the thin little Gerbers that you can buy at Target or Babies R Us. Those are great for cleaning (we have a ton) but are too thin to really do any justice as burp cloths. Look for diaper service quality pre-folds.
  • cotton fabric of your choice – I love upcycling fabrics, so this pick and white stripe fabric actually came from a men’s seersucker button down.
  • straight pins, an iron, and a sewing machine

DIY burp cloths


  1. Start by washing the cloth diapers as hot as your machine will allow, then drying them. Then do this a few more times for good measure. They shrink a lot at first, and after a few washings they will start to be super absorbent and get their wavy appearance.
  2. Choose a cotton fabric to use.
  3. Cut your cotton fabric into strips about 2 1/2 inches wide, and 2 inches longer than the width of your cloth diaper. You will need 2 strips for each burp cloth.
  4. Iron your strips of fabric in half lengthwise, then fold each long side in 1/4 inch and iron again.
  5. When folded, each strip should be about an inch wide.
  6. Place the cloth diaper in the fold of your strip of fabric, centering it so that you have a small overhang on each side. Pin in place with straight pins.
  7. Open one side, and fold the fabric in so that it is even with the edge of the cloth diaper. Pin in place. Repeat on the other side.
  8. Repeat on the other end of the cloth diaper, so that both ends are now covered in fabric.
  9. Sew in place using a simple running stitch.
  10. Wash the burp cloths once more and dry them on hot and they are ready to go.

DIY burp cloths

Tie up a few burp cloths with a simple wooden rattle or teething ring and some cotton twill tape, and they make a super cute gift that will be used more than anything else. Well, except diapers.

DIY burp cloths

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