Handmade Burp Cloth Tutorial

by Kelsey Norwood

in Tutorials

I have tutorials for two different types of birth cloths here. You can learn the first method by watching this 3 part series of videos and the second from written instructions. Please let me know if you have any questions, and subscribe to my YouTube channel for weekly tutorial video updates!

I’ll be doing new videos every week, so subscribe to my You Tube channel to be notified and my newsletter below.


Materials and Supplies
2 yards diaper cloth/huckeye (makes approximately 6 burp cloths, depending on the size)
scrap fabric (flannel or broadcloth)
3/8″ ribbon

Burp cloths can be any size you want. I used the size of my fabric to determine the size of my burp cloths so I could get the most out of my fabric. This burp cloth will end up being about 12″w x 16″h.


1. a. Cut fabric 24.5″w x 16.5″h. Fold fabric in half lengthwise and sew into a tube, right sides together, using a 1/4″ seam allowance. After this step your fabric should measure 12″w x 16.5″h.

Lay your fabric flat on the table so that the seam is about 4″ from the edge.

1. b. If you are working with scraps and don’t have enough fabric to cut a piece 24.5″ wide, cut two pieces 12.5″w x 16.5″h and sew the two edges together (1/4″ seam allowance again) to make a tube.

Lay your fabric flat on the table so that the two seams divide the surface into three parts. I used this second method when constructing the burp cloth in the picture because I didn’t have enough fabric to do it the other way. The seams should create your center section where you’re going to sew the fabric scrap.


2. Cut a 4.5″w x 16.5″h piece from your scrap fabric to go down the center section. I cut my scrap fabric a little longer so I could make sure things were even at the end.


3. Press under 1/4″ the long edges of the scrap piece.


4. Pin one long edge of the scrap fabric along the seam on the diaper cloth. Start pinning 3/8″ from the ends.


5. Using your blind hem foot, edgestitch the scrap piece to the diaper cloth. Start and stop sewing 3/8″ in from the ends.

6. a. Now one edge of the scrap fabric is sewn to the diaper cloth. Smooth out the scrap piece and pin the other long edge to the diaper cloth. Edgestitch the other side – start and stop sewing 3/8″ from the ends.

6. b. If you cut the fabric using the second method (2 – 12.5″w x 16.5″h pieces) you have two seams on the front of the diaper cloth, dividing it into three sections. After you sew one edge of the scrap fabric along one seam on the diaper cloth, align the opposite edge of the scrap fabric with the other seam on the diaper cloth.


7. Press burp cloth to make sure everything lies flat and is even.

Finishing the Ends


8. Turn ends under 1/4″, press and/or pin. This is why you started and stopped your sewing 3/8″ from the ends, so you would be able to turn under 1/4″.

If you feel like you don’t have enough room to turn under 1/4″, undo the last few stitches on both sides.


9. Cut a piece of 3/8″ ribbon about 2″ longer than the width of the burp cloth. The diaper cloth might stretch and the ribbon will not, so you don’t want to fall short at the end.

10. Fold the end of the ribbon under 1/4″ and align with the bottom edge of the burp cloth. Pin in place.

11. Holding the ribbon so the edge aligns perfectly with the edge of the burp cloth, edgestitch using the blind hem foot. You can pin, but it’s not really necessary. Just sew slowly and make sure that the burp cloth fabric is laying flat on both the top and the underside.


12. Stop sewing with the needle down in the fabric about 1″ from the end. Lift up the presser foot and tuck the ribbon end under 1/4″. You might need to trim off any excess before doing that so only 1/4″ is being folded under.

13. Finish sewing, along the short end and back up the opposite side. Back stitch or reduce stitch length to 1mm when you get back to the end you started from.


Finished! Get creative with your burp cloth designs – experiment with different ribbon placements, monogramming, quilting the fabric scraps, etc. You can make burp cloths of any size and with any additional decoration with the basic knowledge you have gotten from this tutorial. Enjoy!

Alternative Finishing Technique


If you don’t want to mess with tucking the ends under 1/4″ or ribbon, serge the ends. If you don’t have a serger, do a zigzag stitch (short stitch length but wide stitch width) 3 or 4 times along that bottom edge.



1 Grandmother Wren June 10, 2008 at 3:21 pm

How very clever you are! I used to just throw the diaper over my shoulder and call it good. This is so much prettier and I think much nicer for the baby to look at too. I’ll try to get around to making some before my next grandson is born at the end of July.
Thanks for the great pattern.

2 Traci June 10, 2008 at 10:36 pm

Absolutely awesome! Great idea for a shower gift too!

3 Ann at mommysecrets June 11, 2008 at 6:38 pm

These are super cute! :)

I received a couple of handmade burp cloths when each of my children were born, and I loved using them! They were often a bright spot in the middle of hard parts of the day. Some gifts just keep on giving blessings, don’t they?

4 Sue D August 29, 2008 at 6:17 pm

I’m so glad I found your blog. I’m finding all kinds of practical gift ideas. These would make a great shower gift.

5 Becky Smith September 21, 2008 at 8:04 pm

What a cute design! I was planning on making some burp clothes for some baby gift (to go with bibs that I make) and this is a really cute pattern. Thanks!

6 Lucy January 14, 2009 at 6:50 am

These ideas are great! What type of fabric did you purchase at Joann’s?

7 Kelsey January 17, 2009 at 10:26 pm

The main fabric is called diaper cloth. Huckeye is similar and in the same section. The patterned fabric is flannel. I gave all mine away, so I need to make some more!

8 Jessica August 17, 2010 at 8:04 am

Great video tutorial! I might have to try it as I too thought the birdseye diapers were a little expensive! I do need to get some pinking shears though… :) I also would’ve liked a picture of the finished product before the videos maybe, just so i didn’t have to watch the whole video to see what the project was- just a thought… :) thanks for great tutorials, I love your blog!

9 Kelsey August 17, 2010 at 8:50 am

Jessica, that is a great suggestion to show a picture of the finished product at the beginning. I will definitely do that from now on – thanks for the help!

10 lois February 3, 2011 at 8:34 am

Best tut on the web. Thank you.

11 samantha January 29, 2012 at 11:44 pm

I love your video. I am a beginner sewer and this was so easy. The only part I don’t get is the basting part. I keep trying to baste my ribbon and it is coming out to tight and I cant pull any of the bobin thread. Any tips??

12 Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures January 19, 2013 at 5:57 pm

I love the idea of making ANY size! Thank you for another great pattern! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

13 Karen Huffman October 11, 2013 at 1:32 pm

Great 3 part video. I will invest in Joann’s Birdseye fabric for sure. I have 4 diapers that I was planning to use to get started. My second grandchild is due in February. Thanks for putting this together.

14 Nina Graves February 14, 2014 at 9:52 am

Fantastic video. I recently gave hand-made burp cloths to my niece as a shower gift, but I made them from diapers. I’m so glad you have shared your technique of making them from scratch.

15 Irina Johnson February 18, 2015 at 12:56 am

This is the best video tutorial on how to make baby burp cloths on the web.

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