Home » DIY Tutorials » DIY Sewing » Sewing: Clothing » Baby Clothing » Make your own Diaper Covers (and a little altering again…)

Make your own Diaper Covers (and a little altering again…)

You are going to love my newest sponsor, Always Underpay (found here), for many reasons.  They have a huge assortment of bows, ribbon, tutus, headbands, hardware, and on and on.  And the name of their shop……Always Underpay?  That’s exactly what you do.  Check out their site for amazing deals for your own creations, or for supplies for your business. 
You’ll be so excited you did. Seriously.

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I found another little baby shirt to alter……
Remember the long sleeved items that I altered the other day, into these below?  Oh, you missed it?
Click here to check them out.
Today’s shirt was an out of season hand-me-down that I still wanted in my baby girl’s wardrobe for the spring.  I cut the long sleeves off and then had a bit of fabric to make some ruffles with…….but no diaper cover to put them on.
So I created my own diaper cover.
Have you ever made your own diaper cover?
I know there are diaper cover patterns for sale so that we could skip the measuring and pencil tracing…..but what’s the fun in that?  And this way, they’ll be the exact size you were hoping for.  (And I know I have told many of you that I would show you how to make these for a loooooooong time.  The time is here!!)
And yes, I used the fabric from the long sleeves that I cut off from this shirt below, and added them as ruffles to the bum of the diaper cover.
(The sleeves/ruffles were made with this tutorial.)
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I couldn’t wait to put the new outfit on our newest little missy.
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I figure you’ll enjoy seeing those ruffles as much as I do.
So darn squeezable, pat-able and lovable, right?
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And don’t forget, add a clothing label to the side of your diaper cover, or the inside………or anywhere you’d like.  (Info about my labels here.)
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And then enjoy your little creation on your little bug.
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Ready to create your own diaper cover pattern?

Grab one of your little girl’s diaper covers.  Or borrow one from a friend.  Or pick one up from the thrift store.
Now, the easiest way to create the exact size (especially if you’re new at using patterns and knowing how pieces fit together) is to pick apart a diaper cover, trace them onto paper, and then use them as your pattern pieces.  Then you can sew the fabric pieces back together if you still need to use it.  But, I didn’t want to pick this apart and then re-sew it.  Just lazy I guess. :)
So I stretched the piece out and marked spots on the paper for the correct sizing, used a ruler, and drew the line for the top of the diaper cover.  (It was hard to hold it out and take a picture…..but you get the idea.)  Add enough for a seam allowance as well.
Then hold the top of the diaper cover up at the top and pull the bottom down, mark it, and draw a line at the bottom.  (Mine was at the exact bottom of the paper, so you can’t see a line.)  Then stretch out the leg curve and mark it with a pencil.  Make sure to add enough for a seam allowance at the bottom and the casing for the elastic at the top and along the curve of the legs.
If you fold your pattern in half from left to right, you should see that the left side is exactly the same as the right side.  If it’s not, adjust it.  Here’s the FRONT of the diaper cover:
Then I cut out and traced the FRONT diaper cover piece onto a new piece of paper and then turned the original diaper cover over to trace out the back side.  The top and vertical side lines will be exactly the same.  However, the bottom line will come down a bit longer (tape 2 pieces of paper together if you need to) and the angled side lines will come down further as well and seem to be a bit straighter.  At least this is how it looked with my diaper cover. (From Carter’s, if that helps.)  Now I have a BACK diaper cover piece:
Here’s both the FRONT and BACK pieces:  (Remember to have added seam allowances and enough for the casing at the top and the leg openings.)
Cut out your front and back pieces from a piece of knit.  (You can use woven cotton or other types of materials…….but using a fabric with some stretch will help when trying to hem the leg hole openings.  Trust me!  But even if you use a non-stretchy fabric, and you end up with some puckered fabric in your seams………….once it’s gathered in, you’ll never notice.  So give it a try as well!)
Sew the two pieces together with right sides together.  Only sew along the bottom and the 2 vertical sides.
If you have a side clothing label, add it between the two layers of fabric before sewing and catch it in the seam.
Then serge (or zig-zag) around the leg openings and along the top.
Now, you’ll fold over the casings at the top and the leg openings.  Fold it over the same amount that you allowed while drawing the pattern.  I folded over 1/2 inch around the leg openings and 1 inch at the top.  You’ll have to really stretch (or ease) the fabric as you pin around the leg openings.  And if you have little folds or puckers of fabric in this seam, it’s okay.  Once you cinch it in with the elastic, you’ll never notice.  No worries!
Sew up each casing, making sure to leave a once inch opening somewhere along the casing to insert your elastic.
Then attach a safety pin to a piece of elastic and thread it through your casing at the top.  (Make sure that you cut pieces of elastic a little longer than needed, to allow for a seam allowance.)
Then sew the elastic together at the ends and then sew the opening of the casing closed.
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Repeat with the leg holes.  And you’re done.  Set aside for a bit.
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For this outfit, I cut the arms off a long sleeve shirt………
And then cut some fabric out of the same diaper cover fabric………
……..and made cuffs for the sleeves, just like the tutorial here.
Then, I used the fabric from the sleeves I cut off…….and created ruffles on the bum of the diaper cover, just like the tutorial here.
And that’s it.
A brand new outfit from an out of season hand-me-down.  Perfect.
Now dress that little baby up and admire your work.
. . .
Ashley Johnston
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Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
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  1. Tracy says:

    Great tutorial.
    Can you tell me where you got your clothing label?



  2. shereen says:

    I love this tutorial, but unfortunately I do not have kiddos of my own to get the pattern for the cover nor do i have friends who live near me to borrow one of theirs. Would you be willing to divulge the measurements for this 0-3 month diaper cover? Also do you happen to have the measurements for older (3-6, 6-9 months) ones as well? Much appreciated.

  3. Marion says:

    Fab tute! Thanks for sharing. Love a bit of upcycling, you never know what you can create from this and that. Cheers, Marion :)

  4. Sarah says:

    Thank you for this. I am making some as baby shower gifts.

  5. Gloria says:

    I am making a blessing dress for great grand daughter number 6. Was wondering if you have apdf or something for this cute diaper cover. I want a cute ruffly one for her. they live far away so nothing to copy from. Love your site.

  6. Lissa says:

    LOVE this!! Making some today for my darling – so many cutie dresses come….leaving the diaper bare! Not. Cutie. This will give me the “finished” look I want…and covers for all those dresses I picked up at consignment shops that didn’t come with them!! THANK YOU!!

  7. Briana says:

    I need to get off my lazy butt and make this stuff. All of your ideas are crazy adorable and resourceful. Thank you for sharing your creativity!

  8. dianica says:


    Out of the Park!!! That’s where this one is!

    I’m going make some of these nifty little nappy covers for my friend’s baby grand daughter whom I neglected on her date of birth, 11/11/11!

    Another problem solved! Thank you,


  9. Bonnie says:

    That is so adorable. I wish I would have had this pattern and idea when my grand daughter was smaller (she is potting training now) but I will hang on to the idea for the next grand baby.

  10. Megan @ SimplyThrifty says:

    Love it! I've been meaning to look for a tutorial like this and stumbled across yours while blog hopping. Thanks. Looks great!

  11. Lindsay says:

    Thanks for this tutorial! It worked great! I had a few problems with puckering, but you were right and you can't tell now that the elastic is in! I posted it on my blo, please take a look! :)

  12. rebekah says:

    Thanks for posting this! I just whipped up a pair for my daughter!! Sooo cute! Will link to my blog when I post pictures!
    Thanks again for the tutorial! :)
    PS. Your little girl has grown sooo quickly! She's gorgeous! x

  13. michelle says:

    oh my!! too fabulous!! Okay, I have my own little missy (#3 as well!!) and I am wondering about that adorable little flower in your little missy's hair in the pic w/the brown outfit…..what can you tell me about that. My hubby doesn't like headbands and such…but THIS….THIS I think I could get away with!! Info? It may be further back in your blog, but could you hook me up?? Thx!! michelle

  14. Rachel says:

    Thank you for posting this!

    I have been sewing for years but i always have trouble sewing around the legs on on diaper covers. Do you have any tips?

  15. Kari J says:

    Thanks for posting this tutorial, I was just looking for a diaper cover tutorial the other day. I am wanting to make one to go with my baby's Easter dress!

  16. Kristy says:

    So can I tell you how inspired I feel? After reading your two posts, I was brave enough to pick up some shirts and a dress (sans bloomers) for $1 each with the idea that hey, I can remake these for the current season — especially at a buck! Thanks for the help!

  17. Ginnie's Gems says:

    Neat. I love diaper covers – even for bigger girls for their dresses.
    Thanks for posting this tutorial!

  18. Breanna says:

    So darling! Another reason why I NEED to have a girl. :) My boys sure get tired of ruffles fast.

  19. Maria says:

    By the way, your baby girl is absolutely precious…just adorable and beautiful!

  20. Maria says:

    I love it!!! I can't wait for us to finally get pregnant again (been trying for 11 mos) so I can make lots of these!!!!

  21. Kiera says:

    How do you get those bows to stay in her hair? It doesn't look like she has enough hair to clip anything to so I'm really really curious if you wouldn't mind sharing. Thanks!

  22. Nat says:

    So so cute! It almost makes me wish I had a baby girl!

    I love all of your tutorials. Thanks to your tutorial on repurposing men's shirts into a boy's baseball tee…I saved $112 on soccer jerseys for my boys!! Hooray!

    (I even used your freezer-paper stencil tutorial to put their numbers and names on the shirts.)

    Thanks for all of your help! :)

  23. SNL says:

    Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful tutorials. I absolutely love this idea and hope to make some for my little girl. Now to find some time…

  24. dannyscotland says:

    Oh, that is very cool. But we use cloth diapers, so we actually don't use this kind of cover. I just match the cloth diaper to her dress. Plus, now she's potty training. Sigh. Getting big. But I love this, I love how you didn't even use a pattern (from a store) or anything. How I wish I could sew like that!!!

  25. HOMEmomMADE says:

    boys can't do ruffles? wish they could .)

    great tute and she is growing sooooo fast. Wish they could stay that little too. Mine is near 5 months.

  26. Perpetual Blind Date says:

    What a great idea. My brother and sister in law are expecting so now I have all sorts of projects up my sleeve… this being one of them!

  27. Crafts For My Critter says:

    That is so perfect! Yesterday I decided I want to make a fireman diaper cover for my little man to wear with his little fireman boots and hat for a photo shoot and your site was the first one I checked for a diaper cover. Nothing there! I did find a nice tutorial on Made by Dana, but it is for a pattern. Hopefully, between the two of you amazing women, I can piece together a semi-decent cover. We'll see! I'll post photos when I finish it!

  28. krista jo says:

    Love your blog, thanks for all the inspiration.

    I never commented about your April Fool's joke, but I was totally fooled. I couldn't believe that you would post something so tacky (because everything you do is usually so perfect). I was apalled . . . only to realize it was an April Fool's joke. Love it!

  29. Mrs. P says:

    Were you reading my mind? Seriously… I was just thinking the other day that I needed to find a way to do this then I thought, "I really wish Ashley would post a tutorial!" Your tutorials are so easy to follow!

  30. kate the great says:

    I don't usually leave comments, but I just had to say how adorable your little girl is! Oh my goodness, I can hardly handle it!

  31. Ju says:

    Love the Ruffles!!! Very cute! And I love your little labels too

  32. Emily Robertson says:

    So stinkin cute! Thanks for the tutorial!

  33. Emily S says:

    So, so cute! I just love it :)

  34. Rocio says:

    Can I have her??? She's so adorable and looks so alert. I love love love all that you create. You make it look so easy!

  35. Allen and Alexis McCracken says:

    I can't believe she's grown up so much so fast! Oh, she is such a doll! The outfit is darling on her!

  36. staysea says:

    so cute. and how creative. Awesome ideas for those hand me downs I get that seem to be out of season.

  37. BECKY says:

    your daughter is incredibly beautiful! thanks for these baby tutorials!

  38. mnoble says:

    Very, very cute! Both the outfit and the model. :o) I don't know how well my 10 yo daughter would like ruffles on her butt though. lol Oh to find a baby girl to do this for, most of them I know are older or boys, bummer.

  39. Tiffany says:

    Thank you again for a great tutorial!
    And little missy is just adorable!

  40. bethanndodd says:

    So precious (the cover and your little one)! If only I had a little girl (or a baby!) to make some for.

  41. Amy says:

    I have been following your blog for awhile now…and just love it. Your are a creative genius!! Thanks for all of the wonderful ideas and tutorials.

  42. Rhonda says:

    Your sweet little girl is soooooo cute!!! She is making me want another …eeek :)
    Great tutorial…I have been struggling with elastics and this has really been helpful!!

    I will be attempting an alteration to a sweet little Dress shirt dress…will turn it into a halter style top!!

    So much fun!!

  43. ej236 says:

    Thanks for sharing this! Such a cute little model and aren't their bums so cute when they are little! So squeezable like you said.

  44. Audrey says:

    She is so beautiful it just makes my heart melt! Congratulations again!

  45. Jessabells says:

    Oh adorable! Great job and tutorial too!

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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