Diaper bag – from scratch and at what cost?

Baby due next Friday. Seems like a good time to squeeze in a project to deadline…

All signs indicate a diaper bag is needed. A visit to John Lewis stimulates acquisition gland, a quick check on the price tag withers gland to small raisin. £165.00 will get you waterproof bag with change mat (or for £169, you can buy the bag direct from Orla Kiely herself. The extra fiver probably accounts for a nicely decorated bag to put your newly acquired bag in). But it’s purdy!

orla kiely diaper bag

You know what I’m going to say: I could make one of those. So I’m going to give it a crack, and use Make It Smirk’s approach of costing up the materials, fixings and linings (on a stunningly expensive, but beautifully executed Amy Butler bag), to see how much money this endeavour ‘saves’. Needless to say, I’ve already ‘saved’ money, as I bought the plasticised table-cloth and shower-curtain fabrics yonks ago.

What’s the unit price of  liberating fabric from the stash? Shall think on it as I labour away over the kitchen table…

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6 responses to “Diaper bag – from scratch and at what cost?

  1. Barb

    Oh it is a lovely bag. I might recommend that you purchase or use a bag that you got as a gift at first. I found that I had lots of diaper bags but none worked just right. Finally I just made one that had all of the good things that I liked from my other diaper bags. I finally found the PERFECT diaper bag.

  2. georgeina

    thanks barb – what a great idea! i’d love to know what made your final perfect bag? you might have also put the brakes on my doing something less than priority with my precious last few days…

  3. Barb

    ah the elusive “perfect bag” :)
    the biggest problem we had with diapers bags was size. we needed a large bag because we cloth diaper and take diapers to daycare everyday along with his lunch and blanket for naptime. so you can imagine how gianormous this bag needed to be. i found that a reusable grocery bag was a good size but the straps kept falling off my shoulder while juggling my heavy baby, lunch bag, purse and whatever else i needed to take to work. so i used the grocery bag as a model and made a similiar sized bag with a cross-body strap.

    we do have a smaller bag that we take with us on short trips to grandma’s house and things like that but i found that since my son has gotten older i don’t need to take as much with me in terms of diaper bag. although i did make a little bag for him to carry toys in when we go out somewhere.

    what i personally liked in a diaper bag is a cross-body strap (apparently i have non-existant shoulders and strap slide right off) and pockets on the outside. i liked to be able to just reach into the bag without fiddling with a flap or anything although my husband liked to zip the bag shut which still drives me crazy to this day. let me tell you trying to open a zippered bag with one hand while holding your screaming toddler is very difficult.

    but the perfect bag is different for everyone. my friend liked having pockets on the inside and she liked having a special pocket for herself. i didn’t because i would forget my cell phone or wallet. she also didn’t mind the shoulder bag.

    i do think that the waterproof material would be awesome. there is nothing worse than sitting your bag in a puddle or finding a puddle on the inside or your bag and you can’t just throw it in the washer right away.

  4. I have heard from people who spent a bomb making the Amy Butler diaper bag although they said it did look lovely afterwards.. so yeah, I’m amazed how much the costs of making your own bag can spiral!

    The good thing about making a diaper bag is that you don’t need to use bag interfacing – which can be very expensive, or home decorator fabrics, which are right up there too.

    What you need in your nappy bag depends on where you and your child go.
    – if you go for picnics or to public places without a change table in the toilets then I recommend making the little fold up mattress that some nappy bags have.
    – if you are going to day care you’ll need a lot of extra paraphenalia (change of clothes, lunch boxes, etc
    – if you have sloping shoulders you may consider a back pack option to keep all that gear on..

    but to be honest for a long time we just used a supermarket bag!

    Of course you probably want to glam it.

    Very best of luck for the up coming delivery. I hope it goes well and you get the experience you want. I got the experience I wanted after I decided that drugs were better than au natural, but everyone’s experience is different, as is their philosophies around birth.

  5. georgeina

    hmmm…. what a quandary! thanks a mill, ladies. i suspect i’ll … um… oh i just don’t know!

    i suspect i’ll …. um…. think about it a bit more, and
    1. survey current handbags and think about what i like about them
    2. try and futurecast how i’d like to treat nappies, snacks, water and so forth – probably compartmentalise to avoid intermingling
    3. try unpacking next major grocery shopping while holding the cat

    and
    4. focus immediate efforts on new cover for the bouncer frame – i have a number of bags already which will more than suffice…

  6. Pingback: From scratch: baby bouncer cover « Georgeina's Blog

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About me


I started this blog to help me Get Things Done: sewing and knitting mostly.
But now I have a daughter! So I continue to daydream in enormous detail about what I'd like to make, but squeeze the 'doing' into precious naptimes and evenings.

Can I keep it up? Time will tell!

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