I’ve been asked many times over about how to make a ring sling. When I made my first one, I just sort of improvised and then took a picture of the final project. I basically did the same thing with the second one I made for Talia, except that time I didn’t even remember to take a picture at the end (she did though at her shower and someday you might see evidence of it when she finds some time). So I found a tutorial online and was sending that to everyone. Unfortunately I think the tutorial is not easy to understand and knew I needed to put one together.
After making Talia’s sling, I was completely envious because her’s turned out so much better than mine, mostly because I used puchased fabric that was wider and could envelop the baby better, instead of cannibalizing a dress.
The budget has been pretty tight with the move and all that so I didn’t know when I would be able to purchase fabric and make a new sling that was better. Well luckily this weekend we sold my guitar to Jeremy (for Talia, how cute the guitar’s love story continues…) and so I had a teensy bit of cash that I was able to spend. Yay!
Today I found the perfect fabric at JoAnn’s and then headed home to make my sling and document all the steps. So for all of you wanting to make a ring sling here you go!
I just want to say really quick though that I am not in any way liable for any mishaps that should come from slinging your baby. Please research baby wearing saftey tips prior to doing it. There is a great chapter on the subject in The Baby Book from the Sears Parenting Library.
What you will need:
-2 1/2 yards of fabric
-2 rings about 2 1/2 inches in diameter (mine are stainless steel from the hardware store, you can also purchase lightweight (and colorful) rings specifically made for baby wearing from SlingRings.com)
Fold fabric in half lengthwise with right sides together and pin about 2ft along selvedge edge and sew (all seams are 1/4″ unless otherwise stated).
You will now have a 2ft tube at one end of your 2 1/2yds of fabric. Turn it right side out and fold flat so the seam you just made runs down the middle.
Fold the tube in half so that seam edge is on outside. Pin and sew about 2ft again.
Turn your new, narrower tube right side out again and fold as you did before with the seam you just made running down the middle and the other end of the fabric ballooning out at the end.
Cut a rectangle of quilt batting about 10 inches wide and 20 inches long. Place inside your tube about 4 inches below the end of the fabric to leave room for the rings. See picture below for approximate placement.
Pin in place and quilt. If you are into quilting, you can do something fancy for the shoulder pad. I just did three straight lines, one down the middle and one on either side of that.
At the narrower end of your fabric, turn the unfinished edge under about 1/4″ and sew in place.
Fold the corners of the narrower end to the center, so that the turned under edge is hidden.
Slide both rings on to the fabric.
Fold over, pin and sew in place along the same seam that you made at the begining of this step.
The pictures for these next two steps didn’t turn out, sorry about that! I think they are pretty easy to understand without pictures though.
Step 9 (optional)
My fabric had some ugly selvedge edges with writing that said “Designed exclusively for JoAnn’s”. So I turned under the selvedge edge and hemmed that to cover it up. If you like your selvedge edges there is no reason to do this.
Hem the unfinished edge at the tail end.
Ring slings work like those t-shirt ties from the 80s or those double d-ring fabric belts that are still around. You slide the tail in through both rings and then back through one of the rings to secure it.
This allows the ring sling to be adjustable as your baby grows which is one of the main reasons I like this sling so much. I also like that there are so many positions to carry your baby in (again research baby wearing to find out what I’m talking about).
You will have quite a bit of tail left over. I just tuck mine back into the sling. You can also use the tail to cover up while breastfeeding which came in REALLY handy yesterday when we were at the funeral.
Happy sling making and baby wearing!