Author Topic: Having a kid, what to DIY, what to BUY?  (Read 1363 times)

affordablehousing

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Having a kid, what to DIY, what to BUY?
« on: September 19, 2017, 12:38:33 PM »
Very excited to have our first child in a few months, and I was thinking MMM parents might be able to share what were the most satisfying pieces of child furniture to build themselves? While I'd love to do everything, schedules make it tough. Contemplations include a crib, rocking chair, bookshelves, mobile, bassinet. Thinking of projects that are in my strong suit of wood or metalworking but open to learning sewing too.


ixtap

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Re: Having a kid, what to DIY, what to BUY?
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2017, 12:49:28 PM »
Very excited to have our first child in a few months, and I was thinking MMM parents might be able to share what were the most satisfying pieces of child furniture to build themselves? While I'd love to do everything, schedules make it tough. Contemplations include a crib, rocking chair, bookshelves, mobile, bassinet. Thinking of projects that are in my strong suit of wood or metalworking but open to learning sewing too.

Thrift and gifts can be used to cover your needs. The only one I would even consider would be a rocking chair or a mobile that would be kept long term as an heirloom.

affordablehousing

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Re: Having a kid, what to DIY, what to BUY?
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2017, 10:50:27 AM »
Yes we won't be spending a dime on any thing (thanks crowded streets full of baby hand me downs in a big city with tiny apartments), this is just for fun. Anyone make anything interesting or unusual? Anyone?

BrandNewPapa

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Re: Having a kid, what to DIY, what to BUY?
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2017, 11:02:21 AM »
Congrats! I've the proud papa of a 15 month old.

The only things I would recommend buying new are (in order of priority):
  • Car seat
  • Crib
  • Mattress

I recommend these as new because you never know what condition they are in buying used. No way to tell if a car seat has been in an accident. Plus car seat and crib technologies change pretty quickly. You want your baby to be as safe as possible. A lot of these things can be received as gifts if you're having a baby shower and have a generous family (sounds like baby is coming around Xmas too, so as for baby stuff for Xmas if you celebrate!).

Everything else we buy used or get as hand me downs. There is a great chain store here that sells very gently used baby and kids stuff called Once Upon a Child. Almost everything we buy there looks brand new, and its nearly goodwill prices. Definitely recommend finding one or an equivalent store in your area.

gardeningandgreen

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Re: Having a kid, what to DIY, what to BUY?
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2017, 01:03:34 PM »
We are still working on getting that first kid so take this with a grain of salt. I believe that DH is going to build a crib for the eventual hopeful kiddo. There are tons of resources online and if you are a great woodworker and confident in your skills I would totally do it! Maybe my opinion will change once we actually have a kid but kids are super resilient and really things aren't that hard to build. We built an entire garage a year ago and it is still standing after 70 mph winds. Also people keep little babies in boxes and things so really they don't need much!

chaskavitch

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Re: Having a kid, what to DIY, what to BUY?
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2017, 04:20:43 PM »
We built a changing table topper for our dresser.  They sell for like $125 at Babies R Us (!!!), and I think we made it out of scrap wood from other projects, a lot of sandpaper, and a sample-size paint from Lowes :)

MBot

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Re: Having a kid, what to DIY, what to BUY?
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2017, 07:13:44 PM »
Lots of baby "bookshelf" projects are DIY-appropriate - whether it's book pockets on rods, display shelves, a little wall mounted bookshelf shaped like a house or animal or tree etc.

For sewing, how visual are you? How important are aesthetics? Fabric adds a lot of impact for a small thing. And depending on sales or coupons it can be quite inexpensive .

I found for me it was really easy to make some crib sheets and changing pad cover and a crib skirt to hide the mess underneath - in a few geometric, modern (not pastel "baby") fabric patterns that  make  the whole nursery look really nice. And cheaper than buying sheets. A lot of bang for the buck there.

The same with a mobile I made with hand sewn little felt animals,, and a walnut bracket out of scrap wood  to attach it to the wall.

Stuff like mattress pads to go under the sheet and soak up milk or pee can be cheaper to DIY but wasn't for us (not with the elastic cost).

Blackout lining (or a piece of cardboard behind the blinds) is a worthwhile time investment to DIY. Dark rooms can help so much with sleep :)

By contrast, cribs and dressers and rocking chairs are all easy to buy used... and easy to check if they meet safety standards.

starbuck

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Re: Having a kid, what to DIY, what to BUY?
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2017, 08:15:40 PM »
My version of 'nesting' during pregnancy was to sew as many things as possible for the baby, using whatever fabric I already had in my sewing room. Here's what I ended up making:

-Baby quilt (the first one that I actually got to keep!!)
-Bibs (half dozen)
-Burp Cloths (half dozen)
-Changing pad and carrying case (repurposed an old rain jacket of mine)
-Two winter hats (https://www.purlsoho.com/create/2013/11/24/corinnes-thread-winter-baby-bonnet/)
-Woolen Teddy Bear (https://www.purlsoho.com/create/2013/05/30/mollys-sketchbook-wool-and-liberty-teddy-bear/)
-Baby rattle
-Some clothing and other small things and stuffed animals. Aforementioned baby is approaching two years old and my memory is spotty.

My husband is a hobby woodworker and while he has built some very nice furniture, he didn't build any for the baby. He did make a set of maple wood blocks with carved letters and pictures that are lovely.

Pick a project that you'd be excited to make and go for it! All baby stuff is so easy to get used that it's not really about the money (at least it wasn't for us.) I enjoy making things for the people in my life, and my son was no different!

elvizzle

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Re: Having a kid, what to DIY, what to BUY?
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2017, 09:02:27 PM »
Babies go through things really fast, so expect to get rid of (donate, sell, gift) the crib, rocking chair, mobile, bassinet in 2 years.  The book shelf is something that could last until your child is in college, so I would consider doing that one. 

shelivesthedream

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Re: Having a kid, what to DIY, what to BUY?
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2017, 02:58:48 AM »
I'm planning to sew a teddy of some kind out of my husband's old shirt. He likes pastel colours and patterns so there are a few to choose from and it will be really personal and, as others have said, hopefully something it won't grow out of too fast. Just need to reinforce it against chewing... :)

I've been tempted to see some clothes but I know it'll grow out of them so quickly.

chaskavitch

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Re: Having a kid, what to DIY, what to BUY?
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2017, 06:54:29 AM »
I'm planning to sew a teddy of some kind out of my husband's old shirt. He likes pastel colours and patterns so there are a few to choose from and it will be really personal and, as others have said, hopefully something it won't grow out of too fast. Just need to reinforce it against chewing... :)

I've been tempted to see some clothes but I know it'll grow out of them so quickly.

Aw, this is such a good idea!  It will smell like him, too :)  I wish I was confident enough in my sewing skills to do something like this.

I did make some little felt animals for a mobile, and they turned out fairly well, and I like to look at them, anyway.  For other "easy" sewing projects, I'm making baby booties as presents, and they're only a pain because I don't have a serger or pinking shears that work, so the finished edges are kind of dicy. 

Mrs.MLM

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Re: Having a kid, what to DIY, what to BUY?
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2017, 09:43:07 AM »
When your child is a toddler, a little table and chairs would be fun. Definitely a play kitchen. Mr. MLM made a little art table for our daughter that's perfect for her height.

dumbblond

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Re: Having a kid, what to DIY, what to BUY?
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2017, 02:31:42 PM »
If you're at all interested in a video monitor, consider buying a cheap webcam and DIYing your own monitor solution. We never intended on getting a video monitor, but someone gifted us one and we ended up loving it...until it died four months in. After reading reviews on video monitors, that seems to be a pretty common problem (half the people would love their video monitor for years, half would say it died after a short amount of time). Just make sure you block incoming/outgoing traffic on your home router so only people who are on your local network can view the video feed (then you have to be less concerned about whatever crappy security the camera itself has).

Poundwise

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Re: Having a kid, what to DIY, what to BUY?
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2017, 02:47:05 PM »
It would be Mustachian to sew cloth diapers.  Here's a pattern for prefold cloth dipes, very easy as it's all straight lines:
https://wehavekids.com/parenting/How-To-Sew-Prefold-Diapers

Many many other patterns are here!
http://www.zany-zebra.com/free-cloth-diaper-patterns.shtml

Hula Hoop

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Re: Having a kid, what to DIY, what to BUY?
« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2017, 07:51:39 AM »
I bought new Indian prefold cloth diapers for around $2 each on ebay and flat diapers for even less and they are even cheaper gently used.  I ended up getting a big used stash of fitted cloth diapers from a colleague when my second child was born and they were great too and free.  Unless you really enjoy sewing, I don't think sewing cloth diapers makes financial sense considering how cheap they are.

iowajes

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Re: Having a kid, what to DIY, what to BUY?
« Reply #15 on: October 01, 2017, 02:20:15 PM »
DH just built little one a pikler triangle. She loves holding it to stand and soon it will be great for climbing and crawling in.

He also built the gate for our stairs so it matches the home decor.

I sewed her quilts and sleep sacks.

I also knitted her hospital hat.