Use it up, wear it out….even for Christmas

I was raised to Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, or Do without.   As a child having to finish that box of cereal that I didn’t like before opening the ‘good’ cereal or wearing good usable clothes from the thrift store instead of buying the new fashions that ‘all my friends were wearing’ was a tough pill to swallow.  Now I’m all grown up and I see the wisdom in that mantra and…mwahaha (evil cackle)…choose to inflict the same lifestyle on my poor kids.

I think I might even be a hoarder in embryo because of this.  Certainly I can use all those bits and pieces of stuff for something… but that’s completely beside the point of this post…sort of.  Anyway, for this post I just wanted to show off something I just made (from stuff I already had on hand) that turned out so cute.

I love to sew. I’ve been creating things on the sewing machine since I was in Jr  High and I don’t remember a Christmas when I haven’t sewn at least some of the gifts.  Some years I’m out of my mind I get very ambitious and plan TOO many things and end up sewing late into the night on Christmas eve trying to get everything done. Each time I swear I’ll never do that again.

This year I got smart and only planned one sewing project. There were others I could have planned, like the traditional pillowcases that we do every year, but instead, for this, I sought out a wonderful woman who has a home business sewing adorable pillowcases in any theme or character you can imagine.  I saved myself hours and hours of not only sewing but driving all over town to find the perfect fabric for each child’s pillowcase.  This is one of our traditions that we do each Christmas Eve.  It’s like the pajamas that a lot of families do but much more simple.

So this year my youngest asked for some diapers for her doll babies.  I didn’t want to buy disposable doll diapers or preemie diapers because the are essentially single use and very expensive so I did a bit of searching and found an adorable blog with a free printable pattern.  I love it when someone else does the trial and error stuff for me (Thanks Gail).  The pattern that she offers is a mash-up a commercial pattern and some tweaking that she did.

The only thing I bought for this project was baby print fabric,  I found a gal that on a local *Facebook Yardsale page that was selling usable-sizes scraps for 25 cents each.  I think I spent about $2.00 on the whole pile of fabric, 9 or 10 different prints…and I still have enough left over to outfit the neighborhood in baby doll diapers.  For the lining I used an old flannel receiving blanket.  I had the thread and velcro on hand (thanks to my hoarding in embryo tendencies) so off I went.

*Facebook has lots of group pages where people in a city or town post things for sale.  just search your city name and yardsale and see what you can find…if you can’t find one, start one.

This little pile of cuteness is the result of my ‘Use it up…” principle.

cloth doll diapers

I had the supplies on hand to complete this project with only a few more supplies needed. As things get more and more expensive and our disposable income shrinks, we’ll find ourselves clinging more and more to that mantra of “Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, or Do without”  Practicing these principles now will make the transition less objectionable for us and our families.

So my challenge to you is; sometime in the next little bit, take a trip over to and find instructions for a project that you can make.  Search for words like ‘re-do’, ‘re-make’ , ‘recycle’ or ‘up-cycle’  Use only what you have on hand or can find in a thrift store.  Then share your re-do in the comments below.

If for some reason, you aren’t quite ready to make your own cloth baby doll diapers, I might be persuaded to make you some for you.  Of course you’d be at the mercy of my fabric choices because I will ‘Use it up…”  If you want more details about this off-the-wall offering, just post below and I’ll give you the details.



Oh, I forgot to add the baby doll before and after pictures for your viewing pleasure.  You can just see how this baby absolutely loves her new diapers, can’t you?

use it up afterbaby doll before, in pull-ups, not good


  1. Angela Davis says:

    love this idea Andrea! Thanks for sharing!

    • Andrea says:

      You’re welcome. It was a project that I could actually finish 🙂 I have finishing issues…working on that. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Kari says:

    This post is so me! Someday, after I get done with packing and moving (I am taking all my fabric scraps with me, halfway across the country), I’ll have to try the diapers for my girls’ baby dolls.

    • Andrea says:

      It went together really fast, I was surprised at how easy they were. I’m one that would also tote my fabric across the country….because I’ll need it someday 😉 Sorry you have to wait til after a move…but new beginnings are always an adventure. Travel Safely.

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