DIY Muslin Swaddling Blankets Tutorial

DIY Cotton Muslin Swaddling Blankets - Must Have Mom

I absolutely adore cotton muslin swaddling blankets. They are lightweight, breathable and are perfect for swaddling. They prevent baby from overheating while still keeping them swaddled and warm. They get softer with every washing and they double as great nursing covers, car seat covers and playtime blankets.

My son Carson is super attached to his aden + anais Muslin Swaddle Blanketsย and they are his “official blankie”. He has a big stack of them and doesn’t mind which print it is but it must be aden + anais or it doesn’t pass. With baby #4 coming I knew that Carson wasn’t going to give up any of his aden + anais swaddle blankets for the baby to use. I wasn’t about to steal his blankies and give them to the new baby. That sounded like a recipe for disaster! I did however want muslin swaddling blankets for the baby because they are my absolute favorites! I decided I could probably make my own and it turned out to be pretty easy actually and it was cheaper than buying them new.

How to dye cotton muslin fabric

You will need to head to the fabric store and pick up some cotton gauze fabric (also referred to as muslin in other countries). I found mine at JoAnn Fabric and they had it in white and brown. I decided I could buy white and dye it to be a prettier color and I picked up some brown too. I grabbed two bottles of RIT Dye in Aquamarine and Sunshine Orange. I love the bright colors!

For each blanket you will need a 45″ x 45″ square of cotton gauze. 42″ x 42″ will work too, depending on width of your fabric on the bolt. Just make sure it is square. I cut my fabric and then dyed it so that I could do two of each color.

How to dye fabric

To dye the fabric you will need to mix up your liquid RIT (powder works too) in a large bucket. Be sure to wear gloves or your hands will stain! This was my first time dying fabric and I have to tell you I was intimidated but it was SO easy! Do not be afraid to give it a try!

Follow the instructions on the bottle of dye and mix it with very hot water in a bucket in the sink. Stir it together, be sure to add salt as instructed on the bottle. Then add in your fabric and stir. I found it was important to keep stirring it throughout the time it sat and never let it sit without stirring for longer than ten minutes. If you do the dye tends to distribute unevenly and the finished result is not a nice, even dye job but is splattered looking.

Leave it sit in the dye until your desired color is reached. Keep in mind that the finished color after washing and drying will be slightly lighter than it looks in the bucket of dye while wet. I let mine sit for at least an hour (stirring every ten minutes).

How to dye fabric with RIT dye

Once you have reached your desired color you can rinse it under cold water until the water runs clear. Then wash and dry in your washing machine/dryer. That’s it! I did wash mine a second time along with a Downey ball filled with vinegar in order to help set the dye so it wouldn’t bleed when washed again. After the second wash I found that it did not bleed anymore.

DIY cotton muslin blanket tutorial

Next you will need to finish the edges. I did a little experimenting with the best way to go about this and found that it was easiest to do it this way:

  • Fold the edge over 1/4″ and then 1/4″ again creating a nice clean fold. Do not iron or pin. Start sewing and continue to fold over the edge as you go. The fabric is a bit difficult to work with and I found that ironing and pinning were not helpful. Just folding it over as I sewed worked the best. The line doesn’t have to be perfectly straight and you will find it works well. Do this for all 4 edges.
  • On the corners simply fold one corner over the other edge (as pictured above).
  • Do not stretch the fabric as you sew it or it will pucker! Resist the urge to pull it taught ๐Ÿ™‚

DIY Cotton Muslin Swaddle Baby Blankets

When you are finished you will have a stack of brightly colored muslin swaddling blankets! I made some with the brown cotton gauze fabric as well. They turned out great! I can’t wait to wrap my little guy up in them. As an added bonus they don’t look the same as Carson’s blankies so he won’t think the baby stole them from him ๐Ÿ™‚

DIY aden + anais blankets

These make a fantastic and affordable baby gift idea too! When you cut your fabric save some of the scraps and use them to tie the blankets after rolling them up. It makes for a cute presentation! Make a bunch of these DIY muslin swaddling blankets and save some and gift some!

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  1. OMG i love this idea!!! IT must be more affordable too! LOve this I would love to make some for my new baby!

  2. Love this idea, thank you!! I seriously love my A+A blankets but they are so expensive. Something special about making something for your own(or others’) babies too! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Man, I’m loving those colors and this looks super easy to do! This would make an awesome keepsake for someone – thanks for sharing! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I’m SO glad I found this tutorial!! I didn’t want to buy another bottle of dye but all I have is brown. I wasn’t sure if it would be “baby cute” but after seeing yours, I’m convinced it will be perfect!!

  5. I made these and they turned out great!! Love that I can make my own muslin blankets now. So much cheaper!

  6. Hi! Love this idea! Do you know remember the name of the muslin you got from Joann’s? They have so many different kinds.

  7. Do you think you can do this no sew? With fabric adhesive maybe? My sewing machine is all packed away, but I totally love this idea!

  8. These look so cute and simple! Love it.. My only concern is would the dye come out if baby sucks on the blanket a lot?? I have a blanket sucker lol

    1. I found this post on here.
      โ€œidk if its been posted before in the comments but RIT dye is NOT BABY SAFE!!! yes it says non toxic BUT Rit is not fiber reactive and never truly bonds with the fabric fibers!!! if it gets wet or baby sucks on it the dye will bleed and be eaten. u can use Tulip, and Dylon (not IDye) if you want deep vibrant colors and dont mind ordering online look up Dharma or Custom Colours (Ebay store). For the love of babies DONT USE RIT!!!โ€œ

  9. Just curious how they are wearing? Are they as soft as the A&A ones? I have Lulujo brand ones which are made here in Canada and I love them and they are so soft for my baby so I was just curious if you find these as soft as the store bought ones you have.

  10. my friend made my daughter blankets very similar to these. I wanted something breathable and light. they are very nice and Im def hanging onto them

  11. I’m loving those colours. I will be doing this. My daughter got married last May. We draped the marquee with hundreds and hundreds of metres of muslin. I already died some and gave away as scarves to helpers (French muslin puckers up in a much more attractive way than some muslin, there are a lot of variants!) And now my daughter is expecting a baby in June so I can make a ton of these! Thank you.

  12. I love these! I went to Joann Fabrics and purchased five yards of the fabric. It made 4 blankets that measured 42×42″. I used the Rit and they came out beautifully! I do suggest using the Rit liquid dye though, the powder settled at the bottom of the bucket and one of my blankets has little discolored spots on it. I followed the directions to a T, so it could have just been a fluke. I’m due late April, so I cannot wait to use these! They are a bit big for a newborn but I think we will make it work. They’re great for summertime swaddling!

  13. idk if its been posted before in the comments but RIT dye is NOT BABY SAFE!!! yes it says non toxic BUT Rit is not fiber reactive and never truly bonds with the fabric fibers!!! if it gets wet or baby sucks on it the dye will bleed and be eaten. u can use Tulip, and Dylon (not IDye) if you want deep vibrant colors and dont mind ordering online look up Dharma or Custom Colours (Ebay store). For the love of babies DONT USE RIT!!!

    1. Thanks for your feedback Chrissy. I washed these several times with vinegar which helps the dye set. After several washes they did not bleed at all anymore. I can get them soaking wet and put them on a white cloth and no dye bleeds. We’ve been using them for a year without any dye bleeding at all despite them being soaked or sucked on. I appreciate your suggestions of other dye options.

  14. I know this is an older post, but hoping you can help. I have found the Muslin at Joannโ€™s but Iโ€™m confused on which one I should get. Is it okay to use the bleached ones?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Jessica, sorry I didn’t see this sooner. You can always message me on FB for a quick answer! You can use the bleached muslin yes ๐Ÿ™‚

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