How I Made My Own Custom Ring Sling

a handmade ring sling

With my first son, I had a Maya Wrap baby carrier that I simply adored. Between him turning about six months old and now, I have no idea what happened to it. When I found out I was pregnant last August, one of the first things I did was browse through the Maya Wrap website to see which fabrics I liked best. Slowly, over the last several months, I convinced myself that surely I could sew one myself. One of the reasons I wouldn’t let myself do that much sewing when we were living in the apartment, was because I was already getting the hankering to decorate fabrics myself, and I knew that if I was going to sew anything, I knew I was going to have print my own design onto it first. There just wasn’t room for any more stuff in that apartment. No more fiber crafts could fit, so I just focused on woolly things. But in the new house, I have a whole room to cover in wool and fabric and dye and paint…and I have done a pretty thorough job of filling it up in just two months.

osnaburg
I started out with 2.5 yards of natural osnaburg from fabric.com. I washed and dried it as soon as it came in. The edges frayed a bit in the wash, just a warning.

stripey baby wrap fabric
Then I ironed and pressed and spent a long, long time re-flattening my fabric so the paint would go on as evenly as possible. (For the record, the not-straight stripes and sometimes thin paint was on purpose.) I used acrylic paint and a fabric medium fixer (link below) and a tiny paint roller I bought at Joann for $.99 to apply the stripes.

I allowed the fabric to dry for at least 48 hours and then ironed it front and back (on the front with a piece of scrap fabric over the paint) to set the color and then threw it in the wash with a load of laundry. I made sure I took it out of the dryer as soon as it was done so I wouldn’t have to spend an hour ironing it again, and then I spent a few minutes cuddling it.

Next I trimmed all of the big unraveled pieces from the edges, and then zigzag stitched around the perimeter of the piece so that it wouldn’t fray anymore. (Warning: you will likely have to refill your bobbin at least once during this project.)

Then I hemmed three sides: the two long sides, and only one of the short sides. Leave the top of your sling, the part where the rings are attached, unhemmed unless you have a really powerful sewing machine. You’ll have quite a bit of fabric to sew through at the end.

I followed the sewing tutorial on the Maya Wrap website from here about where to sew and how much–which at this point is really just three or four quick seams, but over a serious amount of fabric. Make sure you watch the videos about how to properly thread and use your wrap.

handmade ring sling rings

What you’ll need to make this project:
Sling Materials
-2.5 yards of a 45 inch fabric
-A set of Sling Rings
-Coordinating Thread

Printing Materials
-3 to 5 colors of acrylic paint (I used Americana)
-1 bottle Fabric Painting Medium (follow instructions on the bottle)
-Paper plates and disposable spoons for mixing paint with fabric medium
-1 inch foam paint roller

My total cost for the project:
fabric $9.95
sling rings $3.79
thread $2.99
paint $5.94
roller $.99
Total: $23.66
(Even rounding up for tax and shipping, the project comes in at under $30)
That’s a fraction of the cost of an name brand wrap, and I was able to completely customize it to my tastes. My colors, a wider shoulder and smaller rings, than the original. Now I just need a baby to put in it!

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