A couple of months before the baby was born, we made a trip to my parents and hauled all of O’s old baby stuff out of their basement (where they had kindly been storing it for us). I pulled out the tub of nursing stuff and saw my old friend, the Boppy pillow. I know there are different kinds of nursing pillows and everyone has their favorite, but man, did I spend a lot of time with that thing. And I remembered it having a really cute cover. What I did not remember, however, was how faded and dirty that cover was after a year and a half of nursing a sweaty baby. So then of course I started searching for a new, less gross cover to replace it (I tried washing it first, I swear). I looked in all my favorite usual online spots and even started looking on Etsy. But the problem is, the stores pretty much only sell official Boppy brand covers and they are shockingly limited in color/pattern choices. Which is when I switched to Etsy. And there were a ton of adorable choices! But then I saw the prices. The cute custom ones were as much as the plain pillow by itself! Obviously they’re handmade and that’s why, but that’s more than I wanted to spend.
So I figured I’d make one myself and I vowed to use only materials I already have because I’m a craft hoarder and I should not be allowed to buy any new materials for at least 5 years. (*insert winky face) It actually was easier than I thought it would be and looks significantly better than I predicted. So here’s how I did it!
DIY Boppy Nursing Pillow Cover
1 1/2 yards cotton quilting fabric
18 ” zipper
sewing machine & thread
an old nursing pillow cover to trace
1. Lay out your fabric, folded in half. Fold your old Boppy pillow cover in half as well. Then line up the folded edges. The unfortunate thing about this project is that it takes up kind of a lot of fabric and leaves weirdly shaped scraps. Be forewarned.
2. Cut around your old pillow cover adding an extra 1″ on all sides (except the folded edge). The first time I did this, I only added about 1/2″ and it made putting in the zipper harder than it needed to be, so do as I say, not as I do!
4. Unfold the pieces and lay them out right sides together. Then lay out your zipper, centering it. Mark where the ends of the zipper are. You will sew a 1″ basted seam from about 3″ before the zipper starts to about 3″ after (shown with the blue line).5. Use an iron to press that basted seam open. Then line up your zipper so the center of the zipper lines up along the middle of the open seam. Pin each side of the zipper to each flap on either side of the basted seam. Do not pin the zipper to the main body of the pillow, only to the pressed open sides of the basted seam.
6. Using your zipper foot, carefully sew the zipper in along both sides. Don’t forget to add a few stitches at either end of the zipper to secure it.
7. Then flip your pillow over and, using a seam ripper, rip the basted stitches open, this will expose your zipper! 8. Before you finish sewing the pillow together, OPEN THE ZIPPER! Unzip it at least wide enough to fit your hand through. Then put the pillow back together, right sides together, pin it and stitch together with a 1″ seam all the way around the entire pillow.
9. Before you turn the pillow cover right side out, clip the seam all the way around. For the curviest areas I clip about 1/4″ apart, up to a 1/2″ on the straighter parts. This will help keep your curves nice and smooth when you turn it right side out. Just be careful not to clip any of your stitches!
10. Reach in, open the zipper the rest of the way, and turn the pillow cover right side out. Insert your Boppy pillow and zip it back up! That’s it, you’re done!
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