The Cheapskate’s Stash Expansion Guide

I’m cheap thrifty saving money for a(n) (expensive) carrier. But, in the meantime, I like to change up the stash a bit without spending much. This post is to share with you my favourites: dye, no sew ring slings, DIY, SPOCS and trade.

Dye:

Everyone loves a good dye job, but alot of us don’t have the equipment to start out with. I’ve only dipped a toe into this world of fabric modification and have had alot of fun dyeing wool and silk with food dye and vinegar so far. I wouldn’t hurry off to dip an expensive silk wrap or sling into a mop bucket full of vinegar and a half a bottle of food dye, but it’s a fun place to start experimenting with scraps of silk or wool and then move on to bigger and grander things. Once you’re a bit more confident, you can venture into the world of procion-type and acid dyes. A great start to the dyeing hobby can be found here. Have you thought about trying your hand at batik, shibori, tie dye, screen printing? There’s a whole world of fabric modification techniques just waiting to be explored.

No Sew Ring Slings:

No sew ring slings are a gift to the cheap and changeable! Take one pair of rings, a suitable length and weight of cloth and voila! You have a new sling for the day (or week, or until you get bored). You can find instructions here. No sewing machine required. This method is great to use on a short wrap, but I have also used it successfully on cashmere and cotton shawls. It’s a little bit of glam for a very cheap price.

Usually, I find a large pair of rings works best on most shawls, but if you are using a cashmere or other very smooth, slippery or thin fabric, then you may find medium rings work better. Since rings are less than $10 a pair, I have a couple of pairs in different colours for when I like to change things up a little.

The usual safety considerations apply. Use a suitable width and weight of fabric- carrying a large toddler in featherweight chiffon is not safe! There is a good discussion of fabric types here. Make sure you use rings suitable to the purpose. There is a thorough dicussion of ring types to be found here.

Do It Yourself:

Welcome to the dark side. If you have a sewing machine then start here and then clear the schedule for the rest of the week. This is a great way to experiment, come up with designs that suit you and have fun while you’re at it. It’s time consuming, but it is a cheap way of expanding the stash. In the future, we’ll be bringing you blog posts solely dedicated to the DIY phenomenon. We can’t do justice to it here.

SPOCs:

With all the interest in German Style Woven wraps, it’s often easy to overlook the fact that they are, in fact, pieces of cloth. Specially woven pieces of cloth in pretty colours and designs, but pieces of cloth at that. You can also carry your baby in osnaberg, gauze, jersey and many other pieces of cloth, both stretchy and woven. If you add a bit of dye, your carrier will be unique and special for a bargain price.

Trade:

Temporary or permanent, if you find someone with something you’d like to try and you have something they would like to try, then no money need ever change hands if you can get together. This is a great way to try different things.

Conclusion:

You can be cheap and you can change your stash on a regular basis. All it takes is a little creativity, some know-how and a place to start.

How do you change up your stash when you feel the urge? Leave a comment and let us know!

About Steph

Steph is a Mum of three with a passion for babywearing and some excellent skills with knots.
This entry was posted in Babywearing Info, Ring slings and pouches, Wraps and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Cheapskate’s Stash Expansion Guide

  1. I love experimenting with pieces of cloth found around the house. Tablecloths, bedsheets, shawls… It also means I can try something new to carry my baby without having to go to the shops. I hate shopping (which is funny for someone who works in retail) and I hate sewing, so the SPOC method is perfect for me!

    On the topic of trades, it can be daunting if you don’t actually have any friends who use slings. Try going to local babywearing meets, or join internet forums, to learn more about different kinds of carriers and make friends with people you can swap with. When trading on the internet, use the common sense safety rules: don’t give out your bank account or credit card details without being sure of who they’re going to, check out your trading partner’s reputation (eg eBay feedback, ratings on other forums), and use registered post so you can track your parcel once it’s sent.

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