I like things that come in neat little packages. This is not news. If there’s something that can be tidied, or corralled, or made just a little bit nicer to look at—I’ll find a way to make it happen. I especially like making the neat little packages myself. I’m never after anything fancy or complicated, just simple, quiet ways to house everyday objects. Like, for instance, baby wipes. If you’re the parent of a young child, it’s likely that you have a package or three of baby wipes (or a stack of cloth wipes) always at the ready. Even in our little apartment, I find it helpful to keep wipes in both the bathroom and our main room, just in case of emergency. But I don’t really want to look at them.
Happily for me, I’m not alone in my quirks. The first time I went to Rose’s apartment, I noticed a Rose-made cover disguising a package of wet wipes on her counter. Hers was more intricate than the one I had covering our wipes at home, but the sighting confirmed we were kindred spirits.
In case anyone else out there enjoys hiding things in plain sight, here are Rose’s step-by-step instructions for making a simple wipe cover out of a piece of cotton canvas drop cloth (or really any fabric you might have hanging around the house). Whether you use packaged wet wipes or stacks of cloth wipes,* this design will work to cover them up and help dole them out, one by one.
*Instructions for folding cloth wipes so they dispense easily from the cover are below!
+ Medium to heavy weight fabric ( I use canvas drop cloth)
+ Sewing needle (you can also use a sewing machine)
+ Ruler (optional)
+ Package of wet wipes or stack of cloth wipes (see instructions below for how to fold cloth wipes)!
NOTE: Hardware store canvas drop cloths are my go-to fabric source for so many household sewing projects. It is durable, inexpensive, and comes with a hemmed edge or a selvage end so you have one less side to sew.
+ Cut out a square-like shape from your drop cloth roughly 13” x 13” or enough material to wrap your package of wipes. If using a drop cloth, try and incorporate a side containing the pre-hemmed edge.
+ With needle and thread (or sewing machine) hem two opposite sides of the square cloth so the raw edge is turned under and concealed. (You can skip one side of the hemming process if you are using the finished edge of the drop cloth.)
+ Fold in the two hemmed edges towards the center (with the right sides facing in) and overlap them by ½”.
+ With needle and thread sew together 1 ½” of the overlapped edge only on the far right and the far left. Leave at least 7 ½” of the center flap open (this is the opening for dispensing and replacing wipes).
+ Sew together the right and left short sides of the folded rectangle leaving a ½” -3/8” seam allowance.
+ Trim off any extra fabric and loose threads.
+ Reverse the envelope, gently pushing the inside out and poking out the four corners.
+ Remove the top seal of your wipes pack and insert the pack into the envelope so the open flap lines up with the seam opening.
+ Gently pull out a wipe half way for easy access. Finished!
How to fold cloth wipes:
After we finished off our remaining stash of disposable wipes for Calder back in February, we decided to switch back to using cloth wipes. They get washed right alongside our cloth diapers and we use them with the Esembly foaming Wipe Up Wash. To keep everything tidy and quickly accessible, we store them in the same canvas wipes cover shown here, the only difference is instead of stuffing a wipes package into the cover, we stuff the wipes themselves!
To make the wipes easy to pull through the cover individually, we fold them over one another, in the same way that wet wipes get folded inside their packaging. I made a quick video to help show the technique, and here are the step-by-step instructions:
- Lay one cloth wipe open on flat surface.
- Layer a second wipe on top of the first, so that it’s covering just the left half of the bottom wipe.
- Take the visible right-hand half of the bottom wipe and fold it over the top wipe, pulling it to the center of the top wipe. The bottom wipe is now folded in half with the second wipe sandwiched between it and half of that second wipe visible on the left-hand side.
- Layer another wipe on top of the half that you just folded over, leaving half of it hanging off to the right-hand side.
- Fold the wipe hanging off the left-hand side to the center of the new top wipe and continue stacking and folding in this pattern until you have a stack of interlocking wipes to stuff into your cover.
If you have a small kids stuck at home and looking for things to do, put them on cloth wipe folding duty!
Thanks to Rose Pearlman for developing this project, writing the instructions, and capturing the step-by-step instruction imagery. Rose is an artist, teacher, and textile designer. With a background in fine arts and a love of well designed functional objects, her creations blur the lines between art and craft and pushes the boundaries with non-traditional techniques and materials. Rose teaches monthly rug hooking workshops in and around her home in NYC, and also welcomes commissions for one of a kind constructions in decor and home furnishings. Her work has been featured in fiber magazines, galleries, and numerous online design sites. Her new book Modern Rug Hooking came out in December 2019 and is available wherever books are sold. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her family.
Oh my–this post is lovely and although I’m 60+ with grandbabies now, I relate! I feel so happy when items are coralled, collected, contained. My husband doesn’t get it, but it always brings me a sense of calm and accomplishment. Drop cloths are amazing; the one I use for actual painting projects does double duty as a table cloth; it brings me a little wink of joy to remember past projects when I see the paint drips! I want to make one of the wipes covers for hankies in my purse (boy, I am an old lady!)
Perfect! I was thinking of doing the same thing!
I don’t consider myself a “craft” person, but I’m definitely making this! It seems easy enough and I have a little one on the way in August.
Q for you: Do you use cloth wipes or wet wipes for diapering? We are going to do a cloth diaper service in DC (no washer/dryer in our apartment), but I haven’t decided what to do about wipes yet.
Yay! We’re using cloth wipes that we wash through our service! They’re so handy!
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