How to Make a Baby Papoose Sling

baby image by Dron from

Things You'll Need

  • Fabric (2-1/4 to 2-1/2 yards of fabric)
  • 3-inch rings (sturdy metal or nylon), 2
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure
  • Sewing machine
  • Pins
  • Upholstery thread (optional)
  • Upholstery needle (optional)

A papoose sling allows you to hold your baby close while also letting your hands be free to do chores, shop or prepare a bottle for your little one. Making your own papoose sling will let you add a personal touch to your baby gear. Sew a papoose sling for your own enjoyment or as a gift for an expecting friend or family member. It's a must-have for busy parents wanting quality time with their bundle of joy.

Select a reversible fabric considering that both sides will be of the fabric will be seen. Also, you want a fabric that has a little stretch so that you can comfortably support your baby. Consider using a cotton/polyester blend. If you choose a fabric 36 to 45 inches wide you won't have to hem if you don't want to. Fabric wider than 45 inches is too wide. For a medium size sling you will need 2-1/4 yards of fabric. For a larger sling, use 2-1/2 yards.

Hem or surge the cut end of your fabric for the tail of your sling. You may also want to hem your selvage edge, or outside edges of your fabric.

Fold the fabric like a fan. Each fold should be 4 to 6 inches. You only have to fan fold 10 to 12 inches across the fabric. Your last fold may not be a little shorter, but this is OK.

Use your sewing machine to zigzag stitch or surge the through the fan folded section of the fabric. If you surge this section, make sure your surger can make it through such a thick piece of fabric. If not, use the zigzag stitch.

Grab your rings and pull the fan folded section through the rings about 3 or 4 inches. Fold The fabric over the rings so that it is fabric folded back on itself. Pin the fabric in place with the pins.

Sew the fabric where you pinned it with a straight stitch. Do not pin the fabric that wasn't fan folded. Sew 1/4-inch or 1/2-inch from the edge. Back stitch this seam on both ends because this seam will take a lot of stress as you carry your baby. Make two two lines of stitching for more support. You could use upholstery thread and an upholstery needle to make a stronger seam.


  • If the rings are too thin, they could come off and your baby could be injured. Make sure you choose really sturdy, thick rings for your sling. Boat and cattle supply stores are great places to look for sturdy metal rings.