I read something once that by the end of your life the average person has spent a year of it searching for lost possessions. I found this fact inconceivable until I had kids that loved binkies. No matter how many of those things I buy (and they aren’t cheap), I still find myself desperately hitting the baby aisle of the drugstore at 8pm in my pajamas all too frequently. It drives me nuts! Part of the problem is that I’ve never found a binkie clip that I liked the look of. It certainly would make those things easier to hold onto. I’ve even searched etsy, which always seems to be the goldmine of well designed everyday items. And still nothing that’s to my liking.
Enter Janette of Sun + Dotter. She offered to come over and let me shoot her sharing her technique for making these handmade binkie clips, which she used to sell- they’d go like hot cakes and I can see why! When she made the suggestion to come stop by for us to shoot this tutorial I immediately responded with “Yes! And can you bring one over tonight??”.
I’m excited to share Janette’s newest project, Lovemade. Along with Jeanne of Shop Sweet Things, they’re hosting an amazing workshop for pregnant women here in SF in September to help moms-to-be define a sense of intention about their home & nursery design, fashion, and support networks as they prepare for life with a little one. Everyone will receive a specially curated goodie bag from some of my favorite maternity and baby brands like Hatch, Freshly Picked, Minted and The Honest Company. I’ll be joining them to speak on an “Ask Us Anything” panel along with Katie Hintz-Zambrano of Mother Mag and Erica Chan Coffman of Honestly WTF. It’s going to be so fun, including makeovers with bareMinerals and baby bump photos with Sara of Modern Kids Photography (love her!). Janette and I have worked together before on picking out baby products for Edie and designing her nursery. She’s an expert on all things baby and kid gear/design. The workshop is $375, but early-bird pricing of $325 is available until August 29th. If you tell them I sent you, they have a very special surprise in store!
Keep reading for the the tutorial on making these adorable leather braided (4 strand flat braid) binkie clips for baby…
Photography by Liz Stanley. Assisted by Sara Albers. Technique and instruction by Janette Crawford
Leather lace or cord (naturally dyed leather would be best)
Leather glue (this is the kind Janette uses, it dried clear and super strong)
Binkie clips hardware (they are just suspenders clips, you can find them in bulk at your local craft store or here on etsy)
Clipboard (or toe!)
Step 1: Cut two pieces of you leather into 34 inches long. Fold them both in half.
Step 2: Make a loop about 1 1/2 inches long and wrap one string of leather around the other, as shown above
Step 3: Clip the loop to a clip board (or wrap it around your toe!)
Step 4: You’re going to start braiding now with the leather piece on the far right. Instead of crossing over one like you normally do when you braid, you cross over 2 strands on the right side.
Step 5: On the left side, you’ll only cross over one strand, like a regular braid. So cross over two strands on the right and one on the left. This makes a nice flat braid. It looks kind of like a fishtail.
Step 6. Keep going for a few more inches or so. Just be certain it’s not long enough to wrap around your baby’s neck as that could be dangerous.
Step 7: Now to finish it you’re going to have two long strands in the middle and two shorter strands on either side. Leave those long strands in the middle alone and make a simple knot with the two strands on either side in front. Add a touch of leather glue before tightening the knot all the way so the glue gets pulled into the knot.
Step 8. Now lip the braid around the tie another knot with those same two short ends. Again, leaving the middle longer strands alone. Use glue as well for that second knot in the back.
Step 9: When the glue is dry, snip of those short ends from the knot very close. The glue holds the knot remarkably well. I was impressed!
Step 10: Make a simple knot through the end of the clip hardware
Step 11: To attach the binkie, loop it through the braid and pull it through that 1 1/2 inch loop you made at the start.