Ring slings are really popular because they are comfortable and so easy to use. I have already used mine to go grocery shopping, go for walks, tour the city, and go out to lunch. I basically use it when I would rather just carry Braden or when I don’t really feel like maneuvering my stroller.
I learned how to make these ring slings because my brother-in-law gave me a bunch of rings that he had ordered from Sling Rings (their website looks like it was made 10 years ago, but if you use PayPal then you should be safe), and he wanted me to make one for his wife. After making one for her and myself, I made a few more for friends. They are so easy to make and make great gifts for expecting moms.
I did some research on ring slings before starting and here is what I found:
Rings that are made for ring slings are much safer when trusting them to hold your child’s weight. I used medium-sized rings to make my sling, but I think most companies use the large size because it is easier to pull the fabric through the large rings. Even with the medium rings, I don’t have any problems loosening or tightening my sling.
You want to avoid using fabrics that will get too hot, stretch too much, or lose strength when they’re wet. Good fabric choices for slings include 100% linen or cotton, light weight denim, chino, or chambray. I used 100% linen for my sling and it has been great since the fabric is breathable and strong enough for when I’m pulling to tighten the sling.
Most ring slings are around 74 inches long, which is why it takes 2.25 yards of fabric. Ring slings are around 25-30 inches wide, and when you buy linen fabric, it’s usually around 53 inches wide. So when your making your sling you can just cut the fabric in half and you have fabric for two slings!
The best type of thread to use when sewing with linen is cotton thread or cotton covered polyester thread.
If you don’t have a sewing machine or can’t talk someone into making you one 😉 there are companies that make and sell really pretty ring slings. Making your own is just a whole lot cheaper!
2.25 yards of linen or cotton
2 medium or large aluminum rings (made for slings)
matching cotton thread
pins or Wonder Tape
fabric pen (or something that will wash out)
1- Cut your 2.25 yards of fabric down the middle so that you have two pieces of fabric that are 2.25 yards long by about 25-30 inches wide. You will use one of the pieces of fabric to make the ring sling.
2- To make a finished edge, start with one of the long sides, and fold over a quarter inch and iron. Fold the fabric over a quarter inch one more time so that the raw edge is encased in the folds. Iron and pin. Do the same for the other long side, and then the two short sides. Pin well or use Wonder Tape (wash away tape) to keep the fabric in place.
3- Right now you are only going to sew over three sides (two long and one short). Starting at a corner, sew up one of the long sides, pivot at the corner and continue over one of the short sides; pivot again and sew down the other long side, leaving the second short side unfinished. Back stitch at the beginning and end.
4- Measure 15 inches down from the end that is not sewn. Draw a straight line all the way across the fabric.
5- Get the end that is not sewn and pull it through both rings. Make sure not to twist the fabric while pulling it through.
6- Line up the unsewn edge with the line you just made. The finished edges should face each other. Pin well or use Wonder Tape to keep the fabric in place.
7- Sew over both layers of fabric, as close to the edge as possible (1/8 inch). Back stitch at the beginning and end. Sew another line 1/4 inch above that. Back stitch at the beginning and end. Sew one more line 1/4 inch above that (for a total of 3 lines). Back stitch at the beginning and end.
And you’re done! Make sure to wash out Wonder Tape before using. There are great tutorials on Youtube on how to use your sling. Here is a great video for holding a newborn with a ring sling. This another great video on how to use the ring sling.