Ben Ohmann Photography

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DIY Newborn Photography Wraps

We've all seen the photos of those adorable newborns all wrapped up tightly in brightly colored fabrics. And we've all seen the price of some of those wraps when you try to buy them from prop shops and other things. So here is an affordable option we found and would like to share with you.

I started with a package of Cheesecloth that was 36" x 15yds that I got from Walmart for about $10. I then measured and cut this (as best I could) into 9 3' x 5' strips, (well actually it comes all folded on top of itself so I left it folded and just measured out 5 foot strips.)

I've seen many different ways of dying cheese-cloths, from coffee & wine, to fabric dyes and Kool-aid packets, so I say do whatever works best for you. I'm all about easy and convenient (like the Dead Kennedy's say; "Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death"), so I purchased a Tie Dye t-shirt kit from Walmart for about $13. It came with 10 colors of dye, 30 rubber-bands (which are going to come in handy starting a new rubber-band ball), and 2 or 3 pairs of gloves, (that were about the same quality as the ones that come with a box of hair dye). 

I don't have a ton of counter space in our kitchen so I covered our kitchen table with a layer of cardboard and an old table cloth. Since I only had nine strips of cloth and 10 colors we chose to not use the lime green since it seemed like the least likely color we'd want to wrap a baby in. To mix the dye you just add warm water and shake. I know this seems redundant to say since it's just mixing powder with water, but this is very runny so when you're squirting it into your cloths be sure to cover anything and everything you do not want dye on.

I just worked the dye into each chunk of fabric as best I could and then let them sit and went onto the next one. When I was finished it looked something like this:

I'm very glad I chose to use a layer of cardboard underneath, because the longer the cloths sat on the table the more they soaked into my tablecloth. The package says to let it sit for like 8 hours or something like that, but I was told with the cheese cloth it only needs to sit about 30 minutes or so, however I had to leave to run some errands at this point in the process so mine sat soaked in dye for about 2 hours or so.

Then comes the fun part, rinsing! You want to make sure you get all of the dye out especially since these are going to be used on newborns, so you want to rinse each cloth under warm water until the water runs clear. For us this took so long, we had every sink in the house tied up rinsing cheese-cloths.

We used our backdrop stand and hung them to dry in our laundry room. There really wasn't too much drippage, but be sure to put some towels down just in case, unless you want multicolored spots on your floor, then by all means do what makes you happy. :)

Once they were dry I tossed them in the dryer with a fabric softener sheet for a few minutes and called it good. They can be washed in the washing machine on gentle cycle, however it might cause some fading. I didn't notice too much fading after washing one that got baby poop on it, however I would still be cautious if you want the colors to remain vibrant.

So for about $23 and a few hours worth of time, we were able to make 9 different colored 3x5 foot newborn wraps. I hope this helps any of you who are looking for an afforable option to professional photo props.

And of course, the best part is seeing one of them wrapped around a precious little baby. :)