How to Sew a Travel Changing Pad in Oilcloth

How to sew an oilcloth travel changing pad How to sew an oilcloth travel changing pad


This is the simplest of sewing DIY’s and a perfect first project for oilcloth. Find the full {and crazy easy} DIY for a Travel Changing Pad after the jump.

What you need:

• 2 pieces oilcloth 12″x27″. I used two different prints but if you use one print, you can get what you need from 1/3 yard of this 55″ width oilcloth. I used Heather Bailey Nicey Jane Oilcloth in Hop Dot Cream and Picnic Bouquet Gold, both sold by our lovely sponsor,

• Approx 2.5 feet coordinating single fold bias tape (or ribbon)

• 3 Pieces 8.5×11″ thin quilt batting.

• Basic sewing supplies.

What to do:

1. Cut the two 12×27″ rectangles. The size is not very important. You might want a shorter and wider pad, especially if this is for a newborn. This one is for a tall toddler.

2. Align your fabrics, right sides facing and pin in just a few places and along the very edge as pins leave marks in oilcloth.

3. Sew with a straight stitch 1/4″ from the edge all the way around the rectangle except for 1/2 of one of the short sides.

4. Snip all four of the corners.

5. Reverse your piece right side out.

6. The edges will be curling in (as seen above.) Use a knitting needle or chop stick to push the corners out clean and pointy.

7. Slide a small square of light card stock (a greeting card works well) inside the piece and use it to push the edges out while you iron them flat*. With oilcloth, use an additional piece of fabric (light batting in my case) between the oilcloth and the iron. I’ve heard that you can’t press oilcloth, but with the additional buffer, I’ve had great success. *Test your fabric and iron first.

8. Fold your piece in thirds and mark your folds. I thought I was being smart and used permanent marker thinking it would just wipe off but it stained my yellow thread. Use disappearing ink, or tape.

9. Measure your first third, the one furthest from the opening. Mine was just under 9″x11.5.

10. Cut a piece of batting slightly smaller than the first third. I cut mine 8.5″x11″

11. Slide the batting into the hole and position it in the third furthest from the opening.

12. Just below the end of the batting (where your original one-third marks are) give yourself some kind of a cheat line either with disappearing ink or tape.

13. Sew straight down that line. You may find the oilcloth sticking in the foot of your sewing machine and might have to help it along as it stitches.

14. Repeat from step 9 for the center section and again for the third section.

15. After you insert the batting for the third section, fold the seam of the opening in, iron as instructed above and topstitch across entire length, 1/8″ from edge, closing up the opening.

16. When you get 1/8″ from the end of the side, leave your needle down and turn piece 90 degrees. Continue topstitching along remaining 3 sides. Add a few back-stitches at the end.

17. I used single fold bias tape for my tie so I folded it in half and ironed it flat. You can skip this if using ribbon or another fastener.

18. Measure 1/2 way down the first third of your changing pad (approx 4.5″) and pin the tie in place, centered on the outside of the changing pad.

19. Starting at the end of the string, begin sewing the tie flat. (make sure your string is NOT twisted.)

20. When you get to the changing pad, continue sewing straight through all layers, attaching tie to changing pad. Then continue to the end of the tie, sewing the rest of the tie flat.

21. Tie the ends of the tie in knots or fold over twice and hem.

And you’re done! Fold the changing pad in thirds, then in half the other way, and tie the strings in a little bow!

How to sew an oilcloth travel changing pad




Great! I like to give a few hand-made items for the new babies in my friends' lives – this would be a great addition!


This would be a great gift – and I have never really thought about using my sewing machine on oilcoth but I guess it is up to the job! Thanks for the post.


What a sweet little model you have there!! I just wanna squeeze those cheeks! : ) And thanks for yet another great project idea girls! I just got two yards of oilcloth last week, so I am ready to rock! : ) ~Melissa


I would have loved to have one of these mats when my children were babies. I of course had a huge bulky one that was difficult to use. Great job 🙂


oh my god it's super cute and easy to make, yay! i love that fabric so much that i ordered some from fabricworm to make my own travel changing pad, but you beat me to it, HA

The Johnsons

I was just about to buy some oilcloth to make this as a gift and found a warning on a website that says that there are phthalates that are in levels too high to comply with standards to sell for use in children under 12. I really don't know much about phthalates and their risks, but figured I'd pass that along.
Here's the website I found that on:


Thanks for the info. I am by no means an expert but based on the patterns they are showing, this "oilcloth" is a different type than those sold by I've seen both in person and they feel totally different! These are very plastic-y and the fabricworm type feels like cotton with a light coating. Not sure that makes them safer tho! Definitely worth investigating.


awesome tutorial! i am so stoked for this. just a fair warning to anyone new to sewing oilcloth though (as i was), to adjust their stitch length. mine was too small and it torn the seams of my change pad due to too many puntures too close together. (i loosened my stitch and just covered the edges with bias tape to hide the mistake).


I am so excited to try this!!! Wonder if this would work with PUL? Its worth a try and would rid anyone of concern over phthalates and other chemicals since it is used in cloth diapering. Also when sewing with fabrics that pins leave holes in I found that bulldog clips and tape work great as a way to hold everything together.


Hi! I have a question about the oilcloth—–how does it do with washing???
Are you able to wash it in the wshing machine???? thanks for the cute, cute, cute ideas!!!

Amy Palanjian

[…] for a tutorial and didn’t find one that I wanted to follow exactly, so I improvised. I used this post from Prudent Baby as a starting point and made the dimensions a tad wider and about 6 inches longer to accommodate my […]


Wow this is really great!!
I have just finished making one for my daughter and I have to say I seriously wanted to kill myself about half way through! lol
You must have the patience of a saint to work with oilcloth! Mines just kept sticking and because it is so stiff it’s quite difficult to sew.
All in all though mines still looks good, not as great as yours but it does it’s job!!

Thanks again!


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