How to make newborn cheesecloth wraps for photo shoots (totally affordable and SO EASY!)

How to make newborn cheesecloth wraps for photo shoots (they're totally affordable & SO EASY!) | Cardstore Blog

Ever since Emily’s gender reveal a few weeks ago, I’ve been in newborn-photo-shoot-prep-mode, anxiously awaiting the day I get to take her sweet little baby’s photos! And that’s pretty much where the theme behind today’s DIY craft comes from: how to make newborn cheesecloth wraps for photo shoots.

A swaddle is a great thing to have on hand for a photo shoot because it’s such an easy way to get your newborn to relax and fall into a deep sleep, allowing you to move around them a little more freely. (Sound familiar? You might remember this from my post a few weeks ago, where I shared some of my favorite newborn photography tips.)

But before we get to the actual how-to, let me just start by saying that these are SO EASY to make. I was actually shocked just how easy and  inexpensive they are! The cheesecloth was only $1 per yard, and the dye was $4 per bottle. I was able to make 7 of these with the cheesecloth I had, and I still have enough dye left over to make approximately 3 billion more wraps :)

How to make newborn cheesecloth wraps for photo shoots (they're totally affordable & SO EASY!) | Cardstore Blog

How to make newborn cheesecloth wraps:


  • 2 yards of white cheesecloth per wrap
  • RIT dye (this handy RIT Color Formula Guide will tell you which dyes to mix to get your desired color)
  • A large bowl or bucket you don’t mind getting stained by the dye
  • A stainless steel spoon for stirring
  • Measuring cups & spoons
  • Scissors
  • Mesh laundry bag (optional but helpful)


1. Cut the cheesecloth into 2-yard pieces. It’ll feel like it’s got some serious static cling going on, so unfold it, spread it out, and help it get unstuck from itself.

2. Fill your bowl or bucket with about 8 cups of hot water. (This seemed to be just the right amount so the cheesecloth could move freely in the water.)

3. Add dye according to the formula in the RIT Color Formula Guide. The formulas in the guide are per 1 cup of water, so remember to multiply the amount of dye times 8 to account for the 8 cups of water. (All my colors seemed to come out a bit darker than the guide showed, so if you start seeing that with yours too, you may want to add a couple extra cups of water to dilute the color.)

4. Let the cheesecloth soak for 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so. Rinse it in warm water, and then gradually cooler water, until the water runs clear.

5. If you have a mesh laundry bag, put the cheesecloth inside the bag and wash it on the delicate setting, using free & clear laundry detergent. Then, place the bag into the dryer and dry on low using a free & clear dryer sheet. If you don’t have a mesh laundry bag, hand wash the cheesecloth and air dry.

6. Clean the sink or bucket with a chlorine-based cleaner.

That’s it!

Here’s the 7 colors I ended up with:

How to make newborn cheesecloth wraps for photo shoots (they're totally affordable & SO EASY!) | Cardstore Blog

Formulas used, from left: Light Blue: 1/8 tsp Evening Blue + 1/8 tsp Teal for every 1 cup water; Light Blue-Green: 1/4 tsp Teal for every 1 cup water; Dark Blue-Green: 1 tsp Teal for every 1 cup water; Light Pink: 1/4 tsp Cherry + 1 tsp Tan + 8 cups water; Pink: 1/4 tsp Cherry per 1 cup water; Bright Pink: 1/2 tsp Cherry + 1/2 tsp Tan + 8 cups water; Red: 1/4 tsp Cherry + 1 tsp Tan per 1 cup water

And as always, if you give this a try at home, come back and let us know how they turned out!


About Jessica B

40 Responses to “How to make newborn cheesecloth wraps for photo shoots (totally affordable and SO EASY!)”

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  1. Lindsey says:

    Where did you buy your cheese cloth?

  2. emma says:

    Hello! Can I ask where you got your cheesecloth from? There are so many websites out there and it is hard to know if the cloth will be quality.

  3. Tara says:

    Do you remember what color combinations you used to get the 3 blues in your photo? I would especially like to replicate the first two shades.

    • Hi Tara! I’m going to try to interpret my notes from back in March when I made these, so I’m hoping these are correct :)

      Light Blue (far left in bottom picture)
      1/8 tsp evening blue + 1/8 tsp teal for every 1 cup water

      Light Blue-Green (2nd from left)
      1/4 tsp Teal for every 1 cup water

      Dark Blue-Green (3rd from left)
      1 tsp Teal for every 1 cup water

      • Jan says:

        I have a question. On the RIT website they say per 1 quart of water. quart. 1 quart= 4 cups. On your recipie you call per 1 cup of water?

  4. Hello, love this blog! I am just about to start my venture into newborn/ child Photography. I made my first cheesecloths today. But, what if they get stained, and I will bet they do. Should I replace them or will something get the stains out without ruining the color?

  5. Cindy says:

    Are these just good for photo props or are they safe for babies to sleep in.

  6. Amanda says:

    You can make 3 wraps with this cheesecloth?

    • Hi Amanda! If you purchase cheesecloth that comes in pieces that are 6 yards each, then you can make 3 wraps. Each wrap uses 2 yards (however, you can make them longer if you wish!) Hopefully that helps :)

  7. Naomi Cooper says:

    what weight did you use for your cheesecloth?

  8. Kendra says:

    I’ve seen other wraps that are more stretchy, have you made those too? Or know what kind of fabric that is?

    • Kendra – I wish I could help, but I’m not sure what fabric that could be. It sounds great, though! If you figure it out, I’d love if you’d stop back and let us know :)

  9. Jessica says:

    Did you wash them all together or each color separately? I have dyed onesies before and love using the Rit dye. I’m thinking I may do some matching onesies. Love the colors you chose!

    • Thanks Jessica! I rinsed each one separately until the water ran clear (step 4), and then I washed them all together in step 5. Matching onesies would be adorable! Rit dye is so flexible and fun to experiment with!

  10. Taylor says:

    Jessica, I got my cheesecloth from hobby lobby and also from amazon, both are very stiff cheesecloth (not stretchy at all). Am I getting the right kind? Or is it a special kind you have to get cut from Joanns? Sorry if these are stupid questions, just would love to figure it out! lol

  11. Sarah says:

    I did this tonight and my colors came out pretty dark. I followed the instructions but I think there was too much dye still in just 8 cups of water. I’ll add less dye or more water next time and even perhaps cut down on time. Glad I only did a few. Even though I was aiming for lighter colors I DO love the deep tones I ended up with. In the end they were a deep fuschia, a gorgeous deep purple, and a dark grey.

  12. Hannah says:

    LOVE these tips!! Quick question: If I dye a few different colors at once, can I wash & dry them together? & can they go into the same laundry bag? Or do they need to be in different bags/washed separately? Thank you so much! :)

    • Hi Hannah! As long as you rinse each one thoroughly (until the water runs clear), you should be able to throw them all in together. That’s what I did and I didn’t have any issues!

  13. Stephanie says:

    Thanks for sharing…I just did this tonight and as Sarah said, the colors turn out pretty dark…I read all the comments first and per Sarah’s suggestion, I cut the formula’s in half and only left the cheesecloth in the dye for no more than minutes. The colors were still very vivid. I am happy with them and am anxious to use them.

  14. Christina says:

    Awesome- thanks for sharing!

  15. Jordan Childers says:

    Mine turned out amazing! Thank you for saving me $30!

    • Gwen Bucknell says:

      So glad they turned out, Jordan! If you shared a picture on social, we’d love for you to share the link!!

  16. Amber says:

    Can you use these as regular swaddles? Or are they not soft enough?

  17. Kendyl says:

    where do you get the RIT dye ?

    • Gwen Bucknell says:

      Your local craft store should carry it. Places like Target and Walmart will probably have it too! I’ve even seen it at a local store we have called Drug Mart – sort of like a Walgreens. Hope that helps!

  18. BJ says:

    Can you reboil the water and use it again????????

  19. Thank you for this quick and easy tutorial! Shared to our FB page:

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