For all the hubbub about focusing on the family, CPAC, the big conservative movement gathering, was almost totally devoid of anything kid-related. I didn't see the 13-year-old kid who was apparently elected to lead the Right out of its political wilderness, and except for one other baby, and the ten-year-old hawking Joe the Plumber's book, K2 was the youngest person at the convention.
But just because there were no "My parents didn't abort me!" Onesies, I was determined to leave CPAC with something both memorable and useful for my family. So I turned my NRA tote bag into an NRA changing pad. Easy-to-follow instructions are below!
Step 1: Design And Procurement
As a man, I obviously didn't want to sew a stitch more than I had to; so I decided not to cut down the bag in any way; I'd just take it as-is, and put a sized piece of padding inside and stitch the edges flat.
Ideally, an NRA changing pad would be stuffed with the pelts of animals you had hunted yourself. Since hunting is not allowed in either Washington DC or New York City [sleepin' on the job, NRA!] I settled on the next best thing, CPAC-wise: something made from pure petroleum-based material.
I went to Joann's Fabric and got a piece of 1/2-in foam for $5.
Step 2: Dimensioning, Testing & Assessment, Masculine Identity Reaffirmation
The bag is 16 x 20, so I needed to cut the foam down a bit. And then a bit more, and a bit more. To get it to lay flat, the foam needs to be about 1/4-in smaller than the inside seams.
But when I tried it out, the pad was too thick to fold or roll up small enough to carry in anything smaller than an SUV or a crew cab pickup. So the foam was out.
Since I wasn't cutting down the bag at all, the sides were doubled up; it was only the middle that was kind of thin.
[note; I did use my tape measure, but the Leatherman is just there to prove that I have one; my wife's shears were much better at cutting the foam.]
Step 3: Core Principles And Pink Diaper Integration
That foam was too thick and cushy anyway. America needs strong, tough patriots to defend it in the future from the gun-hating communist threat, and raising babies on smushy changing pads is basically throwing up the white flag of surrender.
So I grabbed a cloth diaper/burp cloth from the changing cart. Pink seemed the most expendable.
Step 4: Women's Work
The diaper fit perfectly within the thinnest part of the bag, so I tacked the corners onto the inside of the sides, making sure to screw up on one corner so that it kind of bunched up a bit. Don't want to look too good at sewing. Then stitched the sides and top shut. I ran out of yellow thread, though, so the bottom isn't sewed flat.
Step 5: Takeback
I was careful to fold the changing pad in half and study the handles, to see which ones to cut off and which to save and use as ties. Then I cut one strap off entirely, which I regretted. Leaving two strap halfs on one side would've been a bit cleaner.
Step 6: Not Really A Step
You're ready to go.
Turn An NRA Tote Bag Into A Changing Pad (Set) [daddytypes' flickr stream]