By Christina VanGinkel
While babies can be a lot of work, they can also be a lot of fun. Dressing them and their accessories up can be a great way to lighten the mood of everyone who comes into contact with you and them. Take for example the average diaper bag. It is normally utilitarian, maybe cutesy, but rarely are they something that could be referred to as a fashion accessory. The mega rich mommies do not let this be a problem though. They purchase custom created bags that look like something they paid mega dollars for (Which they probably did!), but you can have the same look, even if you are on a budget. Why, you can even have a diaper bag that shouts 'Bling, Bling' if you want it too!
To get started you will need to purchase a bag. Consider the inside of the bag as the important part. You are going to be altering the outside of it, so do not worry too much about the exterior, other than that it is made of a material that is going to hold up, because once you are finished altering it, you will not want to part with it for a long time to come. You will also want to avoid one in a color that you would not normally choose. If you like neutral colors, avoid neon colored bags, etc., as the color of the bag will still be prominent, though logos, emblems, patches, and such can be covered or removed, so do not worry about them.
As to the inside of the bag, look for one that has plenty of space for storing both your own and baby's things, and one that you feel will be able to grow with baby and their needs. This does not mean you have to find the biggest bag you can, just the opposite actually. I looked for the smallest one that I felt would be adequate, and relied on the layout of the bag more so than size. My favorite when my kids were small was one that had tons of little zippered and snap enclosures to keep things separated. This way, I did not have to go digging through the bag each time I needed to find something. I also used mine double duty as a purse for quite a while, so that I did not have to tote two bags with me all the time. I kept a small purse handy for those occasions that I was not toting one of the kids with, such as dinner out with my husband, but other than that, their diaper bag was my purse. For this reason alone, I liked to be able to find things quickly, such as my wallet at the store.
Once you have the bag home, sketch the shape of the bag on a piece of plain paper, and play around with the design. Consider what you could add to the exterior to make the bag more you. Rhinestones add sparkle and the bling, and can be added in large or small amounts, depending on your personal preference. You could also add beads; with glass ones in various sizes offering choices and class at the same time. Seed beaded designs, fringe, etc., would all look great on a bag of this type. Fabric is also a good choice, if the design is right. By using a pre-made bag, you have the majority of work completed, and can put your time and effort into transforming the exterior into something that you will not only want to use, but even show off.
Having a baby should be something you are proud of accomplishing. It does not have to mean that any style you possess has to be left by the side of the road until the kids are all grown. It can mean having fun with something as simple and utilitarian as the needed diaper bag. In addition, it will do double duty as the perfect way to rebel against all the designers who feel that new mothers should only be thinking of lamb, ducks, and teddy bears and such. Show off your flair for fashion, have some fun, and you might just attract the attention of some other new moms who will be soon asking you where you found a bag with so much style and bling!