DIY baby gym

handmade baby gym

A few weeks ago, I noticed that Ethan was starting to focus more intently on objects that were dangled in front of him. He loves to lie down on the floor and kick his chubby legs, and he was ready for a more interactive environment.

So I made a baby gym.

Obviously, it would have been easier to just buy one, but it was much more fun to create my own. I had complete control over the design and color scheme AND it was cheaper than buying one — even with the purchase of snap pliers. I scoured the internet for inspiration and then loosely followed this tutorial.

The baby gym I made is basically a very simple 35×35″ pieced quilt with tabs sewn onto the corners for covered hula hoops to snap onto. This makes it easy to remove the arches to wash, store, or transport the mat. And when we’re finished using it as a baby gym, I can just rip out the stitches that attach the tabs to the mat, and it will just be a simple little quilt again.

handmade baby gym tab with snap

I did invest in a set of KAM snap pliers for this project, and this was my first time working with plastic snaps. Setting the snaps was SO easy, and it made me want to create lots of items that require snaps. If you live locally and you ever want to borrow my snap pliers, I’d be glad to let you use them.

Each arch on the baby gym has five ribbon loops for hanging toys, and I bought a pack of 24 plastic links for just a few bucks. To hold the two arches together at the top, I sewed a long strip of fabric with half of a snap set on each end. Then I just twisted it around like I was tying ribbon onto a gift upside down: center the fabric strip underneath the two arches, bring the ends up to the top and criss-cross them, then pull the ends down to the bottom and snap them together underneath.

handmade baby gym arch connector

Ethan is three and a half months old, and spends lots of time wiggling, rolling around, and kicking and batting at toys in the baby gym. Happy baby, happy mama!

handmade baby gym


yellow, green, and polka dot fabrics: JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores
blue fabric: Walmart
hula hoops: Dollar Store
snap pliers and snaps: KAM Snaps via Amazon
plastic links: Amazon (also available at Walmart)
butterfly and turtle toys: received as gifts
cute baby: not available for purchase

Disclosure: Some links in this post are affiliate links, which means I enjoy the product enough to share and recommend it. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, I receive a small commission. The opinions expressed here are always my own.

8 Comments on “DIY baby gym

  1. Awesome! And Ethan is so precious.

  2. I love this idea! So cute and creative!

  3. This is so cool! I’ve been looking to purchase something like this for my little one, but making one sounds way better! Good job :)

    • It was pretty easy to make — and would be even easier if you just used a solid piece of fabric for the mat. Go for it!

  4. Pingback: 10 Cute DIY Baby Mats That You’ll Love to Make | Interior Design Blogs

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  7. Hello

    Can i know the size of hula hoop?

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