Do you shop on Black Friday?

I’m usually one of those crazy people who enjoys shopping on Black Friday  (you can read my Black Friday shopping strategies here.)  But this year I’m still on the fence. I’ve got some shopping done already, some other things planned to make, and a variety of things on kids’ lists that don’t seem to be showing up in sales ads.  I’m not quite feeling that shopping mojo yet.

The only thing that I’m somewhat interested in this year is the $1.50/yard flannel at JoAnns. I am expecting TWO grandbabies next year, people, and both my daughters are interested in trying cloth diapers.  So I’ve been wondering about braving the crowds.  It would definitely take bravery.  Our JoAnn’s is in my humble experience THE worst place to be in the universe on Black Friday.  For starters, you have to wait twice –once to get your fabric cut and then again to actually pay. I once stood in a line so long that by the time I got to the check-out, the lady in front of me and I knew secrets about each other that we hadn’t told our own mothers.  I think it’s called trauma bonding.

It does help to go with a buddy, however.  One person can shop while the other waits in the cutting line, and then you can trade off.  Once you’ve both shopped and have everything to the cut counter, the second person can go stand in the checkout line.  With good luck, the cutting will be done before you get to the front of the payment line.  If not, you can always let a person at a time go ahead of you and pay while you wait for your buddy to show up with the cut fabric.

A few more strategy points-

  • Though the fabric bolts are bulky to handle, I’ve found it best to skip the cart.  It is just too hard to squeeze through crowded spots with your cart AND yourself.  (You can usually bring a large empty tote into the store to help corral the goodies you grab before paying.)
  • If you know you’ll eventually use a whole 10-yard bolt  (for example, if you were a mom planning to make your whole family matching PJ pants for Christmas) you might just want to grab a few whole, unopened bolts and completely bypass the cutting line.

And just in case you’re wondering about the picture above, these diapers are ones I made today. They will eventually have snaps on them so they’ll be easy to use.  Aren’t they sweet?   I can’t wait to see the little guy that I made them for!!  (Did I tell you already?  Erika and her husband are expecting a boy!)  I fully expect that by the time he and his little cousin arrive next year, they will have a good selection of cute diapers to wear.  Especially if I get to that flannel sale on Friday.  Oh, the fun!



  1. Tomorrow the flannel is $1.99 a yard online if there is one you know you like. So tempting to head out to Joanns on Black Friday but I think I will stay home. Your diapers are sooooo cute!

  2. I’ve done Joann’s a few times on black friday; the only place I’ve ever tried actually. While the sales are nice, they’re actually not all that much better than sales they have every week if you watch. My favorite Joann’s here has a “take a number” system at the cutting counter which is SO NICE. On busy days I grab a number before I even start shopping (and maybe circle back and grab another if it’s taking me awhile and give my earlier number to someone who is ready) and practically walk up to the counter when it’s my turn.

    Cloth diapering is lovely. We’ve done it exclusively for both of our boys and half-hearted-ly for our first. All-in is the only way to go. I’ve blogged some of our own tips and tricks on our blog
    My personal favorite is just the microfiber towels folded into a microsuede “sock” and then wrapped in a wrap like a thirsties duo (which you can probably fake) or the g-diapers.

    I also highly recommend a spray bucket when the babies get to solids. We made ours. Attach a kitchen sprayer to the water line in the bathroom sink so that it can reach the toilet. That’s enough to at least do the spray out, but I prefer not to lean into the toilet bowl. Take a 5-gallon bucket and cut out a hole in the bottom as close to the edge as you can (mine is a 1/2 circle, really) about 2-3″ diameter. I used a large drill bit and made holes to perforate it and then used a screwdriver and mallet to punch it out. Smooth the edges with a file or diaper contents will get stuck. (blech!) Then take some 5-6″ carriage bolts and nuts and stick those in so the bolts radiate out from the bucket. I set mine just low enough to have a good balance when set onto the toilet rim but as much height as I could still have (and keep the bucket bottom out of the water). I set 2 equal across from each other and the other 2 offset by 1″ from each other with the high one by the whole so it tips forward. When we spray out a diaper I pop up the seats, drop the bucket onto the rim, and spray. Then just spray out the bucket. (the bucket also works nicely to hold a poopy diaper that needs to be sprayed but I’m too busy to do that moment). [sorry this is so long!! I feel like we’ve learned a LOT about cloth diapering over the last 4 years.]

  3. Go for it! I would have been soooo excited if my mom had made cute little diapers like that. That can be part of the fun of cloth diapering!

  4. Those diapers are super cute! Do you have a specific pattern you use? Are they AIO’s or do they need a cover? We are expecting our 6th boy and I am attempting to get together some more fitted diapers and cute ones…we have always used just prefolds and covers because they are cheapest:)

    • The all-in-one diapers I had for our youngest couple kids often had leaking issues. My sister who has been cloth-diapering more recently says that she’s had better luck with diapers and covers that are separate from each other. So I am making fitted diapers because I really love the way they contour to baby, and will also make some snap-on diaper covers. I’ve made hourglass shaped diapers before and so after checking the measurements of a size medium, I just made my own pattern using newspaper.

      My pattern is 16 inches across the back, 9 inches across the front, 14 inches long, and narrows down to 6 inches between the legs, with 1/2 inch sewing margins. It should work for babies in the range of 10-20 pounds.

  5. I never go Black Friday shopping, but our vacuum and computer printer died about a month ago, so I figured I would wait until Friday to replace them. I’ve already researched them and have a list of acceptable models saved in my phone. Still…I’m feeling very intimidated at the prospect. I’ll likely be clinging to my sister the whole time. (She’s a pro at this!)

    We use cloth diapers and love them. I purchased a heap of pocket diapers off of Craigslist, but I would be interested in trying different styles. I was just on your site last night looking at your homemade laundry soap recipe. I make my own too, but the diapers haven’t been smelling clean lately. Everything I read online last night suggests that the soap may be the problem. I might need to switch back to detergent… If your daughter finds something that works for washing cloth diapers, please let us know!! 🙂

    • If you have stinky diapers and laying them out (wet) in the strong sun for a day or two doesn’t work try this – use a squirt of dawn dish detergent (the blue kind) in a washer full of HOT water and run the load. Really just a squirt, a little goes a long way. Keep running hot loads over and over again until you have no more suds. The dawn will “strip” any detergent residue off of the diapers. Then run a rinse with white vinegar (about a cup to a full load) and you should be good to go!

  6. Those are adorable! I seconed the question from Taryn – do you use a specific pattern? My first baby is due tomorrow (so no Black Friday shopping for me this year!) and I would love to sew some cute covers and such.

  7. Agreed! The Black Friday shopping just doesn’t seem worth it to lose the sleep over this year. Also, has anyone else been a little peeved that so many stores are actually opening on Thanksgiving this year?

  8. I am usually out there fighting the crowds and desperately seeking coffee, but this year I am 8 months pregnant so I decided to finish all my Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving. I think I might make this a habit. By starting so early, I saved quite a bit of money by just looking around for great prices as opposed to being rushed to get that special deal. This Friday I will enjoy sitting quietly at home with a warm cup of coffee and enjoying the peace. 🙂

  9. If ever there was a reason to shop on Black Friday, cute little flannel for cute little diapers for cute little Grandbabies is it! Those diapers are soooo sweet! Gosh, I can’t wait to see them ON your sweet new little guy! (They’re going to let you show us pictures, aren’t they?) Enjoy your Thanksgiving with your beautiful family and the rest of the weekend, whatever you decide to do with it!


  11. Yep, I will be out at JoAnn’s on Friday to get some $1.49/yard flannel. I love making baby blankets and wash cloths from the flannel for baby shower gifts and I am low on girl flannel right now. My strategy is to pull a number as soon as I get there. Then I pick out my flannel. Once my fabric is picked out, I wander around the store to see if there is anything else on sale that I need. Then it is wait around and chat time. I have had some really good conversations with ladies waiting at JoAnn’s over the years.

  12. Nope, have all Christmas shopping done by July 4 every year so that I don’t have to do anything but enjoy the parades, family, and visiting neighbors and friends!