How to Survive Fabric Shopping with Your Kids


This post is for all the mammas out there who go fabric shopping with children in tow. We all know the best fabric shopping trip is the one you do alone, with plenty of time to browse, and no one waiting for you in the car. We all wish we could shop like that all the time!

But as a mamma of three, I know it’s rarely possible. 

Over the years, I’ve developed a system for making a fabric shopping trip with children as successful as possible. These might not work for everybody, so I’d love to hear from you! What tips do you have for reducing drama with your children in the fabric store?

Caila’s tips for surviving fabric shopping with kids:

  1. Feed the kids before going in. I find that any shopping trip with hungry children is a TERRIBLE idea. With this in mind, I usually feed them before we leave the house and then give a small snack before walking into the store. Satisfied children are usually happy children.
  2. Do not, under any circumstances, go fabric shopping near nap time. Have you ever been tempted? Me, too. You remember what happened the last time you did so? Me, too. Enough said.
  3. Contain younger children. My daughter cannot be trusted not to run around and hide in the fabric, so she gets buckled into a cart. My baby goes in another cart, and my six-year-old and I push them around the store. It’s not ideal (the 6 y/o sometimes bumps into people–oops!) but at least I know the children are with me. It’s impossible to choose bolts and decide on lengths if you are distracted!
  4. Bring a list. I prefer to browse the aisles and “be inspired,” but when the kids are with me I bring and list and abide by that list. Otherwise I will definitely forget the pesky 4″ zipper I was supposed to pick up, or the elastic, or something else.
  5. Keep it short. One of my goals is to always set my children up for success. If I keep my fabric shopping to a minimum when they are with me, they stay happier and we usually get out before anyone starts crying. (Me included).
Even with this system, we have good days and bad days at the fabric store. A few days ago the four of us went together and my oldest got glitter in his eyes (tons), my daughter cried because the bolts fell on her in the cart, and my baby pulled a bunch of zippers off the shelf. Even with these mishaps, I considered the trip a success because I got what I needed and the kids were well-behaved.
Life with children is messy, it rarely works out the way you expect it, and it’s full of joy. If you can expect this–and nothing else–out of a trip to the fabric store, then you are well on your way to success!
Do you have a tale of terror after shopping with a two-year old? Do you stay away from the fabric store with children at all costs? Do you have suggestions for keeping your little angels under control around fabric? I would love to read your stories below!
I asked this question on my Facebook wall the other day and got some really great responses. Be sure to check it out here. Thanks so much for reading, and happy fabric shopping!