How to Make Your Own Cloth Diapers

>> Tuesday, August 24, 2010

So, remember yesterday, how I said I was going to try out the cloth diapers from Handmade Home? Well, I did. And here's how it went:

From The Diet Coke Diet
Which means it went well. I kind of didn't follow her "pattern" at all, but I DID use recycled materials.


So, I have toyed with cloth diaper making for years, but ulitimately, couldn't justify buying raw materials for MORE than it cost me to just buy the freaking diaper. 


I went to Deseret Industries (which is like Goodwill) and got 12 receiving blankets in the "domestics" section. You know, those flimsy little flannel things everyone has but doesn't know what to do with? Right. So, they were a dollar a piece. I chopped them up into 17"x20" pieces, sewed them four thick, with two pieces- of terry cloth in the middle and viola: 
From The Diet Coke Diet
(Poor Oliver kept asking me to put his clothes back on as I was chasing him around with the camera.)

So, to do it, I used (like I said) 12 receiving blankets that I cut up into 17x20 inch pieces. You need four 17x20 inch rectangles sewn together. There wasn't enough flannel to do ALL of the pieces I needed so I started taking the leftovers from the rectangles, and sewing them together for inner layers. You can't see them, and they'll work just as well. 

Then I did two 6"x 20" soakers with baby towel I also bought at DI. Two towels made enough soakers for six diapers with leftovers. (One on top and one on bottom sewed into the diaper.) 

I sewed around the outside and trimmed the edges. DO NOT sew them inside out and then turn them right side out. It absolutely makes the edges TOOOO bulky and they aren't flexible at all. Use pinking shears close to the seams to keep them from fraying. 

(Those of you blessed with a serger, just you know, serge the edges...)

Then I sewed down the soaker on the OUTSIDE to keep it from rolling up inside the diaper. So, while the soaker is inside, the seams holding it in place are on the outside, does that make sense? 
From The Diet Coke Diet
You can kind of see the seams for the soaker on that top diaper, made from planet material. 

So, I used Handmade Home's toddler sizing for these (17"x20") She suggests that you do 12"x13" infant diapers with the soakers being 4"x13". 

Fabrics she suggests are 1. Flannel 2. Old T-shirts (Jersey knit) and 3. Terry cloth. I didn't find cheap enough t-shirt material, so we did all flannel and terry cloth. I am happy with how they turned out. 

From The Diet Coke Diet
By the way, these are chinese prefolds we're making here, so a cover is absolutely required. I didn't have a cover on Oliver for the pictures. But it went on immediately thereafter.

It took me about 2 hours to make six toddler diapers.

Anyway, if you're a cloth diaper-er or want to be one, hit the thrift stores for materials, and get to sewing. Simple, straight seams, some trimming and you've got the cutest little poop rags on the planet. :) 
For the CUTEST babies of course.
From The Diet Coke Diet
 Really, the best thing about this project (For me) was spending $1.50-ish per diaper AND recycling used materials. I feel very very green this afternoon. :)

If you're not a cloth-diaper-er then you can use this same idea to make burp rags. Use the infant size and you can skip the terry soaker. Just sew four layers of flannel together, trim the edges with pinking shears and look! Adorable spit rags for cheap, cheap, cheap!

You're welcome. 


Saimi August 25, 2010 at 12:26 PM  

Amazing! And yes, your little cutie wears his diapers well!

Anonymous,  August 31, 2010 at 8:45 PM  

how long can a child actually wear a cloth diaper? Is it soaked after one tinkle? Store bought just seems so much easier and less headache.

Morgan -Ing August 31, 2010 at 9:04 PM  

Anon- Cloth diapers are good for about 2-3 hours, I'd say. It depends on the kid. The bigger they get, the longer they can go. Newborns need changing despite the type of diaper like every 20 minutes anyway. I've left kids for 4 hours (on accident) and sometimes they're just wet, other times soaked and sometimes soaked through.

Cloth isn't hard, once you take the dive. It's just different. Just an option. :)

Alisa and Jared September 4, 2010 at 10:13 PM  

I made a ton of inserts with some material I ordered in from Cheaper than the stores...and I got to choose my own material and size/design. I've still never made the dive to buy the snappies and fit the diapers on as you do...although I wish I had (it certainly is cheaper...and I'm guessing they probably leak less than simply putting an "insert" into a diaper cover pulled tight). Am I wrong?

I also ordered their cotton velour fabric for a dreamy cloth baby wipe...LOVE them :-)

Anonymous,  June 14, 2012 at 3:01 PM  

Awesome sadly it makes no sense to me how you do it lol. I am a visual learner monkey see monkey do. And your little chunk a munk is a doll.

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