articles / DIY projects / Frugal living

Easy cloth diapers

When I first decided to make cloth diapers I wanted to make ones that looked like regular diapers, but were cloth and used Velcro and elastic instead of all the plastic stuff. Pretty much I’d put

that diaper on and then put a cover on it (which looks like a diaper only made with fleece instead of cotton).

Finished prefold

Finished prefold

I made a total a three diapers before deciding I didn’t want to anymore. I like the concept, but honestly, it was very time consuming. In the beginning (when I was first learning to sew), it took about 20 minutes to make a diaper. Take that and multiply it by the recommended two dozen cloth diapers needed for a newborn. Then I looked at the fact that I was going to be making diapers every few months because Samuel was going to be growing which would mean he would be growing out of the diapers and then what would I do with them?

That’s when I decided that I was going to go with making prefolds instead of diapers. The great thing about prefolds is that they’re pretty easy to make, they don’t take a lot of time, baby doesn’t really grow out of them, and when you need extra absorbency you just layer them.

20131019_143953

Pieces needed for a prefold

Like I said in my previous post, all you need to make these prefolds is t-shirts and possibly some other absorbent fabric (such as microfiber). I opted for t-shirts only. This means I will probably have to do a little layering and it also means that I did a few of mine quite a bit thicker.

Prefolds 

STEP 1: I cut out two strips of t-shirt that were the same size. I didn’t actually do a lot of measuring I pretty much just guessed. I did have one of those cloth burp rags (AKA old school cloth prefolds that are useless on their own) and measured it from there. I also took a lot of the scraps from my t-shirt and created the thick center. This can be as thick or thin as you want. Like I said though, with the t-shirts you may want to layer at different thicknesses, but you can always layer your prefolds later.

STEP 2: I sewed three of the four sides — the two long sides and one short side — of the two big pieces of cloth together. Once I do that I flip it inside out so

the edges are rounded instead of rough.

STEP 3: I put the thick layer inside of the prefold pocket I just made. I sew all the way around the thick part. This creates the flaps around the four sides that you need for the prefold.

STEP 4: I fold over or flip inside the edges of the open flap of the prefold and sew it shut. And VOILA. The prefold is done.

20131019_141320  Diaper cover

STEP 1: Cut out the basic shape of the diaper from a double layer of water-resistant or water-proof fabric (I use fleece, but wool works too). I did not use a

specific measurement for this. I took a disposable diaper that was a size 1 and stretched it out and traced it onto the fabric. I added about inch or two all the way around since obviously the sewing process will make it a little smaller.

STEP 2: Sew all the edges together EXCEPT for the small part at the bottom (see photo on left).

STEP 2: Take elastic (I prefer 1/4″ elastic, but 1/2″ will work too — it’s all about preference) and stretch from curve of the back of the diaper down to about 1″

from the front. This creates the elastic part around the leg. I also take a small piece and sew it across the back of the diaper to keep it closer to the skin. Then This is a diaper cover, but you get the idea...flip inside out.

STEP 4: Fold in (or under) and sew shut the cover.

STEP 5: Cut two small pieces of velcro and put them on each tab of the cover. Then take a longer piece of velcro and sew on the outside front part of the

Finished diaper cover with prefold inside.

Finished diaper cover with prefold inside.

diaper. VOILA. You have a diaper cover.

I’m sorry if it doesn’t seem like it is explained well, but without a pattern, sometimes it’s all about playing with it and figuring it out — trial and error. It’s hard to explain the process and type it out. At the time if I would have known that I was going to post this online I would have taken more detailed photos. On future projects I share I will have much more in depth, step-by-step photos.

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