Simply Resourceful

Simple ways to be more conscious about how we use our resources.

How to Make Cloth Pads

Twelve years ago I purchased my first Keeper and Glad Rag.  I loved the idea of saving money and resources and decided to give this a try!  The first initial purchase seemed a bit expensive, but they were worth the investment because they lasted for years.  Just recently a friend expressed interest in having some pads made for her daughter, so I decided to make this tutorial for those interested in making your own.  You can save a considerable amount of money making them yourself, especially if you don't have to purchase the flannel.  Recently I was given a pile of flannel scraps leftover from making pajamas.  These scraps made 16 pads!  I want to mention that you can make cloth pads without a sewing machine.  In fact, all of my pads until recently were made without a sewing machine...I spent many hours hand sewing during the long winter months.  I don't have a pattern on my blog, but it's simple to make one, just trace a disposable one that you may already have (add about 1/4 inch all the way around to account for the seam) and customize it for your own needs.  Some people add PUL, waterproof fabric, for leaks.  This is a personal preference.  I chose not to use it because the body needs to breathe and PUL can trap moisture.  I don't have problems with leaks because I use the Keeper too.

For washing, I soak the pads in a bucket of water and rinse them before tossing them in the washing machine.  I have a front loader and small items tend to get stuck in the door gasket so I place the pads in a nylon mesh bag (similar to what you put nylons in).  


I make three sizes: light (4 layers), medium (6 layers), and heavy (8 layers).  
For those interested in making your own, I included instructions below on how to make the medium size.

Cut 2 pieces of flannel fabric.  Place right sides together.

Sew about 1/4 inch from the edge all the way around leaving an opening on the wing.

Invert.  Notice the opening on the right wing.

Cut 4 pieces of flannel (absorbency layers) to fit the center of pad.

Fit the center absorbency layers in the middle of the pad leaving enough space at the top and bottom for sewing.

Using a zig-zag stitch, sew where the absorbency layers meet the pad.  By sewing on the edge, you are alleviating frayed edges after washing.

What it should look like after sewing the zig-zag stitch.  Click the picture for enlargement.

Stitch the opening on the wing closed and add snaps to the wings.  I've used velcro instead of snaps, but the velcro edges always scratch my legs and didn't always stay closed.

So there you have it...pretty easy without a lot of steps!  


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A weekly update on our adventures of trying to be more self-sufficient by using resources wisely. We explore a variety of topics that most broadly fit in the "Homesteading" category, i.e. beekeeping, organic gardening, edible landscaping/fruit forest, food preservation/canning, woodworking, soap-making, and environmental stewardship.

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