My Cloth Diaper Experiment

by Merissa on March 6, 2012

in Thrifty Living

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As I talked about on our Facebook page the other day, I was trying to figure out where to find patterns, fabric, ect for cloth diapers. I worked on my little experiment this week as I slowly figured out where to get the supplies. If anyone else is looking to make these I hope my little thoughts will help!

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First, I did check out a bunch of different patterns online. There are alot of free cloth diaper patterns out there, but my concern was that they were "OS" or one size. I really wanted to be able to make diapers in different sizes for a better fit. I ended up coming across this book and I'm so glad I found it!

Cloth Diapers Made Easy was just the book that I needed. Not only does it have patterns for all sizes of cloth diapers from newborn to large, but it has step by step picture instructions! I was worried that making the diapers would be complicated but I’m so glad I got this book because it was so much easier than I thought!

For my diaper I used PUL fabric for the outside, which I finally found at Hobby Lobby. (Do NOT order it online if you can help it…it’s so much cheaper in the store and you can use coupons at Hobby Lobby!) PUL is a waterproof fabric, perfect for diaper making! Hobby Lobby had some options on fancy elastic but I just stuck with ¼ in. braided plain elastic for now and it worked just fine.


For the inside I chose butter suede that I found at Hancock Fabrics. It was fairly inexpensive and I was glad to find colors inside of white to avoid too much staining. Butter Suede is a little thinner and stretchier than regular suede. It’s supposed to wick away the moisture so it goes into the soaker layer inside of staying in the diaper.


I messed up the Velcro when I put it together and I decided to tear it back out and fix it rather than waste all my work and start over. So my diaper has a little bit of a messed up front but it shouldn’t affect it and I still think it’s not too bad for my first cloth diaper!
Using the book I picked up I should be able to easily make all the cloth diapers we will need!

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Evelyn Brock Horsley March 6, 2012 at 11:50 am

This is exactly what I have been looking for, thanks for posting.

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2 Christy March 6, 2012 at 11:54 am

This thing looks HUGE! :D Nice work! How long did it take you, including the stitch ripping?

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3 Merissa March 6, 2012 at 11:59 am

Lol, that’s actually the newborn size for 6-10 pounds. It’s not as big as it looks:) It took me about 3 hours total I would say. But the seam ripping took forever!

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4 Sheree March 6, 2012 at 11:59 am

My concern would be that the ammonia in the urine would cause the dye to bleed onto the baby’s skin. I don’t know that would happen but I would maybe wash it a few times to make sure all the extra dye fades out.

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5 Merissa March 6, 2012 at 12:02 pm

You always wash brand new cloth diapers at least 3 times before you use them for the first time. I’m assuming that’s one of the reasons:)

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6 Sandy Moeller March 6, 2012 at 12:15 pm

What did you use for the inside fabric? Flannel?

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7 Merissa March 6, 2012 at 12:18 pm

It’s called Butter Suede. It’s a wicking fabric so it will draw the moisture away from the baby. (Also this is a pocket diaper so I will stuff it with an insert made from either microfiber or a flannel/cotton batting combo.)

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8 Deb March 6, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Looks great. Wish there’s been such things available when I had babies, haven’t had any in 21 yrs. You did a great job and looks great for your first. Sometimes my first of stuff doesn’t turn out usable. LOL GReat help for others I’m sure.

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9 KimH March 6, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Those are really cute & you did a great job!! They sure dont look like the cloth diapers we had back in my day. ;)

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10 Michelle March 6, 2012 at 5:34 pm

How much did one diaper cost to make? By the way, Hangin them in the sun will bleach out any stains. My cousin use to rub hers with Salt and Lemon and then hang them in the sun and the stains just disappear. I am getting tempted to try cloth diapers again (we are due with our 7th here soon). I am so tired of buying diapers!!!

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11 Merissa March 6, 2012 at 6:08 pm

If I had to guess I would say less than $2. I paid $6.50 for 1/2 yard of PUL which I think should make at least 5-6 diapers. The butter suede was $6 for a yard which should make me around 10 diapers. And the cost for the thread and the elastic was minimal. However I will also have the cost of the insert but that should be cheap to make or around $1 to buy.

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12 Michelle March 6, 2012 at 7:03 pm

Have you used it yet? I suppose you want to make more before you start using them?

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13 Merissa March 6, 2012 at 7:37 pm

No I haven’t used it yet but I will this week. I just need to get a bit more organized for my cloth diapering and I’ll be set to go!

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14 Nicki March 6, 2012 at 6:52 pm

I made diapers like this with my baby 16 years ago. They were so much nicer than folding cloth diapers. When he started having solid BMs my husband insisted I start buying disposables if he was going to help with the changing :-)

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15 stephanie March 6, 2012 at 8:20 pm

I’ve recently seen PUL at Jo-Ann’s too – along with colored velcro and the nylon snaps – CUTE patterns on the PUL too!

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16 Heather March 11, 2012 at 6:01 am

Does this book have patterns for diaper covers? I’d like to use covers and prefolds instead of the pocket style but I’m having a hard time finding a pattern or instructions for the covers.

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17 Merissa March 11, 2012 at 8:29 am

Yes it does. I think there was at least 2 different cover patterns.

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18 Amie Parham May 19, 2012 at 2:58 pm

I have just bought this book, but I haven’t tried it yet.
I have however, made two other pocket diapers using a pattern I downloaded off the internet.
I have been cloth diapering my baby since she was 3 weeks old, so about 9 weeks (we’re still newbies), but let me say, I LOVE it. I will NEVER use disposables at all.
Just a note, you shouldn’t have to wash the diaper covers, or just the pocket diaper 3 times. You should only have to wash it once. Make sure you also dry it in the dryer ONE TIME to seal any holes from sewing. Otherwise you get leaks (Trust me, I know).
You can dry the diaper in the dryer every time you wash it, however since that’s going to be around 3 times a week, it will shorten the life of your diaper. Just an FYI!
Have fun cloth diapering! It can be addicting!!!

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19 kim August 26, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Soooo…this book is on sale at joannes for $4.99. So gonna pick it up tomorrow

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20 Merissa August 26, 2012 at 9:03 pm

Great deal!

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21 Courtney K January 10, 2013 at 11:41 am

When I had my daughter almost a year ago, I looked into possibly making my own pocket diapers. I too looked at all the free patterns and couldn’t find one I liked. I definitely want to get this book and try since I’m due in June!

Would you say that a novice sewer could do these? I’m such a beginner and am not very good yet. I made a few fitted’s to try them when I first had my daughter, but had issues with the elastic coming apart at the one end. :(

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22 Merissa January 10, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Yes, this project was easy. I would consider myself an expert sewer by any means and I did it!

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23 Stacey Malarkey September 24, 2013 at 10:45 am

I was wondering if you still use cloth diapers and if there is anything you have learned about them (buying, making, using) since your article about making them. I have a 3 month old and am still using up the disposable diapers from my shower but I’m considering switching to cloth when they run out.

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24 Merissa September 24, 2013 at 12:05 pm

Yes we do still cloth diaper. Here’s a little more about what we are using now: http://www.littlehouseliving.com/frugal-cloth-diapering.html I ended up not being very good at making them and preferred buying instead.

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25 Alexandra January 2, 2014 at 3:45 pm

I got the same book maybe a month or so before my son was born, I had ordered a variety of diapers to try and my mom ended up sewing size mediums for me when my son was a few months old, I did not start cloth diapering right away but if I end up having another I will cloth diaper at the beginning, we ended up using mostly g-diapers and I currently just went back to cloth diapering part time after giving up for about 6 months because we needed new sizes and other family members were not on board (I am not a stay at home mom). I would like to be a stay at home mom if we have another but we will see what happens, all the diapers we did buy or make were made gender neutral and I have even loaned them out to my babysitter to use for awhile. Cloth wipes I ended up making and keep getting out of the habit of using them (not for diaper changes anymore) all those meal clean ups and whatnot and that was the easiest sewing I did, used sewing machine on some and surger on others and both were great. Love reading your posts.

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