Make Your Own Cloth Menstrual Pads Pattern
-- Ready to give up disposable paper tampons, but not ready to give up their convenience and to switch to cloth pads? For an inexpensive solution, here's a Frugal Mom Tip!
Buy 6 pair (or more) of 100% cotton white baby socks. Wash (and dry) three times with a natural, mild soap - rinsing well. At your next period, simply roll up one baby sock into a tight roll, and insert as you would a paper tampon. If you need more absorbency, use two baby socks rolled up.
Replace it with the next baby sock as needed. Rinse the used one out well, and store dry until washday.
Frugal Cloth Menstrual Pads:
-- Cloth menstrual pads too expensive to buy - but you couldn't sew one if your life depended on it?? Here's a cheap way to make your own - without sewing at all!
Simply buy the cheapest terry facecloths you can find. Red would be a great colour to buy, but if not choose a colour separate from anything you would normally use as a facecloth.
To use, simply fold in half, then half again - both long-wise. You should have a long narrow pad now. Place in the crotch of your panties, and you are all set - cloth against cloth doesn't move. For more absorbency, simply fold two cloths together.
For waterproof protection, you can cut 3" by 12" (8 cm by 30 cm) strips of a rubberized flannelette change pad, or Polar fleece, and lay it between your cloth pad and your panties.
To wash, simply rinse out, and toss in the laundry hamper. Wash together with the regular laundry, no special care needed.
-- We live just a few miles from our local landfill, and I am appalled by the number of garbage trucks, not to mention private vehicles, that go down our road every day headed to the dump. I was intrigued by the idea here of reusable tampons...I really hate pads...I haven't tried cloth pads, but I had a bit of a brainstorm...
For more info: Tangled Skein
-- Here's one for Mom today! Cut out three layers of 100% cotton fabric (i.e. flannelette or terry cloth) into an 8.5"x10" (21.5cm x 25cm) rectangle. Round corners. Pile together.
Stitch all around, using either a zigzag stitch or a serge stitch. Cut out two wings 6"x6" (15cm x 15cm), shaped like this =O=.
Fold each wing in half, and zigzag or serge stitch all raw edges. Centre wings on the pad, about 2.25" (5.5cm) from either long edge, with straight edge of wings facing straight edge of the pad. Looks something like this [_[)(]_], though the wings will be overlapping.
Sew a straight seam, catching in the wings, 2.5" (6.5cm) from both long edges. Either sew Velcro® on wings or use hammer-on snaps. Fold the pad in thirds, and fasten the wings underneath the fold.
Now you have a super-absorbent 9-layer menstrual pad that opens up for easy washing and quick drying!
For more info: MyFrugalBabyTips.com
-- I learned about homemade cloth menstrual pads on a Christian Ladies' message board in 2002. Financially, we were in a tough spot at the time. Making decisions between groceries or sanitary pads is not a pleasant place to be so I was tickled when another mom shared a link to homemade pads. I ran some simple ones up on my sewing machine that day and have pretty much been a convert ever since.
For more info:
-- Get some material. I'd recommend 100% cotton for the top and bottom pieces, and an all-cotton batting for the filler. You can also use multiple layers of cotton fabric for the filler, but it takes about 8 layers for it to be effective, and that ends up being rather thicker than I preferred. I used about a yard of 90" width batting and maybe two of fabric (unbleached flannel is really nice), and made about 15 pads. Total cost: ~$7
For more info:
-- It's not that hard to make your own cloth pads. You can even hand sew them if you have no sewing machine, and there are plenty of shapes and sizes for you to choose from. You can buy new fabrics, reuse old fabrics (cut up t-shirts and towels for example). So you can go as elaborate or as cheap as you like.
For more info:
-- I designed these cloth pads for custom absorbancy and there is no need to have a serger machine to make them. These are turned and topstitched pads with custom absorbancy sewn in, and you also have the ability to add in extra inserts for heavy days. Of all of the pads I've made, these are the ones I reach for first so I wanted to share the instructions with other moms.
For more info: PerigrinesEyrie
-- Just print onto heavy cardstock and cut it out. Leave no seam allowance. To make the band placement a bit easier, punch small holes at each corner of where the bands are marked on the pattern, and where the snaps are marked.
For more info: Adahy's Cloth Pad Patterns
-- Apparently the average woman will use around 17,000 pads or tampons in her lifetime, the majority of which are flushed down the toilet, a terrible though huh? Just imagine the waste they produce, damage they cause and the money they cost us.
For more info: SewGreen
And if that isn't enough patterns, these sites have links to even more cloth pad patterns!
-- If you're into the environment and saving money, this is a great tip - imagine never having to buy disposable menstrual pads again!
For more info: Tipnut.com
-- When you use cloth diapers, it's easy to consider reusable cloth menstrual pads. Don't be scared! As with cloth diapers, anything absorbent will do. If you want the simplest solution, use rags or towels. If you want a tidy cloth pad with less bulk, you can easily make your own from the patterns and instructions below. Though you can use any absorbent material, heavy brushed twill flannel makes the toughest, longest lasting pads. And, cleaning is easy. Toss them in with the diapers.
For more info: FuzBaby.com
-- If you've never sewn anything before or have otherwise only limited experience, these guides may be helpful. If you know what you're doing and can use a pattern, those may work better for you.
For more info: Cloth Pads Wikidot
This article compliments of Born to Love.
More Menstrual Resources:
• Online Resources
• Books to Read
• Charting Cycles
• Discussion Lists
• Menstrual Products and Health
• Feminine Ecology Notes
• Women Taking the Initiative for a Safer Environment
• Fast Facts from
• Backgrounder: What Are Organochlorines? And Why Are They So Dangerous?
• What Women Can Do to
Stop the Whitewash
• More On-line Articles
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Born to Love articles are written by Catherine McDiarmid-Watt
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Last updated - January 11, 2017