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Thursday, June 9, 2011

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How to Make Your Own Cloth Wipes: Part 1

Once you have completely switched over to the fabulous world of cloth diapers, you may find yourself faced with a conundrum...there isn’t a place to throw out wipes anymore! The diaper pail has been repurposed with a washable pail liner and is no longer the multi-purpose nursery room trash can that it once was. Plus, once you get used to that warm fuzzy feeling you get when thinking about how much you’ve reduced your trash output, throwing away wipes starts to feel weird in combination with cloth diapering. The good news is: cloth wipes are easy to use and you can make them yourself for free or cheap!!

You can of course buy cloth wipes when purchasing your other diapering supplies, but in my personal opinion, they can be sort of overpriced for what you are going to do with them - namely, wipe poop. Why spend $2 for one wipe when you can either repurpose another piece of fabric you have laying around, or buy a bit of flannel at the fabric store for much less? Let me tell you how easy it is to make your own wipes.

Option 1: You Have Very Basic Sewing Skills
The good news is that you don’t have to be a professional seamstress to sew wipes. Cut flannel or any other soft, absorbent fabric into rectangles or squares (you can either use a disposable wipe as a pattern to measure size, or just make them whatever size you darn well feel like!) and then use a basic zig zag stitch around the edge of each wipe. Allow the “zag” part of the stitch to go over the edge of the fabric, to seal it against unraveling.

I found personally that it was easier to stitch around a rounded edge than to navigate around a sharp corner. I just rounded off the edges of a big stack with my scissors and didn’t worry if they weren’t all perfect. Again - remember the wiping poop factor. It doesn’t matter if each one isn’t perfect. You aren’t going to frame them and hang them on the wall.

Option 2: You Couldn’t Sew if Your Life Depended On It
The good news is that not all fabric will fray on the edges. You can cut up a piece of knit fabric and it will roll its edges up a bit over time instead of unraveling. Allow for the shrinkage in size that the rolling will cause when you cut them out. I would allow about an extra 1/4 - 1/2 inch on each side.

For this option, just cut the fabric to whatever size you would like and you’re good to go! How easy is that??

Option 3: You Want To Be The Over-Achieving Mother Of The Year
If you have more experience sewing and want your wipes to be extra thick and cushy, you can sew two rectangles together (right sides facing in toward each other), leave a little hole to turn it right side out when you’re done, press the wipe flat with an iron, and then top stitch around the edges.

What Can I Use to Make Wipes?
You can make wipes out of any fabric you have laying around that is soft and absorbent. I say absorbent because the wipes must soak up the solution you use to make them wet. If you use fleece, that won’t happen. Here are some ideas of things you may have at your house:

Flannel receiving blankets
Burp Cloths
Old hand towels or wash cloths
Hubby’s old undershirts
That t-shirt from your sorority date function in 1998 that you still wear to bed but you should let it go.

If you repurpose fabric from an item that has been washed in regular detergent, you will probably want to wash it in your cloth diaper detergent (or at least give it a really hot rinse) before throwing in with the rest of your diapers just in case it has residue built up on it that could mess up your cute fluff!

By Stephanie G.


Higgs Happenin's said...

Sorority shirt hahaha. ya I have a ton of shirts that could definitely wipe poop instead of sit in my drawer. good ideas.

Can you do a post sometime about wipe solutions? Heck maybe you already have one... I'll look.

Amy Matthews said...

I also find it super easy to find used baby washcloths at resale or yard sales or even buy a pack of 4 at the dollar store. So that's .25 a piece with no sewing. They are very soft & great for just wet diapers, for heavy duty jobs they may not fair as well as, say, flannel.

Amy said...

I suggested making cloth wipes for a friend who was having some money issues. I mentioned the flannel receiving blankets and sent her a link I googled with solution recipes....Then I got a wild hair up my butt and suggested making my own wipes to my husband. He's accepted both cloth dipes & wipes with open arms. That blew my mind!

So I set to the store yesterday. I picked up some remnants, then I picked up about 4 other fabrics. I ended up with 15 8x8 squares (double sided). Will be sewing them soon. I am so thrilled!

Stephanie said...

@Higgs Happenin's - Part two of this series is all about wipes solutions and storage/washing info! Stay tuned. :)

Stephanie said...

@Higgs Happenin's - Part two of this series is all about wipes solutions and storage/washing info! Stay tuned. :)

Stephanie said...

@Higgs Happenin's - Part two of this series is all about wipes solutions and storage/washing info...stay tuned! :)