Cloth Pads

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Introduction: Cloth Pads

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.
After having my second child i breastfed until she was around 15 months old therefore i didn't menstruate, it was great. Soon after i weaned her from the boob my cycle returned, ugh, i started using tampons again and i hate them. So, i have stared to make my own cloth pads.
Made from cotton flannel these can be made in many sizes to suit, panty liners, regular pads with inserts or night-time pads with inserts. They have 'wings' to keep them in place which fasten with a press stud.
Why not save money, create less waste and be kinder to your body (disposable's contain chemicals that can affect your body such as cramping) and make yourself some of these pads. You can find the pattern here.

Step 1: Step 1

You will need:
flannel for outer
flannel for inner
scissors
pins
sewing machine

Wash, dry and press your fabric. I have used half a metre of flannel and folded it to cut out 4 pads at once.

Step 2: Step 2

Cut out your pattern pieces and taking each of the bottom pieces fold their opening edges over 1/4 inch, press then fold over again, press and sew in place.

Step 3: Step 3

Take each of the bottom pieces and fold the opening edge over 1/4 inch, press then fold over again, press and sew in place.

Step 4: Step 4

Press. Top stitch around the edge and sew down each side to form the wings. Add press studs to the wings.

Step 5: Step 5

Make a pad to fit inside, i have recycled a flannel bed sheet. I sewed 2 pieces together, turned right sides out and top stitched all the way around. I made it large enough to be folded into 4 layers and quilted it randomly to keep it in shape.

Step 6: Step 6

All finished!

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    51 Comments

    I love this idea, but I'm a little afraid to try it out because I have a relatively heavy flow, and I was wondering how they hold up? Also, have you experienced any leaking with these? In any case, this is a very well-done instructable; keep rocking. :)

    I use clothies as backup for a cup. Very heavy, clotty flow, and the pads work wonders. I use them overnight and haven't had any issues. Bonus: no rash like I used to get w/ the plastic kind!

    I've used these since coming home from the hospital from my daughter's birth. I couldn't stand using the disposable pads that the hospital gives you! SOOoo uncomfortable and they make you more prone to infections too since they are not breathable. The cloth ones are really not as horrendous as most think. I can not stress enough about how comfy they are. I promise once you use cloth pads you will never be able to wear a disposable again! If you are really concerned about leakage you can always use an outter layer of PUL (Polyurithane Laminate) which is a breathable but waterproof material that is used in cloth diapers. sewmanydiapers.com has it really inexpensive compared to other sites. You can also check other cloth diaper sewing supply stores online and they should carry PUL. As long as you are using polyester thread they should not leak at all. Also avoid using flannel or cotton as your outter layer or you will get a wicking effect. That said they are super easy to make and will save you a ton of money over time and I promise MUCH more comfy. Cloth pads are as easy to wash as regular clothes just add a scoop of oxyclean to your wash load and 1/4 cup of white vinegar to your fabric softener ball and you are done! Also make sure you wash on a cold wash cycle. That is it!

    I forgot to mention also, DO NOT leave them soaking in water. If you soak them to get stains out, spray with peroxide first (used to break down proteins) and then make sure you change the water every day but I repeat do NOT leave them in standing water or you will be sorry they will smell disgusting!

    ***NOTE** Also by "wicking" I meant that they will wick onto other clothing if you use cotton prints/material on the outter most layer.

    If you want the most absorbency and you have a super heavy flow you can use microfiber the kind used for drying dishes etc (also found in automotive departments for drying after washing cars) it will be plenty absorbent enough with a couple layers and still trim so they wont be noticeable under clothing.

    I know it may come as a shock, but roughly half the world's population will menstruate over the course of a lifetime. So yes. For serious.

    Going to be making some for panty liners until I build up the courage to use the pads.

    I sew my own it has reduced my period I was using adult diapers it was so bad and I am not a hippie or a nut I was just sick of all the problems that came with my time of the month or what ever you want to call it thy carrying around a plastic bag with diapers in it that is a conversation starter I'll tell you oh whats in this bag is fun to explain to people now I just have this little piece of folded up fabric in my purse and a tiny little wet bag

    user

    Rock on! I'm a happy cup user myself, more people need to know about all the alternative options. Thanks for spreading the word: there is more than just disposables!

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    I just bought a sewing machine, and will be making this ASAP. Even though I try to buy the natural pads, I still have such bad problems with fitting and absorbency. Now I can save myself lots of $$$ and I will never have to send hubby out for emergency pads >_< THANK YOU!!!