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Raising children is never easy and sometimes it's just downright expensive. Disposable diapers are not cheap. Here's a way you can cut down on costs, Make a dozen or so of these T-shirt diapers and save yourself some money.  Go to the thrift shop and you will be surprised how many T-shirts you can find. Look for T-shirts that have a design on the top half of the front of the shirt, if you use a T-shirt with a design that takes up the whole front of the shirt you will end up with part of it being upside down on the front of the diaper. I  got a few plain T-shirts to use for the 4th layer that is enclosed behind the lining so this doesn't have to match, it's not going to be visible when the diaper is finished. 
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Step 1: Supplies

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These are the supplies you will need: T-shirts, disposable diaper for pattern, elastic, velcro, shower curtian, sewing machine, scissors, pins and a newspaper. 

Step 2: Making a pattern for the diaper

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use a disposable diaper for a pattern, have a friend help you stretch the diaper so you can trace around it onto the newspaper.  As you can see, I didn't go into great detail with all the angles and turns. Just a basic simple shape works best. Fold the pattern in half and trim so that it is symmetrical. It would be a good idea to make another pattern out of this because if you make several diapers, this will get worn out quickly.

Step 3: Cutting out the pieces

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Cut out the front and back of the T-shirt, place the larger end of the newspaper at the top near the neck. Cut one out of the shower curtian. cut another out of the liner. 

Step 4: Sewing panels onto liner

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from the leftover fabric from the T-shirt or another T-shirt , cut 4 pieces 4" x 14" layer on top of the liner. sew around the edges.

This looks like the simplest diaper pattern I've seen. I wonder how long these last... does the plastic degrade in the washer? Also, do you use a certain kind of shower curtain liner?

o0ocirclezo0o6 months ago
Has anyone added snaps and made them one size diapers? Or made them into pocket diapers?
o0ocirclezo0o6 months ago
Has anyone added snaps and made them one size diapers? Or made them into pocket diapers?
ashley.haga.58 months ago
I'm confused a bit, live this idea but what is the pink liner in pic, sorry very photogenic person. loving these and want to make them
katvanlew (author)  ashley.haga.58 months ago

Yes it is another T-shirt. it doesn't matter what color this is because it will be placed in the middle, between the outside and the inside.It is important to have several layers so it's absorbent enough.

Sorry if this is a stupid question- what's the interior liner made of? Another T-Shirt? I got lost in the steps and the pink fabric seemed to have come up out of no where.
Oh, nevermind, I re-read your blurb at the start. I think I got it figured out. Very good idea! I'll be doing this for sure!
I had asked same question was it extra fabric
Its been a couple years since you posted this instructable. I am wondering how the diapers, mainly the shower curtain, held up? Joann Fabric stores and Hobby Lobby now carry PUL cloth which is what commercial cloth diapers are made of. The catch is it costs about $10 a yard. So I am curious about your shower curtain idea and how it woukd hold up to being washed frequently.

the shower curtains break down a lot over time or get crunchy like the gerber pants. I love PUL! :) You can get it in plain colors for around $8/yd at

xenaspal2 years ago
These are wonderful and do not leak- note one layer is shower curtain. Terrific for moms like me whose babies get diaper rash from ultraabsorbent disposables. No you do not need plastic pants- they are sewn in. Yay!
teetasse422 years ago
AHA! I knew that you could use a shower curtain for a homemade cloth diaper! Thanks so much, Katvanlew! You just saved me a bundle!
pwilson012 years ago
I have been known to use an old t-shirt in the car on the way to be donated, as a nappy. They are actually very soft and absorbent but moisture will soak through. They will need to be changed if wet. This is fine sometimes, but covers are available and plastic pants work well.

rbohringer2 years ago
This is a really cool Idea. Do they leak at all?
Wonderful idea and what a great present. Now if they could only be made quickly in a sets of 120. Thanks for instructable and happy Holidays.
sunshiine3 years ago
Very clever idea! Thanks for sharing!
katvanlew (author)  sunshiine3 years ago
thanks, I have made several of these, I have 4 grandkids and another due in January.
susanrm3 years ago
This is very cool. For those who want to avoid plastic altogether, other options might be recycling felted wool sweaters, or using microfiber cloths, as an additional layer. I find that the offgassing from the cheap shower curtains can be terrible. Kudos - I will be forwarding to my sister for use with my newest niece!
katvanlew (author)  susanrm3 years ago
Yes the plastic is optional, I didn't think about using microfiber cloths, that's a good idea.
i make my kids those all the time ....i would have added it but i didnt think it was normal