Upcycling Items Into Cloth Pads

Ever wanted to use cloth menstrual pads but can’t afford the initial cost of buying them? How about trying to make them instead? It can be virtually free if you upcycle items and clothing around your house!

Heres a little tutorial of how I upcycled to make these pads.

The topper of the pad should be any material that absorbs, flannel, cotton, athletic shirts, even leggings work as great topper fabric.

The core or absorbent material can be anything that holds liquid. For thinner pads, flannel, flower sack towels and even tshirts make great cores (2 layers for light, 4 for moderate and 6 for heavy). If you don’t mind a fluffier pad terry towels can be used.

And for the backer, if you choose to use something water resistant like fleece shirts and old fleece blankets work great. But, if you don’t have any available I suggest making your core a little more absorbent and any fabric can be used for the back.

First I traced my pattern onto backside of the topper fabric, cut my core layers from an old flannel shirt and cut a piece of a fleece shirt big enough to fit 1/2″ past my patterns.

*washable glue sticks are great for keeping the core in place while you sew.

Sew the core to the topper. Around the perimeter. I prefer a 3 step zig zag stitch but any stitch can be used.

Then pin or clip the topper to the backer piece.

Next use a straight stitch and sew on the line of your pattern. Make sure to leave a turn hole not sewn. A 1 1/2″ hole on a straight part of the pad is easiest.

Then trim excess fabric away. Be careful to not snip your threads. If you don’t have pinking shears regular scisors will work just be sure to snip into the fabric around the curves.

Clip the sharp corners of the wings and into the corners so it lays flat once flipped.

Now flip your pad. And tuck the turn hole in so its flush.

Last step is top-stitching. This will keep your pad thin and flat.

Now you can add resin snaps (joann fabrics has babyville and Amazon has reasonable starter sets), add a button hole and button, sew on clasps, or even use a safty pin if you are in a pinch.

Have fun! If you don’t have anything on hand, resale stores are a great place to find fabrics you can use.

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