In January I decided to try making a few cloth pads. I thought I’d try them out and if I hated them, no probs. I started off with this tutorial but I’ve made a few changes and figured that I may as well add to the knowledge pool.
These are super easy and cheap to make. Having some sewing skills is helpful but a beginner could tackle these with minimal frustration.
Alright, let’s get started.
  • disposable pad (I use Always in the yellow package. I think they’re regular with wings)
  • 1.5 m of flannel (this will make 12-15 pads)
  • small, sharp sewing scissors
  • thread
  • sewing machine
  • hammer in snaps
  • pins
  • an old towel
  • a magazine
  • a hammer
  • a snap applicator tool thingy (not sure what this is called but see pic below)

*Note: it’s helpful to do these steps one at a time like an assembly line if you’re making more that one pad (for example; cut out all your shapes, sew them all, attach the snaps)

  • Step 1: Get your favourite disposable pad and slap it on your doubled over flannel. Trace the pad or just cut around the disposable pad adhered to your flannel, as I do. Make sure to add length to the wings because the wings on the commercial pads just stick to your undies while your wings have to overlap each other.
  • Step 2: You will now have two pad shapes cut out of flannel. Take your towel and cut out some rectangles with curved edges about an inch shorter than your pad. Sandwich your towel liner centered between your two pad cutouts.
  • Step 3: Stick a pin through the layers to keep it in place. You can use more pins if you’re worried about it shifting a lot.
  • Step 4: Set your sewing machine on zig zag and on the smallest stitch length. Stitch two channels on either side of your pin, backstitching at each end.
  • Step 5: Carefully zig zag all around your pad as close to the edge as you can, backstitching at beginning and end. As you work around, align and pinch the layers so they stay put.
  • Step 6: Your edges will be a bit ragged. Take your small scissors and very carefully snip any excess fabric outside the zig zag being careful not to snip your stitches.
  • Step 7: Working on the floor, hammer in your snaps with a magazine underneath so you don’t ruin your floors. Make sure to place the male snap (hehe) on the upper side of one wing and the female snap (teehee) on the lower side of the opposite snap.
That’s it! You’re done. I can make a bunch in about an hour.
How I care for my pads: When I remove the pad I rinse it in the sink right away with a little hand soap and I wring it out really well. I store them in a mesh laundry bag until my cycle’s finished.  I wash them in the machine on hot with my sheets. Most of mine look barely used.  I know storing and cleaning is some people’s big concern but I have to assure you that the pads don’t smell. It’s the plastic in commercial pads that don’t breathe and make things stinky.
  • these are really environmentally friendly
  • they are so comfortable. there’s nothing to accidentally get stuck to your inner thigh and they get softer when you wash them
  • there’s no weird foreign chemically materials cradling your lady business
  • it’s mad cheap. I got all the supplies for about thirteen pads for under $15 and they will last me a very long time
  • flannel comes in all kinds of fun patterns.  I also had some pink sheep fabric but I used it all up
I know some people think reusable pads are icky and I understand that but I personally think they’re the bee’s knees. I’m happy to field questions but I’m not really interested in people’s grossed out comments. I’ve read the criticisms and I feel the benefits outweigh them.
If you don’t feel capable of making these yourself there are tons of Etsy sellers who sell premade ones. Or you can contact me and we can probably come to an arrangement.