Making Cloth Diapers from Sheets

Look what I worked on over the weekend….

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that’s right, it’s a stack of home made 149 cloth diapers made from flannel sheets! 

My daughter Kalissa and I make layettes for Lutheran World Relief.  We have been making them for about 3 years and really enjoy doing it.  We collect all of the supplies, package them and take them to our church.    Each layette needs 2 onsies, 2 sleepers, 1 sweater, 2 washcloths, 1 bar of soap, 2 recieiving blankets, 2 diaper pins and 4 cloth diapers.

We garage sale and buy the nicest clothing and recieving blankets.  I purchase the soap and pins.  I purchase knit t-shirt material, cut that to size, and then serger around the edges with my serger to make wash cloths ….but cloth diapers were always an issue because purchasing them was not cost effective…that is until I figured out how to make the diapers from used sheets.  Here’s a little tutorial to show you how….

Take a clean flannel sheet.  I get mine at Goodwill paying about $2.25 each.  If you can choose, get flat, queen or king sheets.  Others sizes and fitted sheets work too…you just get more fabric out of the flat, king size version and a flat sheet does not get as much wear. 

If your sheet is pilly, simple use the wrong side of the fabric as the right side.

Rip off the hemming from the sheet.  Rip the sheet into pieces that are approximately 19-20 inches by 34-39 inches.  It can vary that much.  Now, lay your piece of fabric out on a table wrong side up.  I lay mine on my big rotary cutting mat and use the mat numbers as a guide.  I turn over about 6 inches of the length. 
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Then I lay a piece of left over scrap flannel that is about 5 inches by 20 inches in the middle.  This will make the middle of the diaper more absordant.
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Now fold over the opposite edge about 4 inches then fold it again bringing it over to cover the scrap of fabric you put in the middle.    Now your diaper should be from 11-12 inches wide.  Pin in place.  You can adjust the amount you turn over as well as the amount in your fold to make the proper width.
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Take the diaper to your sewing machine and sew down the seam.
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Take the diaper to your serger and serge each edge making sure to secure the stitching.
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…and there you have it!  A cloth diaper.  Some of you are probably looking at my stack of diapers wondering why they aren’t white because diapers are supposed to be white.  Don’t fret…white diapers are an American tradition.  People who recieve these layettes don’t mind if they are navy blue.  They are thankful to get them.  You can get at least 9 diapers from a flat king size sheet….from a twin fitted sheet, you will only get four.

I have wondered to myself why didn’t I make cloth diapers for my kids…if you’re looking for ways to recycle or go green, making cloth diapers from sheets is an excellent option.

Lutheran World Relief ships layettes all over the globe to needy moms and their babies.  I cannot imagine living a life in worry over how I would care for my baby.  Each time I package up a layette, I say a prayer of thanks that I never had to live in that type of situation. 

If you ever have baby items that you are no longer using, onsies, sleepers, recieving blankets or sweaters that you want to send our way, Kalissa and I would gladly accept them.   We would love to put them into more layettes so we could help even more moms and babies.  Sunday we put together 50 layettes!

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5 thoughts on “Making Cloth Diapers from Sheets

  1. Pingback: Crocheting for a Cause « Kayla K’s Thrifty Ways

  2. Gina, In OR

    I don’t sew, but it occurs to me that these diapers would also be great for incontinent adults, for whom diapers are also very expensive. Larger versions of these could be made up & given to elder care facilities. I’ve enjoyed browsing your site, which I found through your daughter’s site, Kayla K’s Thrifty Ways. Someone posted her link on At My House crochet group because of a crochet pattern she had on there & she mentioned your site & making layettes through Lutheran charities. Thanks for the info & ideas, & God Bless You!

  3. Rebecca H.

    Lutheran World Relief has changed their “Baby Care Kit” items recently (2012). They still contain 4 cloth diapers and 2 pins. Now they need 2 gowns or footless sleepers or sleep pants and shirt, 2 T-shirts (can be worn longer than onesies and can be made by cutting the bottom from the onesies and hemming), a hand towel instead of 2 wash cloths, 2 bars of soap, a baby hat, 2 pair of socks, a sweater, and 2 blankets (only 1 needs to be a receiving blanket). I use flannel sheets for both diapers and receiving blankets.

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