As I was preparing for the birth of my son, I did many projects from things specifically for him, to preparing his room, to decorating the master bedroom because he’d be sharing it with us for a while, and also making some basics like reusable wipes for diaper changing time because it occurred to me one day that it didn’t make a bunch of sense to do cloth diapers and still be throwing away all those wipes both for financial and ecological reasons.
I looked into buying cloth wipes and I actually had a bunch in an online shopping cart, when it struck me that I could make them.
Thanks to a bag of hand-me-downs from a friend, I had a stack of gently used flannel receiving blankets, you know, the smaller ones that come in packs usually. So I grabbed about 6 of them and started cutting them up. I discovered that if you mess with how you fold them, you can cut through multiple layers (like 4) at the same time and have virtually no waste.
Step 1: Fold blanket so that you can cut 6 to 7 inch squares out of them. Slice off the folds, and make all your cuts. Repeat with other blankets or fabric. Each blanket yielded about 12 squares or so. Don’t worry if they aren’t perfect, we’re going to trim them in step 4… read on, Oh type A person (I’m one too, that’s how I knew to write you a note here 😉 )
Step 2: Match fronts and backs of wipes together, wrong sides together. As you can see in the pictures, I matched one solid square and one printed square for each wipe.
Step 3: Sew together with a straight stitch with a half inch or so seam allowance around all four sides.
Step 4: Trim edges of wipes so that they’re even.
Step 5: Zig-zag stitch over the edges to keep them from fraying. Or you could overlock if you have access to an overlock machine, but zig-zag is perfectly adequate for this.
A variation I did on this is to cut up an old towel and sew the terry square to one flannel square, wrong sides (well of the flannel, there is no wrong side to a towel) together with straight stitch along three sides, turn, and french seam the opening shut. That gives you a heftier wipe for bigger messes, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised that you only need one wipe for most changes. I’d still make about 40-60. I started with about 32 and was always in danger of running out, so I’ve now made 12 more and that’s great with doing a diaper/wipe load every day. I’ll be making 12 or so more so that won’t have to keep raiding the stash in the diaper bag 😉 .
Now, for the wipe solution, we started out using plain ol’ water, but when Eli developed a yeast rash, I added 4 drops of tea tree oil to 8 oz of water and that seems to be doing just great! And it smells yummy too… Put in squeeze or spray bottles and you’re done. Easyness.
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