03 July 2011

How I Make Cloth Wipes

Welcome to the First Annual Freedom of Cloth Carnival




This post was written for inclusion in the Freedom of Cloth Carnival hosted at Natural Parents Network by Melissa of The New Mommy Files and Shannon of The Artful Mama. This year’s carnival will run from Sunday, July 3rd through Saturday, July 9th. Participants are sharing everything they know and love about cloth diapering, including how cloth has inspired them.


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When you read about my embarrassing start to cloth diapering, you will wonder what I did with all the Gerber flats and prefolds I had laying around. Being the "handy" person I am, I wanted to use them in some way rather than have them sit around doing nothing, so I decided to cut them up and use them to make cloth wipes. Given the size of the Gerber flats, I was able to cut them in such a way as to get four wipes out of each flat diaper: two bigger wipes and two smaller ones. (I did not cut up the Gerber prefolds. I used them here and there when I could and now I use them in place of paper towels.)


If you go to any fabric store and search through the remnant bin, you will probably find some fleece or some flannel. When I first started making wipes, I was also in the midst of making Christmas stockings so I had purchased some red, green and yellow fleece remnants and happened to have them on hand. Thus, my wipes were born.

 
To make the wipes, I cut 8 X 12 and 8 X 8 pieces out of the flat diapers. Then, of course, I cut corresponding pieces from whatever fleece I happen to have. (In the above image, it's white because I made a lot of wipes for friends who are giving birth but not all of them know the baby's gender.) I sew them together and turn them inside out and close the seam. It doesn't really matter which sides get sewn together, unless you have a pattern you want to showcase. I think patterns are nice and all, but when it comes to wipes, it's cleaning your baby's butt: how nice does it have to be?



These are a couple of my finished products. As you can see, one of the wipes has seen better days. I have been using these for about a year now and have already had to resew many of them. That, however, is the beauty in cloth wipes; if they fall apart, I can simply put them back together!

Now, I just want to say a word about using the flat diapers as part of the wipe, which in my mind, turned out to be an ingenious idea. Rather than having consistently smooth surfaces all around the wipe, the flat diaper adds that extra degree of texture for scrubbing heavy duty messes. Then, you can turn it around and use the other side to pick up the remnants or sort of dry the area.

These wipes are incredibly inexpensive to make since you can get so many wipes from just one package of Gerber flats and a fleece remnant. Plus, all it takes is a basic, generic type of stitching to put them together, so anyone who knows how to thread a needle can sew these! Better  yet, now that both my children are older and I use less wipes throughout the day, I can use some of the wipes for other things. They're great for cleaning dirty hands and faces, wiping down counters or even scrubbing the kitchen floor. The versatility never ends; Go ahead and try them!

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Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants on the following themes. Articles will go live on the scheduled theme day:
  • Sunday, July 3rd, 2011: Cloth Related Recipes — Writers share their best cloth-related recipes and tutorials.
  • Monday, July 4th, 2011: Choosing Your Cloth Style — Today’s posts discuss parents' individual journeys to finding the cloth diapering "style" that best suits their families.
  • Tuesday, July 5th, 2011: Cloth Diapering Must Haves — Parents talk about the most important items in their diapering “stash” and why they love them.
  • Wednesday, July 6th, 2011: Wordless Wednesday, Inspired by Cloth — We asked parents to share their favorite cloth-related photo with us and turned them into a fluffy Wordless Wednesday photo montage on Natural Parents Network. Link up your own Wordless Wednesday post there!
  • Thursday, July 7th, 2011: Cloth Through the Stages: From Infancy to Potty Independence — Today’s participants explain how cloth diapering has served their families throughout one or more stages of their children’s lives.
  • Friday, July 8th, 2011: Cloth Troubleshooting and Laundry Day — Seasoned cloth diapering parents share their best tips and tricks for handling common cloth problems and tackling the diaper laundry.
  • Saturday, July 9th, 2011: Inspired by Cloth — For today’s theme, we’ve asked writers to explore the ways cloth diapering has inspired them to become "greener" overall.

13 comments:

  1. Nice post Amanda. I will have to try my hand at these. I like the idea of the diaper plus the fleece. A little scrub and a little soft (good combo).

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  2. I love the double layer wipe concept, and the way you've managed to use what would otherwise have gone to waste. I had a prolific spitter-upper for most of the first year, so my Gerber prefolds came in handy for that. Now that I'm done with them, I should perhaps learn to sew!

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  3. I had been using baby washrags (which we have an abundance of but rarely use) - I wonder if I got some fleece and sewed it to them if it would make a better wipe?

    This does actually look like something I could sew... :)

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  4. So handy of you! I don't sew - at all - so I can't say I'll be trying this, but I love the idea of it ;-)

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  5. This is so great! Nice to see that there ARE other crunchy mommies out there that like to re-use and be environmentally friendly :)

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  6. I am just learning to sew. I'll definitely give this a go! I avoid Gerber (owned by Nestle) but have tons of old flats and prefolds that have areas that are worn out. I can easily cut and reuse the parts that are in fine shape for this! The texture observation is a good one-probably why you see so many cloth wipes made from terry, too. Thanks for the idea!

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  7. Oh come on, you can do it!! (All of you) :)

    Knowing that Gerber is owned by Nestle, I wouldn't buy them again Zoie, but I've had them for a year, since before I had that information. (Way to put together a sentence, Amanda.)

    Glad you all like the idea! :)

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  8. I admit - I'm one of *those* people who love patterened wipes. (hanging head)
    However, our sewing plans are exactly the same, so if it makes you feel better - I do make my own.

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  9. Hey, I like patterns as much as the next guy (you) and if I had had patterned fabric I might have been more snotty about my wipes. Sometimes I long for pretty wipes, but then I get distracted by a butt that needs two or three wipes to get clean ;)

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  10. These are great. I have been meaning to make my own wipes for a while, I even bought the fabric for them. But I have a pile of facecloths that I use for the job at the moment, and they actually work fantastically, so I haven't needed to make any just yet.

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    1. I resort to whatever piece of cloth is closest, no matter what it is! :)

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  11. Love this! I can't wait to get my sewing machine! Totally pinning this!

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    1. I feel so honored to be pinned! :)

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