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Low Cost/No Cost Diapering Options

cloth diapering I was inspired after reading an article about how to cloth diaper for little to no cost. This article spoke about how diapering products can be made from items that are already within the household. If they are not, they may be available free from community pantries or at low cost from thrift stores. Although I can sew, and used to be quite crafty, some of these ideas had never crossed my mind. Using a tee-shirt for a diaper? What a great way to re-purpose a readily available item. We realize that not everyone can purchase ready-made diapers, and for many, this can be valuable information for providing diapers and covers for their baby. This can also be a useful resource if you already have diapers, but run out and are in a pinch. (I know this has happened to some of you!)

Homemade diapers can be made from new/used fabrics, or upcycled household items such as:

  • Tee-shirts and other clothing (natural fibers)
  • Flannel or cotton receiving blankets and burp cloths
  • Linens such as flannel or cotton sheets
  • Hand towels, kitchen towels, bath towels, washcloths
Important: Diapers and inserts must be made from absorbent materials. Fabrics made from natural fibers such as cotton, hemp, and bamboo work the best. Generally, you want to stay away from loosely woven fabrics. No-Sew Method:
  • Tee-shirts: No sewing, no cutting. Simply fold, and use a diaper pin or snappi to secure it.
  • Receiving blankets: Cotton flannel receiving blankets can be folded into a diaper and secured with diaper pins or a Snappi. Folding Flats
  • Household items: Cut into a diaper or insert shape suitable for diapering. You may need to sew or serge the edges if the material will fray after washing.
For an estimate of how large to cut a flat diaper: Small: 27 long x 27 wide, Large: 30 long x 30 wide Sew Method:

Homemade diaper covers can be made from new/used fabrics, or upcycled household items such as:

  • Wool or fleece clothing
  • Fleece receiving blankets
  • Fleece baby pants
Important: Covers must be made from materials that do not readily absorb liquid. Wool and polyester fleece are two materials that will work for covers. No-Sew Method:
  • Fleece baby pants Simply use ready made fleece pants for a diaper cover in a pinch.
Sew Method:   For free diaper/cover patterns, and tutorials on how to sew diapering items, look at this discussion thread on I hope this information will be useful. If you have any questions, please let me know! ~Sonya
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  • This is awesome! I want to try making some t-shirt diapers and fleece covers to see how they work…

    One Southern Girl on
  • Interesting ideas!

    Annie on
  • I think it’s great! T-shirts and a few covers could save people a ton of $$$

    Kara Reeder on
  • This is great information I know a few people who were low on money . nobody should have to choose between buying diapers and buying food.its also a great way to reuse recieving blankets and flannel sheets

    Patti H on
  • What a great way to save on money and reuse old items.

    Samantha on

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