How to Make Your Own Cloth Baby Wipes

We get so much great advice from readers who make their own cloth diapering accessories that we thought we’d take a moment to share with you some of their suggestions on how to make homemade cloth baby wipes. It’s easy to do and can save you so much money (one reader, Christina S, was able to get 8-10 wipes out of a .50 cent blanket!) So here are some suggestions from our survey respondents, with responses sorted based on type of sewing machine (or lack thereof!)

Instructions for homemade cloth baby wipes

 

Serging

For these you would use a serger sewing machine Many prefer this method because it keeps the edges neat looking and prevents fraying. However, the machine can be difficult for people to use if they don’t know how to.

“I serged 2 layers of cheap and upcycled flannel together in 6″ squares.” Jenny P

“Double layer of flannel edged together. It takes time to do the edging but has really improved durability vs. a straight stitch or zigzag stitch near the edge.” Heather T

“Two layers of material, bamboo terry on one side and velour on the other with serged edges in pretty colors.” Jen L

“I used a couple yards of flannel from Joann’s when it was on sale for $2/yard. Borrowed Mom’s serger and cleaned up the edges. I also have some made from ripped up flannel sheets. There is *no* difference in quality between the two.” Ruth

“Old receiving blankets, and some new flannel, cut into approx 7″ squares and serged. Some single layer (dry faster), some double layer (softer, thicker).” Alainna S.

“I bought flannel receiving blankets from Goodwill (thrift store) and used them to make my cloth wipes. I cut them out in a size that would fit in a diaper warmer/wipes carrier/etc and then the serged the edges, but a simple pinking shear and stitch around the edge would work, too.” Christina S

“I’ve found that 9 inch square wipes made with high quality flannel on one side and cotton sherpa on the other are the very best. They hold up great wash after wash. I just cut them into squares and serged all the way around. Higher quality flannel prevents excessive pilling, but any flannel will work.” Heather H

 

Basic Sewing

Basic sewing requires a standard sewing machine (or, in my case, a call to my grandma in which I beg her to sew something for me! ~ Tara). You could also do some of these by hand, though that could take a long time. 

“Cut up old flannel sheets and hemmed the edges to prevent fraying. I got 64 wipes out of 1 queen sized sheet that I found in a second hand store for $4.”  Amy M.

“SpaSilk and cheap Target wash cloths. Zigzag stitched flannel to the backs of some of them, but actually prefer the ones without the flannel.” Shannon

“I cut up an old towel and flannel sheets. To a 5×5 size and sewed them together. So I had flannel on one side and towel on the other.” Andy B

“Get cheap flannel that won’t pill easily, prewash at least once and then iron flat. Fold over the material or layer the material if you want a different color on the other side. Cut into the size you would like. If you haven’t already done so, turn the fabric so that the non-pretty side is facing out. Sew up each side about 1/4 an inch from the edge but leave 2-3 inches undone. Turn the fabric inside out (poke out the corners, you may need to trim a triangle off each corner to lay more flat) through the opening, tuck down the raw edges and sew the wipe closed. I prefer to sew an X or a shape in the middle to keep the wipe from balling up during wash and to guarantee that it will continue to lay flat. I can knock out a dozen of these while watching a movie.” Bonnie T

“Flannel baby wipes. Two 8″x8″ squares, zig zag together along edges. Bam! Cloth wipes!” Katherine B

 

No Sewing

These just require your fabric and a handy-dandy set of scissors. These are for the sewing-inept (such as both of us!)

“I cut up old blankets and shirts.” Amanda M.

“I cut up old tshirts into 7.5″x7.5″ squares with my rotary cutter and cutting mat. None of them unraveled because of the jersey material, and somehow some of them didn’t even curl at the edges.” Amy M.

“I used plain blizzard fleece and cut 7×7 inch squares. They clean well, don’t get super wet, and handle the warmer nicely, plus they wash up well too. The only issue I’ve had is that they are really static-y when I take them out of the dryer.” Amanda Y

“Flannel cut with pinking shears is a good no sew option. I like two layer flannel so I sew mine but one layer works great, too.” Kara Ann E.

 

Do you have any secrets to making homemade wipes? Please share below!

 

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Tara Porter

Tara Porter began using cloth diapers in 2011 when she felt that using disposable diapers was costing too much money. The problem was, a lot of the highly recommended diapers weren’t working for her baby. What she finally discovered was that her baby was skinny and a heavy wetter, and that diapers worked differently for those baby types. Because of her professional work with survey design and statistics, she designed Padded Tush Stats as a way to determine how different cloth diapers worked on different babies.

Tara moved on to other career endeavors in 2014 but can still be found online blogging about health and fitness at Fit Baby Steps.
  • Rachel

    I used pinking sheers on some flannel but unfortunately they are fraying like crazy. I think they’re going to slowly unravel to tiny little squares. ha! Just a word of warning for others – might not work! Next time I’ll just run ‘em through the sewing machine for a quick stitch.

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  • Noelle

    I can honestly think of no better use for all the recieving blankets I have and never used! I just did a zigzag stitch around the edges and if they become too frayed I have 50 more blankets stored away just waiting to become wipes!

  • AJS

    This tutorial is so helpful. I am not a great sewer, but I feel like I could handle a simple stitch around the edges to finish off some wipes. Thank you!

  • Melissa Morgan

    This will certainly come in handy with scrap fabric. =)

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