I never thought myself to be the green, tree-hugging type of person. Perhaps it was my frugality that made me want to be less wasteful in my life. So here I am, making my own panty liners — something that I wouldn’t have imagined myself doing.
A few months ago, I started using the Diva Cup after it was highly recommended to me from friends. And now, I feel like I’ve seen the light. Where has this been all my life? I can run, swim and be active without too much worry. Plus I don’t have sit on a pad — which gave some problems down in my nether regions.
Since the Diva Cup has a learning curve, I realized that I needed a backup plan for when I didn’t get it quite right and for those heavier days when I can’t get to a decent restroom right away. Yes, I’ve had a few issues while I was away from home (you do what you’ve gotta do with toilet paper in that situation). I didn’t want to turn back to disposable panty liners so I decided to make my own. I found several patterns online and made a hybrid of the ones I liked best.
Here’s how you make mama pads at home. This is best for use as a backup for your cup since it’s not a heavy-duty pad.
DIY Reusable Mama Pads (Panty Liners) Tutorial
- 2 pieces of heavy cardstock
- Panty liner
- Cotton fabric (I used scraps that were at least 9×8 when folded. This will be the “wings”)
- Flannel or other absorbent fabric (I used cotton fleece. This will be the “liner”)
- Sewing machine
- Fabric scissors
1. Fold one piece of heavy card stock in half. Fold your panty liner in half lengthwise and align the fold with the fold in the card stock. Trace the pantyliner on the card stock. Freehand the “wings” on the outside of the panty liner—it should, at most, be as wide as the center part of the panty liner. Keeping the card stock folded, cut the card stock at the lines.
2. Do the same with the second piece of card stock and your panty liner, except you will not be drawing and cutting out the “wings.”
3. Take your “wings” fabric and put the right sides together. You will want to align your pattern with the grain of the fabric (Quick Reference to Fabric Grains) to prevent it from twisting. Trace the wing pattern onto the fabric, pin it together and cut it. You should now have two pieces for your wings.
4. Do the same with your “liner” fabric and your liner pattern. If using cotton fleece, you will not need to double up – just cut out the pattern (you will trim it later to fit).
5. Keeping the right sides together on your wings fabric, sew 1/4 seam all the way around. (Yes, all the way around. Trust me, it will work.) Notch the curves close to the seams by cutting “Vs” on curves going “in” to the center and cutting a line on curves coming out from the center.
6. Carefully pull apart the top and bottom layer and cut a 2″ slit in the center of ONE PIECE of fabric. Turn it inside out, press it and stitch about 1/8″ inch from the edge. Do the same with the liner fabric (if you’re using cotton fleece, you don’t have to do anything yet).
For non-fleece liners: Put the slotted sides together, pin and sew the liner on top of the wing fabric using a 1/4″ seam.
For fleece liners: Pin the fleece to the slotted side of the wings and trim any over hang (it will be about 1/4″). Sew the liner to the wing using a 1/4″ seam.
7. Sew one piece of velcro on the edge of the lining side of the pad. Sew the other piece on the opposite end, on the non-lined side of the fabric. I usually sew a box and an “X” across the velcro to make sure it’s secure.
And there you have it. Mama pads made for less than $1 each in under 30 minutes (if you’ve have a little sewing experience). Reusable. Good for the earth. Better for your body.
I know the next question is, “How do you clean it?” I usually give mine a good rinse/scrub with hot water and regular soap right after I change it then put it in the wash. If looks to be beyond rinsing, I’ll pour a little peroxide on it. An oxygen cleaner like Oxiclean also does wonders in the wash.
If you have scraps of fabric laying around, this project is well worth trying out. I like that I don’t ever feel like “I’m out of supplies.” Plus, I’m sure my husband appreciates that I won’t have to send him to get some of my complicated feminine items (“ultra thin super overnight with wings”). I’m sure some of you can relate.
Do you use mama pads? Share your thoughts below.
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