We Lived Happily Ever After: DIY Cloth Diaper Inserts (Fortune Cookie Fold)

Monday, June 4, 2012

DIY Cloth Diaper Inserts (Fortune Cookie Fold)

Some people feel very strongly about using only disposables or only cloth diapers.
I'm somewhere in the middle (see bottom of post for pros and cons!)
I was very pregnant and decided to buy my fabric at Jo-Anns early Black Friday morning. Well, turns out they didn't have the material I was looking for (bamboo fleece) but this awesome Military Mom heard me and told me she used microfiber for her cloth diapers for her two boys (THANKS YOU Military Mom !!!)

Tip: even if you don't have a Sam's club you can still get a one day pass from their website! ;) 

I used a $8 sheet from Walmart for the fabric covering the microfiber from being against baby's skin.

Fold Microfiber into 3 sections (5" wide and 11" long)

You are only going to sew one side of the edges together (the side that you cut to 11")  so it will fan out while washing & dry well.

I ended up making a "one size fits all"... it has a tighter fit in the smalls (but she was only in Smalls for about a month b/c I used disposables until her cord fell off) but the medium and large inserts are supposed to be the same size anyways.

Here are the pros and cons I came up with:


"Hard to travel with & Disposables are more covenant." 
***Once you get the system down, I found them to be just as quick and convenient- I use disposables when out.

You do have to change diapers a little more often
*** But that means less rashes anyways!
I also wondered about the cost & health concerns with washing them in the washer machine. 
***But rinsing (or putting a liner on top of insert) for dirty poopy diapers before washing them settled that.


Very absorbent

Good for Environment 

Can use for future kids!



AND More Economical: I spent $294 Total. 

The inserts I made are 67¢ per vs. $4 for the gDiaper Insert brand ones.
It is $24 for 48 Microfiber Towels
$8 for the sheet from Walmart

1 year of disposables, averaging $35 a month will total out $420 for the first year. If you have 3 kids and use cloth for all of your kids (assuming they are still in good condition - which mine are so far!) you can save $2226 dollars on diapers!!! (which you'd just be throwing out anyways...) Who want's to spend that much on diapers??? I'd rather use that $ for a trip to Hawaii! :)

Plus, look at that cute little pink diaper!!!!

Whew! Hope that wasn't a mouth full! 

 Feel free to ask any questions.

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  1. Hannah ~ You are truly amazing...

  2. You're inspiring, Hannah!! :-)

    Alright. Question for you- have you figured out the cost of washing the diapers on a weekly basis? Or are they so small they just get lost with all the other laundry?

  3. I wash them separate and let them add up until there are enough to wash. I do 1-2 loads a week. I don't know the exact cost of a load of laundry (you can hang them to dry too) but would think that it couldn't be more than 90¢. With that said, it probably cost around $40 a year.

  4. Yeah, that's pretty good! (and no land-filling, either. ;-))

  5. Love this idea!

  6. Great green-friendly alternative to disposables.

  7. Note for people who always say about the cost of washing them:
    Remember you can make your own detergent AND with disposable diapers you have the cost of your trash so I am sure by the end of the year it equals out pretty well

  8. Did you make a doubler or anything with your left over 5x16 scrap of microfiber cloth? Do these end up twisted after several washes or do they lay/fold flat automatically out of the dryer?

    1. I didn't make the extras into doublers, but it wouldn't hurt to have more absorbency (which ='s less changes :)

      What I do sometimes do is add a could of extra insets (either the microfiber ones or terry cloth ones my mother in law made me) on top if it's going to be a long gap between changes.

      They don't get twisted at all. Sometimes the flap gets flipped over, but you really just shake it out once out of the drier- very easy to "fold"

      Hope that helps!

      <3 Hannah

  9. Did you make a doubler or infant insert with the left over 16x5 waste material from cutting it into 16x11?
    Do these lay flat and not twist up and stay mostly folded out of the dryer after several uses or do you have to refold them?

    1. I didn't, but you totally could- I mean, why waste extra absorbency? They for the most part stay in place during a washing, and just need a flick of the wrist to get them folded again. <3

  10. You could also sub the sheets with those WAY too tiny baby blankets! Microfleece is super absorbant! Also, these same materials can make reusable wipes. :-)

  11. Thank you for your tutorial! I also use the gDiapers, and have been wanting to make some more inserts, to extend my time between washes! I might have to try this! I have some old sheets from college I'm wanting to re-purpose, I plan on using the flannel ones to "repair"/"re-surface" my store-bought prefolds that are wearing out.. Do you think flannel would work okay, or do you think it would work better to use a plain cotton sheet?!

    1. Hi Amy!

      If the flannel is absorbent then go for it! The most important thing is making sure that whatever fabric you use isn't waterproof.

      Hope that helps!

    2. Amy did you end up doing the above??? I think I want to do the same how is the absorbency??? Thanks-

  12. That helps a bunch! I think I'm going to use the flannel since it is thicker, and thus more absorbent! Thank you for responding!!

  13. LOVED this post! I've been researching cloth diapers and I love the idea of DIY inserts; what a money saver! How many pants due you recommend to have on hand for someone who is starting from scratch with a newborn? Thanks a million!

    1. I have found that the amount of diapers you need fluctuates according to how often you want to wash them. I recommend 48, like the post title says, that way you won't have to be doing laundry every day (I did it every 2-3 days, depending on how many diapers she went through each day)

      I originally bought more like 80 towels because I thought I'd make more so I wouldn't have to wash them as often, but I found that 40-50 were plenty to have on hand. Plus, you really don't want to have dirty diapers sitting for too long.

      Hope that helps & congrats in the newborn!

      <3 Hannah