cloth diapers

Preparing for Baby: Portable Diaper Changing Mat Tutorial

We’re preparing for baby number five over here, and while we have most of the big things, there are a few things I’ve had on my to-make list. Somewhere along the line, I lost our portable diaper changing mat, and I really missed it with my fourth baby! And since you spend about thirty trillion hours changing a baby’s diapers, I had to make a new one.
Portable Changing Mat Tutorial


I just hit my third trimester, and I’m in full baby prep. I still have a ways to go before baby arrives, but you just never know when he will arrive! So I’m stocking up on everything we might need: clean onesies, pacifiers, nursing pads, and of course, DIAPERS! Walmart Neighborhood Market has everything we need for baby and more.

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When it comes to a portable changing pad, I wanted to have something that I could grab from my diaper bag and have everything I need. I don’t always like to take the diaper bag everywhere, so having a pocket for diapers and wipes was very important to me.

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One side of the changing mat is waterproof PUL (I also used that when making this wet bag), the other is cotton, with a layer of fleece in between.


  • 1 piece of cotton, fleece, and PUL fabric, each cut about 29x12in. (You can change this to suit your needs, of course)
  • 1/2in wide double fold bias tape, approx. 66in.
  • 1 small lingerie bag
  • KAM snaps
  • 1 button
  • 1 small piece of 1/8in. elastic
  • pins or Wonder Clips

1. Cut your three pieces of fabric to about 29x12in. My PUL was not long enough, so I pieced it together to get my desired length.

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2. Stack all three layers together. The fleece should be sandwiched between the cotton and PUL. The wrong sides of the PUL and cotton should be facing the fleece. Fold the fabrics in thirds as shown:

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3. Decide where you want your snaps to go – these will hold your mat closed. Unfold one third and mark where you’ll place your snaps.

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4. Apply your snaps. The snap in the PUL layer should ONLY go through the PUL. The snap on the cotton should ONLY go through cotton and fleece.

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5. Round out the four corners of ALL layers.

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6. Clip or pin the layers together.

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7. Take your lingerie bag and cut a few inches off the bottom (this will depend on how long your bag is and how large you’d like your pocket – you want it to be no bigger than 1/3 of your changing mat)

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8. Lay the lingerie bag down on top of the cotton side of your mat – the end WITHOUT the snap. Cut around the edges to round it to the same shape. You will cut off a small bit of the zipper on each side, so make sure your zipper is open slightly.

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9. Sew a small loop of elastic to the center of your lingerie bag (don’t sew onto your changing mat fabric, though!!)

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10. Hand sew one button onto the cotton/fleece fabrics. Do NOT sew through to the PUL.

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11. Now begin sewing on the bias tape around the edges. The bias tape and the mat should be right sides together. Fold 1/4in of your bias tape back as shown, and begin stitching it down along the first fold.

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12. Sew all the way around, taking care to sew the edges of the lingerie bag too, until the ends of the bias tape overlap 1/4-1/2in.

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13. Now fold the bias tape over the raw edge of the mat, clipping or pinning it together. Stitch it down carefully.

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Now you have a changing mat with two pockets, ready to be stuffed!

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Here it is, folded up and stuffed to the max with Huggies diapers, Huggies wipes, and anything else we might need.

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Over the years, we’ve used just about every type of Huggies diaper there is – we currently have kids wearing Good Nites to bed and one nearly-completely-but-not-entirely potty trained kiddo using the occasional Pull-Ups. And in a few months, we’ll be adding a newborn to the mix. Goodness…. so. many. diapers. I’m so thankful for diaper coupons!!

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Your Walmart Neighborhood Market has coupons for Huggies Diapers and Wipes, because with as many diapers as these babies use, we could all use a few coupons! But Walmart Neighborhood Markets have great prices to begin with, so the coupons are a bonus.

Huggies diapers and wipes

I forgot how teeny baby diapers are! Eek!!

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Is it weird to be excited about changing diapers again?? Probably. ;)

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I’m so glad I have a portable changing mat again! It will be perfect for throwing in the diaper bag or stroller and giving me a nice clean, soft surface to change baby wherever we are.

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I love that I can stock up on all our baby diapering needs at Walmart Neighborhood Market, grab GoodNites for our bigger boys, and find whatever else we might need for all the kiddos – all at the same spot. One stop shopping is a busy mama’s dream!

Portable Diaper Changing Mat Tutorial

Before I know it, there will be a real baby lying on that mat!


Bottoms Up Pants pattern is now for sale!

The day has finally arrived! The Bottoms Up Pants pattern is now for sale in the If Only Designs shop!

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Bottoms Up Pants Title Page This pattern has been a long time coming. I’ve had several sizes of this pattern drafted for years, but now it’s finally digitized and ready for YOU to sew!

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DSC_0265 2 This pattern ranges from newborn to six years and is designed to fit over the big cloth diaper booty, without a back panel. As a cloth diaper mama, I find it so challenging to find pants that will fit over those fluffy bums! Now you don’t have to suffer like I did, you can sew all.the.pants! DSC_0345 2 This pattern can be super basic or jazzed up with some optional features. There are four pocket options – faux welt pockets for the back and three different front patch pockets that you can use to personalize your pants to your style. DSC_0304 Along with the different pockets, there are optional cuffs for more accent fabric choices. Who doesn’t love choices? :) DSC_0470 The Bottoms Up Pants can be made as flat-front pants with woven fabrics OR as full elastic waist pants out of knits or fleece. They can be play pants, pajama pants, fancy pants, or make them out of felted wool or fleece and they make a great pair of longies! DSC_0288 The basic pants are a super quick sew and very beginner friendly. Some of the options require a few more skills, but there’s no reason even the most novice of seamstresses can’t tackle them. The pattern includes a step-by-step picture tutorial with everything you need to rise to the challenge and learn something new! DSC_0382 The Bottoms Up Pants are easily customizable, so you’ll be able to make them just the way you want. Whether you’ve been sewing your entire life or you just learned last week, this pattern is perfect for you! DSC_0452 ALL sizes of this pattern accommodate cloth diapers. It’s not that easy to find patterns for kids who are in larger sizes and still need room for a cloth diaper. So it’s perfect for big kids who aren’t night time potty trained or little kids who have grown out of the sizes that typically allow for diapers, and every little one in between! Bottoms Up Size Chart and Fabric Suggestions Because of all the fabric options, you really can make pants for any occasion with this pattern. Your kiddo isn’t in cloth? They’re also great for kids who just need a little extra room in the rear. DSC_0323 The PDF pattern will come via email with a link to download (check the email associated with your Paypal account), and you can print it out right at home. Then you can sew your cloth diaper babe a full wardrobe of pants that fit all the way over that fluff! Add to Cart DSC_0378 You can join the If Only Designs Facebook group to ask any questions you might have. DSC_0496 I love patterns that are versatile, and this one fits the bill. From jammies to weddings, woven to knit fabrics, you can do it all with this one pattern. These would make the perfect baby shower gift for the mama who plans to cloth diaper! DSC_0257 So grab your copy!


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Convert your cloth diapers from velcro to snaps [a tutorial]

If you are a cloth diapering family like we are, you may be familiar with the problem with velcro [aplix] diapers. After awhile, the velcro breaks down and just stops working. Especially if your diapers are on their third or fourth kid! But instead of getting all new diapers, how about just converting your velcro to snaps?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I get a slight commission from any purchase.
convert your cloth diapers from velcro to snaps
It is seriously easy. Here’s what you need:

  • KAM Snaps
  • snap press or pliers [I use the pliers, just because that’s what I bought… no other reason]
  • seam ripper
  • awl [pokey tool for piercing fabric that should come with your snap press/pliers]

I bought a set of KAM Snap Pliers Hand Press Setter Tool and KAM Snaps to get started. It had everything I needed, plus I have enough snaps to last awhile – or to snap all.the.things.DSC_0299

DSC_02951. Using your seam ripper, carefully remove the front velcro and the velcro tabs.DSC_03042. Use the awl to poke a hole of the tab, where you want your snaps to be.DSC_03063. Put the prong of the cap through the hole, then place either the stud on the other side. There will be one piece on either side of the fabric.DSC_03074. Firmly press the pieces of the snap together.DSC_03085. It will look like this! Then repeat so you have two snaps on each tab.DSC_03126. Repeat the process with the socket of the snap on the front of the diaper. You’ll have to put the awl inside the diaper to poke through the fabric. The cap of the snap will be on the inside too. But when you press it closed, your plies/snap press can be outside.DSC_03137. Repeat the process with as many snap settings as you need – you can put sets of two all the way across your diapers if you want!Convert Velcro Diapers to Snaps TutorialSo nice, right? And now maybe your two-year-old won’t take his diaper off at naptime and pee all over everything. That doesn’t happen at your house? Yeah, mine either…

If you cloth diaper, you may also like my tutorial on how to make your own prefolds.How to make your own Prefold Diapers

Whale pants!

DSC_0204 I’ve been sewing up a lot of pants lately, especially for this little man.DSC_0206 I may or may not have something in the works with these…DSC_0217 Cloth diaper booty!DSC_0221I whaley love them. [heh]

whale fabric from Drawstring Studio

Wool Cover Tutorial: Guest Post on Under the Apple Tree!

Happy Leap Day, friends!

I’m guest posting over at Under the Apple Tree today. I’m sharing a tutorial on how to make your own wool covers for using over cloth diapers.

If you’re a cloth diapering family, you’ll want to check this out. It’s one of my favorite ways to upcycle wool sweaters. So come and hang with me Under the Apple Tree! :) [And then stick around and check out all of the loveliness you’ll find there!]

Prefold Cloth Diapers – a Tutorial!

We are a cloth diapering family.  There are lots of reasons for this [any of which I could happily discuss with you if you are curious!] … I love not filling landfills with poopy diapers, I love putting cloth on my baby’s bum versus a disposable, and I absolutely L.O.V.E. not having to shell out all that money each month for diapers.

And seriously, how cute is that?

But I’ll be honest, my budget doesn’t allow for me to buy lots of “fancy” cloth diapers – the kind that go on just like a disposable.  And if you haven’t guessed by now reading my blog, I am uber-cheap.  So when my second son was born (and I had two in dipes!), I made a set of prefold diapers.  If you’re not familiar with the term, these would be like the “old school” diapers that our parents or grandparents would have used.

How to make your own Prefold DiapersPrefold diapers are perfect for anyone who wants to try cloth diapering, especially if you are on a budget, because they are SO inexpensive to make yourself.

Here’s what you’ll need:

flannel (the amount you need will depend on how many diapers you want to make)
microfiber towels for absorbent insert (you could also use terry cloth)*
sewing supplies

*I use microfiber towels that I buy at Sam’s Club.  They come in a 24 pack for less than $10, I think.  You can also find these in the automotive section of many stores.

1. Prewash your fabric – this is especially important for the microfiber towels.  I’ve found that some of these towels will bleed color, so I always wash them several times on hot.

2. Cut your flannel.  These are the sizes that I found to work for me, but you can easily adjust the sizes to meet your needs.

  • Small (Infant-sized) Prefold: 12.5in. x 21in. — when folded, it should be about 12.5 x 10.5in.
  • Medium Prefold: 14.5in. x 27in. — when folded, it should be about 14.5 x 13.5in.
  • Large Prefold: 16in. x 29in. — when folded, it should be about 16 x 14.5in. [This is the perfect size for my 19 mo. old, until he grows even a little bit]

*There really isn’t a huge difference between the medium and large sizes, so it may not be that important to you to make both sizes.  If you make only the larger size, you can always fold down the front a little.  I like having them be a little more trim and not have too much bulk – especially for the newborn size.  Plus, my microfiber towels are only 16in. long, so my prefolds can’t be longer than that.

You want to make sure that when you fold your fabric, the folded edge is the longer side.

3. Cut the microfiber towels for the absorbent panel.

These inserts should be the length of the folded edge, for example:

  • Large size prefold: 16 x 4.5in. — I use three of these in the large size
  • Medium size prefold: 14 x 4.5 in. — I use three of these in the medium size
  • Small size prefold: 12 x 4in. — I use two of these in the small size

4. Fold the flannel (as shown above), with right sides together.  Sew the longer side together. (I used a serger, but you could also zig-zag with a regular machine)

 5. You will have created a tube – turn that right side out, with the seam in the center.

5. Stack the microfiber pieces together and place them inside the flannel – centered in the middle 

6. Zig-zag stitch along either side of the microfiber.

It will look like this:

7. Serge or zig-zag the short edges, trimming the microfiber insert if necessary.

8. Now go put your baby in your new prefold!

(This is the newborn size… obviously I don’t have a newborn yet, so this baby doll was the next best thing! :)

Note: prefold diapers need a cover. The covers that I used when E was a baby were so good that I didn’t need to use pins or anything. If your cover doesn’t seem to get your prefold tight enough, try a Snappi fastener (affiliate link)

Here’s the newborn sized prefold compared to a newborn disposable diaper, just to give you an idea of the size. [When you put it on your baby, it can be tighter and more fitted than this picture looks]

Happy cloth diapering!

If you liked this post, you might also like my tutorial on how to convert velcro diapers to snaps.

Convert Velcro Diapers to Snaps Tutorial

To cover your baby’s fluffy bum, sew up a pair of Bottoms Up Pants – an instant download PDF pattern!

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*If you are looking for the different ways to fold a prefold diaper, visit this site for a good resource.*

Linking up to these parties!

Cloth Diaper Accessories

I am a cloth diapering addict.  I admit it.  I love pretty much everything about it, including the sewing I can do to go along with it.

A few of the cloth wipes I made.  Two squares of flannel sewn together with a zig-zag stitch.  I could have finished them off nicely, by folding the edges under, but when I made them, I was more interested in doing it quickly.

I love Katrina’s pattern for making diaper covers.  These are a couple I made from 100% wool sweaters I scored at a thrift store.