I realized somewhat recently that I am using (and subsequently tossing) a lot of cotton pads. That’s a lot of very frivolous waste. So, I got to thinking—if you can make re-useable diapers, cotton pads can’t be too far away.

I took a trip to my basement to find some fabric that would make good reusable pads. It had to be both soft and durable enough to withstand multiple washings. I found some stretchy, fuzzy flannel in a conveniently white colour.

I elected to make the pads about 2.5×2.5″, and four layers of flannel thick. Three would have worked as well. I used a piece of flannel folded to 30×15″, so it was 60×30″, folded in half and then folded in half again.

Using a ruler and some pencil crayons I marked out a 2.5″ grid, 12 high and 6 across. Then I started sewing. Start by sewing around the edges, and then work your way along the grid. You’ll need to double stitch every line, about 5mm apart, so you can cut out the individual pads between the two rows of stitches. For the top layer of stitching, you’ll also need to back stitch over the perpendicular stitching so it doesn’t undo when the individual pads are cut out.

It’ll take some stitching (I emptied an entire bobbin) and some cutting, but then you’ll have 72 re-useable not-cotton pads for the indefinite future. Wash them as needed, and off you go!