How to Make an Adult Diaper Out of Old Clothing

By Kristine Lofgren
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Adult diapers can be costly and are damaging to the environment. Alleviate these concerns by making your own cloth diapers at home. Cloth diapers can be re-used indefinitely, and you can make them using old clothes that you no longer plan to wear.

Step 1

Gather your worn clothing to use as fabric. Look for clothes made out of fabric that is at least 80 percent cotton or higher and has a tight weave. Jersey, twill, terrycloth, flannel and Birdseye all work well.

Step 2

Prepare the cloth by cutting along the arm or leg seams to open up the garment. Cut off any areas that won’t be used, like short sleeves, straps and collars. Don’t worry about large pieces that have a seam running down them, because you can still use these pieces.

Step 3

Create a template for your diaper by opening and laying out a disposable adult diaper in the size needed. Cut the elastic in the sides of the diaper in a few places so that the diaper will lay flat. Lay this over the fabric that you are using and trace the shape onto the fabric using chalk. Note where the fastenings are located on the front and wings of the diaper, so you can match their location when attaching new fasteners.

Step 4

Cut three strips of cloth to line the center of the diaper. The strips should run the length of the diaper and about 1 inch in from the sides of the diaper. Lay these strips on top of each other on the center of the diaper. Sew all four of the sides onto the diaper using a zigzag stitch.

Step 5

Cut a length of 1/4-inch wide elastic. The length of elastic depends on how much gathering you want in your diaper legs, but typically the elastic runs a third of the diaper length at the center edges.

Step 6

Lay the elastic along the center edges of the diaper and sew the elastic to the cloth, gathering the cloth slightly as you go. This creates the elastic leg holes that hold the diaper snug to the inside of the legs.

Step 7

Attach hook-and-loop to the diaper. Sew a strip of the loop side of the hook-and-loop across the exterior top of the diaper. Sew around all four sides of the strip using a zigzag stitch to hold it tight.

Step 8

Attach the hook strip of the hook-and-loop to the wings of the diaper. Sew a 2-inch square of hook onto the interior side of each diaper wing.

About the Author

Kristine Lofgren specializes in interior design, Web design, photography and gardening. She owns an interior design business in Salt Lake City. A graduate of Salt Lake Community College's interior design program, Lofgren is pursuing a Master of Arts in journalism from the University of Utah.