Part of why I cloth diaper my baby is because I’m …cheap? You could say frugal, which maybe sounds nicer… but frugal gives me mental images of reusing coffee filters until they fall apart. The again, cheap doesn’t sound great either… so… we’ll say I’m heavily budgeted. And I’d rather buy delicious food than disposable things that don’t have to be disposable. Or I’d rather save for a someday house down payment. Okay, let’s say one reason for cloth diapering is financial prioritization. I like that better.

So when I used two containers of wipes in 2 weeks, I decided it was time to switch to cloth wipes too. Wipes aren’t really something I want to add to my weekly shopping list. Plus, I only had about 20 flannel receiving blankets… so it’s not like I’d even have to buy fabric.

I cut up 2 of the receiving blankets into 16 squares each. They ended up around 7”x7” each.

All you have to do is cut the squares, and then zig-zag stitch around the edges to prevent fraying. If you have a serger you could use overlock, but zig-zag on a regular machine works fine too.

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See how that turns out?

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It only takes a little while if you just sit down and do them all at once…

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And then you’ll have a big stack of wipes, ready to go! If you already cloth diaper, it’s not a big deal to add wipes to your laundry too.

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I keep a spray bottle in my diaper changing area, and fill it with a mixture of water, witch hazel, and a few drops of tea tree oil and lavender oil. I make enough to fill 3 spray bottles at once, and those 3 bottles last about 2 weeks before I have to mix up some more.

So far so good!

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50 Comments

  1. I see that you only used one layer of fabric for the wipes. Other people I’ve seen use two layers. Have yours help up well? Thanks!

    • Mine held up well for as long as I wanted to use them! I felt like 2 layers would’ve been too thick and bulky.

  2. […] friend of my mom’s made us a ton (like 100) of cloth wipes (similar to these from Joyful Abode) made out of super soft flannel material.  They are so amazing!  We make a homemade wipes […]

  3. I make fitted flannel crib sheets as gifts for moms to be and to do so, I have to cut 8 inch squares out of the corners of the fabric. I turn these into wipes–so for each crib sheet, I make 1 double layer wipe and 2 single layer wipes. Now our daughter and son in law are expecting their 1st baby and this is just 1 more economical item I can make for them to go along with their cloth diapers. To make a fitted crib sheet for a standard USA crib mattress, simply buy 2 yards of 42-44 inch wide flannel, cut an 8 inch square out of each corner (you don’t even have to trim the selvages of the fabric, then either serge or zigzag stitch each of the 4 sides. Serge or zigzag stitch 1/2 inch seam allowances for each corner, then cut 4 12 inch pieces of 1/2 inch wide elastic and stitch it stretching it a total of 24 inches–12 inches on each side of the corner seams.

  4. The concept of baby wipes is a bit off to me… actually I just use a sponge, water and soap. I use the same mild soap I’d use to give my baby a bath and I have a sponge and a container that I always keep on the changing area (not the same sponge I use to give him a bath!). I also have 4 little towels to dry his bum before putting on the next (cloth) diaper.
    I’ve seen the whole “cloth wipes” concept around quite a lot and really I don’t get it haha
    Yours look nice anyhow haha 😉

  5. […] voila!  Cute, soft on your bum, cloth wipes!  Here is a link to a tutorial.  And whats even better, is my homemade bum spray!  My solution is made up of Dr. Bronners […]

  6. […] Baby wipes.  Super easy to make, plus you can make use of all the extra flannel receiving blankets!  Again, if  you don’t want […]

  7. We’re expecting our first in Oct 2013 and plan on CDing. I plan to make these cloth wipes and visited Jo- Ann’s last night to check out the flannel fabrics. Almost all cute fabrics for kids said ‘Not intended for baby wear’ Should I be using those fabrics for making baby cloth wipes ( for face and bum )? Here are a few examples: http://www.joann.com/snuggle-flannel-fabric-pastel-hands-feet/prd29108/
    http://www.joann.com/snuggle-flannel-fabric-i-love-mommy-blue/zprd_10171940a/

    Thanks!

    • I think the reason those fabrics are listed that way is they aren’t flame retardant and baby sleepwear typically is. 🙂 But, I could be wrong! 😉

  8. […] start of our project, click here for how to make them (it’s so […]

  9. […] a simple tutorial for making flannel one-layer or two-layer cloth wipes that require a little sewing. Save money on fabric by using a pair of old […]

  10. I do something similar but leave mine damp in a wipes container ready for use. My recipe is 2 Tbs. olive oil, 2 Tbs. Burt’s Bee’s Baby Wash and 2 cups of water. I soak the wipes and wring them out.

  11. How do you work the spray bottles in with the cloth wipes? Do you spray the wipe before each time? Spray the kids bottom? lol. Are there any tips to keep these pre-moistened to skip the spray bottle part?

    • many people put the cloth wipes in a container and put enough water in to keep them moist but not setting in water.

    • I use a perineal bottle (that i brought home from the hospital) and put my solution in there. 2 c Warm Water, 2 T coconut oil, 1-2 T dr bronners liquid soap, a few drops of essential oil. Fills two bottles and last a long time. We just squirt some on a dry cloth wipe and then throw the wipe in the diaper pail with dirty diapers. (Not sure how people use a sponge and water because you would have to empty the water and clean the sponge every time.)

    • I use a wipes container. you can get it in the baby aisle. I put burts bees baby wash and a few drops of burts bees baby oil into the container and fill it with warm water. I put all the wipes in and let them absorb the water, ring out the excess from the wipes and dump the excess water from the container. Done! Literally takes all of two minutes.

  12. […] Check out this tutorial on how you can make your own cloth baby wipes at Joyful Abode. […]

  13. i’m curious about the cloth diapers and baby wipes…i don’t have any children yet, but i’m always researching for when that day comes. i want to be thrifty when my cute little extra cost comes around. i do have a question though…how do you handle outings/vacations? where do you put your dirty diapers and wipes while you’re out and about? just curious how you handle that

    • When we’re out and about for a day trip or even a couple days, we use cloth – just get a large wet bag with a zipper top to store the dirties till you come home.

      For longer trips and airline travel, we use the gRefills in our gDiapers – still the cloth outer part, but the inside is flushable/biodegradable. None of the chemicals in “regular” disposable diapers so much friendlier on my little one’s bottom, and also far better for the planet than disposables, but without the laundry issue that cloth inserts pose.

      I hope that helps!

  14. What is the wipe solution content? Is it 8oz. water with one drop lavender and one drop witch hazel? A tsp? A Tbs? Please share, it sounds lovely!

    • it was about 2 cups water, a splash of witch hazel – maybe 1-2 Tbsp. Too much witch hazel and it irritated her… then 1-2 drops lavender and 1-2 drops tea tree oil.

      since then i’ve gotten lazy and mostly just fill up the spray bottle with water, then add 2 drops of lavender oil and shake it up before each use.

      • just a word of caution tea tree oil and lavender oil are poisonous and can cause allergic reactions in some. i wouldnt apply it on irritated or broken skin ie diaper rash. just water should be fine 🙂

        • Lavender is actually good for some cuts, scrapes. And these oils are not poisonous. Where did you get this info??

  15. Would you mind sharing your recipe for the solution you use in your spray bottles?

  16. A friend shared your site with me and I do enjoy reading your posts and the information/advice has helped. Thank you for the ‘how to do the cloth wipes’ and many other posts. Much more affordable and recycling of flannel blankets.

    • Although, I need to find someone with sewing skills.

      • You can buy them cheap on etsy.com. Just search for cloth wipes or unpaper napkins. I got about 60 for $30! That’s not really bad considering that I don’t know how to sew, I don’t have the machine to do it, and I don’t have to buy fabric. My thoughts 🙂

  17. I was wondering if you had to have a serger to make these! Thanks for answering that question. I have some Kissas wipes but not nearly enough. I make a solution and keep mine all soaked – My guy wasn’t too fond of having his bum sprayed and spraying each wipe was inefficient. Your spray solution sounds heavenly though. I love lavender and tea tree oil.

  18. What is the exact recipe for your wipe solution? And is the lavender oil just for nice fragrance or does it have a purpose?

  19. […] I read a blog on making Homemade Cloth Baby Wipes. I made about 38 of them. I’m so excited to use them! I made a simple wipe solution to use […]

  20. Good for you ! I am so impressed with your creativity. My kids are grown but I still wait to see what you are going to come up with next. You are a great Mom.

  21. […] I got almost 50 out a meter of flannel and terry cloth. There are lots of tutorials out there, but Joyful Abode’s tutorial is similar to what I did. I made mine 8×8 inches and used a zigzag stitch to sew them […]

  22. […] and Green? Maybe if I were a better person. But if I’m honest, my main motivation is that whole financial prioritization thing. There’s other stuff I’d rather spend that money on. Not to mention, going to the store […]

  23. cloth os so much gentler on their delicate skin, I use bought wipe for tricky cleaning only!

    Love all your photo’s and post’s, your baby is gorgeous!

  24. I have an apartment abode and have done cloth for both my kiddos. I actually find it easier, because we never run out of diapers!
    A helpful hint i had passed onto me was to make my wipe solution and put it into an old foam hand soap pump, it comes out foamy right onto the wipe! Works like a charm. There is also a great tutorial on the internet for folding all those handmade wipes ( i did the same thing with the recieving blankets) and putting them in an empty disposable wipes container and this way they come up through the hole just like disposables! Makes my diaper changes swift and sweet! Love your blog!

  25. Those are cute! Too bad I tossed some of the really worn out flannel receiving blankets in the donation bag recently, but I’m sure I could give up a couple that we still have to make some wipes. I’m on the verge of switching my 7 1/2 month old little girl to cloth diapers. I’ve got a mix of pockets and prefolds + covers, enough to cloth diaper part time for now. And a small handful of cloth wipes, but I’ll definitely need more. When you have a chance, I hope you’ll post on your experiences with cloth diapers so far! I’m both excited and a bit intimidated by making the change, after only using disposables on my 2 year old son and my daughter so far. My diaper detergent just came in yesterday, so now all that’s left before I start is prepping the diapers!

  26. I used a big pack of washcloths from target for my first. For my second, I did turned and topstitched wipes that I made in a massive 3rd trimester nesting phase, using an otherwise worn out sheet set. I kept mine damp, with a drop of lavender oil, in a wipes warmer. Shhhh, don’t tell! I’m pretty sure that’s against the rules! But we did it anyway 🙂

    • Cara, did you find the sheets to be too thin? or did they clean up the messes just as well. I just got a bunch of hand me down sheets and am ready to take this on if they will do the job. Thanks!

  27. Do you have a washing machine? I wish I did. I’d do cloth diapers and possibly wipes. But as it is I live in a third floor walkup and have to walk blocks and blocks to get to the nearest laundromat. I know it sounds like an excuse, but I really am opting for convenience, sadly.

    • yes, I definitely do! But I’ve heard of people without W/Ds using cloth diapers just fine…making sure to have a week’s worth of diapers and then hauling them to the laundromat once a week.

      It sure would be more work though… I had enough trouble with regular clothes laundry when I was living in an apartment. I don’t think I’d do cloth diapers too…

    • Way to go! They look so soft. I made cloth napkins for everyday that are finished in the same way, out of checked “homespun” type fabric cut in 10 x 10 inch squares. Much nicer than paper.

    • I have yet to experience cloth diapering, but I know my mom used cloth diapers with both my brother and I. She had to drive 15 miles into town to go to the laundromat every week to week and a half. To hear her tell it… it wasn’t so bad!


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