Published on March 6th, 2012 | by Julie Finn6
From Cloth Pads to Crocheted Tampons: DIY Menstrual Supplies
You probably already know that with so many sustainable, reusable menstrual supplies out there, there’s no reason to use disposable ANYTHING during your period.
But even though there are a lot of great manufacturers of reusable menstrual supplies out there, if you’re feeling crafty, there’s no reason why you couldn’t make nearly everything that you need all by yourself. When you DIY, you can make your stuff extra comfy, extra cute, of just the right absorbency, and even completely from stash, if you’re super-resourceful.
Check out the following tutorials for comfy, cute, customizable, and stash-busting DIY menstrual supplies:
*menstrual pad patterns: The She Who Runs in the Forest site, in the wide world of the internet, is a classic for those who sew their own menstrual pads. My favorite pattern, and the pattern that I used for the pad above, is the panty liner, but other pads include a DIY version of a Luna pad, and a very customizable circle pad.
*make your own menstrual pad pattern: If you’d prefer to draft your own pattern for your menstural pads, check out the complete menstrual pad pattern-drafting tutorial, with a second post just for sewing instructions, from Moo Said the Mama. Is your vagina a special snowflake, such that no commercial pad or standard pattern is just exactly right for it? Drafting your own pattern is the means to constructing the exact pad for you, and if it happens to be topped with faux fur or a freezer paper stenciled tiara, well, then that’s nobody’s business but yours.
* reusable tampons: With a Tangled Skein has directions for both sewn and knitted reusable tampons. These tampons also unroll flat for washing, allowing them to get really clean with a lot less effort. For tampons, consider choosing natural, 100% organic materials, even if you have to purchase them new. Hemp and bamboo fabrics are both far more absorbent than cotton, and thus a good choice for adding absorbency to tampons without adding bulk, while for knitted tampons, an organic cotton or organic cotton/bamboo blend yarn can work well, and use up just the last bits and bobs of your yarn stash.
*postpartum pad: After the births of my two babies, I was frightened anew each time I was handed my first postpartum pad–those things were as big as my newborns! Well, yeah… and necessarily so. If you’re sewing postpartum pads for your first birth, or as a baby shower present that you plan to hand off while snickering behind your hand at your own happy fortune in not requiring gigantic lady pads in the near future yourself, it’s really easy to underestimate exactly how big you’ll want to make them, which is why the DIY postpartum pad tutorial from County Cloth Creations is so helpful. As you sew, you may find yourself thinking that surely your measurements are off, because these pads are big! Nope, your measurements aren’t off. They’re just big.
*wet bags: Since you won’t be tossing your comfy cloth menstrual supplies, you’ll need a way to tote them. For my Diva cup, I use a simple drawstring bag to store it between uses, but for cloth pads and panty liners, I recommend using a waterproof fabric such as PUL or wool to make a zippered bag, such as this zippered wet bag tutorial from A Lemon Squeezy Home.