wool diapers

I think I’ve taken this whole hippie thing to a new level with this. I mean, I did it out of necessity (see here for more info on that), but man, I never thought I would see the day where I was sewing my own diaper covers.

These are definitely not my finest sewing moments, but right now I’m just looking for functional, not cute. Once we get functional down, I’ll go for cute. I was thinking of sewing a bright green guitar on the butt of one of the gray ones. . . And I mean, somewhere in Austin’s thrift stores there have to be some fun stripey sweaters, right? For now, I’m sticking to boring colors. Mainly, gray. It seems to be the most readily available.

So here we go, I’m going to give you the run down on all I’ve learned about making wool diaper covers. First off, I thrifted three 100% wool sweaters and then ran them through the washer on hot to shrink and felt them. Shrink and felting bulks the fabric up so that it can better repel water. Then it’s time to sew.

My first attempt was to make a wrap cover, what I’m most used to with the Bum Genius 3.0 and the Bummis Whisper Wraps. I drafted my own pattern and looked at a bunch of tutorials and came up with something that seems to work. It needs some tweaking but it’s heading the right direction. I made all three in one nap time, so they aren’t too time intensive to make.

Wool Diaper Cover Wraps

Next up, I tried the triangle method of making pull up style covers. The top of the pull up is the ribbed waistband of the sweater, and the leg holes are the ribbing from the waistband on the part of the sweater I didn’t use. Very quick to make.

Wool Pull Ups

And then I make two pairs of longies (you only see one in the picture because Jude is currently sleeping in the other pair). These are apparently great for sleeping in at night and nap times. These were made from the leftover sleeves of a sweater. It’s nice to use all parts of the sweater.

Wool Sleep Pants

Once everything is sewn, you have to lanolize the covers. Lanolin is a natural water repellent. You dissolve it in hot water and the diapers soak for a while. Then air dry and they’re ready to go. You use them just like you would use any waterproof diaper cover – with the prefolds or fitted absorbents underneath. The wool is natural antibacterial and allows for airflow.

I think once I’ve figured out what works best, I’ll share a tutorial with you guys on how to make my favorite item. It really is very cheap to do diapering this way!


  1. AJ
    Posted May 14, 2010 at 9:38 am | Permalink | Reply

    You are so awesome and creative coming up with these! But I was really looking forward to holding that little munchkin this weekend 😦 Guess I’ll just have to wrap a blanket around his diaper 🙂 Can’t wait to finally see you!

  2. Posted May 14, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

    you are amazing, resourceful, creative! they are adorable.

  3. Posted May 17, 2010 at 8:48 am | Permalink | Reply

    These are great….although I couldn’t use on my children as they suffer from eczema and they would be scratching themselves to bits!!

  4. Posted May 17, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

    beth, i mean, are you kidding me?? you are amazing!! amazing!! you should sell those. so resourceful. love it.

  5. amber
    Posted May 17, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Beth, this is amazing! Seriously….you had me at “taken this hippie thing to a whole new level.” I don’t even have kiddos and I still am in awe of this. 🙂 Great job!

  6. Rosie
    Posted May 19, 2010 at 4:10 am | Permalink | Reply

    I love the “taken this hippie thing to a whole new level” I have never once consider myself a hippie but my cousin keeps saying that she never knew I was such a hippy. I guess someone who baby wears, is vego, uses (and sews her own) cloth nappies, uses a diva cup, recycles, has a vegie patch, op shops and breast feeds can seem a bit of a hippy.

  7. Posted May 19, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This is great! I feel like, if I get started now, maybe I’ll have something to put a baby in once we’re blessed with one. I’m terrible at sewing! But practice makes perfect. or at least not terrible…

One Trackback

  1. By the ongoing diaper quest « think liz. on June 4, 2010 at 8:02 am

    […] ongoing diaper quest Remember how I made my own wool diaper covers? Well, they work . . . alright at best. I obviously have somethings to learn about crafting my own […]

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