The Strategic Homemaker

learning to follow the Father, care for the clan, and redeem the resources

Fabric Frugality


What do you do when your mom gives you a worn, stained, flannel sheet set?

Make it into cloth wipes, of course!  With cloth wipes retailing for more than 2 dollars a piece here, and a person needing about 36 or so, these can make a nice and free-to-you gift for someone planning to cloth diaper. Also, using cloth wipes  saves you about $100 a year according to them, so, I estimate if you make them for free, you save about $170/ year. Besides, if you’re cloth diapering anyway, cloth wipes are more convenient, as you can just throw them into the same pail as the cloth diapers.

You cut the sheet into 6″ x 8″ rectangles. This size is not only good for wiping, but it fits into a commercial plastic wipes container when folded in half, and then you can fold them so the next one pulls out the top each time, like with a box of kleenex. Someone already made a video on how to do this: here.

A rotary cutter and cutting mat make this really easy, but if you have to use the scissors, it is okay. These are just cloth wipes. No need to be precise. Here’s my giant stack of rectangles:

Then you just zigzag stitch around the edge with whatever color thread you want. This keeps the wipe from fraying since it will get washed ~100 times/ year.

Now, typically I like my wipes one-ply, because you can conform them to the shape of your hand or a baby’s bottom better, but this sheet was extremely threadbare, and so it worked much better doubled up. In this case, if your wipes aren’t precisely the same size, you just stitch around the inner edge, and cut the excess off later. Here they are finished:

To use, you fill a spray bottle with ~3 cups water, 1-2 pumps baby wash, and a squirt of baby oil. Then before you use a wipe, shake the bottle and spray the wipe. Since they don’t have alcohol in them, they aren’t too cold, and oh so soft. They are like wipes for the wealthy, man!

Anyway, don’t throw away your flannel sheets! make someone some wipes!

I personally don’t need any more, as mine are still going strong (which I made my this same method more than a year ago), but I was able to give a set of twelve to a pregnant new neighbor planning to cloth diaper, who was really excited and is having us over for dinner tomorrow. (See what cloth wipes can get you? Just kidding :)) Even if someone doesn’t use cloth diapers, I have found it handy to have some cloths at meal times for wiping faces and hands. Let me know if you have any questions, and I hope you find this useful!


4 thoughts on “Fabric Frugality

  1. Pretty much the only time A. has ever gotten a diaper rash was when I tried to use cloth wipes. 😦 This was my wipe solution, too!! Maybe I’ll try again, I was hoping it would work!

  2. Pingback: Working through the Scraps | The Strategic Homemaker

  3. Pingback: The Conclusion of the Unpaper Towels | The Strategic Homemaker

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