So I am a man, however being married I know how important these things are (I’ve had to do the walk of shame to buy a box or two in my day!)
How to Make the Homemade Prepper Pads
- Sewing Machine with the ability to do Zigzag stitch
- Flannel: You can use old flannel shirts/baby blankets, or rolls of flannel (wash in hot water first to prevent shrinkage AFTER you make it)
- Snaps/Safety Pins
This may seem difficult at first to figure out but you’ll get it. You will cut 1 “outer pad” that looks like this ( You can accomplish this by folding you fabric in half and placing the pattern on the edge where it says “FOLD”, once you cut it out it will fold out to this size)
You will need to cut a second “outer pad” however you will cut both of them in halves along the pattern lines shown in the Pattern
Take the 2 Separate Top Pieces and make a 1/2 hem along the straight edge (see photo), straight stitch or zigzag as you feel like.
Put the two top layers on top of the whole lower layer (the hems you just made on the two top layers should overlap, forming a flap to slip in the inner pad!), Stitch around the outside twice to ensure quality and you may also stitch where the wings meet the body of the pad (To help the inner pad fit better and for the wings to fold in easier).
Some women apply snaps or buttons on the ends of the wings (if you prefer) Place them at points “A” on the drawings. Velcro will chafe to much, so do not use it, however safety pins are said to work well, the large diaper pins work well.
You can place the pad, pocket down (middle hem side), or pocket up, it is all up to you, pin the wings as you would a normal disposable pad.
This is the absorbent layer of the pad, and it slips inside the outer pad through the pocket you made in it. For Heavy times use 3-4 inner pads for lighter times use 1-2, for use as just a panty liner use the outer pad without the innerpads. The reason given on Hillbilly Housewife for using 3-4 inner pads instead of just 1 was that 2-3 thinner layers are easier to wash than 1 thick one, and more exterior surface means more absorbency!
Cut at least 3-4 layers per pad you make, depending on the thickness of the fabric, use the same patter for all layers.
For 2 exterior layers of the inner pad use flannel, for the 1-2 inner layers use flannel as well or terry cloth, cotton quilt bathing or other absorbent material (Flannel shirts, Flannel baby blankets, old towel works as well)
Zigzag stitch around the edges twice, trim if you want.
Now you are done!
Washing/Maintenance of Pads
You will not be throwing these out like you do normal pads, so you will want to keep a small bucket in the washroom (away from children and pets) to throw them in before the wash.
You can put a spoonful of vinegar in the water they stand in, or if the inner pads (or even outer pads) are white you could put in a tablespoon of bleach as well (Much like the cloth diapers I posted about) If you use bleach and the pads are not white…well you know how that turns out! then again this isn’t a nice shirt!. Learn how to make Bleach From our Pool Shock Post!
Soak the pads in a bucket of water, drain the water into the toilet, before washing the pads. Use cold water to wash out the pads to the stains come out. Hillbilly Housewife says she washes them very morning, She says she doesn’t stash them to wash them at the end of the period because at the moment she has a washer and finds it more sanitary to do it daily than to wait until the end of the month.
My opinion is in a grid down, Bad scenario you will want to wash them regularly to cut down on the chance of them “going bad” and deteriorating the fabric. If you do want to wait until the end of the period you BETTER make sure you have enough made to last that long! Don’t want to get up one morning and all the pads are in the “Dirty Bucket”!
They can drip dry of machine dry however you choose. If you don’t have a washing machine they can be of course cleaned by hand. Run cold water over them in the tub to remove most of the blood. Place them in a medium bucket or tub, add a little soap or cold water and use a clean plunger and plunge the pads until they are as clean as you can get them (10 min+). Rinse them well and squeeze them dry, hang each pad by a clothespin and they should dry pretty quick.
- If you Buy the Fabric, get a double napped flannel, it will last longer and give better results.
- Cotton quilt batting is a nice filler, but flannel will work and be less expensive
- Flannel shrinks, so wash BEFORE and AFTER you make them BEFORE you use them.
- Test them out and find the Right size for YOU and then make a bunch
- Men’s flannel shirts and baby blankets made of flannel can be found in many bargain areas and stores so keep an eye out.
- Bright colored fabric is less likely to show stains, however in my opinion using bleach to clean will cut down on disease so it’s up to you.
- The pattern shown was made my Hillbilly Housewife to accommodate the average woman (size 14 or larger) standard pads are made to accommodate size 6 so make these accordingly and then redraw the pattern for you to use later.
Credit goes to Hillybilly Housewifes Blog where i got the plans and the instructions just redid them a little!