Cloth Menstral Pads

Ok, so before you scrunch up your nose and go Eeeew. I just want to you to entertain some thoughts for a minute. If you are a guy, you can walk or run away now. If you are a menstrating gal, just hear me out for a minute. If you are a menstrating gal that cloth diapers their child, hear me out some more. Two months back while reading several articles online and having a few real life friends make the switch I was pretty skeptical and even grossed out about the thought. I have heavy periods and they last a long time so I thought there is no way a cloth pad would do the job. Well I’m here to tell you that I was wrong.

After a friend of mine posted a blog about how her periods have been lighter since switching to cloth I was still skeptical and thought maybe she was just using that as a ploy, how could switching from disposable to cloth make your periods lighter? Well the second month using cloth I noticed a difference in flow. Part of the reason I think is many of us use tampons and tampons have been linked to fertility issues and Endometriosis. A recent article in the Health & Wellness magazine said that “Endometriosis hypothetically is thought to evolve by a backing up of blood that doesn’t leave the body during a monthly cycle. Indicating that possibly tampons have something to do with this. The tampon may play a key role in infertility problems in women using them simply by backing up blood clots. A tampon absorbs blood, but the clot wouldn’t be absorbed. When the tampon is removed the clot may leave the body on its own. Otherwise, depending how long the tampon is left in, it could push the clot up into the fallopian tubes potentially causing the formation of endometriosis.” Reading that along with past troubles of fertility issues and my efforts to live a greener life has convinced me to make the switch.

So when I propositioned to some friends of mine one whether they would ever make the switch. I got many negative responses and actually they were the same thoughts I had at first.  I thought eeew I don’t want to wash those…but then again I wash my child’s diapers out in the toilet before they go in the washer and well this is my own bodily fluids, how much grosser could it be? A friend of mine said that maybe there are sanitary issues using cloth pads. My response was well we cloth diaper our children and they all survived and while it might be thought that throwing away a disposable diaper with poo in it is sanitary, there are thoughts in the “green” world that human feces should not be disposed of in a dump. It should be flushed. Also if we dispose of our tampons and pads say in a public restroom well that is also grounds of spreading sickness and diseases because there are people who have to empty those bins and could come into contact by accident with something well not so pleasant. So I kinda feel there’s no safer place than your laundry hamper or a wash tub for these things. Those are just my thoughts. I guess you can officially call me crunchy now. So in my efforts to return all plastic bags back to the grocery store or use cloth grocery bags, to cloth diapering my child “most” of the time. I can now say I am green in this area too.

I bought my first set of cloth pads on etsy. Having made cloth diapers before I took a look at these pads and said hey I can make these!! So I did!

I have several trial and error pads that I will put up at my etsy store for half or quarter off my selling price but I finally made one that I feel proud of.

So here is how I made one:

I traced the outside of one of the pads I bought, I chose scrap material from cloth diaper making and some extra fleece and played around with different designs. some had smaller wings, but I kept coming back to this one. While I think I might do the smaller wings if i try overnight pads, I will stick to this design for light to regular use.

So here is a stack of experimental pads that I might post on etsy for half price because its shotty craftmanship, but then again, I might just keep them and use them for myself! 😉 Of course I am an experimenter which took me several tries for me to find the right look and feel. I’m also hopefully working on pouches to carry your clean or dirty pads in that would be stylish and fit in your purse. It’s a thought I think I will explore if I can get the selling of these up and off the ground.


 So my first purchase of a cloth pad did not actually have a pad like topping that sits in your panties. It was a square cloth with snaps at two corners of the cloth. So simple and it was done with a surger so there was no need to sew the item inside out. It was as easy as pie and looked great too. That pad was made of heavier material.

The material I use here is normal cotton fabric but with several fleece layers underneath for padding.  These were my first two attempts with left over fabric from a cloth diaper. I thought heck why not try. The one on the right was my first attempt. You can see I didn’t allow for optimal coverage with that one. So I made a second one that spread out a little more but the only problem with it is that it was longer than the wings and I was sewing the pad directly to the wings and I didn’t have much play room with it and a seam on one of the sides didn’t make it in.

This was my third attempt and it was pretty darn good. (Also made from left over diaper cloth)


 With my final attempt I realized the cloth pad had to be the same size as the wings so that it would sew together properly. So my third attempt will definitely go up at my Etsy Store in a pack of 3 or 4.

What do you think?

About Heather Jones

I'm just a wife and mom of two boys trying to find her place in this world. I enjoy walks around the lake, bible journaling, and RV camping with my family.

Heartfully Heather


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Heather Jones

I'm just a wife and mom of two boys trying to find her place in this world. I enjoy walks around the lake, bible journaling, and RV camping with my family.

11 thoughts on “Cloth Menstral Pads

  1. While I’m not sure about actually using them. I’ve definitely learned some interesting facts that may sway me. Of course, the designs are really nice too.

  2. While I totally get how cloth pads could be healthier/better, I do not think I would ever use ’em. OK, I KNOW I would never use them. I work outside the home and spend a lot of time out of the house. Cloth pads seem too complicated (for me).

  3. Hello – I came by from a blog hop, but this is really interesting. I really like tampons too, but like you said Heather – foreign object and toxic shock. I guess I could see using cloth pads for lighter flow days, maybe even as a preventative measure on a day when my period may or may not be coming or during a very heavy flow day in addition to a tampon – because pad or tampon discussion aside, I completely feel wasteful for these and other uses of liners.

    Well – thanks for this post, and for blog hopping this weekend. I’m a GFC and Networked Blog follower now, and I hope you can stop by my site, too.

  4. Thanks. I think its a preference thing. While tampons kept the mess inside, I now feel like why am I shoving some foreign object inside me known for toxic shock syndrome and I dislike the residue they leave behind. But yeah like you said at the same time a pad can be quite uncomfortable at times especially during heavy flows. So yeah I get ya there. I do have to say I think cloth pads pull the moisture away more than disposable ones.

  5. I used regular pads all through highschool but in college became a tampon fan. I now take a seasonal birth contol pill so my periods are very very light when I do get them but i would consider using a cloth pad – I have heard about them before but never really knew much about them. Thanks for the information

    Also, thanks for the follow, I am now following you back!

  6. Hey Jenn,
    Thanks for your comment, that too is my only hang up using them when I’m out. Which is why I kinda want to make a pouch for them. Like a compartment for dirty ones and clean ones….something like that. I think without something like that it would be hard to do while at work or a busy day out of the house.

  7. I actually think… that it makes sense. Except I get hung up on the “what do I do with them when I am out” thing. Other than that if I was around the house I would consider it. Also, I was thinking that maybe your flow gets lighter because there are no chemicals in your homemade pads like there are in disposable ones. (there are a lot!)
    My Motherless Adventure

  8. I am not a fan of pads and there are only 2 times in my whole life when I used them. The first was when I first got my period, I used them for a day and then told my mom that I could not stand them there has to be another way. Thats when I started using tampons, on day 2 of my first period. The only other time I ever used them was after my daughter was born and I was not allowed to wear a tampon. I always felt dirty when wearing a pad. These days I use Insteads!
    This is a very informative article though as I have never even thought about cloth pads. Still can’t imagine wearing them though. lol

  9. Great tutorial! I haven’t made my own but this looks doable!
    I use my current cloth pads as a backup to my menstrual cup. I absolutely love my Sckoon cup – so eco-friendly and totally not messy, so not much need for pads either. Thanks for the tutorial!

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