As you may or may not know, we have a new baby in the house, little miss Kenzie Harper, and like most newborns, they poop. They poop ALOT! Kenzie has her diaper changed at least every few hours, and one of the things I’ve noticed is that most diaper changing pads are really not “padded” much at all. The ones that come in the diaper bags are nice and thin so you can take them on the go, but don’t provide much in the way of comfort for the baby. Kortney and I shopped around some stores and didn’t really see anything we liked, but did find online a diaper pad made by Ah Goo Baby. It really seemed to fit the bill for what we were looking for, but being the adventurous type, we thought we’d give it a go and try to make one for ourselves.
We headed to Joanne’s Fabric and found this new line called Babyville Boutique that makes PUL (polyurethane laminate) fabric and accessories for making cloth diapers. PUL is a fabric that is a soft cloth on one side and the other side is laminated, kind of like a soft vinyl. It is waterproof and breathable and perfect for making a diaper changing pad. Joanne’s sold only a few colors by the yard, but they also had a 3 pack of 21′ x 24′ cuts, so we went with that. Here is what we needed to make the changing pad.
- 2 – 21″ x 24″ pre-cut PUL fabric pieces
- 1 – 9 3/4′ x 19 1/2′ piece of 1/2″ thick foam
- 3 Snaps (Babyville ones are costly and sold in large quantities)
- 19″ of 1′ wide elastic
Start by ironing the fabric to remove the wrinkles. Be sure to only iron the fabric side, NOT the laminated side. We opted to use a print for one side and a solid color on the other. When done ironing, place fabric cloth sides facing each other, and pin the two pieces together around the sides, except for the corners. You’ll notice the pre-cut pieces are not cut completely square. I used a right angle and trimmed up the edges, so that they were completely squared and even. Next, take a bowl or other round item to trace out rounded corners on the fabric. Trim the corners pieces off then pin them.
Now it’s time to make all your sewing guidelines. You’ll be making these marks with a pencil on the back of the solid color panel. You will want to be able to see these lines “faintly” through the fabric as a sewing guide when you flip the fabric over. Do not make any other markings except the lines as they will be visible. The writing you see in the photo below was so that I could better illustrate the directions.
Place your fabric horizontally. Using your pencil, measure 1/4 inch from the edge and make a mark as a guide all the way around the fabric. This will be your hem line. Next, measure the width of your fabric and mark the center. Then measure 5″ to the left and to the right. Draw lines from top to bottom so that you have 10″ section in the center. This will be the section where the foam pad goes. Now, measure two 2″ sections on the left and right, drawing lines from top to bottom. Now you are ready to start sewing.
Start at the top at the 10″ line on the right, and sew along the entire edge following the 1/4″ marks you made. Stop at the 10″ line on the left. This will leave a 10″ opening at the top so you can flip the fabric right side out. Snip notches out of the corners of your fabric. This helps so that when you flip your fabric, it’s not bulky in the corners. Be careful to not snip your sewn thread.
Now that you have the fabric right side out, iron it again to get nice flat edges. You’ll now see that you can see the lines you drew on the rubber side of the fabric. I used a pen so it came out dark for the pictures. I suggest a pencil for light colored fabrics, but a pen will work better for dark fabrics. Start by sewing the outer line (1) from top to bottom. Repeat on lines (2) and (3), then do the same on the other side.
You will end up with an open pocket for the foam. Slide your foam pad into the center slot. If for some reason the foam does not lay in the pocket completely flat, trim as needed. Now grab your elastic straps. Fold one piece of elastic in half. Insert it 1/2″ into the top left corner of your opening, leaving 4″ left sticking out like pictured below. Sew closed. Keep sewing across and repeat with the other strap.
The foam needs to be secured in place. Quilt down your foam by stitching two lines down the foam about 3″ in from the ends. Start and finish 1 1/2″ from the top and bottom.
Lastly, are the snaps. This can be optional, but I find that they help to keep the pad together as you roll it up. We hand sewed on 3 snaps. Simply place the snaps where you want them, and hand stitch them on.
And there you have it, a nice, cushy changing pad! Roll it up to store it or take it to go. We have put ours to the test. It’s been peed on, pooped on and puked on. This fabric cleans up great in the washing machine. We lay ours out to dry and it drys really fast.