How I Turned Old T-Shirts Into Flat Cloth Diapers

I'm doing the Flats Challenge this week. I decided to go very low budget to prove that you don't need to invest hundreds of dollars to diaper a child. This is also a great option for an emergency preparedness kit. Click Here for a more detailed description of my low budget stash (only $42) that I'm using for the challenge and learn how you can create a similar stash and hand powered washing machine for just $20!

How I Turned Old T-Shirts Into Cloth Diapers

Items Needed:
  • 7 T-Shirts (Size XL preferred, but smaller sizes work too)
  • Scissors 
*Each T-shirt will create two flats.  Use more T-shirts if you want more than 14 diapers. 

Cost:     FREE!

  1. Cut the sleeves off your T-shirt. 
  2. Set aside. (These sleeves will become boosters to add absorbancy to your diaper.) 
  3. Cut length ways from the arm pit down to the bottom of the shirt on both sides.
  4. Cut along the seem from shoulder to shoulder across the neckline to create two pieces of fabric.
  5. Voila! Your old t-shirt is now two flats and two boosters!

Two t-shirt flats in a pad fold and two sleeves for boosters

Fold your piece of fabric in various ways to fit the needs of your child. There are folds specifically for boys, girls, toddlers, newborns, etc. :) Click Here to learn how to do 8 simple folds.

You can use a pad fold to just lay into your diaper cover and then secure your cover to your child. You can do this with ANY cover, but the Flip diaper covers have flaps on the front and back that help hold the flat in place.

Another option is to fold it like a pad fold or tri fold and fan out the back sides. This is often called the angel wings fold. Then use a snappi to secure it onto your child. This is a great fold that keeps newborn poop from escaping out the sides onto your cover.

You don't have to use T-shirts for diapers. You can also re-purpose burp cloths, flour sack towels, and receiving blankets.

Use your T-shirt sleeves as boosters to add an extra layer of absorbancy. Just lay them into the diaper where you want the additional absorbancy before you secure it to your child using safety pins or a Snappi.

How Have The T-shirt Flats Held Up So Far?


I am amazed at how well a simple t-shirt has worked for diapering. I honestly haven't noticed a huge difference compared to prefolds, my fancy snap in inserts, and various boosters. It is definitely more work to fold the flat compared to a snap in insert, but I'm getting a good amount of protection. It doesn't absorb as much as my hemp and bamboo inserts and boosters, so I am changing diapers more frequently. But I still haven't had any leaks and my baby boy seems to not notice any difference at all. I recommend a re-purposed receiving blanket for overnight use as it is more absorbent. I have also heard you can layer two flats together for heavy wetters or overnight use, though I haven't tried it yet.

Click Here for a more detailed description of my low budget stash (only $42) that I'm using for the challenge and learn how you can create a similar stash and hand powered washing machine for just $20!


Sarah and Fam said...

Do they fray at all?

Sarah and Fam said...

Do they fray at all?

Haley Jaye said...

Very minimal if at all. It will not affect function.

Sarah and Fam said...

I was looking to make some wipes (as well as a few more flats) from old t-shirts and possible some pm pants I have some 100 cotton and some cotton polyester blends.. But I don't want to cut and not be able to sew if they fray to badly.. Thank you..

Haley Jaye said...

Good luck! Let me know how it goes!

Marisa said...

Still have to try t-shirt flats! They look like they would be so comfy on baby with the soft stretchy fabric.

Sarah and Fam said...

I encourage you to try! My daughter loves them! And they hold a ridiculous amount!

Haley Jaye said...

They really are cozy! His skin has been responding very well to them. He had a bit of a diaper rash last week and it went away with the use of these T-shirt flats.

Bludog said...

Hey, you have shared such a great article and i am also searching to buy Printed Polo Shirts for me in affordable price. Keep updating us with this amazing information.

Ackley said...

It's late finding this act. At least, it's a thing to be familiar with that there are such events exist. I agree with your Blog and I will be back to inspect it more in the future so please keep up your act. https://excellentcustomclothing.com