Cloth Pads (free patterns!)

by Amanda Hearn · 56 comments

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Yesterday I was talking to a friend that was looking for a good cloth pad pattern.  I offered to help, and because I am frugal – I wanted free.  I was browsing the internet for free patterns to make cloth menstrual pads, and while there are some great patterns out there I wasn’t finding quite what I was looking for.  I decided to grab ideas from a few patterns and product that I saw to make my friend a pattern more like what I was looking for.

I woke up yesterday with a headache, so I was just begging for some distraction.  I ended up sewing seventeen pads and making two new patterns.  I thought perhaps some of you might be interested in using it as well, so I’ve uploaded them in PDF form for easy printing.  The patterns include seam allowance, just cut and sew!  I added extra stitching on the pads to keep the fabric from bunching.  Not sure if this is needed, but I also liked the way it looks.

I used flannel for the tops and fleece for the backings because it’s what I had on hand.  You can use PUL or wool backing if you prefer and higher end fabrics like bamboo or hemp for the tops.  If you need a thicker pad, use more layers.  If you just want liners, use less.

I used a snap press to apply the snaps. They are pricey, but can be found in smaller handheld versions for less. If you don’t want plastic snaps, you could always use the affordable metal ones.

(Click to view in browser or right click + save as to download the file directly to your computer.)

Click Here to Download the Regular Day Pad / Liner Pattern (free!)

View this file in Google Docs


Click Here to Download the Heavy/Nighttime Pad Pattern (free!)

View this file in Google Docs

Click Here to Purchase the Updated Cloth Pads Pattern Pack
including Postpartum Pattern! for just $5


Copyright © Amanda Hearn –
All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is not permitted. Personal use only.
A license to sell products using these patterns may be purchased by emailing me.

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{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

Not Blessed Mama June 18, 2011 at 3:58 am

thanks for this! i am just getting ready to make some of my own.


miamihoney July 1, 2011 at 10:44 pm

Thanks! I have made some but I need to tweak it a bit, I hope this work for me.


Green Grandma August 2, 2011 at 3:00 pm

This is great! I just shared this with the Green Grandma community!


Meala September 19, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this pattern with us! I've got the fabric, all I needed was the pattern. I'll be making these later this week.


Megan May 2, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Thank you! I can’t wait to try this out.


Laura May 29, 2012 at 1:11 am

I just used this pattern and made 15 day/regular and 5 overnights. I am so excited to try these out! Uploaded a picture of them on my blog… just follow the link to my sight. Thanks for posting a great pattern!


Jane July 19, 2012 at 8:02 pm

I would like the pattern for the pads!!!!!!ok So please let me print it off so I can make these for myh 96 yir. old mother….Jane at


Amanda July 22, 2012 at 9:15 pm

I updated the post with links to download the patterns!


Keisha July 22, 2012 at 9:05 pm

please i would love the err pattern to make these pads. i am a new mom and quite frugal these days myself :) ty


Amanda July 22, 2012 at 9:16 pm

I updated the post with links to download the patterns. Somehow my links got messed up, sorry for the inconvenience.


Erikka July 27, 2012 at 2:41 pm

How would you clean these? I am all for eco-friendly items but cleaning these seems like a nightmare.


Amanda July 27, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Toss them in the wash, let them have a light soak and then wash like any other laundry. Some people wash them separately, with towels, cloth diapers or with any old laundry.


Anonymous July 27, 2012 at 4:55 pm

What is the best absorbent material and how many layers do you use? Sorry for the many questions. I am trying to go as natural as possible. I sew but like as many details before getting started.


Amanda August 10, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Cotton, bamboo or hemp would be great for absorbency. I used cotton flannel from scraps and even old receiving blankets for the ones I made.


Rachel September 13, 2012 at 12:32 pm

A lot of people on the diaper sewing board I belong to say that using Minky on top as a stay dry layer (wicking) is great because Minky doesn’t stain easily and feels nice against the bum. :)


Kathy February 6, 2014 at 8:58 am

What is minky? never heard of it?? I sew a lot but this is new to me

Agnes July 27, 2012 at 6:17 pm

I soak mine with a scoop of oxygen bleach (powder) for a few hours to prevent staining, and then wash them on hot with something else that needs a hot wash.


Rachel September 13, 2012 at 12:30 pm

You can also put a small (bathroom sized) trashcan in the bathroom with a bit of soapy water in it. When you change pads, just put the dirty on in the can to soak until you’re ready to wash.


Jen Leach July 27, 2012 at 5:16 pm

Thank you so much for posting this pattern! My daughter just got back from a mission trip to Haiti, and wanted to make cloth pads to take back to Haiti with her next year. We are going to sew up a bunch of these pads, and work on diaper covers and flats for her to take to the orphanage where our church youth group visited.


Amanda August 17, 2012 at 11:49 pm

That is so amazing, thank you so much for all that you are doing! I hope that the patterns work well for you :)


Rachel September 13, 2012 at 12:27 pm

PUL is great for a waterproof liner but if it’s exposed on the bottom, it’s slippery and shifts a lot. Using fleece on the bottom is definitely a good idea (and it’s water repellant) to keep it from shifting so much. Speaking from experience here.


Amanda October 10, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Can you please explain to me how to cut a vertical line in the bottom layer and turn it inside out? I can’t picture this in my head how it would turn out like yours. Once you sew the soaker layers together you then sew them on top of the backing layer? Thank you so much for your help!


Amanda October 11, 2012 at 11:34 pm

For the soaker pad – if you are turning and top-stitching you’ll sew all of your layers together and rather than leave a hole in the outer edge you’ll just sew it all up. Then on one side of the pad you’ll cut a slit in the center of the pad (maybe 2-3 inches) through at least one layer and then turn the pad inside out. Iron flat (if you like) and then top-stitch it. The portion that was cut will be the bottom of the soaker pad which will be hidden when you attach the backing layer with the wings.

If that doesn’t make sense let me know and I’ll see if I can do a quick video when I get my sewing machine back.


Bekah November 13, 2012 at 3:30 pm

How much seam allowance is included in the pattern? 1/4″? 3/8″?


Amanda November 15, 2012 at 4:48 pm

I sew in approx 1/4″


Katie January 24, 2013 at 1:47 pm

Awesome pattern, I’ve never thought of doing the wings as straight tabs like that – that would bunch less :) Question though, couldn’t tell from your instructions – are you using two layers of fleece for the backing and T&T or serging one layer? Or — I suppose fleece won’t fray in the wash? Or will it with a lot of washing? Thanks :)


Michelle Lee February 2, 2013 at 1:22 pm

This post is exactly what I was looking for! Thanks so much, I can’t wait to get started!


Anonymous February 13, 2013 at 10:43 pm

Great, except what do you do when you’re out and about and need to change your pad? Walk around with a dirty one in your purse?


Anonymous March 8, 2013 at 5:23 pm

You can make a small “wet bag” out of pul to put the dirty pads in.


Victoria May 16, 2014 at 8:57 pm

I fold mine in on itself before I put it in my special bag in my purse. So if you are looking at the dirty pad, I fold the top down (mess on mess), bottom up, and bring the wings around and snap the ‘mess’ shut. Works like a charm!


Lesley March 6, 2013 at 8:14 pm

Going to try this now!!!


Robin April 1, 2013 at 5:38 pm

When I try to download the patterns I only get a blank screen. :(


Amanda April 1, 2013 at 6:19 pm

It may have been an issue with Google Docs, I uploaded them directly to my server. If they won’t work for you from your browser, try right click + save as to download them directly to your computer.

Please let me know if that doesn’t work for you.


Robin Ritter April 2, 2013 at 5:38 pm

I was able to download the overnight but the regular pattern URL still isn’t working. It’s saying it wasn’t found.


Rachel April 6, 2013 at 9:52 pm

Just made 8 of these this afternoon. I’d looked at mama cloth patterns online before and never really saw any I liked. I love these! I used old cloth diaper flats that I was retiring and old fleece liners. Perfect and very comfortable to wear.


Rebecca June 16, 2013 at 2:43 pm

I would love the pattern for this, but opening these patterns made my computer close down. Is there any other options?


shay June 25, 2013 at 5:04 pm

Just made 3 of the day time pads, SUPER EASY (I’m a beginner in the sewing world) can’t wait to make more!


Amanda June 25, 2013 at 7:30 pm

I’m so happy to hear that! Thanks for sharing :)


Nina Bean June 26, 2013 at 10:21 pm

Just purchased the $5.00 download with postpartum pattern what do I need to do to get the pattern? Will you send it to my email? Let me know, thank you!


Amy St Rose August 23, 2013 at 8:52 pm

Hi ! I bought the $5. pattern download but can’t find it on my computer anywhere. Do you email a special link to buyers??? I sew hundreds and hundreds of little dresses for Africa and Haiti and they are asking for these homemade pads, as well. Thank You for a great idea and pattern!


Danielle September 5, 2013 at 7:45 pm

Hi. Thanks for sharing the pattern. Do you cut the soaker layers a bit bigger or trim the backing layer once you put them together? After I turn the soaking layer inside out the soaker and backing are different sizes because of the seam. What have you find is the easiest way to match them up? I’m not sure If I’m adjusting them to be bigger or smaller than they should be at this stage. Thanks.


Alejandra September 28, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Thanks for sharing this beautiful and simple pattern, it is exactly what I was looking for


Lori October 1, 2013 at 7:05 pm

Thank you for this pattern! I’ve made 1 overnight and I’m about to make several more, this is the best pattern I’ve found yet on-line! The overnight pad could also be called the plus-size pad as it is a good size for us extra curvy women!


Mary December 25, 2013 at 9:48 am

Wow! You are really taleneted! I wish I could sew like this. I pinned this for my friend who is really good at sewing and interested in mama cloth.


Dawn January 21, 2014 at 8:35 pm

Is there a site I can buy these from?


Angela February 16, 2014 at 8:11 pm

Hi :) is it just me or do others find they have to add the seam allowance to the printed pattern. I printed it out as actual size but I find it would be too short and really skinny without adding the 1/4″ seam allowance to the current pattern? Can’t wait to give them a go!! :)


Lesley April 16, 2014 at 8:59 pm

Thank you for the patterns! I tried these and they have been great!!!!


Christine June 7, 2014 at 5:29 am

Can’t afford pads or sewing machine since diagnosed with stage 4 endometriosis and have had multiple surgeries leaving me unable to have children of my own and broke… By the time I Dinah paying off one surgery its time for another. Will never use regular pads and products full of dioxins and harmful chemicals! Is there a way to buy these and not pay 10 plus bucks each?


Amanda Hearn June 9, 2014 at 8:10 pm

I’m not familiar with a cheaper pad option. Perhaps you know someone who could lend you a sewing machine? The materials to make these are very inexpensive, and you may even be able to upcycle garments you already own.


Maggie September 9, 2014 at 11:41 pm

if you’re using cotton thread to sew the middle of the pad so the layers don’t bunch you are creating a wick to draw moisture through the layers of fabric.


Raquel Lawson October 14, 2014 at 3:55 pm

Hi Amanda,
My name is Raquel, and I would to be able to print these pattern. Can I please? I tried and it wont let me so I am assuming that I need permission from your end. This is just for personal use :)


Stephanie October 20, 2014 at 9:48 am

I am having the same problem with not being able to print them.


Amanda November 1, 2014 at 3:06 pm

Also having a hard time with printing… I got mine to print, but they seem on the small side scale?


Amanda November 1, 2014 at 3:16 pm

Nevermind! I got it to work… had to actually download it first and open with Adobe. Thanks for the patterns! ;)


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