Cloth Pads (Free Digital Patterns!)

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.

If you’d like some menstrual themed fabrics (and more), be sure to check out my Spoonflower shop! I recommend Performance Piqué if you’re interested in  a stay-dry, moisture wicking material, Cotton Jersey for a natural fiber, or Minky for  fluffy softness.

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 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.

Written By
More from Amanda Hearn

7 Tips for Easy Easter Baskets!

Kids love Easter baskets, there is no way around it, but the...
Read More


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

  • 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.

  • 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!

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

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

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

    • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

        • 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. 🙂

    • 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.

    • 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.

      • that’s actually dangerous and makes for a medium for bacterial growth. I’d rinse then toss into a small covered can (what I do if bad, I use a diaper sprayer, also use family cloth)
        The new thing is to NOT soak anything, and less to no bleach use. Look on a cloth diaper forum for help here.

        • bonjour,
          pour les laver, faut seulement le faire à l’eau froide et surtout pas chaude.
          Après pour désinfecter, laver au savon et eau 60°C ou machine à laver et
          surtout faire sécher à l’air libre au soleil

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

    • PUL should face up with fabric side on bottom. I also cover with another fabric like a pretty cotton.

  • 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!

    • 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.

  • 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 🙂

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

  • 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?

    • 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!

    • 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.

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

  • 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.

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

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

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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!! 🙂

  • 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?

    • 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.

    • Hey Christine,

      Hi Christine,

      I just downloaded this pattern to try. I have experience sewing cloth diapers and cloth pads for my kids and myself, and if you still need pads I’m willing to sew them for you free of charge . I could source materials locally in charity shops – bedsheets, duvet covers, bath towels, flannel pajama’s etc. Snaps for closure I do have. I’m not sure if I can find suitable fleece for backing fabric. Maybe fleece scarves would work but I wouldn’t know how water resistant it was.
      Also, I’m in Europe, in the Netherlands. I’m very happy to ask around my family and friends for material and browse around my favorite charity shop. Shipping would be on you, I can find out what the rates are and tell you.
      I’m simply offering because I’ve had my share of health problems and I have a sewing machine and time 🙂

      Let me know if you could use a bunch of ‘upcycled’ pads made from duvet covers, towels, pajama’s and stuff. I could email you pdf’s of the free patterns I have so you could choose.

      greetings from the Netherlands,


    • Christine if your still in need of pads please private message me. It would bee my pleasure to serve you.

  • 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.

  • 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 🙂

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

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

  • So upset, I really wanted to use this pattern to try out, but when I try to print it the paper comes out blank! I’m not sure what is going wrong…

    • Just curious what PDF reader are you using to open the files? I clicked on the links to download to my computer, then opened the file (my PC uses Adobe Reader).

  • Thank you for posting this tutorial! I’ve cut the inserts out of flannel but I’m not sure about the backing. Isn’t fleece to thick for summer? I’ve sewn cloth diapers for my son and fleece was not the best choice for hot weather.
    Can I use 2 layers of cotton/ poly cotton for backing?

  • I was wondering how these would work as pad for someone that has bladder problems. I have found that the older I get the more I have a leak when I cough or sneeze. Thank you for any help

  • I have learn several excellent stuff here.
    Definitely value bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how a lot attempt you put to create such a magnificent informative site.

  • What i do not realize is if truth be told how you are no longer really a lot
    more smartly-liked than you may be right now. You are so intelligent.
    You realize thus significantly relating to this matter, produced me in my opinion believe it from a lot of numerous angles.
    Its like women and men aren’t interested until it’s
    one thing to do with Woman gaga! Your own stuffs excellent.
    Always care for it up!

  • Usually I don’t read post on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very pressured me to check out and do so!
    Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thank you,
    very great post.

  • This is great. Being a senior, I grew up using cloth pads made from old white cotton diapers which my mom made. She always soaked them in cold salt water, did a rinse or two, than washed them in hot water with another rinse. Of course, in those days having no dyer other than the good old outdoors, they were hung on the clothesline, in the sunshine – they were as white as snow and soft, too!
    I cannot print the pattern for the heavy/nighttime pad.

  • Thank you for sharing your gold! This is what i need to show the women in Papua New Guinea that they can make for them self! Big need there.

  • There is a site where the lady makes these pads and sends them to girls in countries also receiving dresses. Nor sure but try “Dress a girl around the world”.

  • I have tried several ways to get these patterns…my favorite so far…but I can not get them to print. Please help. I really want to make these pads to donate to less fortunate women.

  • I just found this in May, 2016 and would like to try them for bladder leakage pads. Thank you for sharing your pattern and expertise with us! I read the other posts and I found it sad that there were people saying that they were making them for charity, but then a lady who was having health and money problems commented, I believe her name was Christine, said she needed some but has no way to make them. Not one of those, or anyone else offered to make some for her. Someone suggested handsewing some, which I imagine would be very hard with all of the layers. I think we need to remember sometimes that our help doesn’t always have to go to a big charity fund. I hope she found help somewhere.

    • Jane,
      Stafenie replied July 2016 and offered to make them. And she’s in the Netherlands!
      As I was reading Christine’s post I was urged to offer to make some for her as well.

  • I would like to know what are the snaps used for? If I make some for bladder leaks, will see which side of velcro will stick to my cotton undies! Lol

  • I rinse mine in cold water, lay out flat to dry, and wash them with my regular laundry. If they get an odour, I boil them in a pot I keep just for ‘yucky stuff’.

  • Hi!!! I love this pattern and have cut all the pieces out and even sewed my soaker layers together. I probably won’t turn them inside out, the size and shape seems to change once I do that, and I have the PUL fabric but have a question. What side of the PUL do I sew the soaker layers to? It seems really slippery. If I cut out an extra piece to cover the PUL with (to avoid the slickness) could I do flannel as well or would cotton be more secure? Thanks!

  • Hi,
    I know this is an old post but I’ll ask anyway – I’m wondering why there are two dots for the snaps on the wing as shown on the pattern?

Comments are closed.