How to Make Homemade Adult Diapers

Updated April 17, 2017

Adult diapers should be extra absorbent but also provide comfort for the wearer, and convenience for the caregiver. Sewing cloth diapers is a simple process that requires a limited amount of time and effort. For the material, select either cotton or flannel for the outer pieces. Use 2 or more layers of thick, absorbent material for the inner core of the diaper. Terry cloth is a good choice for inner layer of an adult diaper. Recycling old clothing is a good way to make cloth diapers, without investing a lot of money.

Create a pattern. The simplest way to create a pattern for an adult diaper is to trace around the outside of a properly fitting purchased diaper. Open the diaper and lay it flat on top of a piece of fabric. Use a piece of chalk to draw around the diaper, allowing an extra inch on all sides. Cut the pattern out. Keep the pattern to use whenever you need to make adult diapers.

Cut out the diaper layers. Use the pattern to create four pieces of matching size and shape. Two of the pieces should be cut from cotton or flannel. These pieces will make up the interior and exterior of the diaper. Cut two pieces from terry cloth or another abosorbent material. These pieces will create the inner lining of the diaper.

Use a zigzag stitch to sew the two absorbent layers together. A quilting stitch can also be used. Whichever stitch you choose, it should run the entire length and width of the two absorbent layers.

Lay one of the cotton or flannel layers flat on your work surface, with the wrong side facing up. Attach the absorbent layers by first pinning them securely to the cotton layer, then stitching around the edges. Stitching can be done by either hand or machine.

Use a seamstress tape to measure around the wearer's upper-thigh area. Cut two pieces of 1/2" elastic to the correct measurement. Before sewing the elastic to the diaper, test it by placing it around the person's thigh. It should fit snugly but not be so tight that it will dig in to the skin or limit circulation.

Lay the second piece of cotton or flannel material flat on your work surface, with the wrong side facing up. Pin the elastic in place around the leg holes, stretching it as you work. Create a small seam around the elastic and stitch in place.

Measure the wearer's back from hip bone to hip bone. Cut a piece of 1/2" elastic to match this measurement. Test for fit. Attach this piece of elastic to the top edge of the same piece as the leg elastic.

Lay the pieces flat, with right sides together. Line up edges and pin in place. Sew the pieces together, either or by hand or on a sewing machine, leaving a small opening to turn the layers right-side out when finished.

Turn the diaper right-side out. Stitch the opening shut. Attach Velcro to the front and back tabs.

Things You'll Need

  • Pattern
  • Cotton or flannel fabric
  • Terry cloth or other absorbent material
  • Sewing machine or needle and heavy thread
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • 1/2 inch elastic
  • Velcro tabs
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About the Author

Randa Morris began her freelance career in 1994 as staff reporter for the "Ogemaw County Herald." She works as a full-time content producer for online and print publications. Her writing is often motivated by her work with adult and child trauma survivors. Morris received level two trauma certification from The National Institute of Trauma and Loss in Children.