DIY Reusable Nursing Pads – Washable Breast Pad Tutorial

I guess I didn’t realize after you had a baby there is milk just EVERYWHERE. No one ever told me that you could also start leaking breastmilk during the end of pregnancy too… so when I realized I could never go out in public again unless I did something to prevent extreme embarrassment and a wardrobe change, I went to the store and bought disposable nursing pads. They were hot, sticky, and felt like a diaper for my breasts but I didn’t know there were any other options since leaking milk wasn’t something I’d even thought about before!

“Don’t cry over spilled milk” they say… unless your at Target and it’s leaking through your shirt… haha oops! 

Washable nursing pad tutorial
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With baby #2, I decided I wasn’t doing that again and I tried my hand at making my own reusable nursing pads. I LOVE washable breast pads and I’ll NEVER go back to disposables! Not only are they more cost effective, but I love the natural fabric against my skin and less waste. The video below shows you just how easy they are to make. Here’s a few links (some are affiliate) to my favorite products for making reusable nursing pads! Watch the video above for the instructional tutorial.



I use a Bernina Serger which is fantastic, but here’s a link to my favorite serger on a budget.

NOTE: You can also make these with a sewing machine. Just use a zig zag stitch close to the edge and trim the excess when done. Don’t try to sew right sides together and turn, your edges will be too bulky and very noticeable through a shirt. 

Polyester Thread

-Polyester thread works better than cotton thread for a project like this. Cotton can absorb the liquid and case leaks around the edges. Here’s some polyester serger thread for you. 

Wonder Clips

I LOVE WONDER CLIPS! I use these for all my sewing projects. I’ve totally ditched pins all together. I love not poking holes in my fabric anymore and they hold so much better. 

Fray Check

-Use Fray Check to finish any seams. Use on any serging or sewing project to create a finished, polished look. 

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-You can get PUL many places, and these 3 packs on Amazon are a great deal, but you can also shop at Diaper Sewing Supplies for other fun prints! 

Absorbant Fabric Options

Terry Cloth
Terry cloth is a looped fabric similar to a bath towel.

-Hemp French Terry  – A personal favorite. I usually use 1-2 layers paired with something else like flannel, cotton or bamboo. 

Some tutorials say to use cotton batting which isn’t a great option. It’s not made to absorb liquid and won’t hold up well to washing. It’s also bulky and hot. 

-Bamboo fleece – Another great option although a little bulkier but is especially great for heavier pads. You can also use this to make cloth menstrual pads because it absorbs very well. 

-Flannel – I usually get mine from Joann Fabrics in town but you can also shop online. Any flannel will do.

Wicking Fabric Options

-Stay-dry Suedecloth – My #1 recommendation for the layer that touches your skin. It’s moisture wicking and very thin. I will never make a nursing pad without this! 

-Jersey – I haven’t tried this yet, but it would also work.


Now! Here’s the Step by Step Video Tutorial!


If you have questions or comments please post them below! I check back and reply often, I’d be happy to help you with this project!

Save your extra fabric and try making your own cloth menstrual pads too!

~ All things for you and your new little life ~

DIY Reusable Nursing Pads - Washable Breast Pad Tutorial

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