Just one more reason to love Lunapads: Not only do they make the best designed washable cloth pads on the market, they’re willing to share their secret.
Last week on the Lunablog, Madeleine Shaw, one of the co-creators of Lunapads, made a post with detailed video instructions* on how to sew up your own reusable cloth pad and liner.
Despite what a great tutorial this was, honestly, my favorite part of the post was their reasoning for providing such instructions:
“The videos and pattern download were created in response to two needs: first, as a possible option for those who can’t afford Lunapads, or to support those who prefer to make things themselves, just because. Second is to offer it as an instructional tool for women in Africa to make pads for themselves and/or as commercial products, as well as for crafters in this neck of the woods who want to make pads to contribute as donations to Pads4Girls.”
I just love that a company that makes money selling reusable pads is willing to provide a simplified DIY pattern for those who aren’t able to afford their product and to help others in need.
I mean, Lunapads are already extremely cost-effective as it is – despite a higher upfront price, with a 3-5 year life-span, you will save money switching from disposable to reusable pads. So it’s really amazing for them to provide you with an option that will save you even more money – you can make the DIY pad with materials you have around the house, like old sheets, towels, sweatshirts, etc. and theoretically not have to spend a dime on your reusable pad.
And of course, the pattern itself and instructions are excellent. This seems like a great, easy project, even if you don’t use reusable pads (because you use a menstrual cup instead, right?). You can make them as gifts for friends or family members in their favorite colors and patterns, make them for the Pads4Girls project, or just test your sewing skills and make yourself one for a backup to slip in your purse.
This pattern does not teach you how to make an actual Lunapad and liner – they are complex products consisting of multiple different fabrics and sewing techniques – but it offers a very suitable alternative.
Here are some differences between this particular DIY pad and actual Lunapads:
1) Lunapads have a more contoured shape, and are less bulky, so they’re probably a little more comfortable to wear, although you could easily modify the pattern for the DIY pad to get a similar result.
2) Lunapads have a layer of waterproof nylon built into the base pad, which really increases your protection level. While the instructions for the DIY pad don’t include this, Madeleine does mention experimenting with different fabrics, and with a little extra work, it would certainly be feasible to add a waterproof layer to your own pad, too.
3) This is the biggest difference between real Lunapads and the pattern used above – and it might be a reason for you to consider trying the real thing (or otherwise seriously modifying your DIY design): Lunapads have a unique (and ingenious, really) design in which the absorbent liner attaches on top of the pad, rather than being tucked inside. This really ups the convenience level, because rather than having to change your entire pad several times a day, you can simply remove the used liner and replace it with a fresh one, without having to change the Lunapad itself. I also really love Lunapads’ design because you can easily adjust your coverage by adding liners. The DIY version of the pad features several layers of folded fleece as a liner – which I’m sure is very absorbent and will work well, but lacks the convenience of traditional Lunapads.
The moral of this story is that you should definitely try your hand at making your own reusable pads, whether for yourself or for others. Take advantage of the helpful advice the women at Lunapads have given us and get creative! And after you’ve made your own and you like the concept (if you’re new to reusable pads), consider trying the Cadillac of reusable pads and invest in a Lunapad and liner or two. As with menstrual cups, they’re an environmentally friendly and health-conscious alternative to disposables.
*The video instructions for making your own reusable pad can be found in the Lunablog post mentioned above, and below.