Here are a few of mine:
- Don't buy cloth wipes; just cut up old t-shirts or other cotton knits into squares. No need to hem or serge the edges if it's a knit rather than a woven.
- Sew your own diapers if you have the skills, time, and equipment.
- Use recycled materials for some or all of your diapers and wipes: you can use t-shirts, sweatshirts, etc for the absorbent parts (as long as they're a natural fabric or a microfiber) and wool sweaters for covers. Go crazy at the thrift store on their bargain days!
- Here's a site from Fern and Faerie on frugal diaper sewing: how to make flatfolds, prefolds, and fitteds for a song. '
- If you buy brand-name diapers to try out, resell the ones you don't want to keep at Diaperswappers. (Or buy yours there!)
My last baby was cloth diapered for practically free. We scored an entire stash of cloth diapers (unused!) on Freecycle so I recommend using Freecycle as a resource too! I made wool covers from sweaters. Any other diapers I added to our stash were made from recycled materials like you mentioned ;)
I prefer cloth wipes made from flannel. Flannel receiving blankets can be picked up in nice quantities at yard sales and make great wipes. I usually made mine double sided,with one side being flannel and the other soft terry towling (also used from towels picked up at yard sales).The towley side just makes messy diaper changes that much easier.
I used to Dumpster-dive religiously when I lived in Austin. I would stockpile boxes upon boxes of clothes dug from the trash, and I made an entire stash for my son and my niece for free (not counting cost of the sewing machine I bought, thread, elastic, and Velcro, which were bargains I bought on Ebay). It was a great way to recycle perfectly usable clothes that would have otherwise wound up in a landfill. People are so wasteful!
Sweatshirts/sweatpants make GREAT soaker material, as long as they are at least 50% cotton. You can use just about anything for inners/outers: sheets, flannel PJs, T-shirts, jeans, fleece jackets, pretty much any washable cotton article of clothing that you can cut into a diaper shape! Old ratty towels or holey bathrobes make good soaker material too. And of course don't forget wool sweaters for longies! You can use fleece jackets or blankets for wraps too.
Polyester blend shirts also make good swim diapers (think Hawaiian!), since they are similar to swimsuit material. You can use a thin towel for the inner, or anything cotton would be fine. I made an adorable bikini w/diaper for my niece out of a polyester dress.
The best part of using recycled clothes is that you can come up with cool and unique looks that you would never find on a rack at a fabric store. Well, okay, the best part is that they're FREE, but the coolness factor is the second best part for sure!
I learned how to sew diapers from this tutorial: http://mayna.livejournal.com
Hi! We've got a great list going here with lots of free sewing and knitting patterns. :)