One of you wonderful readers recently asked me for a tutorial on creating a wet bag for cloth diapers, so here it is!
With a tiny bit of work, you can have a cute, less expensive option than buying one. And, this one should fit your trash can better than a store-bought bag.
Unfortunately, I don’t have true step-by-step pictures since I sewed my own wet bag over a year ago in my crazy sew-everything-for-the-baby frenzy. But, I think this will be useful for those of you wanting to create your own cloth diaper options.
- Large trash can (You can use just about anything, but I strongly recommend something with a lid to keep the smell contained. If you’ve already purchased cloth diapers, try cramming about 20 (2-3 days worth) into the can to make sure it’s big enough.)
- Sewing machine
- Measuring tape
- Waterproof fabric (approx. 1 yard, depending on your trash can’s size)
- Enough 1/2″ elastic to wrap around the top of your trash can
1. Select your fabric. Your fabric must be washable (believe me, you’ll want to wash it fairly frequently!) but also waterproof. The best type of fabric for this is called PUL, and many craft stores sell it now that cloth diapers are more popular than they used to be.
I bought mine at Hobby Lobby. It’s from a company called Babyville Boutique that carries several patterns and colors. You can also get it through Amazon by the bolt, so if you’re using Swagbucks to earn Amazon gift cards, it could be free!
2. Measure your trash can. Literally measure the outside top edge of your can (where the wet bag will wrap over the top of the can). Also measure the height of the can by starting at the top edge and ending at the middle of the bottom of the can (wrapping your measuring tape around the bottom edge. Add 3″ to this height measurement for elastic and overlap. Add 1/2″ to both measurements for seam allowances. These will be the dimensions of your bag.
3. Measure your fabric. Essentially, you’re sewing a large rectangle into a sack, so measure and cut a piece of fabric with your height and width measurements. If your can is significantly smaller at the bottom than the top, you can narrow your rectangle at the edge that will sit on the bottom of the can.
4. Sew the edges. Put the wrong sides of your fabric together and sew along the bottom and side edges. No need for a special stitch.
5. Turn the top edge down 1/4″ and stitch. Fold the top edge down along the “wrong” side and pin it before sewing. Do not iron this fabric! With this step, you’re making a hem to tuck into the elastic casing.
6. Fold the top edge down 3/4″ and stitch, leaving an opening at one end for elastic. Fold the top edge down again to form a 3/4″ casing you’ll use for your elastic. Stitch along the edge of the casing, leaving enough room for your elastic to slide into and through the casing.
7. Thread your elastic through the casing, stitching it to itself. Threading elastic is usually easier if you clip a safety pin to it to give you something to grip as you’re sliding it through.
8. Test your bag. Just slip it into your trash can, overlapping it on the top to let the elastic grip the sides of the can. If it doesn’t fit, just take out the stitches or otherwise adjust as necessary. Don’t get discouraged if you feel like you’ve wasted fabric! You can make tons of other stuff with the scrap fabric so just adjust your measurements and try again.
9. If your bag fits, stitch up the gap in your casing.
Ta-da! Homemade wet bag in about 30 minutes and for half the cost of a store-bought bag. You can wash and dry this bag in your machine right along with your cloth diapers.