After using a cup for the first time, I've been won over to use reusable products instead of wasting tons of money on disposables every year (not to mention the embarrassment of going down the feminine hygiene aisle as a male). The cup does help with my flow, but I've found that I have a day or two that is REALLY heavy and can't be contained in the cup alone (that's mostly due to not getting a cup that is high capacity, which I will be ordering a larger cup soon). So I've decided that I wanted to try something other than disposable pads as back up. I went online and looked around for cloth pads on sale. It was fun looking at all the neat designs, but none of the ones I found online appealed to me either because 1) They were pretty expensive, $6 for ONE pad? (I do realize that they are reusable and hence the high price, but I'm currently on a really low budget). and 2) None of the designs really seemed to strike my fancy. They were all too 'girly' and 'pink' for me, yuck. So, I ran down to Hobby Lobby and picked out my own fabric designs of my choice and am designing my own cloth pads! Yay! I'm very excited to get started. I have very little sewing skills, but I think I can sew something together by hand decently (the sewing doesn't have to be picture perfect, it's just a piece of cloth that will be sitting in my underwear collecting blood anyways, right?). I picked out just a few prints that really appealed to me: some animal prints, paw print design, one with wolves, and a design with Japanese writing. All of the cloths are 100% cotton. Now I've done a little bit of research online and have found that cotton is supposed to be very absorbent. I honestly don't care if the designed patterns that go on the top/bottom layers of the pad get stained, I mostly care about absorbency and functionality of the pads.
Now I just had a few questions about what kind of material could go on the inside of the pad as the most absorbent part, and what I could use as a waterproof barrier (waterproofing is not entirely necessary, but I would feel more confident if one were in the pad). Now I'm very cheap, so I just looked for stuff around the house I could use. I had heard that terry cloth could work as the absorbent core (terry clothes are like bath towels, right?). Also, interestingly enough I found brand-spankin' new SHAMWOW towels - you know those commercials say they can absorb TONS right? Well I've thought of experimenting with Shamwow and using it as the core in a pad! LOL. What other materials could I use for the absorbent core? And now, how about a waterproofing layer? I read things on the internet about microfibre fleece, PUL (lolwut?), some other stuff I can't remember. I didn't find anything like that at Hobby Lobby, just some fleece (but I didn't buy the fleece b/c it was expensive and it seemed too soft and porous to really be waterproof, unless I was wrong about that). THEN I thought about the cheapest kind of waterproofing I could do is by taking an old umbrella and/or poncho and testing those materials out. I'm not sure if the material is soft like cloth or if it is crinkly, so I'm going to have to test those out. If anyone has any other suggestions about what materials to use as absorbent cores or for waterproofing, I'd love to hear them! =)
Also I'm thinking about getting even craftier with one of my old thongs that I never used. I've read online about wearing a belted pad (where the belt holds the pad close to the body in place). I know maybe this idea doesn't appeal to a lot of people, but I'm thinking about hand-crafting my own belted-pad from an old thong. It would at least give me the freedom to wear my underwear boxers all month long! =D I don't see too many tutorials about how to make one online, but I think I could figure out how to hand-sew my own just from looking at pictures of belted-pad designs. (I'm thinking of making a reusable pad that has loops on both ends of the pad that the belt could go through, or something like that.)
Another project I have in mind is making my own designer cup pouches. When I got my Diva Cup, I was thrilled about the cup, but the pouch it came with? Eeewww... (Sorry to those who do like the bag, it's just not my taste). So I'm thinking of using my Diva bag as a blueprint to make my own pouches (I only have one cup now, but I'm ordering a large one soon so I'll have at least two cups in my collection). I'm thinking of making a paw print pouch and japanese print pouch to match my reusable pads I'll be making. =)
So there you have it, just some project ideas I'd like to throw out there, and please I'd like to know what kind of absorbent/waterproof material you use if you do fashion your own pads, thanks! ^^