How to Replace Cloth Diaper Elastics {Video Tutorial}

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Let’s face it, cloth diapers don’t last forever!  Eventually every diaper that has elastic will lose its stretch (become relaxed) and will need a new elastics to be as functional as before.  A diaper’s lifespan can be 1.5-3+ years before needing repairs; this will vary based on your washing/drying routine and the diaper itself.  If you need your diapers to last though multiple children replacing cloth diaper elastics is a skill worth learning!

How to replace elastic in cloth diapers

Lara, DDL contributor, came over and we filmed a 2 part video series on how to replace the elastics in cloth diapers! You’ll hear the noises of 3 children, 2 of Lara’s and 1 of mine. We tried our best to keep them entertained but in Part 2 you will find that Lara’s baby Autumn makes random appearances on her lap while she is at the sewing machine! Don’t worry, Lara is an experienced seamstress and does this often with great care taken to keep her baby safe.

Supplies:

The seam ripping is the most time consuming portion of replacing elastics (unless you are feeding through the elastic casings in certain brands like bumGenius 4.0).  Lara says she likes to rip seams while the kids are sleeping and she is binging on Netflix shows.  The actual sewing portion can take less than 10 minutes per diaper

Pull up a chair, sit your laptop or tablet next to your sewing machine, and start repairing those diapers!  With new elastics your diapers can last another 1-3 years or more!

In Part 1 Lara replaces the elastics in a Flip Cover.  The Flip has encased elastic with an extra strip of PUL over the top.  This same technique could be applied to other brands of diapers as well.

In Part 2 Lara replaces the elastic in an AppleCheeks envelope cover.  In this procedure it took considerably longer since the elastic was completely crumbled and in a million pieces but that process was cut out for your own sake.  This cover has back, stomach, and leg elastics and you’ll notice each step wasn’t left in the video to save time but once you have performed one side the same will be done to the rest.

Every diaper will have a different construction but the basics in this video should help you succeed with your own diapers! For those with pocket diapers with encased elastics, especially the bumGenius 4.0, you may be able to simply remove the old elastics and feed in fresh, bouncy elastic with safety pins and just stitch down the ends.  Diaper Wrecker has a tutorial to this end.    I’ve also heard and tried the simple trick in my 4.0’s of just clipping one side of the old elastic, pulling it tighter, and stitching it back for a QUICK but temporary fix.  Old elastic won’t stretch as far, if any, and new bouncy elastic is really the way to go if you can.

Watching Lara work her magic in person while filming the video has inspired me to try on my own diapers!  I’m so thrilled to have such an expert share her knowledge for DDL. Happy Sewing!

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  • Hillary

    This is great info ladies! Thanks for doing this. 🙂

  • Keara Biller

    Thanks for posting this! In the past I have sent out diapers to have the elastic replaced, but right now I’m on a very tight budget and don’t want to spend that extra money. I’m nervous to try it myself as I’m horrible at sewing, but at least you show me how to do it!! Fingers crossed I don’t mess it up! 🙂

  • Tara Elias

    Ok, love that she is sewing like I sew! Kids climbing, regular “at home ” clothes. .. 🙂 great job!

  • Valerie Bailey

    Is there a particular reason you like to encase the elastics on Apple Cheeks? I’ve just never seen them that way and was curious 🙂

  • Mel

    While I appreciate the tutorial, there aren’t any specifics noted while sewing. You don’t show where you tacked the new elastic to the old. You don’t state what kind of stitch you are using when you stitch the new elastic down. Is it a straight stitch? If so, what length stitch did you use? Why are you stitching it down instead of just feeding new elastic through the casing and leaving it intact? It seems like you’re making this MUCH harder than it has to be. You don’t even state what size elastic you are using. Are you using 1/4″? 3/8″?

  • Heather

    Thanks for this!! And I love the kids and the noise and the cats. That’s real life!!