DIY Cloth Training Pants

Want to use cloth training pants, but turned off by the price? Make your own! DIY cloth training pants with this tutorial for less than $3 per pair!

DIY Cloth Training Pants for less than $3!

Although potty training finally officially ended a few months ago, when we were in it, I struggled with finding options for long car trips, naps, and night time.  I looked into cloth trainers and even reviewed a few options, but I just wasn’t totally happy with the results from them.  Especially when I added up the cost of cloth trainers versus how much they absorbed.

So, instead of investing in more cloth training pants, I decided to make my own.

Now, don’t misunderstand – these actually perform just like the cloth trainers that I reviewed.  They don’t hold a ton of liquid {just like other cloth training pants on the market}, they won’t keep your sheets completely dry at night or their clothes dry in the car, if it’s a big accident. BUT they will absorb more than regular underwear and keep their clothes and sheets drier.

And if you have any sewing skills at all, you can make them for 1/4 of the price of cloth trainers!


Now, I’m a beginning sewer so bear with me.  This isn’t a tutorial in which you’ll get patterns and measurements – oh no!  If I were to do that for you, I could assure you that they would be wrong and crooked because everything I do is pretty much free handed – it’s much more fun that way!

DIY Cloth Trainers Supplies

  • Pack of Gerber Cloth Training Pants
  • PUL – waterproof material
  • Fleece [optional]
  • Flannel or Hemp – any type of absorbent material for extra absorbency [optional]

Gerber Unisex Baby 3 Pack Training Pant,White,2TGerber Unisex Baby 3 Pack Training Pant,White,2TWaterproof PUL Fabric Print 56Waterproof PUL Fabric Print 56Organic Cotton Lightweight Flannel Fabric - Natural - 55 Inches wide - By the YardOrganic Cotton Lightweight Flannel Fabric – Natural – 55 Inches wide – By the Yard

The first step in the DIY Cloth Trainers project is making your waterproof AND absorbent core {if you choose to add one}.  I simply laid a piece of paper on the trainers and traced the outline of the already extra padded middle.  One side of the trainers are a little longer than the other, which is why I labeled the front and back so I wouldn’t get them switched around.


Then, I went to cutting – 1 small piece of PUL waterproof material for each trainer.  I also opted to add some extra absorbency in each that I made.  I wanted to test out a few different fabrics so I used both flannel and hemp.  I simply cut up a hemp insert I had within my cloth diapering stash and it worked perfectly!  I also used a little cloth diaper knowledge and decided to add a layer of stay dry fleece inside the trainers so that if I chose to put these on one of the girls’ at nighttime, their skin would stay a bit drier than right up against a wet material.


Then get ready to Pin, Pin, Pin!  I added all the absorbent materials to the inside and attached them to the trainer with a straight stitch.


Once they were in place, I attached my PUL to the outside of the trainers with a zig zag stitch. This step will help keep the wetness inside the absorbent layers rather than leaking through the cloth training pants.

Once they were finished, Sophia was so excited!  We called them her “night time panties” and treated them extra special. Sophia picked out the lovely farm themed PUL, mainly because of it’s blue color and I was pleasantly surprised at how cute they actually turned out!


After several months of use, our DIY cloth training pants have held up wonderfully!  I have found that the trainers with the hemp added in really make a difference – they can absorb one accident without any real leaking – very similar to other cloth trainers on the market.  And price?  Let’s compare our super cute DIY cloth training pants to the average cloth trainer which runs about $15.95 per pair.

3 pack of Gerber Cloth Training Pants – $7.00
PUL – You could totally get by with 1/8 – 1/4 of a yard for this small project – $1.75
Fleece, Hemp, & Flannel are optional and probably best used if you have scraps – $0.00

DIY Cloth Trainers – $2.91 EACH!


  1. Hi Lindsey, I have been getting mixed messages everywhere. These plain Gerber trainers- there is absolutely NO plastic inside them is there? I've read that the Gerber ones with designs on them have some kind of plastic in them (they make a crunchy noise when you squeeze/move them) but can't confirm if these plain ones have it or not. I really don't want plastic of any kind in our trainers, so I wouldn't be using PUL either, I'd be using bamboo or cotton.
    1. Your comment is from time ago so you probably don't need a reply, but for others reading this presently: There are Gerber training pants that have the plastic in them and others that do not-- are strictly cloth . Usually the trainers that have plastic as an inside layer come in packs of two and, in my experience, mention having a terry cloth lining inside.
  2. The PUL you used is super cute! Where did you purchase it?  It's hard to find affordable PUL that is why I purchase already made diaper/trainers.
  3. Hello! thanks for the great tutorial. I had a question though. And forgive me if I sound ignorant, but dont the training pants you buy already have some padding and PUL in them? So are we just making them more absorbant or did you just get plain underwear and add the absorbant layers and PUL?
    1. Jess - great question!  These are the plain Gerber trainers that are simply padded in the middle.  They are all cloth - so adding the layer of PUL simply holds that liquid into the cloth a bit better than if there was none. 

  4. Oh wow, what a fantastic post! Right up my alley since we're training two toddlers at the same time right now. Would you suggest a higher/larger PUL panel on the outside for boys?
    1. Thanks for the question, Anne!  That MIGHT help - although I simply went with the same length on the "extra padding" that were on the trainers already.  I BET they are a bit higher in the boys sizes, you think?

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