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Add Snaps to Prefold Diaper
NOTE: The above image shows me adding snaps to the middle third of a prefold. I later changed my mind and decided that it was best to add the snaps to one of the END pieces instead.

When I was pregnant with my daughter (my firstborn), I decided to use cloth diapers. Honestly, not so much for the environmental aspect, but for the financial aspect. I did some research and decided that prefolds – which are like the ‘old fashioned’ type of cloth diapers – would be the cheapest. Together with sewing my own diaper covers, I was able to make diapering a much more affordable expense than using disposables. Plus, since I hoped to have more than just one kid, I figured that the savings would only increase in re-using for a second (or more) child.

My giveaway winnings!
My giveaway winnings!

When I was pregnant with my my son, I ended up winning this blog giveaway for two Buttons diaper covers and inserts. I’ve actually won a few small things from blog giveaways, but the Buttons diaper covers are probably my favorite. So far. πŸ™‚

I ended up really liking the Buttons covers, even more so than the homemade ones I used with C. However, I didn’t want to invest in buying a whole new startup cloth diaper system either. So I eventually figured out a compromise. I’d buy a couple more Buttons diaper covers – but I’d make the inserts from all the prefold diapers I already had. Ta da, problem solved! (I’m not receiving any type of payment for this glowing recommendation of Buttons diapers; so this is all truth. πŸ™‚ Although…if you’re interested and want to purchase, please consider clicking through my affiliate link here: Buttons Cloth Diaper Cover and I’ll get a tiny percentage.)

I almost didn’t take pictures of this whole process, as I actually do a lot of DIY stuff on a normal basis and just didn’t think about it. But I luckily thought that someone else out there might want to do this too and I could help out. So here’s my quick picture tutorial for adding snaps to prefolds.diapercover

Buttons covers, like other cloth diapers, have a snap-in insert system and there are two snaps on the inside of the cover, one at the front end and one at the back end, as shown to the right:

Step 1: Obtain snap pliers and long prong snaps. I had never used snap pliers before this, so I had to research and buy them first. KAM pliers can be purchased from their website or even from Amazon. I suggest buying straight from KAMsnaps.com as not only are they currently on sale for $12, but you can also special order the correct size snaps needed for prefolds instead of having to buy an assortment mix from Amazon/ebay.

There are different sized snaps. You probably will need Size 20 (unless you have some weird off-brand diapers; most brands seem to use size 20. Buttons diapers are size 20) and you’ll also want the LONG PRONG size. This is important. The regular size prongs won’t fit well through the extra thickness of a prefold.

If you have no other need for the snaps at this moment (I didn’t), then you can order just the stud (male) end of the snap, in increments of 100. It is only $1.59 for 100 studs, and $2.25 for 100 long prong caps.

Step 2: Mark the desired snap positions on the prefold. I used one of the inserts I won to mark the position of the snaps. If you don’t already have an insert to use, you can probably also measure the distance between the snaps of the cover you’re planning to use.

If anyone is curious, the prefolds shown in these pictures are the OsoCozy Better Fit Prefolds. I like the Better Fit size because its shorter length is specially meant to be trifolded into covers.

I should also note that I originally – as mentioned in the caption of the picture at the top of this blog post – put snaps in the middle thickest part of the prefold, but later realized I preferred to put them on one of the ends, and fold them up that way. So while a couple of the following pictures show me putting snaps in the middle, I eventually put them on the end pieces instead.You can do it either way.

Measuring the snap placement using the Buttons insert.
greendotplacement
I used a green marker to mark the spot for the snap. The snap on the insert is kind of hard to see.

greendotmarking
Step 3: Add the snaps using the snap pliers.

snapsadded
Step 4: Trifold the prefold and snap into cover.

foldedprefoldinsert
Make sure that when you trifold it, the “stud” part of the snap is on the outside and the flat part is on the inside of the material. πŸ™‚

prefoldsnappedin
Step 5: Put diaper on baby. If you have the cover snapped down to one of the smaller sizes, the prefold insert may stick out a little bit at the top, but it’s easy to tuck into the cover.

prefoldstickingout
Prefold sticking out a bit at the top, but it’s easy to tuck in.

prefoldtuckedin

And voila! Now you don’t need to buy fancy and expensive cloth diaper inserts!

How to turn a prefold into a cloth diaper snap-in insert.
Prefold snap-in insert – just as good as the real one! πŸ™‚

Prefolds don’t have a stay-dry layer though, which isn’t a big deal to me, as I’ve been using prefold for awhile and my kids haven’t seemed to need a stay-dry layer. However, I might consider sewing a microfleece layer on the top of the trifold (which when folded up is the thick middle strip) if I do later decide I want a stay-dry element.

I hope this helped someone out! πŸ™‚

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6 comments on “How to Add Snaps to Prefold Diaper & Turn It Into a Cloth Diaper Insert”

  1. Thank you for this tutorial! Our fancy snap-ins are suffering from wear and tear, so this might be a great solution. I think my cousin has a snap thingy, so I could just borrow hers, too! Perfect. I cut fleece and keep them separate as stay dry layers, btw.

    • Thanks Laura! Let me know if you do end up doing this and how you like it. I’ve only been using the prefolds as inserts for a couple days at this point, but so far, I really like this method. Prefolds are the workhorses of cloth diapers and last for a long time! The ones pictured in this tutorial have already been through two kids (C and one of my nephews I lent them to) and are still holding up just fine with S.

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