How to Make Reusable Cloth Pads for Operation Christmas Child 10-14 Year Old Girl Shoeboxes

These are reusable cloth pads for girls in the 10 to 14 age group for their Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. These can quite literally change a girl’s life. In many countries in Africa, for instance, girls will have to miss school every week that they have their period. Disposable pads are way too expensive or completely unavailable, and using old clothes to for this purpose is just something many girls can’t afford to do since they often have little siblings coming up behind them.

I’ve read some girls will become so desperate that they sell their young bodies just to have enough money to buy pads. There are some programs (like Days for Girls) that are dedicated specifically to the cause of equipping young girls with cloth pads. These will get divided up and each girl will get four pads, a couple of pairs of underwear, a special bar of soap, and an instructional card so they will know what these are for.

For those of you that do OCC shoeboxes and sew, or if you know people who sew, this is a worthwhile project!

Pattern & Instructions

Pattern – This was designed on letter sized paper. Make sure you print this out at 100% or the dimensions will be off.

Instructions – These are the basic instructions about fabrics and absorbency that I provided to the ladies in my church who have been sewing cloth pads for our church’s shoeboxes.

Printable Instruction Cards for Cloth Pad Kits – This is a low resolution PDF of a design I made in Photoshop. It is based loosely on another instructional graphic I found online. You should be able to print this out on letter sized (8.5″ x 11″) paper or card stock and each printout will yield two instruction cards.


  • Flannel – for the topper (cute patterns with darker colors are ideal) and for the absorbent core (a solid light color is good for this part)
  • Zorb – for the absorbent core, sandwiched between two pieces of flannel (You can buy Zorb at this link
  • Anti-Pill Fleece – for the backer

How-To Videos

I learned so much from this videos by Amy Nix, and her pattern is the one on which I based mine. It just makes sense. I recommend you watch both of these to get a good idea of exactly how these are constructed.

For more about OCC, please visit the official OCC website and check out the resource page I’ve set up on our church website.

OCC Shoebox Resources

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