I spent an incredibly long time exploring all the incredible works of art…err…diapers created by Bunzuke Cloth and published in their photo album. I am so thankful that the owner, Sara Scholl, agreed to share a behind the scenes look at her Midland, Texas based brand.
Here is just a peek at some of her incredible creations.
Sara answered some of my burning questions but first, some of my favorite Bunzuke creations!
OK back to the interview!
Me: How did you get started?
Sara: In the early months of 2011, our 3 month old daughter needed some “air time” after a diaper change. My husband tied a flannel, receiving blanket around her tiny bottom, and that’s what started it all. I began searching for diaper patterns and cutting up any and all diaper friendly fabrics I had around the house. There was not a safe throw blanket or pair of flannel pajamas in the house! I was making diapers everyday and couldn’t stop. A friend of my sister ordered 12 diapers for her pregnant friend, and that’s what started Bunzuke Cloth.
Here is one of her first character diapers:
When did you start making such intricate diapers?
One of my first playful diapers was a bumblebee diaper I made for my daughter, then a pink cat, and then ruffle bottom diapers were becoming popular. I frequented chat groups and so many moms said “I wish I could put ruffles on my son!”. That gave me the idea for a cheeseburger diaper, with a lettuce ruffle, worn proudly by one of my first faithful customers!
A friend requested a minion to be made for her nephew. As I began posting pictures, it was my customers who started pushing me into more and more intricate designs. There really seems to be almost no limit to what can be put on the bum of a diaper, which makes it both overwhelming, challenging, and fun at the same time.
Where do you get your inspiration?
When I create outside the borders of a particular request, I’m inspired by shows my husband and I might be watching at the time, or just ideas that come from conversations we have about the business. Both the “Adventure Time” and “Doctor Who” diapers came from that. More often then not it is my customers who push the envelope. Some customers have very detailed requests, but I am most inspired when they give a short list of interests or ideas and then leave the execution of the design up to me. Some of my personal favorites to make were the Grumpy Cat, Phoenix, and Gizmo.
I love, love, love receiving pictures of people’s beloved kiddos in Bunzuke diapers! It reminds me why I do what I do and all the smiles brought into something as mundane as diaper changing.
How long does it take you to create something new?
When I am really fired up, I’ve executed a “rough draft” idea in an hour and a half! If I have all the materials I need on hand, a basic diaper can be made in a relatively short period of time. Alas, with two kiddos and a small apartment, nothing is ever right on hand, and work can usually be done in 15 minute bursts. Many of the more intricate character diapers take over eight to 12 hours, if I were to do it at one sitting. If I don’t have to order fabric and communication between the customer is speedy, I usually have a custom diaper made in a week. Then, about another week for final touches, packaging, final payments, and shipping to be completed.
Have you had anything that you tried but didn’t work as planned?
I work really hard to try and mesh a customer’s vision with the limitations of my skill and supplies! One of my early custom diaper requests was for the face of the main character from “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” As you can imagine, that would be really hard to capture very good, in fabric, so we compromised on the worm character from “The Labryinth.”
I recently made a pink, rebel helmet from a Star Wars character, and the customer was a delight to work with! It was a difficult diaper to make because there were a lot of pieces to cut out and it also had to be symmetrical. I hand draw most of the designs onto a mock diaper cut, or cardstock, and cut the pieces into a pattern. Before the elastic was in, it looked pretty cool, but once it got scrunched up and then put into use, the placement and scale was just off. She was still excited to get it, and it just makes me do better the next time.
I’d love to see your workspace!
We’re in a small, 2 bedroom apartment so our dining room triples as eating space, office, and sewing room!
Dining room by day, sewing room by, uh…well also by day. 😉
My husband and I use half of the closet for our clothes and the other side is fabric and supplies storage. I have my snaps hanging above my washer and dryer. I just gotta make it work!
Plenty of room for the important stuff, right?
How about a peek at some diapers in progress?
Here are some diapers (in progress) Bunzuke made for The Great Cloth Diaper Change Permian Basin.
And Bunzuke’s Booth!
What do you think of Bunzuke diapers? Which do you love most? What do you think Sara should make next?