Cloth Diapering How To/Demo Velcro/Aplix Closure Warranties

Replacing Bumgenius 3.0 Aplix or Velcro & Laundry Tabs Without a Sewing Machine (Bumgenius Refresher Tutorial)

bumgenius aplix replacement without a sewing machine

Yes, it can be done; I did it.  I have lots of pictures for you!
My cloth diaper stash started with 6 Bumgenius 3.0 pocket diapers.  I bought three in October 2009 to try, followed by 3 more about a week later.  Those 6 got a ton of use as I slowly built up my stash.  As I expected, after nearly constant use, the aplix started to curl, and the laundry tabs started to shrink.  Three of the six were replaced under the Bumgenius warranty, (Cottonbabies’ warranty and customer service are superb by the way) however, the other three really weren’t bad enough to be replaced before the 1-year warranty ended.
worn out bumgenius velcroworn out bumgenius aplix
worn out bumgenius laundry tabsshrunken bumgenius laundry tabs

I have quite a stash of diapers in rotation now; I wash every other day, and diapers are used just a few times a week.  However, two of my Bumgenius 3.0s are still my primary night time diapers (I rotate 4, including a fitted/wool, but the BG are my favorites) so they are still used a lot.  You can see above that the laundry tabs are shrunken and the closure tabs are starting to curl.  They still stick fine to the front of the diaper, but they don’t stick to the laundry tabs anymore.
16 month old bumgenius 3.016 month old bumgenius laundry tabs

laundry tabback of laundry tab

On the other hand, one 3.0 that has been in my regular rotation still looks fine after 16 months.

bumgenius refresher kit

Cottonbabies sells Bumgenius refresher kits for $1.00 each.  They include 3 pieces of elastic, two closure tabs, two laundry tabs, and ship for free.

The kits also include instructions for doing the repairs with a sewing machine.  I’ve adapted them to do it by hand!  Luckily, I didn’t need to replace any elastic, so I’ve just done the closure and laundry tabs.  I decided to try this on a Bumgenius 3.0 AIO I got for free with a coupon code.  That way if I really screwed it up, I wouldn’t be heartbroken!

removing tabscutting tabs

cut tab

First, I very carefully cut the ends of the closure tabs.  The instructions say to remove them with a seam ripper, but I found it much easier to cut the tabs first.  Of course, you want to be very careful not to cut the diaper!

opening tabremoving old tab

seam ripping tabremoving tab

After cutting the ends of the tabs off, it was easy to use a seam ripper to loosen the tabs and remove them.

tab almost offtabs off
tabs offtabs off

bumgenius refresher instructions

The refresher kit included instructions on how to attach the new tabs of course.

new tabssecuring new tabs

new closure tabs

Once I had placed the new tabs, I decided to put a couple stitches to hold the tabs together.  This way it was a little bit easier to keep the tabs in the right place against the diaper, and against each other.

stitches to hold together

As instructed, I started on the flat side and went around the tab twice.

sewing new bumgenius tabsbumgenius velcro replacement by hand

bumgenius aplix replacement

When I finished, I realized the tab had slipped a bit as I was sewing, and ended up a little crooked.  It really doesn’t matter, since the laundry tabs and front strip are quite large and forgiving!

finished tabgrippy side

fuzzy side

The awesome thing about these refresher kits, is that they include the new, “4.0 style” laundry tabs, which (so far) seem to function and hold up far better than the 3.0 style.  Of course, if you are buying these kits from your favorite retailer, check with them first to see which style kit they have.

The instructions say to sew right over the old laundry tabs, but I decided to remove them.

removing old laundry tabsseam ripping old laundry tabs

It took a little longer to remove these than the closure tabs, but it was still pretty quick work.

removed laundry tab

I sewed around the edge of each laundry tab, then in an x through the middle, like the original tabs.

sewing new bumgenius laundry tabreplacing bumgenius laundry tabs by hand

I didn’t really worry too much about making my stitching perfectly even and straight, and I don’t think it was noticeable on the finished tabs.

new bumgenius laundry tabsback

I am pretty happy that $1.00 and some time gave my diapers new life!

bumgenius refresher

I’m not going to lie, this was definitely a little time consuming and tedious to do by hand!

new laundry and closure tabsbumgenius refresher without a sewing machine

The hardest part was going through the thickest portion of the tab where the diaper’s stretchy tab was seamed.  I probably wouldn’t sit down and try to refresh a whole stack of diapers by hand in one sitting, but I will do the others one at a time eventually!

I’m not sure exactly how long it took me; it definitely took me a bit longer since I was taking pictures as I went.  I’m sure the next diapers will go more quickly since I know what I’m doing now!  I want to order an extra kit to replace the horrid laundry tabs on my Blueberry diaper too!

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Maria is an aspiring "fit mom" of 3 children, writing about cloth diapers, going green, and her life as a single mom. Maria works with many companies within the cloth diaper industry and beyond, providing social media management, product development, and other services.
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  • October 10, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    Yes, my Blueberry tabs are atrocious! I love the generous sizing of the covers for going over WAHM fitteds overnight! Good idea replacing with bumGenius tabs!

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  • Kristen
    November 5, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    Do you know of any good tutorials on replacing leg and back elastic on BG 4.0’s without a sewing machine?

    • November 27, 2012 at 8:30 am

      Ack! I am so sorry I didn’t see this sooner to reply. I haven’t had to replace mine yet but if I remember correctly, there IS some sort of tute out there demonstrating, since the 4.0s have the easier to access elastic.

  • Candace Prosser
    April 11, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    My aplix is wearing out mainly on my blue and yellow BG 3.0s that were a gift from a friend. She ordered them and never used them so they are not covered through the warranty. I was thinking of replacing the aplix like you did with the kit, but then I saw this tutorial: I think that i am going to replace the aplix with snaps.

  • October 17, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    […] long time! Three of those were replaced under the awesome Cottonbabies warranty, two are in need of Velcro replacement and one is still going […]

  • February 24, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    >Great job! Loved the images..Pls follow my blog as

  • February 22, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    >It did say to sew over them, but I wanted to remove them. I thoguht I said that but maybe not? Luckily my elastic is still OK!

  • February 22, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    >I have the old style refresher kits and those said to sew the new laundry tabs over the old laundry tabs! Did they change it with the new style of laundry tabs/velcro? I just purchasede 6 more of these so 1/4 of my stash will be with the new kits, I can't wait to campare them. btw, did you do the elastic replacement too?

  • February 22, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    >This would make me cuss.. a LOT! lol. I can't sew, even though I have my grandma's old machine. I got some 'freebie' kits to 'help' my aios out–I SHOULD have just gotten them replaced, darnit.. lol. But… anyway, I gave them to my mom (who can sew and has a machine), but she hasn't done them… she really needs to get on that! lol! I guess my hubby and I will probably volunteer to cut/seam rip so she can sew. They are mediums though, so we have a while until we will need them!

  • February 22, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    >Good job!

  • February 22, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    >I have been thinking about sending mine in to be converted from Aplix to Snaps. I love my BGs, but they don't get used as much because I am not a fan of the Aplix….plus my son can take them off even when he is fully dressed!

  • February 22, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    >That was another thing I thought about doing, but I need to get a snap press/pliers first!

  • February 22, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    >Great job. Since I'm a snap fan, I'd love to look into replacing some of our aplix closures with snaps.

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