How Do You Make Reusable Cotton Pads?




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Making your own reusable makeup pads.

What’s better than finding another zero waste swap that fits seamlessly into your daily routine? Finding a zero-waste swap that you can make yourself, potentially with materials you already have at home.

Reusable makeup pads are a great eco-friendly alternative to cotton wool and are surprisingly simple to make if you’re that way inclined. And don’t worry if you’re not that way inclined, we’ve got plenty available to get you started without having to thread a needle.

How to sew cotton pads

While you can sew these by hand it will obviously be much quicker with a sewing machine and ideally one that will allow you do to a zig-zag stitch. If you don’t have a machine that can do a zigzag stitch you can hand sew or even just use pinking shears.

The material you use is really up to you. The very simplest version is just a single circle (or square which is less wasteful in terms of material), although two layers will give you better absorbency with very little extra effort.

Having two layers has the added benefit of allowing you to have two different textures.

Types of material you can use include:

  • Micro fibre – you can buy microfibre tea towels for not much money and you’ll get a good stash of wipes from a single tea towel.
  • Terry towelling – this is great if you want a little extra lift to help take off your makeup.
  • Muslin – again this is inexpensive to buy and makes a great exfoliating pad.
  • Flannel – very soft and great for eye makeup.
  • Fleece – again nice and soft and easy to get hold of.

And there really is no reason you can’t use what you have at home, especially if you are just testing the water to see how you get on.

There are plenty of video’s online that make great tutorials but the basic method is this:

  1. Choose something the size you want your pads to be to draw around.
  2. Cut out the pads – using pinking shears or scissors.
  3. Sew your chosen layers together.

And that’s it. You are now ready to ditch the cotton wool pads and switch to your very own homemade reusable alternatives.

And if you enjoy the process you can make reusable wipes, un-paper towels, even cloth toilet paper.


Crochet pads are great if you like a pad that gives a bit more exfoliation. All you need is some cotton yarn, a crochet hook and a yarn needle.

Again if you are a beginner you will probably find it easiest to find a video tutorial online. But it’s not that complex and well worth the effort if you want a cheap and effective alternative to cotton pads.

Next up: Are cotton wool pads bad for the environment?

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