Learn how to make your own reusable cotton rounds with this simple step-by-step tutorial. These makeup remover pads are super soft, very easy to take care of and will last a long, long time.
They have such a quality feel and are a great alternative to the usual disposable pads or wipes. They’re gentle enough for everyday use and strong enough to last up to hundreds of washing cycles.
DIY cotton rounds – a fun way to save money! Moreover, every step matters on the way to a zero-waste lifestyle.
There are no exposed raw edges here because I wanted to be able to throw the cotton pads in the washing machine and never worry about them fraying or not keeping their shape.
I also made a simple, unlined drawstring bag so I don’t lose them in the washing machine.
Related: Travel toothbrush holder tutorial / Free mini zipper pouch pattern
This simple, low-stake project is a great introduction to sewing smooth curves. After finishing these pads, you’ll be able to conquer more complex projects with confidence!
Best fabric for reusable makeup pads
You need a fabric that is soft on your skin, doesn’t soak up your makeup remover, and helps you remove all makeup with minimal effort.
Some of the best fabrics for reusable makeup pads include microfiber, terry cloth, bamboo velour, brushed cotton, jersey knits, and fleece.
If you don’t want to buy new fabric for this project, you can just upcycle an old towel. I made my cotton rounds with a couple of microfiber cloths that I received from a friend. Since I had enough cloths for general clean-up, I immediately thought about repurposing those.
A few notes:
Aim to use similar colors for both sides of your cotton rounds to prevent fabric bleeding.
The fastest way to make these cotton rounds is to batch sew – do each step for all of them at once.
You don’t need to make your makeup remover pads round. You’ll waste less fabric and it’s easier to cut and sew squares. They’ll look identical to these DIY fabric coasters (all steps are identical, you’ll only have to skip the batting).
DIY cotton rounds – sewing supplies
- circle template – download PDF below (4 1/4″ diameter)
- fabric for the soft side: microfiber, terry cloth, bamboo velour, brushed cotton, jersey knits, fleece
- cotton fabric for the other side
- sewing machine
- matching thread
- fabric scissors / rotary cutter
- sewing pins / sewing clips
- fabric marking pen
Finished measurement – approx. 3 1/2 inches
Step 1 – cut your pattern pieces
To make my makeup remover pads, I paired a microfiber cloth with some cute cotton fabric.
Use your template and a fabric marking pencil to trace circles on both your chosen fabric pieces, then cut them out with a rotary cutter or sewing scissors. You’ll need two fabric circles for each makeup pad.
I could fit 9 such circles on my 15” square microfiber cloth.
Step 2 – sew the circles together
Next, match up two circles with the wrong sides together.
Use pins or clips to hold your fabric circles together in place. Maybe use fewer clips than shown in this pic – 3 or 4 are enough. I got a little bit carried away (these sewing clips are so cute!).
Take your first pad to the sewing machine.
You’ll sew around the raw edge with a 1/2” or 3/8” seam allowance (it’s your choice, just be consistent).
Leave a 1 1/2” gap for turning. Backstitch at the beginning and end of that small opening.
For the best results, sew slowly and think of the curve as a collection of small straight stitches. Always look ahead and pivot the fabric every 3 or 4 stitches.
Step 3 – trim the seam allowance
Trim the seam allowance to about 1/4”. Do not trim the seam allowance in the gap area.
Step 4 – turn your cotton rounds right side out
Turn your makeup remover pads right side out by pulling them gently through the opening.
You can push out the outer edge of the circles with a pencil or simply roll up the seams between your fingers to smooth out the sewn edge, like this:
Next, fold under the opening you left for turning.
This step is a bit fiddly at first, but you’ll soon get the hang of it. It does take a little practice to work the fabric and get the seam into a rounded shape.
Now give all pads a good press.
One more thing. If your makeup remover pads are anything but round at this point, try using your fingers to give them a nice shape.
Look at the photos below and notice the difference.
Also, if you don’t already do that, start thinking of your fingers as one of your most important sewing tools!
Step 5 – topstitch your cotton rounds
Finally, top stitch 1/8” around the edge of your cotton rounds.
How to use DIY makeup remover pads
I keep my cotton rounds in a small bowl at the side of my sink. Once used, I simply pop them in a little drawstring bag and then into the washing machine. These face pads can be washed and used over and over again!
In addition, DIY makeup remover pads make wonderful little gifts. It is a great opportunity to encourage others to begin their zero-waste journey. I’ll be making a bunch more of these!
Hope you enjoyed this sewing tutorial, see you next time!