How to make your own re-usable cotton rounds

My new-years resolution for this month was to start making some of my own household and beauty products.  When I was brainstorming about the kinds of things I could make, it occurred to me that I could also try my hand at making re-usable versions of some of the disposable household items I use often.

Over the past few years, I’ve begun replacing disposable household items with re-usable ones.  I started using washable dish-cloths and opted for handkerchiefs instead of tissues.  I’ve even begun making the switch to re-usable menstrual products.   But once disposable item that I was still using was cotton wool rounds.

On an average day, I use at least three of these rounds: one for removing my eye-makeup at night and two for applying toner twice a day.  I also use them for removing my nail polish, applying hot oil treatments to my hair, putting tea-tree oil on spots and a whole host of other uses.  I feel a bit dirty when I think about how many cotton balls I chuck in the garbage each day.  It just seems like such a waste.

So I started to brainstorm a solution.  I came up with the idea of making some re-usable cotton rounds that can be washed and re-usedd.  I whipped up a batch and they work a treat!  Here’s how you can make some for yourself.

You will need:

– Fabric.  Preferably cotton.  I used an old towel.  (Please don’t buy fabric for this project!  There are so many things you probably have at home that you can use: frayed linens and towels, old tee shirts, or just fabric remnants from other sewing project).

– A glass or jar

– A marker or chalk

– Sharp scissors

– Pins

– Needle and thread or a sewing machine.

DSCF9285Step 1.

Draw a bunch of circles on your fabric using the glass as a stencil.  Try to make an even number of circles.

DSCF9287Step 2.

Cut the circles out using sharp scissors.  You don’t have to be too precious about making the circles the perfect shape, just as long as they are roughly the same size.

DSCF9289Step 3.

Pin several circles together until you reach your desired thickness.  As the towel I used was quite thick, I found that two layers was enough.  If you’re using and old sheet or a tee shirt, you might like to use three or even four layes to make your rounds soft and absorbent.  When pinning the layers together, try to match the edges up as closely as you can.


DSCF9290Step 4.

Stitch the layers together using a whip stitch.  I used a contrasting stitch for mine because I thought it would be cute. You can use a sewing machine or just hand-stitch the rounds.


And then you’re done!  Once you use your rounds, just pop them in the wash, let them dry out and reuse them again.  You can use the cotton rounds for any of the uses you would normally use cotton wool.



  1. Truly excellent post and I love upcycling/re-using. I tend to use a towel flannel and muslin face cloth for the purposes of the rounds but it’s the same principle and having some in rounds like this would be very handy to have and more convenient than a flannel or face cloth. I’ve seen people buy squares of fabric for cleaning for silly prices when they could just buy by the metre and cut the fabric up themselves and sew simple seams around the edges if need be.

    • I use a face towel for cleansing my face, but I wanted some rounds for applying toner and treatments. I also thought that the shape would make them easier to store, as I have a jar on my dresser that fits them perfectly.

      I think the size would also make these a good option for travelling. They’re small and easy to squeeze into your overnight bag.

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