DIY Cotton Pads | How to make your own

DIY Cotton Pads - www.aimsysantics.co.uk

Another DIY post for you today, one that you can make easily and is eco-friendly. Continue reading to see how to make your own DIY cotton pads!

Today marks the start of a slightly different shift in Aimsy’s Antics. I have always had an interest in crafting, making my own things and generally a bit of DIY. I think I have inherited this from my dad, with my mum’s creative mind thrown in. So, from now on there will be a lot more crafting and DIY style posts popping up on the blog, with the added bonus of a video tutorial to go along with it. Yes, I am branching out into the world of Youtube! I am in no means an expert, but I’d love to be able to share the creativeness and inspire you to have a go at making a few things, as well as documenting my journey.

DIY Cotton Pads

Why DIY cotton pads? Well, most cotton pads are not recyclable and after one use end up in landfill somewhere. Totally not good for the environment! I believe some cotton pads can be popped into compost if they are 100% cotton wool; however, they can’t have makeup remover or make-up or chemicals on them. This is because the chemicals will contaminate the compost heap. So basically not compostable for what I use cotton pads for. I have also read that cotton crops are not the most environment-friendly either due to the number of pesticides required to successfully grow the crops without insects hampering them.

So, in a bid to be a bit more eco-friendly and reduce some of my waste, I’ve opted to make my own DIY cotton pads. They are super easy to make, look fab and make great gifts too. All you have to do is use them, store them up in a small washable bag, and pop them in the wash. They are then ready to re-use.

The only problem with these is you probably can’t use them to remove nail varnish. Let me know if you have any tips on how to do this in a more eco-friendly way!

DIY cotton pads laid out

Making DIY Cotton Pads:

To make your own DIY cotton pads is really easy and you don’t really need to own a sewing machine. That’s right, you could sew these by hand! However, in this tutorial, I am using my trusty sewing machine.
There are two different DIY cotton pads in this tutorial. One plain and one with a patterned side. Both use the same method which you will see below. Skip to the end of the post if you would prefer to see the video tutorial.

I have also chosen to make square cotton pads as this appeared to be more economical with the fabric with less wastage of scrap pieces. It is also easier to cut out when square shaped too.

Items needed:

  • Cotton Flannel material is the base of this DIY. I bought a metre on Amazon, however, you won’t need this much for one set of cotton pads
  • Matching cotton thread
  • Sewing Machine
  • Ruler
  • Fabric marker
  • Patterned cotton material (Optional)

Step 1 – Wash, dry & iron

Before you even make any attempts at this sewing DIY, you need to wash and dry your material. This will, one, clean your material and two, allow for any shrinkage and fraying of the material. You definitely do not want your newly made cotton pads to fray and shrink in the wash after using them.

Once dried, it is best to iron out any wrinkles that have formed in your material. This will make it easier when cutting out your cotton pads and reduce the amount of ‘rough and choppy’ cutting. Not pressing out your fabric before a project can also mean that you cut too short; which will have a dramatic impact on your finished piece.

Just to note the cotton flannel material can crease easily!

White cotton flannel material over an ironing board

Step 2 – Mark and Cut material

Now that your fabric is ready, it is time to mark and cut your material. Along one side of the material, mark 7cm down in intermittent dots. Continue this until you reach the end of the material. Once you have all of your marked dots in place, grab your ruler and draw a faint line.
Cut along the line to create one strip of material. This will make it a 7cm wide cotton pad.

You then want to fold this strip of material in half, and cut along the fold line to make two strips of material.

Blue tailors chalk marking material

Step 3 – Mark and cut your Squares

Keeping your two strips on top of each other, grab your ruler and fabric marker and mark 7 cm along this strip. Again it is easier to make two dots per intended line and t then join these up. Keep going until you have squares marked out along the strip.

Once you have your squares marked, grab your fabric scissors and cut along each line. Ensure that both strips are properly aligned before doing this so that your two layers are matching.

Cutting squares of material

Optional Step – Mark and cut Patterned material

If you are wanting to add a more decorative touch, this is where you will mark and cut out your patterned material. Follow the steps above to make 7cmx7cm squares of the material. Once these have been cut out, line them up with x2 squares of the cotton flannel.

So, for the patterned cotton pads, you will have three layers as opposed to two layers of the unpatterned.

Marking squares out on patterned material

Step 4 – Sew

It is time to hop over to your sewing machine. Thread it up and turn the stitch setting to a Zig-Zag stitch, also known as the overlock stitch.
Ensure all edges of your layers of fabric are aligned on top of each other- for the plain cotton pads this will be two squares, and for the patterned, this will be x2 squares of the cotton flannel plus x1 of patterned cotton. Make sure the patterned side is facing up (pattern up).

Start sewing a zig-zag stitch around all four edges of the square. This will join the layers together as well as give them a bit of a decorative touch. It will also help with stopping the edge of your fabric from fraying buy trapping any loose edges in. You definitely don’t want your cotton pads to fray!

Zig-Zag stitch setting on a sewing machine dial
Sewing cotton pad square

Trim any loose thread and there you have your own DIY Cotton Pad!

Cutting loose threads from a cotton pad

How easy and quick was that to complete? Will you be giving these a go? Let me know in the comments below!

DIY cotton pads in a glass jar
DIY Cotton Pads laid out

DIY Cotton Pad Video Tutorial:

If you would like to see some of my past DIYs, why not check out; How to make a crown-shaped cushion and How to make your own Paper Flower Wall. Check out my Craft/DIYs section for all of the projects I have done so far too.

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12 thoughts on “DIY Cotton Pads | How to make your own

    1. Ooo, I like the idea of silk ones. I bet they’ll feel lovely on your skin. May have to have a bit of a nosey at them and have a go at making my own if they are any good!

      Thanks for commenting!

      Aimsy xoxo

  1. This is such a cool business idea! Seriously, I use so many of these and would love to have some reusable ones but I am terrible at sewing (like tragically so). I love these so much – great idea, brilliant post ♥

    1. You can make them out of all sorts of different material, even an old towel! I think you can buy them online…I might have to have a go selling some! Glad you like them 🙂

      Thanks for commenting 🙂

      Aimsy xoxo

    1. They are so easy to make, and you could make them out of other absorbent material like an old towel. You will have to let me know how they turn out if you end up making them!

      Thanks for commenting 🙂

      Aimsy xoxo

    1. I didn’t realise how bad they were until I looked up how to make my own. Still trying to figure out how to remove nail varnish more eco-friendly.
      Thanks for commenting 🙂

      Aimsy xoxo

  2. This is so creative, you’re lucky to be blessed with crafty hands. Even with your clear instructions I don’t think I’d be able to pull this off- I may just try in the future though! Very eco friendly.

  3. These are amazing! I’m really now a sewer, although I have been debating whether to use some of my cotton yarn to crochet some cotton make up removing pads – I just don’t trust my end sewing on such a tiny project! I have made my own flannels/face cloths though which is pretty cool.

    Definitely set up your own little shop on Etsy! This type of thing is in such huge demand at the moment

    1. Oh, I like the sound of making your own flannels! Might be inspiration for another little crafty project there. Crochet cotton pads sound lovely, I would struggle so much with that, as although I can sew, I find knitting and crochet so hard!

      I might have a look into selling a few, will have to make a few more batches!
      Thanks for commenting 🙂

      Aimsy xoxo

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