DIYs,  Waste

How to sew your own reusable makeup remover rounds

Disposable makeup remover rounds are such a useless invention! I keep a jar of rags made from cut up old t-shirts and what not which I use as handkerchiefs, napkins and makeup remover rounds. 

Can you get makeup remover in bulk? You don’t need it! Oil works a treat and it much safer for your skin and eyes. I keep a little jar of coconut oil in the bathroom which I use to remove makeup before I wash my face (you really don’t even need to wash your face it works so well).

But if you are unlike me and like to actually have nice things and know how to sew (I’m learning!!) then the following post is for you! A close friend of mine and the lady behind the Sam Sews Project has written a guest post for me with all the instructions you will need to make your own reusable makeup remover rounds! I’ll leave her to it.

(Want to tackle more zero waste swaps? Next, try using newspaper instead of a bin liner or making your own deodorant!)

Reusable Makeup Remover Pad Instructions 

Written by Samantha Warren Porter of Sam Sews.

Fabric make up pads can be used entirely like disposable cotton make-up rounds. Personally I make mine in 3” x 3” squares, purely for convenience because they are easier to cut; however feel free to change the size or cut out round in circles or however you like – just remember you have to sew round the edge later! Once you get into the habit of making them (they work great in pretty prints for presents if you make a little bag for them to go into), I find when I’m working on other project and find off cuts that would fit in a 4” square I cut it then and pop in a pile. This way when I have a build up of squares, I can easily whip some up with out spending much time faffing around.

Fabric Suggestions

Rough side; course cotton, linen, bark cloth, denim, muslin

Soft side: flannelette, cotton, cotton lawn, fine corduroy, fine velvet, jersey

I would suggest staying away from white and light colours if you are going to be using them for makeup removal as they might stain.

In the example pictured, I have used some off cuts of organic Cotton by Cloud9 fabrics (rougher side) and an old singlet that I believe is polyester jersey that had a hole in the side (soft side). Remember polyester is made from a fossil fuel and you probably don’t want that on your skin. Organic cotton is a good option.


If you are using fabric from an op-shop, off-cuts from new fabric or fabric that you don’t know how they have been treated prior to it coming in to your possession, I suggest that you wash at 40° and then tumble dry. Then if the fabric is going to shrink or change shape slightly when washed, it will happen before it has been made into the make up pad. Especially if you are choosing to use two different fabrics as they may shrink/warp differently.

If you are re-using fabric that used to be a pillowcase/singlet/baby swaddle then it is likely that you have washed and dried it many times already!

Iron everything so you can cut it out accurately.


  • Fabric scissors/roller cutter
  • Tape measure
  • Sewing machine or Overlocker
  • Thread
  • Pins


If your fabric scissors feel blunt are snagging the fabric, chop through some wire wool to sharpen them up easily. You can do this trick with pins and needles to, by making a pin cushion and stuffing it with wire wool.

How To

Cut out your fabric in to 4” x 4” squares, using either fabric scissors or a roller cutter and metal ruler. (A roller cutter will give you a more accurate and straight line if you are planning to make them as gifts). Make sure to cut on the grain not on the bias.

Match up your squares in to pairs, one of each texture if you chose to do that. Place them with with the picture sides together. Pin together with on pin in the center of each square.

If you are using a sewing machine, you can either use a zig-zag stitch (about medium length) or your overcasting foot. Stay close to the edge of the square, don’t worry if you stray too much, as you will trim the edges off. Back-stitch a few stitches at the beginning and end, and tie off lose ends of thread before trimming.  Take  care on the corners; when you reach a corner leave the needle IN the fabric, lift the foot, turn fabric, lower the foot and continue on your way.



If you are using an over locker, make sure to all a couple of mm that will get trimmed. Over lock one edge at a time, catching the lose threads in the blade of the next edge, tie off the ends of final edge and thread back up through the stitching to finish off as shown in image below. 

And there you have it – now you can play around with different shapes and fabrics. You can throw them in the wash with all your other clothes, I would pop them in a lingerie bag or pillow case though so they don’t all get lost in the washer! Enjoy!

Overlocker (left) and Zig Zag on sewing machine (right)


Don’t forget to show us what you have made, we can’t wait to see all the variations you  come up with!

Tag @sustainable.simply and @samsewsproject in your pictures on Instagram so we can share your creations!



Help! What does that mean

Bias: Cutting on the bias is when you cut at 45 degrees to the grain of the fabric. This is used for woven (non-stretchy) fabric needs to be more flexible, fluid or have more ‘give’. If done by accident it can cause you project to lose its shape.

Wrong/Right side: The easiest way to describe this would be if you are using a velvet type fabric. The ‘furry’ is the side you want to see and would be on the outside of a garment, there fore it is the right side, the plan back of the fabric that gets hidden is referred to as wrong side.



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