Let’s Face it—How to Make Reusable Face Pads

Reusable cotton face rounds and bar face soap are a great way to reduce waste in your bathroom.

As you may recall, during our six-month garbage and recycling audit, we discovered that we had a lot of waste from Alan’s eye-cleaning regime. He has a dry-eye syndrome and part of his preventative care is to scrub his eyes every morning and night. His specialist recommended using over-the-counter commercial eye cleaning pads consisting of disposable cotton wipes individually packaged in plastic-coated foil-lined paper pouches. Using these twice a day piled up in the garbage and they were not cheap to buy. When we looked at the ingredients, they were simply cotton soaked in saline. So I decided to make cotton rounds that he could use to clean his eyes with and then toss in the laundry hamper to be included in the wash. They’ve been great! And not only has Alan been using them, but I’ve had many friends, clients, and their referrals order them from me for purchase for themselves and for gifts.

They’re actually really simple to make if you have a sewing machine. A serger would be great for this, but I don’t have one. You could also sew them by hand using a blanket stitch, as well. Here’s how I make mine:

I’m a long-time quilter, and like most quilters, I have a big stash of leftover and wishful-project fabric. I’ve made a lot of flannel quilts and have a nice supply of cotton flannel fabric, which is perfect for making these rounds. I use three layers, often sandwiching a plain or scrap piece in the middle, using pretty contrasting fabrics on the outsides.

Some of my cotton flannel stash!

When trying to figure out what diameter I wanted to make these rounds, I discovered that my 2-1/2 inch round business card was the perfect size! I simply trace around the card with a pen, use a straight pin to hold the layers together, and cut the shape out with scissors. It’s a great activity to do while listening to podcasts or watching a movie (I’m the kind of person who just cannot sit and watch a show, I have to be doing something at the same time!).

Tracing the shape around a 2-1/2 inch pattern.


Cut out rounds.

Next it’s just a matter of sewing around the edges. I use an overcasting blanket stitch on my sewing machine, a Viking-Husqvarna Sapphire 960Q, with an overcast foot. Make sure you use cotton thread when you sew these, as polyester threads will eventually tear the cotton flannel fabric. Your thread fiber should always match your fabric fiber.

Plus, cotton fabric scraps and thread are compostable! Try to use natural fibers in your sewing as much as possible to reduce waste going to the dump.

Cotton fabric scraps destined to my compost pile.

They wash up great! I think they’re even better after several washings they kind of soften and fluff up. We toss them in the wash with everything else. You can put them into a mesh bag if you’re worried about losing them. We simply lay them on top of the dryer to dry as they stay flatter that way and don’t get lost inside of other clothing.

These rounds have been washed countless times and are still going strong!

Not only are these rounds good for cleaning your eyes, but for removing makeup.

They’re pretty easy to make. But if you don’t have a sewing machine or are not inclined to make them yourself, I do make them to order. Contact me if you’re interested in some—they’re $10 for 20 rounds, plus applicable tax and shipping.

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