Trading cotton balls for reusable rounds

Let’s talk cotton balls. They’re soft, they’re squishy, they’re incredibly disposable. Disposability is part of their appeal, but with serious questions about how sustainable it is to produce cotton, and ethics around farm labor, I’m trying to transition away from my more consumptive habits and opt to not buy cotton if I only intend to throw it away. But I do still have an old bag of cotton balls in my medicine cabinet–or I did until recently. When I got down to the last cotton ball, I decided it was time to make my own reusable makeup removal cotton rounds.

I fashioned these little rounds from a salvaged hoodie that would have ended up in a textile recycling bin. Let’s hear it for reuse.

So here’s how I made my own reusable makeup removal rounds.

1. First I took a pair of scissors to my hoodie. You can use a cup or jar lid to measure your rounds to get them to the exact size you want but I didn’t care to do that. First of all, it’s not terribly important to me if the rounds are slightly different sizes or not true circles. Second of all, by being flexible about the size and shape, I could use more of the hoodie, especially from the sleeves where the cut of the fabric is a bit slanted and awkward.

cutting hoodie diy makeup rounds

2. Before you start cutting, you want to fold your piece of fabric in half. That way you’ll get stacks of two pieces of fabric of the same shape.

two halves diy makeup rounds

3. Place the two halves of the round with the right sides facing in, so you’re left with the soft and textured side facing out.

diy makeup rounds

4. Then, sew the two halves together. You can hand sew the fabric, but I prefer to use a machine because it’s fast. One hoodie makes a lot of rounds. This is a fraction of what I made.

sewn diy makeup rounds

I ended up having plenty to share with friends who have been trying to minimize their waste.

close diy makeup rounds

5. Trim the extra thread from the finished DIY makeup rounds.

finished diy makeup rounds

6. Now find a storage solution for your new reusable makeup rounds. I used a parfait jar purchased from Le Pain Quotidien several years ago.

storing diy makeup rounds

Incidentally, this jar looks very neat and orderly next to my attractive toothpaste jar. And I’m not saying it’s all about appearances, but it doesn’t hurt the cause.

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