Eco Project: Homemade reusable Cotton Pad Alternative (Instructions & care info)

To start my blog off. I’d thought I’d share my super easy home-made cotton pad alternative!

Finished cotton pad alternative.

So if you’re thinking why would I want to create cotton pads? Well, cotton isn’t as eco-friendly as we may have thought!

The production of cotton involves the use of a lot of chemicals which pollutes the environment. According to ‘The Little Green Book of Beauty’ cotton is responsible for 15% of global insecticides, which is more than any other crop. But whilst  organic cotton is more environmentally friendly, It’s still ending up in the landfill!

So my solution to this problem is to create reusable alternatives to cotton wool balls/pads. They are  re-washed in the washing machine, so they don’t fill up the landfill! Also they save money so you don’t have to buy more as they last for years!

Materials needed:

Fabric Tip: **If your fabric is new you may need to wash it in the washing machine  before making your product to account for fabric shrinking.**

Soft material for the outside of the cotton pad alternative. (Green Tip: You could reuse an old T-shirt or microfiber towel).

Material for the inside of the product (This could be any of the above or hemp.) This is just for padding so use as many layers as you like!

Sewing needle and thread or sewing machine.


Pins (For pinning the fabric together during sewing.)


Soft  material for hemming (such as cotton)

Fabric unpicker (If you are reusing something)

So let’s get started on the instructions!

1) Firstly if you’re re-using an old t-shirt or make-up bag you’ll need to unpick the fabric using a fabric unpicker, this is less damaging to the fabric than scissors.  Skip this step if you’re using new fabric.

Click on the image to enlarge.

2) Next you’ll need to cut 2 pieces of fabric (in whichever size is right for you) for the outside of the cotton pad alternative. I used an old make-up bag (the leaf patterned fabric,) but you could use whichever fabric you wanted 🙂

3) Then you’ll need to cut 2-4 pieces of fabric (depending on the desired thickness of your finished product) in the same size as the ones above for the inside of your cotton pad alternative. For this I used an old hemp brush holder.

Click on the image to enlarge.

Step 1 & 2 Cut your fabric pieces

4) Now you will need to carefully place your fabric pieces on top of each other. Your inner fabric piece(s) will be in the middle. Now pin your fabric pieces together tightly so they don’t move as you are sewing them.

Click on the image to enlarge.

Step 4: Carefully pin your fabric together

5) Start to sew your  fabric together by hand or use your sewing machine.. The choice is up to you! (When starting to sew, or starting a new piece of thread always make sure the knot on the thread is on the inside of the fabric, underneath your top layer, so it has less chance of scratching your face. See below photo)  Sew all the way round your new cotton pad alternative.

Click on the image to enlarge.

Step 5: Starting to sew your fabric pieces

6) (Optional) You could add a hem to your new cotton pad if you choice. Simply pin your hem to the outside of  your cotton pad alternative and sew!

Click on the image to enlarge

Optional adding a hem

Finished!  Before you know it you’ll have created a lot of your own cotton pad alternative.. Its addictive!


Cotton wool alternative care information: 

Wash your new product in the washing machine with your usual laundry, (Green tip: Wash at 30 degrees or the lowest setting available)  in a mesh bag. You could reuse a mesh cosmetic bag or purchase a mesh bag for lingerie or baby clothes!

Store your new cotton pad alternative in an airtight container ready for using.

Store dirty cotton pad alternatives in cold water or White vinegar/Distilled vinegar. (Green tip: Reuse an old plastic or glass container). White vinegar is a natural disinfectant and cleaner.

Use cotton pad alternatives for applying your cleanser, toner and moisturiser. You could also use it for removing face masks and face scrubs!

Happy sewing!

Stacey xo

One thought on “Eco Project: Homemade reusable Cotton Pad Alternative (Instructions & care info)

  1. Pingback: Being green and Saving money.. Really? « Stacey's Going Greener Journey

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