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How to Make Reusable Cotton Rounds, Step by Step

Reduce waste in your beauty routine by making reusable cotton rounds. Here's how to make the eco-friendly swap.

Written by
Tehrene Firman

It's the end of a long day, and it's time for the makeup to come off. For many, that means using a cotton round, then tossing it in the trash. While they work great at removing mascara, foundation, and beyond, you may not have considered how wasteful they can be.

While many people assume cotton pads are biodegradable, that's unfortunately not the case due to the bleaching and mixing processes that are used to create them. Instead of breaking down, they sit in landfills producing greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. Typical non-organic cotton farming also has a hefty water footprint and uses chemicals that can pollute rivers and harm wildlife.

Instead of using disposable store-bought cotton rounds every day, why not make reusable cotton rounds with fabric you already have? Any soft, cotton fabric works great, like a t-shirt that's too worn out to wear. Instead of being tossed out, you're giving that shirt a second life.

Here's how to go about making your own reusable cotton rounds, step by step.

How to Make Reusable Cotton Rounds

This tutorial gives you two options: hemming the reusable cotton rounds to make them stronger, or opting out of sewing altogether for a quickie solution that takes under a minute. Follow along with the instructions below for as long as you see fit. If you'd rather buy a premade, eco-friendly option, try this.

What You'll Need:

Soft cotton t-shirt (or another cotton material)
Sharp scissors
A glass, cookie-cutter, or lid that's the size of the circle you want


1. Lay your t-shirt on a smooth and even surface, like a table.
2. Press down firmly on the fabric with your circle shape, creating an indentation so you'll know where to cut.
3. Cut out as many circle shapes as you please. If you want your cotton rounds to be thicker, be sure you have enough to double them up.
4. If you don't want to do any sewing, you can stop here and use your new cotton rounds as-is! Be sure to wash them on delicate in a mesh laundry bag to prevent as much fraying as possible.

Want to sew? Continue on!

5. Stack your cotton rounds so they're in pairs of two.
6. Sew the two pieces of fabric together along the edges to prevent the edges from fraying. You can use a very simple stitch, as demonstrated below:


7. Once you're finished sewing your reusable cotton rounds, they're ready to be used!
8. To clean them, wash them on delicate in a mesh laundry bag.