Blog,  Craft

DIY Reusable Cotton Rounds (+3 Zero Waste Makeup Removers)

This project is a must for anyone who is going zero waste and wears make-up. To be fair these compact cotton circles have more uses than as a make-up remover wipe. But lets get down to how easy it is to make these bad boys.

Pinnable DIY Zero Waste Reusable Cotton Rounds plus ideas for natural makeup removers

Time: 25 minutes (also depends on how many rounds you make. Making 10 takes approximately 25 minutes)

Difficulty: Easy


First get some cotton fabric. I actually acquired mine at my local thrift store. 3/4 of a yard of this soft tan fabric was an absolute steal for only 99 cents!

Get a mason jar or the bottom of a glass and trace a circle onto card stock or thin cardboard. I used some scrap cardboard from a food box. (Reuse before you recycle!)

Making Cotton Rounds with a circle pattern

The fabric was a bit thin for my taste so I folded it in half and cut 2 circles at the same time. Making sure not to separate them, it made it easy to sew them perfectly together.

Cotton round 2.5 inches in diameter

My rounds were about 2 and a half inches. This size is perfect for fitting inside an elite mason jar or an old glass jar that used to have food in it. And there are a great travel size too!

A dozen finished cotton rounds made with a sewing machine

Take the circle and get your sewing machine ready. With matching thread, I slowly zig-zag stitched around the edge. I actually went twice around the cotton round to make a truly secure and durable round.

They are reusable because they can easily be thrown in the wash and used over and over again. I put used cotton rounds in a delicate’s bag and throw it in the wash with the rest of my load. You can put them in the dryer (and I have done this before) but they stay flatter when you just leave them out flat to dry. And they dry very quickly!

Storage of reusable cotton rounds in a leftover glass jar


Save money and reduce waste my making these easy cotton rounds instead. And here are some of the uses I found:

  • Make-up Remover: I think I’ve said this enough. But totally put a bunch of rounds in a jar and pour in your favorite remover for a quick pre-soaked cotton pad.
  • Toner Wipe: Put some of your favorite toner on this and apply as normal. These are great to replace cotton balls or other disposable cotton swabs.
  • Band aid: Sounds weird but I have used a circle to staunch a small cut or scrap. After it’s no longer bleeding, I leave the wound (that sounds dramatic) to heal naturally in the air. Most of the time a band aid isn’t really necessary when it’s something small. Add witch hazel to help the appearance of a bruise, stop bleeding, reduce inflammation, and let it heal.

 3 Zero Waste Makeup Removers

  • Coconut oil
    • What does coconut oil not do? It’s oil so it’ll get any stubborn stuff off with a bit of elbow grease. You can then leave it on as a moisturizer or splash your face with warm water and then towel dry to remove any excess. If you saw my simple face lotion, then you know it has antibacterial properties that work well for acne. But it can leave you feeling/looking shiny until it absorbs.
  • Olive Oil
    • Again this is oil so it’ll get that gunk off. And have you ever heard of oil cleansing? Well basically you can totally wash your face with oil and it’s good for your skin. Olive oil is good for all skin types too! The smell is mild and it’s definitely not as oily as coconut oil. Plus talk about sustainable, affordable, and healthy. And I can just get it out of the kitchen cabinet.
  • Witch Hazel
    • Witch hazel is made by distilling water with twigs, bark, and other parts of –you guessed it– witch hazel. This plant has a great history of medicinal properties and other uses. Witch hazel is actually my favorite toner! It is an astringent and can help sooth the skin. This is definitely the least oily of the makeup remover options. I always feel refreshed after using witch hazel to remove makeup or a sweaty, post-workout face. Remember to always buy alcohol-free witch hazel (or it’ll be extremely drying and we don’t want that).

If you are using cotton pads they are usually bleached and definitely not as sustainable. I never used to buy them because I always wash my face with soap anyway. But I find excuses to use these now that I made them!

Reusable cotton rounds stored in a mason jar

What are some of your favorite and simple makeup removers? And have you thought of another use for these? It seems like there could be so many possibilities. If you get around to making these, please share!

Happy Crafting-

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