I'm not a huge DIY person in that I don't DIY (DIM?) just for the hell of it. For the most part, I'm only going to make my own shit if it is cheaper (or, potentially, better) than something I can buy and if it's not going to be a huge, complicated chore. I respect people who make stuff all the time for the fun of it or to be less wasteful, but I need things to be cheap and easy at this stage in my life. Fortunately, this project hits all the buttons (is that a real expression? more whiskey): it's very cheap; it takes less than half an hour to complete; there is next to no skill required; and it's eco-friendly.
|I also made this beautiful jar that I use to store these beautiful creations.|
This is not a detailed tutorial. The steps are essentially: (1) find cloth; and (2) cut cloth. You'll need to use a nice, soft, absorbent fabric, probably cotton. If you have an old flannel shirt or sheet that you're not going to use again, that'll work. If not, I recommend getting some flannel that is meant for babies, because it'll be extra soft. I suggest checking out the remnants section of the fabric store, because you only need a small piece, and you can get it very cheap that way. I paid less than $2 for the piece of flannel that I used, which was probably about 2.5' x 1.5' originally. I actual bought it around a year and a half ago to make a gift for a friend's baby. It's printed all over with the word baby in white, but, as you can probably see in the photo above, once I washed it the design pretty much disappeared, so I abandoned that project. It's perfect for this purpose, as it turns out.
If you want to get fancy and you own a sewing machine and/or serger, you can cut out a bunch of identically sized and shaped pieces of cotton and sew them together back to back to make thicker pads, like the ones you can buy. I, however, used a no-sew method that I like better for a few reasons. For one, you don't end up with any scratchy stitching around the edges of the pads. Plus this technique takes a fraction of the time that it would to sew them, obviously. I also prefer my rectangular shape to the round ones because I wasted next to no fabric when I cut them out. I cut my pads into rectangles that are roughly twice as long as they are wide (a little less than 4" x 2"), so that I can fold them in half when I use them. If you are precise and patient, you can measure to make sure they are all the same size. If you are like me, you can eyeball it and not really give a shit how similar they are, because you're only going to be using one at a time anyway, and who's judging? (Oh wait, I'm putting it on the Internet for people to judge. Well, you probably won't do that.) I got dozens of these things out of my small piece of cloth. That's nice, because I don't do laundry every week now that I live in a building without laundry on-site.
|These are all the supplies you'll need (and most of these are negotiable): mesh bag, cotton flannel, pinking shears.|
If you don't have pinking shears and don't want to buy any, you can still just cut out your pads with regular scissors. You'll probably get some fraying, eventually, but they'll still work.
You also need a mesh lingerie bag so that you can wash these. I keep the bag next to the spot where I use the pads, and then I stick the used ones inside it when I finish with them. When you do laundry, throw the whole thing in the wash and they're ready to use again next time. If you have some other kind of cloth pouch, you could probably use that too. Make one?
I use the cotton pads I made mainly for eye makeup removal and for applying toner-type products. The one use for cotton balls that these things can't replace is removing nail polish. Dried-on nail polish is not going to wash out of fabric (trust me), and you wouldn't want it in your laundry anyway. This hasn't been a big problem for me, since I use one of those jars of remover (a.k.a. the toxic vagina) most of the time. You might need to hold on to some disposable cotton balls or pads for nail polish removal, but you'll still be cutting down on your overall waste and expense if you replace them with reusable pads for other purposes.
This isn't exactly a groundbreaking DIY project, I know, but in case you are like me and you've gone 30-some years without it occurring to you, here it is in it's simplest (laziest) form. These work as well as or better than the disposable kind. Bonus: you'll never end up with cotton ball fuzz stuck to your face again.