DIY · sewing · upcycling · zero waste


I’m very proud that this year I’ve been working on a new skill: sewing! I’ve been taking lessons, which have taught me the basics and inspired me to try my hand at various useful homemade items. One of my sustainability goals for 2018 was to make my own zero-waste reusables from upcycled materials, and I’m pleased to say that I have been doing just that. I purchased a secondhand sewing machine from Gumtree a few months ago, some flannelette baby blankets from the op shop ($1 each – bargain!) and have been putting my newly-learnt skills to good use.

One of my recent achievements has been making my own reusable makeup rounds. They’re great for removing makeup (obviously), but also excellent for wiping tired eyes in the morning or when you just need something to dab with. Making these yourself is a great way to avoid the disposable version and makes good use of old materials. Actually, it can even be a great way to upcycle within the upcycling process, since I’ve been making these with offcuts from the baby blankets I’ve been using to make my own pads and pantyliners (I need some more practice at those before I can post a tutorial😊).

If you’re an old hand at sewing, you may find this tutorial a little simplistic – it really is quite basic – but if you’re not very confident on the machine and need something simple to start with, I hope this might be of use!

First, gather your materials:

  • Old flannelette material
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Round paper template (I just used the base of a drinking glass to make mine)


Next, using your template, cut out the number of layers you want. As you will see below, I use three layers: two from a thinner blanket with a pretty pattern, and one from a plainer but thicker blanket to form a soft layer of padding inside. I recommend between two and four layers, depending on the thickness of your flannelette and how you want the final product to look and feel.


Pin the layers together, trim around the edges if needed, then get to work! Simply use a zigzag stitch to go around the outside once or twice, remembering to reverse. I wouldn’t recommend going around more than twice, since if the zigzagging is too thick, it will make the final product too rough around the edge – definitely not what you want! On this particular one, I ended up going around three times and it’s not as easy or comfortable to use as the ones I’ve made previously.

If you’re very new to sewing, make sure you use the handwheel to manually place the first zigzag stitch, so that you can make sure the needle ends up just off the edge of the makeup round, as shown in the first picture below.



If you like you can also go around the inside of the zigzagging once with a basic stitch, as you’ll see in my photo of the final product below (If you look really carefully, that is! It was a rainy day so unfortunately, the light is not great.).

That’s about it – your makeup round is ready to use! Simply throw into the washing machine after use. 😊




  1. This is such a great idea! I almost never remve my mascara at the end of the day, mainly because I refuse to buy those cotton makeup pads. However, I do have some old flannel lying around that might make the perfect DIY version! Thanks for sharing how you made them – it looks like they will definitely come in handy for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Britt! I hope you get a chance to use that flannel up and make some of these! πŸ™‚ They have definitely been very handy for me since I started making them, and I think they would make a great homemade gift for friends in future! (..with a sustainable subliminal message, hehe πŸ˜†)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Lisa, such a clever idea. I buy these and it never occurred to me to make my own. I haven’t really sewed since I was in school but you make it look easy and practical. Thanks so much, Lxx


    1. Hi Ruth! Thanks for your comment and for stopping by to say hello. I agree that sewing is an excellent skill to have. I love that I can make simple items on my machine at home that are useful, make the most of old resources and save me money in the long term, too! πŸ™‚


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