For today’s blog post, I wanted to talk about a very simply DIY you can do that is very cheap and sustainable. I have been getting into using my sewing machine more and more, as you may know if you read my post about stepping out of my comfort zone and my reusable napkin project, and reusable makeup pads were one of the very next projects I did after completing some of my reusable napkins.
I have always used the little foam throwaway sponges to apply foundation as long as I’ve used it. For the first several years I wore make up, I didn’t really wear foundation, and even when I did begin to wear it, it was not often. I knew about things like beauty blenders and “fancier” applicators like that, but it didn’t seem necessary at the time. Plus, the throwaway sponges were what my mom had always used before me, so I just did it out of habit. Now, I use either a BB cream or a combination of BB cream and foundation at least every work day, but I have continued to stick with the same sponges. Now that I have really recommitted myself to a sustainable lifestyle, I knew that those were something I could try and change. My idea with this project was to be able to use both the reusable makeup pads to apply my foundation (after first spreading it out a little with my fingers), as well as to take my makeup off.
To make this project even more sustainable, I decided to make the makeup pads out of an old t-shirt and the sleeves of an old dress that had been badly stained by dye. To me, this is a great option because it keeps these items out of the landfill, as even when you donate them to thrift shops there is a good likelihood they can end up in the landfill or potentially disrupting a third world country’s local economy (look into “The True Cost” documentary for more information on this if you’re interested). To start, I simply used a trash bag box as a guide and traced four squares down the length of the dress sleeve with a sharpie. I wanted to do squares rather than the rounds you have probably seen all over social media for two reasons: 1) I found them significantly easier to sew. 2) They waste less fabric (i.e. less fabric winds up in the landfill).
Then, I cut each of the four squares out individually. Because this was a shirt sleeve and therefore double sided, cutting out the four squares resulted in enough material to do eight makeup wipes. However, if you are just using a regular piece of fabric that is not double sided, you would need to cut eight individual squares to have enough to make four pads/wipes.
After I had all four squares (folded in half in the above picture), I cut them in half and pinned the four corners together. For this step, you will want to make sure that anything you don’t want showing (such as your tracing marks) are facing out, so that you can see them. In addition, if there is a specific pattern that you want to be shown, that needs to be on the inside at this point in time, where you cannot see it.
After pinning the four corners together, you’re simply going to sew almost all around the edges of the square. Your stitches don’t have to be perfect at this stage because they are just going to be on the interior.
You want to sew almost all the way around the sides, leaving just a small gap, just big enough to turn the fabric right side out.
Once you’ve sewn the interior stitches and turned the fabric right side out, the gap you left on the interior will still be there on the exterior. You just need to tuck it in on both sides, pin to secure, and sew another stitch around the border the fabric.
Once this step is done, your reusable makeup pad is complete!
You can use these like I do to apply foundation.
Or you can use these to replace one time use makeup wipes. I use these in combination with coconut oil (packaged in a glass jar) to remove my makeup each day after taking a shower, and it works great.
Thanks so much for reading! I hope this tutorial was helpful!