Reusable Cotton Wool Pads Free Crochet Pattern

cotton wool pads

I’m really excited to share with you a fantastic reusable cotton wool pads tutorial created for Moral Fibres readers by Lyndsey, curator of What You Sow.   Here Lyndsey shares how to green your daily beauty routine with these simple and eco-friendly washable cotton wool pads:

I’m constantly on the lookout for ways of reducing my carbon footprint, one of the main aims being to reduce the amount of things I buy and throw away.

One daily annoyance is throwing away the cotton pads that I use to remove my makeup. Not only do they come in a non-recyclable plastic packet but many have been factory made then air freighted half way around the world as well.

I decided to make some reusable cotton pads that I could just put in the wash when they’ve been used.  Read on to find out how I did it!

Reusable Cotton Wool Pads DIY

reusable cotton wool pad

To make your reusable cotton wool pads You will need a UK size 4 crochet hook (if you’re outside of the UK then please not UK crochet hook sizes are different to international sizes – UK size 4 corresponds with a 6.00mm hook or a 10/J hook) and some cotton yarn of your choice. My favourites are Sirdar Simply Recycled and Rowan Purelife which both come in some lovely colours. You need about 8m of yarn.

crochet cotton pad

Ch4, then join with a sl st to the first stitch.

Row 1: Ch 1, *puff st (yo, insert hook into stitch, pull strand through, do the same 4 more times then pull your yarn through all 11 loops on the hook, close the puff with a chain), ch 1*, repeat * 7 more times then join with a sl st to the top of the first puff stitch and move with a sl st into the gap between the first & second puff. 8 puff st.

reusable make up remover pad diy

Row 2: Ch 1, 2 puff st into first gap, then 2 puff st into each gap all the way round. Note that you don’t chain between the stitches like you did on the first row. Once you have 16 puff st, join with a sl st to the first puff stitch. 16 puff st.

eco friendly cotton wool pad

Sew in the ends and there you have your finished cotton pad. Make a bundle of them and store them in your bathroom ready to use at bed time!


eco friendly makeup remover pad

Thanks so much Lynsey!  If you are looking for other ways to green your beauty routine do check out my health and beauty category for more inspiration!


  1. Now this is a great idea – and wouldn’t it be perfect to make as little gifts for people too. I think I’m going to start making some of these tonight.

    • Oh you should! And let me know how you get on!

      And yes, they’d make perfect little gifts – perhaps given in a little bag or glass jar.

  2. These are very cute but I prefer to make eye/spectacle wipes by cutting up cotton undies. Not sexy but it saves using virgin materials and diverts waste from landfill/incinerators.

    • These pads aren’t for cleaning spectacles but for removing eye make-up, and applying cleanser/toner. Don’t think I’d fancy using old undies for that, but it’s a good idea for spectacles :)

  3. Hi there,

    I would like to add this project to Ravelry with a link to Moral Fibres for the pattern so that even more people can enjoy this! Would that be ok with you and could I use your cover photo as the pattern photo?

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  5. Over the last couple of weeks I have linked to this post a few times in a Danish facebook group for crocheting. I guess more and more Danes are now interested in making their own cotton pads:)

  6. Love this pattern! However am a little confused on the size of hook; did you mean a 4.00 mm hook? And would equal an “f” hook?

  7. I would love to see a youtube tutorial version of this! My crochet knowkedge is very minimal especially when it comes to the crochet jargon :)

  8. Hi Wendy,

    I am trying to make those diy cotton wool pads, but I just can’t figure it out.
    Would it be possible for you to send some more pictures of the different steps in between the pictures on this website? I managed to do step one which you can see on the first picture, but from there I am stuck.
    Please help me out.

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  11. Wendy, Thank you for sharing your pattern! I decided last night when I scratched my eyelid with a store bought pad, I’m done with them. The quality is so inconsistent!

  12. Hi Wendy! Thanks for the pattern. How do you wash these once used? Do they wash clean in the washing machine or must they be hand washed?

  13. Hi,
    About the cotton : Does it matter which cotton you use or is it fine to use every cotton?
    It’s because I have a shitload of cotton here and it would be perfect if I can use it for this because I already want reusable cotton pads!
    Thanks for the pattern <3

  14. Wendy, Thanks for the pattern! This is what I looking for. I just made it.
    If you don’t mind, may I translate it into Korean and post it on my personal blog? I’d like to introduce the way can reduce waste.

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  16. Bonjour,

    J’ai réalisé des disques à démaquiller en tissu : une face en nid d’abeille, l’autre en éponge. J’avais essayé au crochet mais le résultat me semble pas aussi bien que la tienne. Je vais donc essayer de faire les tiennes. Merci beaucoup pour ce tuto. En fait, j’aime faire des cadeaux utiles à mes amies, ces disques sont parfaits.

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  18. Thank you for the pattern. However, a) I don’t crochet. b) i have looked at reusable pads that can be washed afterwards. Great in theory. However, I use 3 in the morning and 2 in the evening. I do a wash probably once or twice a week. Therefore I would have to buy an awfully large number of reusable pads and they are not cheap. Do you have any advice on what I can use to be more environmentally friendly?

    • Hi Natalia, I’m a fan of face cloths (or flannels). I use a fresh one in the morning – and then rinse and re-use it in the evening. It then goes in the washing pile until the next load of laundry goes on. You can even store them in a wet bag if it’s going to be a while until you have a full load.

  19. I emailed this link to my Mum a month ago and forgot about it. Yesterday it was my birthday and I opened my present from my Mum to find she had made me a set of 10 of these in a white cotton drawstring bag so I can put them into the washing machine in it! How cool! Thanks for inspiring such a fab gift!!

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  24. Hi, these look great – I like the puffy bits as that innovation should make them softer and more absorbent. Can I use mercerised cotton? I have some left over.

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