Another part of my beloved vintage fabric collection are my lovely flannel sheets.  There are some really beautiful vintage flannel sheets out there, but sadly they’re a bit like that cousin no one likes to talk about.  Despite their beautiful retro prints, the flannel unfortunately doesn’t age as nicely as plain old polycotton sheets, and they tend to show their years by pilling.

Despite this, I have been determined to find a use for them.  After all, I can’t keep accumulating them and just have them sit there.  That would be such a waste.  So, washable face cleansing pads it is!

When I was a kid, I thought washing my face was the biggest chore EV-ER.  Ugh.  What a drag. (Present Xanthe is currently shaking her head at Past Xanthe.)

Such is life.  Such is being a kid.  But I thought I’d try and get Rosie and Lewis into a face-washing routine early on, which might help them through those troubled teenage years that don’t seem to be complete without oily, pimply cheeks and forehead.

These are so easy to make, seriously, it should be illegal to buy disposable face cleansing pads!  So here’s my Wife-made How To.

What you’ll need:

  • Flannel – I like to upcycle vintage flannel sheets that are looking a bit worse for wear
  • Cotton chenille or terry-towelling
  • The usual sewing notions, like a sewing machine, thread, scissors, washable fabric marker etc
  • Pinking shears
  • A circle template – I used a glass lid from a Weck jam jar

Step 1 – Take your flannel and cotton chenille and lay them right side down on your cutting surface.

Step 2 – Using a washable fabric marker, draw around the circle template on the wrong side of the fabric.  You will need the same number of pieces from each type of fabric, one for the back of the cleansing pad and one for the front.  Cut these out using normal fabric scissors.

Step 3 – Match up a flannel piece and a chenille piece of fabric for each cleansing pad.  They should look something like this.


Step 4 – With right sides together, lay the flannel on top of the chenille, and pin them together, all the way around.  As shown below, I like to put two pins at the point where I need to start sewing, and two pins at the point where I need to stop sewing, just to make sure I don’t forget that I have to leave a gap for turning it the right way out.  Leave a space a bit over an inch wide between the four pins.

Step 5 – Using a regular stitch length (which is about 2.4 on my machine) and about 0.25″ from the edge of the fabric, begin stitching from the first set of two pins, all the way around to stop at the second set of two pins.  Remember to backstitch at the start and the end to secure the stitches.

Now you should have something that looks a lot like this…


Step 6 – Now, using your pinking shears cut as close as possible to the line of stitches all the way around the edge of the pad.  BUT DO NOT CUT THE STITCHES.  That would be bad.  Doing this removes extra bulk in the seams and helps the cleansing pads sit nicely when they’re turned the right way out.

Step 7 – Flip the washable pad right way out through the space you left between where you started stitching and where you finished stitching.  It might be a bit of a squeeze, but if you go slowly and start pushing a bit through at a time you should be able to do it.  Once you’ve turned it the right way out, put your finger in the opening and run your finger all the way around the seam to help push it completely out the right way.  Then you’ll have something that looks like this…. The sticky-outy bit is the opening.

Step 8 – Finger press along the edge of the cleansing pad to make it sit nice and flat, and then finger press the seams of the opening back into the inside of the cleansing pad so that it is nice and round.  You might like to pin the opening for this next step, or you can just wing it, like me!

Step 9 – Now, starting just before the opening topstitch about 1/8″ away from the edge of the flannel, all the way around the cleansing pad.  This will close the opening you used to turn the pad the right way out, and it also gives it a nice, neat finish.

And, voila!  A washable cleansing pad, all ready to wash your grotty face.

Don’t worry too much if your pads aren’t perfectly round.  After a few uses and washes, you won’t even notice.

Now, make a few more!  Or a lot more.

And display them in your bathroom in a pretty cut glass compote bowl like this…  Because pretty.

These would make great stocking fillers for Christmas for a vintage-lover, or sometimes, when we have guests stay, I like to leave a little gift on their pillow for them.  In the past I’ve made lavender sachets, but I think these would be sweet too!

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