I’m popping in with a fun and easy tutorial on how to make your own upcycled flannel eye rounds.
Ever since Pips was a kitten, we’ve had a daily grooming habit.
When we brought Pips home, we realized quickly that he needed some medical attention. Turns out he was battling a case of Rhinotracheitis and needed some extra TLC. Some of the symptoms of this viral infection are runny eyes and noses. And was that ever true for Pips. His eyes would get really goopy and sticky and needed to be cleaned regularly. I tried a bunch of different things: Kleenex, paper towel, face cloths. I ultimately found the cotton rounds did the best job of clinging to the goopy mess while still being tender on his delicate eye and nose area.
What I didn’t love was how wasteful it felt.
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SUSTAINABLE GROOMING HABIT
To minimize cross-contamination, I would use a different eye round per eye and another for his nose. This meant I was going through at least 3 rounds per day, often more when he had a flare-up.
Every time I threw them out in the garbage, I felt a pang of guilt for the environment.
When I first started sewing, I noticed lots of sewists stitching up their own DIY eye make-up remover pads. And it seemed like such a clever and practical sewing project and it’s been years since I wanted to make my own set. I’ve even been collecting the different materials to make it happen.
So, why did it take so long?
I’ve been waiting for a serger! You can certainly make it happen with a zigzag stitch, but my sewing machine is straight stitch only. And since I had a feeling I would eventually get a serger, I’ve held off 😉
No surprise then that I kick-started my serger journey by first making these DIY flannel eye rounds.
I’m really happy I did!
I can sew a curve with no issues but sewing a curve on a serger takes a minute to get used to. Add in the cutting blade and it makes for an interesting sewing session – ha! I lost a few sides turning my circles into squares!
MATERIALS NEEDED TO MAKE DIY EYE ROUNDS
Shorn sides aside, these really are super easy to stitch up and don’t require a ton of materials. Here’s a round-up of what you’ll need to make these upcycled flannel eye rounds.
- Remnants from a gray flannel sheet set* (Initially purchased to make my DIY Design Wall).
- 4 spools of 40wt gray thread*
- Scissors* or round cutter*
- Cutting mat*
- Marking tool*
- Water glass
- Pattern weights
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN
These little DIY eye rounds are super easy to stitch up.
STEP 1 – PRE-WASH
Take the time to pre-wash your fabric. This will ensure your final eye rounds don’t shrink to an unusable size on you 😉
STEP 2 – CHOOSE YOUR SHAPE
You can certainly leave them square or make them any shape you want them to be. I wanted them to be round, so I pulled a glass to use as a template. It can be any size you want or that you have readily available.
STEP 3 – TRACING
I started by giving my pre-washed flannel remnants a good press and then stacked the flannel so that it was 4 layers thick.
Using the glass as a template, trace around the glass using a marking tool*.
STEP 4 – CUTTING
You have a few options to cut out your rounds: you can go with a specialty round cutter, a teeny tiny rotary cutter, or use your tailor shears.
I tried the round cutter* and scissors and found the round cutter tended to bunch the layers up, causing the circles to be a little askew. I had to reposition and hold the fabric in place to help prevent the bunching and puckering.
Ultimately, I found the scissors worked the best, even cutting 4 layers thick. But then these shears* are amazing and cut through things like butter. Make sure you have a nice sharp pair or reduce the number of layers of fabric.
STEP 5 – SERGE
Once you have your rounds cut out, it’s time to serge them 😊
You have a few options here:
- You can leave them as a single layer and serge around the edge to prevent fraying.
- You can layer a flannel round with a printed cotton, so you have a pretty side and a functional side.
- You can layer a couple of flannel rounds to give your eye round a little more body, which is what I opted to do.
TIP – I made a couple of different sizes, and I noticed the larger rounds are easier to stitch. The smaller you go, the more challenging it is to feed the rounds into the serger. Something to keep in mind if you plan on tackling your own set.
Since I just made them, I haven’t had the chance to give them a real test run to see how long they will hold up. But I am loving that I have a bunch on hand to cover more than a week’s worth of grooming sessions, giving me plenty of wiggle room to wash the dirty ones with my weekly towel cleaning 😊.
SUSTAINABLE SEWING THROUGH FABRIC SCRAPS
For my next set, I plan on cutting up an old t-shirt to see how that compares to the flannel. Either way, I just love that I can repurpose old materials for practical use rather than sending them to a landfill.
Hopefully, this inspires you to look at your fabric scraps or old clothing in a new way! And think of clever ways to use them in household projects rather than throwing them away. I figure every little bit counts and, so far, I love that I’ve added a sustainable handmade component to Pips’ daily grooming session.
I don’t often wear make-up, but I know these flannel rounds will make perfect eye make-up remover pads for those few occasions where I do 😉
Who knew it was so easy to make upcycled flannel eye rounds. Easy enough to make a set for yourself, the family, and your furry friend 😊 If you plan on diving in and making these, do make a few test ones until you get the hang of serging in a circle!
Are there any DIY reusable household projects that you love turning to?
For more quilty inspiration, check out:
- 7-Day Scrap Sorting Challenge
- Sustainable Quilting Through the Art of Improv
- Lunar Eclipse Hand Quilted Wall Hanging
- Which Way Up Quilt
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