a view from the laundry pile…

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Uses for old sheets (part 1 of…more)

on July 21, 2012

I found a lovely patterned, fairly good condition, soft flannel twin sheet at a thrift store (less than $2!) last month. The middle was thinning but the edges, including the part that folds down and under the mattress, was still in very good shape – lots of very usable fabric. I’ve done many things with old sheets that are no longer suitable for the beds, including lunch box napkins, reusable sandwich/snack bags, bandanas, and fabric storage and laundry bags — so I knew I’d have a use for this one (including using the center worn part for rags…I always need rags around here) and it didn’t take me long to figure out what my first project would be…

Reusable Make-up Remover Cloths:

~ Cut 3 each 3″ flannel squares for every 1 make-up remover cloth you want to make (3 layers per cloth).  I made 8 cloths so it was a total of 24 each 3″ squares. (I recently purchased a sewing rotary cutter and mat (finally!) but, until then, was making my smaller templates from cereal boxes – either will work).

~ To assemble, lay 3 squares on top of each other with two flannel squares right sides together. Line up the edges and pin the sides to keep any of the layers from moving around while you’re sewing them together.

~ Sew three sides, leaving one side open. Clip the corners to keep too much fabric from bunching up there and trim any excess fabric on the sides BUT don’t clip any fabric from the “open” side (you won’t have enough to work with during the next steps).

~ Turn it inside out and gently push out the corners with a soft tool (I use a wooden chop stick). Note: When you’re turning it inside out, make sure the two outside pieces are facing the right direction (ie; turn inside out from the 2 pieces that started face to face).

~ Fold the open side inward  (maybe 1/4″ or so) and give it a quick iron flat (this step isn’t necessary but it will make it a lot easier to sew a straight edge).

~ Top stitch around all 4 edges, sewing very closely to the edge and making sure to catch the fabric from the open side in the whole seam.

My finished cloths ended up around 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ square. You can make any size you’d like (but I wouldn’t recommend starting with anything smaller than a 3″ square only because it gets a little difficult (ie: a pain) to handle the 3 layers of fabric without bunching and weird seam issues).

To clean these, rinse out each one (as soon as you’re done using it) and toss them in the laundry. You can toss them directly into the laundry (risking them ending up with the other single socks that have disappeared into the dryers “black hole”), put them in a mesh bag (the type used for “delicates”) or clip them together using a sock clip (specially designed for the laundry/dryer), or large safety pins (a few cloths per pin).

Using the same fabric, I also made a simple holder for my 8 make-up remover cloths, to help keep them clean (and not lost) and two 8″x8″ matching face cloths (which I did exactly the same as the make-up remover cloths only I started with 9 x 9″ fabric squares — 6 of them for the 2 face cloths). And, the best part is, I still have lots of sheet fabric left over to play with so, off I go, scissors in hand, sewing machine at the ready…well, after I feed the dogs…

(BONUS!) Natural Make-up Remover

I was pretty happy to find this “recipe” for natural make-up remover to go along with my new cloths. Not that I wear make-up often but, when I do, it’s important to remove the ‘spackle’ when I’m done for the day.

1 cup Distilled Water*
1 1/2 Tablespoons “No Tears” Baby Shampoo
1 teaspoon Coconut Oil 

I’ve also seen recipes that  use a few drops of essential oil (most, if not all, of these can burn your skin if you use them undiluted) or Borax…(really? Borax? I won’t even use laundry soap that has Borax in it let alone rub it in my eyes…). The coconut oil smells yummy on its own and, because it contains “Lauric acid,”  it’s a natural anti-biotic, anti-oxidant, and anti-fungal —  making it very good for your skin.

*The advantage of using distilled water over regular tap or bottled is that, with distilled water, there are no chemicals (such as chlorine, normally found in tap water) or minerals.

Warm the distilled water in the microwave for about a minute (hot not boiling) then add the shampoo and coconut oil. (If you’ve never used coconut oil before, you might be surprised that it’s, basically, a solid — even at room temperature). Stir the mixture until the coconut oil has “dissolved” then store it, again at room temperature, in a clean, lidded jar or container.

To use this, dip one of the reusable make-up remover cloths and squeeze out the excess liquid and wipe off your make-up. 

Recipe and make-up remover cloths adapted from “The Sprout Store Blog” and “One Good Thing” (both great websites!)

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4 responses to “Uses for old sheets (part 1 of…more)

  1. Naomi says:

    Brilliant idea! Thanks for sharing 🙂 I love the design on the fabric you used too.
    Naomi x

  2. That’s amazing! What a great idea. Thank you so much for the awesome post.

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