Picture of Up-cycled cotton-ball fabric

Why waste money on store-bought craft fabricswhen you can easily make your own with the cotton balls you discard every day?

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Step 1: What You'll Need

1) Many MANY cotton balls -used or new
   (more on this at step 6)

2) Basic hand-sewing kit or glue

3) Lots of time

4) A strong stomach

Step 2: Accumulation

Picture of Accumulation
fall 2010 043.jpg

It may take a while, but collect as many cotton balls as you can .  It's easy to save them in a bag next to the bathroom counter over several months,saving them each time they're used - or you can do it in a condensed manner and clean your whole house/life with cotton balls (which is what I did).

I've found CVS brand cotton balls to be easiest to work with because they are made in a 'cinnamon-bun' shape that unravels easily.

It's also important to consider the size of the cotton ball you choose. I'm partial to Jumbo or Triple Sized because, as you might expect, they have more cotton to work with.

Step 3: Laying it All Out

Picture of Laying it All Out
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In order to assemble cotton balls into a 'fabric-like' shape, it's easiest to unravel the individual cottons balls from their 'cinnamon-bun' shape into long, thin strips of cotton.

The easiest way to do this is to stick your thumb in the middle of the cotton ball and to push upward - poking the center out and unraveling from there until you have a long, thin, flat piece of cotton to work with.

Step 4: Connecting the Cotton pt I

Picture of Connecting the Cotton pt I

Obviously individual cotton balls aren't going to make much of a fabric to work with, so there are two simple routes that can be taken to assemble larger pieces.

Option 1:
You can easily whip-stitch two cotton balls together by aligning two edges and sewing 'over-and-through' all along the joint where they meet.

This option preserves the  fluffy texture of the cotton, but it can be very laborious as it must be done by hand - especially if your cotton balls have dried somewhat stiff due to the amount of dirt/dust/whatever they've accrued.

hazzard662 years ago
Are you serious?
sleepmonger (author)  hazzard662 years ago

definitely not serious. But I did make the full sized blanket and bear...thanks art school.