How to Make a Dish Scrubbie
These Dish Scrubbies are SO Easy to Make!
My grandmother has been making these for years and taught me how to make them when I was in my early teens.
They make wonderful little holiday gifts and party favors. In fact, the summer before my wedding, my mom, grandmother and I sat and made more than 50 of these in several shades of pink for the guests attending my bridal shower. They were so pretty sitting on the tables in baskets.
They are easy and inexpensive to make and are my favorite tool for cleaning dishes and they do not scratch non-stick pans. I have also been told that they work wonderfully on stoneware such as that sold by Pampered Chef. I have a craft bag that I keep next to the couch filled with pre-cut strips of netting and pieces of string so that whenever I sit down on the couch to watch TV, I can make a few here and there to keep my supply from running out.
What you need to begin...
This is standard netting that I purchase by-the-yard at the fabric store. Typically you can find it in the bridal section, but be sure to purchase the stiffer netting, not tulle. Tulle is too soft to be used for scrubbies. Two yards makes three scrubbies.
Netting comes in many different colors so you can customize them to your décor or to the season. I make these up in combinations of red, green and white for Christmas gifts.
For the wrapping forms, you will need to find two matching container lids that are about 6 inches in diameter (mine are 6 1/4" whipped topping lids) and (carefully) cut a 1 3/4" hole in the middle using a X-Acto knife or durable pair of scissors. A standard spice bottle is just the right size! The easiest way to do this is to trace the circle in the center of the lid and then poke a hole in the middle and cut out from there until the circle is completely cut away. It doesn't have to be perfect.
Cutting the strips...
The netting comes off the bolt folded in half lengthwise. Keep it folded this way and then fold it in half again twice, matching the long edges, so that it ends up being about 7 inches from edge to edge (if you have a long piece of netting, you can fold it a section at a time).
The strips need to be cut at about 4 inches wide. It doesn't have to be exact, but this is what seems to make the best scrubbies.
If you have a rotary cutter, it makes it easier and quicker, but scissors work fine too. If you are going to be using scissors, I would recommend marking the lines with a pencil or ballpoint pen first (as shown in the picture above) and then cutting so that the strips are cut at a consistent width. If you are feeling brave, you can fold the netting in half again along the length (so it is now 3 1/2 inches) and guesstimate the 4 inches.
Here you see how I used my clear ruler to measure before cutting with my rotary cutter. This really speeds up the process of cutting the strips.
When I find netting on sale, I will purchase multiple yards of it and then go home and cut it into strips all at once for my bag.
Wrapping the first strip...
Holding the two lids flat sides together, pick up one of the strips and insert one end through the center hole.
Catch the end on the back side and press against the back lid so that the short edge rests at the edge of the lids. The long tail will hang loose in the front.
Pull the long tail up and over the top of the lids and poke through the center hole from the back side. Tug gently until the netting is snug against the lids.
Do not pull too tight, you don't want to stretch the netting or possibly weaken it.
Continue wrapping, slightly offsetting the strip as you go until you reach the end of the strip (see picture below).
Here I have continued wrapping the netting around the discs, offsetting the strips so about half of it covers the previous wrap. Notice that the strip is not long enough to make it through the center hole again. That's okay, just wrap it over the top and hold it down until you start the next strip.
Starting a new strip...
Insert the end of another strip through the center from front to back, matching the edge with the discs as explained previously. Tuck the loose end of the last strip under the end of the new strip to hold it in place. Wrap rest of strip around the discs.
Continue adding new strips until you have wrapped a total of six strips around the discs. I find it helpful to count out the strips ahead of time, so I don't have to keep track of how many I have put on there.
It's a wrap!
This is what it will look like when all six strips have been wrapped around the discs.
After this, you just have to cut it and tie it up!
Time to cut...
After you are done wrapping the strips, turn the wrapped form sideways as shown in the photo so that the last loose end is secured against your hand. Take your scissors and carefully insert the bottom blade in between the two lids.
This is the trickiest part of the whole process. Be careful and go slow so that you don't cut yourself. Just wiggle it a bit as you press and the scissors will eventually go in between the lids and begin to cut the netting.
Once you have made the first cut, you can start closing the scissors to continue cutting. Turn the form as you go and continue cutting around. Keep two fingers inside the center hole to hold the netting in place as you finish cutting. If you are having trouble moving the scissors along, insert your thumb in between the two lids to separate them slightly to allow more room to maneuver the scissors.
This is what it will look like when you cut all the way around the disc. You can begin to see how it will poof when it is finished.
Only a few more steps and you will be done!
Tie it up!
Cut a 16 inch length of cotton string and loop it in between the lids as shown here. Next, you will tie a series of knots to secure the scrubbie.
Make a surgeon's knot by first tying a standard over-hand knot, then wrap one end through the opening again and then pull tight and knot again to secure it.
Surgeon's knots are handy because when you pull them tight, they stay in place better and do not loosen up like single knots do.
Wrap the string around and tie two overhand knots on the opposite side, tugging tightly. Wrap and knot one more time (you will make a total of three sets of knots).
Be sure to tighten the knots as snug as you can. You don't want your scrubbie to come apart the first time it hits the water.
Trim the excess string, leaving 1-2 inch tails (they won't show once the scrubbie is fluffed).
Or, if you want to be able to hang up your scrubbie, you can leave the string tails long and tie them together at the top to create a loop.
Here's the fun part! Gently pull the lids apart so you can grab the middle of the scrubbie and then wiggle the lids off each end until they are free.
Your scrubbie will come out looking like this. All you have to do now is fluff it up by rolling it around in your hands and tugging on the ends so it turns into a round ball.
Trim any long ends sticking out and pull out any loose pieces (these are from where the strip wrapped over the edge at the end).
Your new scrubbie reporting for duty!
These scrubbies are great for removing stuck on gunk from your dishes without scratching the surfaces. When you are done using the scrubbie, rinse it in warm water and shake to remove excess water and set aside to dry. You will know when it is time to bid it farewell and bring a new one out.