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.
How do you get your dishes sparkling clean?
Ruth on September 04, 2016:
Florence on February 16, 2015:
Awesome you should think of sotmnhieg like that
PinkstonePictures from Miami Beach, FL on February 22, 2013:
So easy when you know how
Paul from Montreal on October 31, 2012:
Maybe I can rescue the one in my shower that is unravelling in a big long snake.
Lori Green from Las Vegas on August 11, 2012:
That's the same way you make pom poms. I never thought of a dish scruby. I am wondering what the cost is to purchase the netting vs the dollar store scrubby. You can probably skip the cutting and leave the loops. It would make a great bath scrubby too. Great lens.
fifinn on August 03, 2012:
wow, its great lens. very creative to make dish scrubbie.
kimark421 on July 20, 2012:
Wow, you make the construction of these scrubbies sound so simple that even I could do it. Great lens!
marsha32 on April 25, 2012:
I like how these look! Dish scrubbies are my biggest seller of my crafts, but mine are a crocheted circle with the netting.
anonymous on April 22, 2012:
I'm so happy to find this site to make Dish Scrubbie. To make a long story short I was given one these scrubbies over 20 Yrs. ago and loved them. Never knew haw to make them, I did them another way. I use to run heavy duty thread through a strip of the neting and sew them together . A whole lot of work for one. Now that I know how to make them properly I'm going to start to share them with my friends. The way that you show make them soo much easier to make THANK YOU Dana
kimbesa from USA on May 09, 2011:
Thanks for this unique and useful lens!
Cynthia Sylvestermouse from United States on February 11, 2011:
Just dropping back by to leave my blessing and let you know that this lens is featured on Squid Angel Mouse Tracks in Crafts :)
Wednesday-Elf from Savannah, Georgia on February 08, 2011:
Returning to tell you this lens has been 'featured on' and 'lensrolled to' my "SquidAngel Blessings by an Elf" lens. :-)
rubyandmahoney (author) on January 28, 2011:
@dellgirl: Wow, thanks! I am glad that you enjoyed the tutorial. I love making these scrubbies. In fact, I am getting a bit low and need to make a trip to the store for more netting.
dellgirl on January 27, 2011:
5 stars, thumbs up, and I am joining your fan club. This is a fantastic lens, I love it. Thanks for sharing this useful and easy to make craft. Congratulations on reaching 'MonsterBoard: Level 43!
Vicki Green from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA on January 10, 2011:
What a great craft project. The instructions and photos are extemely well done. I may have to try making some of these myself. Blessed by a Squid Angel.
awakeningwellness on November 07, 2010:
This looks like a fun project, thanks for the explicit directions!
Wednesday-Elf from Savannah, Georgia on November 01, 2010:
This is an excellent "How-To" with wonderful illustrations and descriptions and a beautiful layout. I'm lensrolling your pretty & practical 'dish scrubbie' craft lesson to my 'How to crochet a baby octopus' and leaving a ~~SquidAngel Blessing~~ for this nicely done lens.
CCGAL on September 10, 2010:
I like to use the dishwasher when it's not broken, but none the less, I'm delighted to have found this tutorial lens. You did an excellent job of illustrating how to make these scrubbies!
Susanna Duffy from Melbourne Australia on July 12, 2010:
Fabulous! I'm off to get myself some netting and make myself some dish scrubbies. Blessed by an angel today
CannyGranny on July 11, 2010:
What a sensible way to spend your time! Making pretty dish scrubbies that won't scratch your non-stick pots and pans. My congratulations to you for this frugal and old fashioned advice.
anonymous on July 02, 2010:
Excellent tutorial. :) I can't wait to try this out. Simple and You can use all sorts of different colors to match the décor of friends/family when you give as gifts.
VarietyWriter2 on April 13, 2010:
Nicely done. Great instructions and photos. Blessed by a Squid Angel :)
enslavedbyfaeries on February 15, 2010:
This is very clever! My mom actually has funky homemade duster that she uses to grab the cobwebs from ceilings. It is made in exactly the same way as your dish scrubbies, (only larger and on a long stick) and I have been trying to figure out how to make one for myself. Congrats on the Purple Star and thanks for the cool tutorial.
KimGiancaterino on February 06, 2010:
Congratulations on your purple star. I love the idea of making custom colored scrubbies for gifts!
Cynthia Sylvestermouse from United States on February 05, 2010:
Congratulations on the well deserved Purple Star!
HorseAndPony LM on February 05, 2010:
Congratulations on your purple star!
WindyWintersHubs from Vancouver Island, BC on February 03, 2010:
Wow. Your instructions are fabulous. Congrats on your Purple Star!
Sherry Venegas from La Verne, CA on January 28, 2010:
This is so good. Easy to follow and attractive too. Family heirloom how-to.
Jeanette from Australia on January 26, 2010:
Excellent! I may have to try this.
Jennifer P Tanabe from Red Hook, NY on January 09, 2010:
Great job! Even I could follow these wonderful directions - now all I have to do is make them.
Cynthia Sylvestermouse from United States on January 07, 2010:
Just had to stop back by on my first day as a Squid Angel and Bless this wonderful lens!
myraggededge on November 30, 2009:
I think this would make a great present for my hubby! And they'd be great as Christmas decorations made out of some kind of shiny metallic material.
Faye Rutledge from Concord VA on November 21, 2009:
These would make great Christmas favors for women! And, they're so simple! I'm going to send this link to my 11 year old granddaughter...she loves crafts.
Dreadmoc on November 20, 2009:
I LIKE THIS LENS IT GREAT!! NEVER THOUGHT OF THAT!! I'M GOING TO MAKE SOME FOR MY HOUSE. I WAS JUST LOOKING AT YOUR DOG LENS AND FOUND THIS ONE IS SUPPER COOL!
Jimmie Quick from Memphis, TN, USA on November 20, 2009:
Wow. I never thought of making these. A great tutorial. Crystal clear!
Heather Burns from Wexford, Ireland on November 10, 2009:
I used to make these too. very nice!
Patricia on October 26, 2009:
Who knew? Great lens on how to make a scrubbie! Well done lens! I love the picture showing how to do it.
Deb Kingsbury from Flagstaff, Arizona on October 25, 2009:
This is so neat. I love the layout and the step-by-step photos and instructions. What a cool idea!
pkmcr from Cheshire UK on October 25, 2009:
What a fantastic step by step guide to doing that!
Bambi Watson on October 24, 2009:
Cynthia Sylvestermouse from United States on October 24, 2009:
This is a wonderful idea and a fabulous DIY lens! You instructions are excellent! I can't help but laugh. They look like bath sponges:)
SpellOutloud on October 24, 2009:
You did an excellent job documenting each step. Being a visual learner, I appreciate all the photos. Nice lens!
AlisonMeacham on October 24, 2009:
An excellent idea. This is such a good 'how to' lens. Squid Angel Blessings to you
Nancy Tate Hellams from Pendleton, SC on October 24, 2009:
Great instructional lens. I think I could even follow these instructions. The pictures are great.
HorseAndPony LM on October 23, 2009:
I love these. We use to make little bunnies out of yarn this way. What a great idea.