Learn to make your own easy DIY plant dusting gloves in minutes! I’ll show you how you can increase the health of your houseplants with just a few materials and minimal sewing skills.
Dusting Your Plants for Better Health
I’ll just go ahead and admit it. I don’t like dusting. I’m always overjoyed when my husband takes on that task (I’m super lucky that he likes cleaning better than I do).
Therefore, as a new houseplant collector, I was a bit dismayed to learn that I would need to wipe down the leaves of many of my plants. This doesn’t sound like a fun part of plant ownership to me. But it’s true that dusting your plants makes them healthier. In fact, dust on plant leaves makes it harder for the plant to absorb sunlight and perform photosynthesis.
And it’s not just real plants that need dusting. Even faux houseplants need their leaves wiped from time to time.
Since I wanted my beloved plants to thrive, I was determined to dust them. But whenever I did get around to trying to wipe down the leaves of my houseplants, I found it awkward. I was using a folded up damp washcloth and it felt bulky and awkward to work with. Not only that, it was hard to clean the leaves without damaging others.
Finding a Plant Dusting Solution
Even though I hate dusting, I very much want to take care of the houseplants I have managed to keep alive. So I set out to find a simple solution to make cleaning their leaves easier.
I looked into buying dusting gloves but all the options I found online (pandemic restrictions!) cost more money than I wanted to pay. Furthermore, they still looked bulky for getting into small spaces between leaves. It was actually my husband that said, “Well, can’t you just sew some?” Why, yes! I can! And so can you with my tutorial and template for easy DIY Plant Dusting Gloves. Your plants will thank you for it!
Keep reading for the full tutorial. If you’re interested in other quick DIY projects, check out my tutorial for Easy Curtain Tie Backs, or Zippered Cushions with Piping.
How to make easy DIY plant dusting gloves
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- The free Dusting Glove Template (which you can find at the bottom of this post) printed at 100% scale
- New or old microfibre cloths or thin towels. The number required will depend on what size of the template you use, and the size of your cloths/towels. I was able to get a pair of gloves out of 2 microfibre cloths, however you might need 4 microfibre cloths. You can also use old towels. Don’t use anything too fluffy because the seam allowances will be very bulky and take up space inside your gloves. I like the microfibre cloths for this reason because they are nice and thin.
- A sewing machine that can do a straight stitch and a zig-zag stitch (or you can use a serger to finish the raw edges)
- Scissors for paper
- Scissors for fabric
Steps to make easy DIY plant dusting gloves
Step 1: Print template, choose size and cut it out
Using the free template provided at the bottom of this post, download it and be sure to print it at 100% scale. I have prepared two sizes on the template. The smaller size fits my hand with a bit of room to spare. My hands are admittedly quite small and I always choose a size small/medium for gloves that I purchase. The larger size fits my husband’s hand.
Lay your hand on top of the pattern and there should be lots of space around it. There is a 1/4 inch seam allowance included, but there needs to be room for the bulk of the seam allowance inside the glove when it is turned right side out. They also won’t be comfortable if they are super tight. But neither do you want them very floppy as they will be less effective for wiping the plant leaves.
Choose the best size for you. If you feel that you need larger than the template provides, you can scale it on a printer/copier, though you’ll likely have to piece two pieces of paper together. Cut out the template size you are going to use with scissors you use for paper.
Step 2: Lay out your microfibre clothes or towels in two layers, pin on pattern and cut out two pairs
Take the microfibre cloths or thin towels you are going to use and lay them out so you have two layers, one on top of the other. I noticed that although the microfibre cloths appeared to be a square, they were slightly rectangular so I made sure they were laid the same way. You can also fold a cloth or a towel in half to make two layers, as long as the resulting size is big enough to lay your template on.
When you have two layers, then plan the placement of the template so that you’ll be able to get two pairs out of the cloths/towel if possible. I made sure to place my template into a corner so that I would still have room to place it again.
Use enough pins to pin the template to the two layers of cloth. Use fabric scissors to cut out the first glove pieces (Two layers of fabric produce two pieces, which make one glove). Remove the pins and the template.
Reposition the template to another place on the cloths/towel, or if it cannot fit, on another set of cloths/towel in two layers. Pin again, and cut out a second set of pieces to make the second glove.
Step 3 – Hem the wrist edges
Next, decide on the wrong side of each piece. On some microfibre cloths I had, I couldn’t really distinguish between the right and wrong side, but on others it was obvious. It doesn’t really matter – they’ll function regardless.
To hem the wrist edges, we’re going to make a double fold hem. First, turn each piece wrong-side up. Take the wrist edge, fold over a tiny amount toward the wrong side, and then fold over again so the raw edge is enclosed. Pin in place. Continue the length of the wrist edge. I did not bother measuring or ironing these. You don’t want to lose lots of length by turning too much, but they don’t need to be exact. I estimate that on the first fold I turned under about 1/8″-1/4″, and then on the second fold I turned under 1/4″-3/8″.
Repeat until all four wrist edges have been folded under twice and pinned.
Then stitch down the hems near the fold with a straight stitch on the sewing machine. This will enclose the raw edges so they don’t shed and unravel. Ordinarily I would use matching thread, but I chose contrasting thread so it would be slightly more visible in photos. (However, no matter what colour I chose, the thread tended to disappear in between the loops of the terry cloth. I apologize that they aren’t more visible!) Backstitch at each end. Repeat for all four pieces. Now the wrist openings are hemmed.
Step 4 – Pin gloves together and stitch
With right sides together, match up two glove pieces carefully. Then pin around all around the outside edge, except across the wrist opening. Repeat with the second glove.
Using a 1/4″ seam allowance, stitch around all sides of the glove (except the wrist opening), backstitching at each end. I find that it is easier to go around tight curves if you put the needle down. Then sew small segments at a time, lifting the presser foot and pivoting a little around the lowered needle as needed.
Step 5 – Clip inner thumb curve and test the fit
To help them fit better around the curve of the thumb, make a couple of tiny scissor snips into the seam allowance along the inner curve of the thumb (between the thumb and the rest of the glove). Don’t cut through the line of stitches.
Then turn them right side out (poke out the thumb) and test the fit. If they are way too big in a particular place, you can sew over that section again with a wider seam allowance. Test the fit again, and if it’s an improvement, trim away some of the extra seam allowance.
Remember that these are not gloves you’re going to be wearing for long periods of time to avoid frostbite. They’re going to be on for a short period and they’ll be wet and dusty.
If they fit ok, then all we have left to do is finish the raw edges.
Step 6 – Finish the raw edges
Terry cloth sheds a lot, which you may have noticed when you started cutting it. In order to not have the gloves keep unravelling in the washing machine, we need to finish the raw edges.
Turn the gloves wrong sides out again. If you have a serger, it is easier to serge the raw edges that way. Be sure to put the blade down so you don’t cut any excess material away. It is difficult to navigate the sharp corner inside the thumb curve with a serger. My solution was to carefully pull the rest of the glove out of the way so that I ended one line of stitching at my seam allowance snip in the thumb curve. Then I began a new line of serging in the other direction to continue around the rest of the mitten.
Again, I apologize that my white serging threads aren’t very visible in the photo below.
If you don’t have a serger, choose a zig-zag stitch on your sewing machine. Then zig-zag around all the raw edges of your glove. For a larger glove in my husband’s size, I zig-zagged around the edges on my sewing machine.
Finally, turn them right side out again. Ta da! Your plant dusting gloves are complete!! I bet you rocked it.
Dusting plants with your snazzy new dusting gloves
It’s so quick and easy to whip out a pair of plant dusting gloves. You’ll be able to start dusting your beloved houseplants before you know it!
To dust your plants, I like to dampen my gloves with water. You can do this either by spraying them with a spray bottle, or running them under water for a second. I’m not going to lie – wet gloves feel gross. It’s like you’ve been playing out in the snow so long that your mittens got soggy. But it’s so much easier to fit these gloves between the leaves than to try to squeeze in a balled up washcloth. And you won’t be wearing them for that long.
You can use both hands to wipe a leaf, using one hand on top of the leaf and one below to support it. Or you can use just one hand to do a leaf, using your thumb either above or below.
If you’re doing a lot of plants in a row, you can even switch your gloves to the opposite hands part way through. The dusty dirty surfaces will then be on the top of your hands and you can use the clean sides that were previously on the top of your hands. When you’re done, simply throw them in the wash like you did with your microfibre towels before they were transformed into snazzy gloves. Your plants will now be able to get the most out of their sunlight and they will be so happy!
If you make a pair of these easy DIY plant dusting gloves, share a photo of you wearing them and wiping down those houseplants on social media with the hashtag #mixmeasuremakeplantdustinggloves. Don’t forget to tag me @mixmeasuremake so I can see your creations!
All the best,
Thank you so much for providing a solution. I love my plants but had no idea how to deal with the inevitable dust that seems to settle on them, especially throughout the winter months!
You’re welcome Emma. You’re so right that dust is inevitable and I hope this easy solution helps 🙂