Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Reusable Paper Towels

After growing up together then living apart for a few years, my sister and I rented a studio together. In our years apart Lindsay had developed some environmentally friendly habits. Me, being a person that is not big on change reverted back to being the whiny little sister that I once was. Cleaning with vinegar. "Ewe, you clean so that your house smells better, not worse!" Cleaning with vinegar was something I stopped when I moved to my own house. But during my pregnancy to avoid the chemicals I started using it again and I have not quit. I put a few drops of citrus essential oils in my sprayer, the vinegar smell fades I am left with the smell of citrus. I like that when kids are in the tub or eating food off the table I am not worried about what chemicals they may be getting. I now love cleaning with vinegar!

Paper towels.... my guilty pleasure. Before this time of my life that Lindsay "deprived" me of paper towels I never thought about how wasteful they really are. Recently I have been keeping a roll of paper towels in the house but used them sparingly and feel guilty when I do. When I think about what it is that I love so much about them, I have narrowed it down to one reason, CONVENIENCE. I like that they are right there when I need them. No digging for towels, no rag that is cluttering my counter. When I am cleaning up something disgusting I like to throw it in the garbage and not have to deal with it. I have recently come up with a solution. I have set aside old rags that are on their last leg for the nasty clean ups. I saw this idea and decided I would make my own easy access reusable paper towels. DISCLAIMER!! I AM NOT A SEAMSTRESS! I can only sew in a line (notice I do not say straight line) so all of my projects must be very easy.

How I did it:
 I found a pattern that I wanted in my kitchen and few old towels that we didn't use anymore and washed them.

Measure the wanted size. I added a 1/2 inch around the edge to make room for the seam.
Sew fabric and towel together on 3 1/2 sides then turn it inside out through 1/2 that is not sewn shut.
I put one button hole in each towel (you could use snaps or Velcro). Then sewed a button on the other side. I decided to put 3-4 seams through the towel so that it would not bunch as much when I wash them.
Finished product is guilt free, easy access, cute, reusable paper towels.
With my leftover fabric I made a few dish towels.
Let me know if you have any questions :-)


  1. This is very cool Melissa... paper towels are my guilty pleasure. I do not have a sewing machine but I have been thinking lately it would be a really good investment. You just convinced me its time to learn to sew! Thanks for the inspiration :)

  2. YAY Falon! You will love it! You will looking at everything and be thinking of how you can repurpose it.

  3. I used that very owl fabric to reupholster old chairs giving them new life. I love that you are pushing getting away from paper. We avoid paper products like the plague and haven't used paper towels, napkins, plates or the like in years. It's just not environmentally kind nor money conscious.