How to Make Reusable Paper Towels with Fabric Scraps

How to Make Reusable Paper Towels with Fabric Scraps

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How to Make Reusable Paper Towels with Fabric Scraps. Use these DIY unpaper towels for everything from cleaning and spills to wiping any faces, etc. It won't even cost you any money to make them! #zerowaste #unpapertowels #diy #kitchen #dishcloths

One day, not that long ago, I woke up, went downstairs, and was suddenly kinda grossed out by all the paper towels our family had been using. I’m not sure what it was, but that day something clicked and I realized that (at least for us) cutting down on paper towel use OR eliminating it all together was a small thing we could do in our home to help reduce waste. So, I mentioned it to Jeff and put the paper towels we already had under the sink for the weekend, just to see if we could actually do it. I mean, it didn’t seem like it would be that hard. BUT at the same time, paper towels are so convenient and we really use them out of habit for pretty much everything from cleaning and spills to wiping down Hayes’ face after meals.

Long story short, we tried it that weekend and never looked back. It was honestly WAY easier than I thought it would be to make the switch. And one of the key reasons why it was so easy was because we already had what we needed to get started: dishcloths, and lots of them. But then I got to thinking, what if you don’t have any dishcloths already (or you only have a couple) to make the switch easier. And that’s how these DIY reusable paper towels came about. I say ‘paper towels’, but they’re actually made of fabric – no paper at all. Even better than being made of fabric though, they’re made of fabric scraps to further eliminate waste AND help anyone who’s interested, get started right now…in 15 minutes (or less)!

Did I mention there’s two version of these DIY reusable paper towels as well – a sewn version AND a no-sew version! Click through for both tutorials and let me know what you think.

Use these DIY unpaper towels for everything from cleaning and spills to wiping any faces, etc. It won't even cost you any money to make them! Click through for the tutorial for a sewn option AND a no-sew option. #nosew #sewingproject #zerowaste #unpapertowels #diy #kitchen #dishcloths

While I was putting this post together, I noticed a handful of tutorials out there for DIY unpaper towels that snap together and take the shape of a regular paper towel roll that you can put on an actual paper towel holder, etc. When it comes to a project like this, that really just needs to be functional, I personally gravitate towards the easiest option. And that’s what today’s tutorial is. But if you like the idea of a snapped roll, there are some great tutorials out there. Wanted to mention that in case you’re looking for different option.

That said, let’s get to tutorials…

Reusable Paper Towels DIY Materials Needed

  • absorbent fabric (we used scraps of an old towel but you can use a dishcloth, teeshirt, or old hand towels)
  • backing fabric (we used scrap linen from a previous project, but you can use any cotton fabric)
  • thread, pins and a sewing machine (for a no-sew option, use hemming tape)
  • scissors
  • iron ruler

DIY unpaper towels! Use them for everything from cleaning and spills to wiping any faces, etc. It won't even cost you any money to make them! Click through for the tutorial for a sewn option AND a no-sew option. #sewingproject #zerowaste #unpapertowels #diy #kitchen #dishcloths

Instructions for Sewn Reusable Paper Towels

Measure 10” x 15” on both your absorbent fabric and backing fabric. If you don’t have enough, you can do different measurements. Just make sure your two sides are the same size.

Put your sides face to face and pin along the edge. Sew all sides 1/4” from the the edge but be sure to leave a small gap to turn the towel inside out! Cut the corners so that when you flip the towel inside out, the corners lay nice and flat.

Flip the towel inside out and iron along the edges. Now, you can sew the hole closed. Be sure to get as close to the edge as possible. For a cleaner look, you can hand stitch this closed.

OPTIONAL* For one of my towels, I sewed two straight lines about an inch in on the top and bottom to prevent the towel from getting bunched up in the wash or during use. This is totally optional, but I actually didn’t mind the way it turned out!

DIY unpaper towels! Use them for everything from cleaning and spills to wiping any faces, etc. It won't even cost you any money to make them! Click through for the tutorial for a sewn option AND a no-sew option. #nosew #zerowaste #unpapertowels #diy #kitchen #dishcloths

Instructions for No-Sew Reusable Paper Towels

Measure 10” x 15” on both your absorbent fabric and backing fabric. If you don’t have enough, you can do different measurements. Just make sure your two sides are the same size.

Cut 3 pieces of hemming tape long enough for each side. Put your pieces face to face with the hemming tape just on the edge.

Iron the pieces together on only 3 of the sides leaving a smaller side open. Check the instructions that come with your hemming tape. For mine, I applied a lot of heat and waited until it cooled to check if the two pieces were bonded well. Instructions may vary, so just be aware.

Once cooled, trim the corners so that they lay flat when you flip the towel inside out. Flip the towel inside out and iron along the edges.

Fold in the bottom side and put hemming tape between the two pieces. Iron too close. Allow to cool completely before using! And that’s it! Pretty easy, right? 

DIY unpaper towels! Use them for everything from cleaning and spills to wiping any faces, etc. It won't even cost you any money to make them! Click through for the tutorial for a sewn option AND a no-sew option. #sewingproject #zerowaste #unpapertowels #diy #kitchen #dishcloths #nosew

DIY unpaper towels! Use them for everything from cleaning and spills to wiping any faces, etc. It won't even cost you any money to make them! Click through for the tutorial for a sewn option AND a no-sew option. #sewingproject #zerowaste #unpapertowels #diy #kitchen #dishcloths #nosew

DIY unpaper towels! Use them for everything from cleaning and spills to wiping any faces, etc. It won't even cost you any money to make them! Click through for the tutorial for a sewn option AND a no-sew option. #sewingproject #zerowaste #unpapertowels #diy #kitchen #dishcloths #nosew

DIY unpaper towels! Use them for everything from cleaning and spills to wiping any faces, etc. It won't even cost you any money to make them! Click through for the tutorial for a sewn option AND a no-sew option. #sewingproject #zerowaste #unpapertowels #diy #kitchen #dishcloths #nosew

Sewing by Casey Harper

One last thing… It’s probably worth noting that we have 35-50 of these at home (total between the DIY ones and store-bought dishcloths) that we use for everything. I realize that probably sounds like a lot, BUT the reason we have so many is so we don’t have to run new loads of laundry all the time (which saves a little bit on water usage as well). And I keep all of my unpaper towels in a drawer in the kitchen, so they’re super easy to grab but aren’t in plain sight taking up space on the counter.

Think you’ll give this DIY a try?


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