Make Unpaper Towels With This Simple DIY

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Did you know you can make unpaper towels? Paper towels are a handy convenience.  But, they can also be wasteful. So, if you’re trying to reduce your consumption or just want to limit the number of times you have to go to the store, this is an easy DIY

Make Unpaper Towels With This Simple DIY Tutorial

Make Unpaper Towels

So, one of the reasons to make unpaper towels is to reduce waste. But, it will also help you keep your expenses down. Once you have reusable towels in your home, you won’t need to buy paper towels at the store each week.

Now, don’t worry. You don’t have to be super crafty to make unpaper towels. It’s a relatively simple DIY project for even a beginner. 

What are unpaper towels?

Everyone does this a little bit differently. This craft is made with flannel or cotton fabric along with terry fabric for absorbency. They are basically a reusable type of towel. So, they are made of fabric so they can be washed and reused. You can use whatever pattern you like either to match your kitchen or as a pretty gift to match unpaper napkins.

Make Unpaper Towels With This Simple DIY Tutorial

Or, you can make them out of white material so that you can bleach them when they get stained. Because they will get stained as you use them depending on what you are wiping up.

Do these have snaps?

Some unpaper towels have snaps on them so you can connect them to each other and then roll them on a roll so they resemble traditional paper towels. So, these instructions include adding snaps or Velcro. But, this step isn’t necessary if you’d prefer not to do it. There’s no reason you cannot fold the cloths after you’ve made them. I don’t tend to keep a lot of things on my counter. So, I’d rather fold the towels and put them in a drawer instead.

red and yellow reusable cloths

How many unpaper towels do I need?

That really all depends on the size of your family and your lifestyle. For my husband and I, we could probably do with about ten. If you have six children and three dogs, you may want to make more. This project makes 15.

So, you can make two batches of unpaper towels so that you have one complete set while the other one is in the washing machine. 

Make Unpaper Towels With This Simple DIY Tutorial

How to store unpaper towels

When it comes to storing paper towels, you might have a paper towel holder on the counter or under a cupboard. But, after you make unpaper towels, you will probably want to store them in a drawer or closet near your kitchen area. You can simply fold them in a stack. Or you can roll them individually and stand them in a basket. It all depends on the size of the area you’ll be storing them in.

*If you don’t have or don’t want to use snaps or Velcro, just skip this step and stack these and use them that way. Whatever is easiest for you!

How to make unpaper towels

Supplies:

  • 1-yard flannel or cotton fabric
  • 1-yard terry cloth fabric or old hand or bath towels
  • Snaps or Velcro
  • Sewing Machine
  • Matching thread
  • Sewing pins or clips
  • Scissors
  • Cutting mat and ruler, measuring tape or ruler
  • Cardboard paper towel roll

Instructions to make unpaper towels

  • Cut your fabric into 9×13” rectangles

fabric on a sewing machine being sewn

  • With right sides together, pin or clip the pieces together, leaving a 3” gap for turning.
  • Using a 1/2-inch seam allowance, sew around all 4 sides except for the gap.

red cloth reusable towels

  • Clip off the corner and turn the square right side out. Using a pencil or chopstick, push out the corners.
  • Iron flat and using a ¼ inch seam allowance, topstitch around all four sides of the square. This will also close the gap you used for turning.
  • To keep the square from twisting when you wash it, sew either an “X” or 3 lines across it.

red and yellow reusable towels

  • *Attach your Velcro or snaps to the 4 corners or each piece, making sure you attach the opposite pieces of the Velcro or snap to the next piece of the towel so each snap together. When all are attached, roll them around your cardboard tube and slide onto your paper towel holder.

*If you don’t have or don’t want to use snaps or Velcro, just skip this step and stack these and use them that way. Whatever is easiest for you!

Yields 15 

Related reading

Yield: 15

Make Unpaper Towels With This Simple DIY Tutorial

Make Unpaper Towels With This Simple DIY Tutorial

Make Unpaper Towels With This Simple DIY Tutorial

Prep Time 10 minutes
Active Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Difficulty moderate
Estimated Cost $20

Materials

  • 1-yard flannel or cotton fabric
  • 1-yard terry cloth fabric or old hand or bath towels
  • Snaps or Velcro
  • Sewing Machine
  • Matching thread
  • Sewing pins or clips
  • Scissors
  • Cutting mat and ruler, measuring tape or ruler
  • Cardboard paper towel roll

Tools

  • sewing machine

Instructions

  1. Cut your fabric into 9×13” rectangles
  2. With right sides together, pin or clip the pieces together, leaving a 3” gap for turning.
    Using a 1/2-inch seam allowance, sew around all 4 sides except for the gap
  3. Clip off the corner and turn the square right side out. Using a pencil or chopstick, push out the corners.
  4. Iron flat and using a ¼ inch seam allowance, topstitch around all four sides of the square. This will also close the gap you used for turning.
  5. To keep the square from twisting when you wash it, sew either an “X” or 3 lines across it.
  6. *Attach your Velcro or snaps to the 4 corners or each piece, making sure you attach the opposite pieces of the Velcro or snap to the next piece of the towel so each snap together. When all are attached, roll them around your cardboard tube and slide onto your paper towel holder.

Notes

*If you don’t have or don’t want to use snaps or Velcro, just skip this step and stack these and use them that way. Whatever is easiest for you!

Did you make this project?

If you make this, tag me on Instagram so I can see (@ellenblogs)

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