Monday, August 26, 2013

Reusable Paper Towels

I once saw reusable paper towels on Etsy and was very intrigued by them.  I liked the idea of having paper towels that I could use over and over again.  What I wasn't intrigued by was the price.  I'm cheap (hence all the DIY projects)

Several months later I just happen to come across a tutorial for making your own.

Reusable Paper Towels
You Will Need
Supplies (for one towel)
Basic sewing supplies
Cotton print, 11.5 x 11.5  
Terry cloth, 11.5 x 11.5
Plastic snaps and the assembly/installation tools
Coordinating thread 
and old paper towel tube

Instead of putting a whole list of instructions that will make no sense, I suggest just going to the original website.  It has a very useful step by step guide with photos

I didn't like the idea of snaps.  I wanted to be able to quickly grab one of the towels, and not have to stop and fiddle with two snaps (yes, I'm that lazy)  So I decided to try Velcro instead.  I couldn't figure how to sew the Velcro on so I super glued it, accepting that it would probably fall off.

I got all my materials and got to work. I did half of them with terry cloth and half with an old garage towel.  I'll tell you right now, I prefer the ones with the old garage towel because it soaks up liquid faster.

My husband saw me actually using the sewing machine and asked what I was doing. I told him all about my fantastic reusable paper towels and the following conversation took place.

Him; "Sooooo, their washcloths."
Me; "No, they are cute cloths that we will have on the counter that we can use just like paper towels."
Him: "Sooooo, cute washcloths on the counter."
Me; "Ok fine Captain Obvious, they are cute washcloths that will sit on the counter."
Him; "Thank you, once again I am right."

Welcome to my marriage folks.

The Verdict: I have horrible sewing skills, but these were easy to make and not very time consuming.  The Velcro worked great (at first) and the towels rolled up on the tube with no problem. I started out with 6 then eventually made another 6.  12 seems to be a good amount.  There has only been a few times when I've gone through the whole roll before washing them.

 I've been using them for 6 months and love them.  Because I have the mentality that they are "paper towels" I use them on everything and don't care if they stain.  I've used them on things like getting chocolate frosting off the floor, and scrubbing paint off the table.   

 My favorite use for them is scrubbing the kids after dinner.  I love being able to grab a clean cloth and toss it at them.  And because it's cloth, it's a whole lot more durable then a paper towel. 

They aren't as cute as they use to be.  After about a month all the Velcro came off, which means they don't stay on the paper towel roll as nicely.  Some of the threading is starting to wear and the white terry cloth is mostly gray at this point, but you can't see it when it's all rolled up. Even though they are frumpy looking now I still love them and plan on using them until they disintegrate. 


  1. Oh my, this had me grinning ear to ear. Thank you so much for trying my tut and giving an honest opinion. Keep sewing your skill will get better. Thank again!