Reusable kitchen towels are nothing new at all, but I only recently saw on Pinterest towels that snap together to make them as convenient as paper towels. So, I made some.
A lot of my friends create Pinterest boards with titles like “Must Make” or “DIY for My House.” I don’t know a lot of people with time on their hands, though, and I’m one of them. You probably are, too. A DIY project has to really catch my interest to inspire me to get up and do it. This is so clever that I just had to sew my own kitchen towels. I thought you might find this one of those eco baby steps that is easy to take as well.
Make Your Own Kitchen Towels
As always, I recommend you use what you have on hand. I happened to have some Harmony Art organic cotton fabrics that I had yet to find a use for. My fabrics were a range of weights from heavy twill (like jeans) to thin plain weave (like sheets). I decided that it might be useful to have wipes available in different thicknesses, so I used all of the fabrics, giving each a different color of snaps and trim to make it easier to tell the difference between weights as I was reaching to clean up a spill. For the absorbent side, I used brushed French terry that was too flawed to use for clothes but was fine for towels.
What I did takes no special skill at all. If you can use a serger, you can make towels.
- 1/3 yard each of 4 decorative, cotton fabrics at least 36″ wide (or use the same fabric for all)
- 1 yard of absorbent, loopy fabric to do the dirty work – cotton terry or birdseye are perfect
- Decorative thread (optional)
- 24 4-part sets of snaps
Wash your fabric before you start. You don’t want to make beautiful towels only to have them shrink and distort after washing. Pre-shrink to avoid this. I also ironed my fabric to make sure I was cutting evenly.
Cut 12 11″ x 11″ squares of the decorative fabric and 12 more of the absorbent fabric. I also rounded the corners to make sewing really fast.
Match up the cut squares with the absorbent, loopy side out and the decorative side out if you are going to have decorative serging that shows. You can also put the absorbent and decorative sides in, if you plan to turn and top-stitch your towels. If you want to keep it simple, just serge.
Sew each towel together.
Place snaps—two male and two female on each. I had writing on mine, so I carefully paid attention to which side had which snaps so the writing would always go the same way.
Total time for 12 wipes: 40 minutes
But What If I’m Not Crafty?
If you don’t have time or you don’t sew, how about just buying cotton towels to ditch the paper towels? My mother-in-law still uses 40-year old diapers as kitchen towels. In my house, we have a stack of old prefolds that we use as dog cloths, since I can’t quite bring myself to put the used diapers in the kitchen. New cotton prefolds make great kitchen towels because they are very soft and absorbent.
That’s what you need for spills. Nothing fancy. Just a little cleverness and a lot of absorbency, and you have washable, reusable towels, and you won’t miss paper towels.
Following up on a couple of weeks of cloth diaper focus, I’m covering other reusable products you can easily introduce into your family’s routine. Last week, it was reusable sandwich bags and wraps then DIY reusable baby wipes last Tuesday. Do you have favorite reusable products that you use? Drop by the Parenting by Nature Facebook page and tell us about it.