Paper towels are wasteful. They’re made of paper, not entirely absorbent and you seem to always have them on your shopping list. In an effort to be more green I’ve made reusable “paper” towels from older towels that were past their prime. I’ve been using them in the kitchen for a week now and it makes me feel much better. The main concern from the boyfriend was that we could no longer use a paper towel to grease our cast iron pan and that the towels would leave lint. However, I’ve been using these towels to grease the pan and since they’re older they have virtually no fuzz to leave behind.
You may be thinking, what’s the difference between these and normal kitchen towels? Well these are on the counter and easy to grab just one, they are intended for messes and other things you would use a paper towel for instead of a kitchen towel, and they are smaller – intended to be used once.
- two old towels
- a few fabric squares or fabric left overs
- typical sewing supplies
Step 1: Cut off the edges of the towel.
Step 2: Cut the towel into roughly 10-12 inch squares. They absolutely do not have to be uniform.
Step 3: Using the scraps or fabric squares, cut 2-1/2 inch wide strips.
Step 4: Iron the strips in half.
Step 5: Fold in both edges of the strip so that you are folding each half in half, right sides out. Iron.
You will need a lot of strips of fabric.
Step 6: Sew the strips around the edge of the towels, folding corners when needed and adding new strips when you run out.
Here is a nice pile of finished towels. I originally was going to attach snaps to each towel so that you can roll the towels onto a paper towel holder and pull off a single sheet as you need it. My super smart boyfriend pointed out that the snaps might scratch our pots. I was head strong and started to sew on a few snaps. I then realized how tedious snaps could be and how many I’d need to create a whole roll. So I then pretended like his concerns were valid so that I wouldn’t have to sew on snaps. To be fair, the snaps were metal and I’m sure would have messed up a few pans (if used on pans.)
I then rolled up the towels and stuck them on our paper towel roll, the towels stay just fine.
Another view of the roll.
We pile the “paper” towels in the corner of the kitchen as we use them along with our hand towels and other kitchen fabric to be washed when we do laundry. The impact for using reusable towels is minimal on our lives. Having an easy to “tear off” paper towel substitute definitely makes the difference over using the typical kitchen towel for ease in the kitchen.