Trying to go zero waste or just reduce your waste? Unpaper towels are a great way to use fewer paper towels. It’s not even hard to make your own!
One of the latest green crazes I have noticed around the internet is unpaper towels. They are exactly like paper towels except they are made out of fabric.
The fabric used to make them is up to you. Most of the towels I have seen have a cotton or flannel top layer and a terry cloth bottom layer. The tutorial that I have put together is a nice blend of other tutorials that I have found. The greatest part is that they are easy to make, even for a beginning sewer.
Since I am all about saving money and going green, I thought this would be a great first project for my recently refurbished sewing machine. I will say that I am not a great sewer, but I enjoy making items for our home and my family.
I did not want to spend a lot of money on this project, so for my fabric selections, I found 1 ¼ yard of cotton fabric on sale for the top layer of the towels and repurposed old towels and hand towels for the bottom, absorbent layer.
To attach the towels to one another, you can either use snaps or hook and loop (velcro). Given that I have never done any projects with snaps, I went with hook and loop.
I used colorful fabric but you can also use white like the photo above for a more clean look.
How to Make Unpaper Towels
Materials (makes 10 towels):
- Around 1 yard of cotton, flannel, or your choice of fabric
- Around 1 yard of terry cloth fabric (I used 1 old towel and 2 old hand towels to get 10)
- 4 velcro pieces for each towel – 2 for each side
- 1 spool of thread in the color of your choice
- To start, cut 12’ x 12’ squares of both your fabric for the top layer and your fabric for the bottom layer.
- Next, sew the top layer fabric right side down and terry cloth together leaving a small opening that will allow you to flip it inside out.
- Trim all the excess fabric around the edges and flip it inside out. Make sure you poke all the corners through and do a top stitch all around.
- To make sure that the two layers don’t separate when you wash them, make a squiggle line stitch through the center of the towel.
- Sew on two pieces of velcro hoop side on the edge of the top piece of fabric. On the same towel, sew two pieces of velcro loop side to the terry cloth side. The velcro holds the towels together when they are on a paper towel holder.
Put all the unpaper towels together and you are done! If I were a more careful sewer, I would probably pin the fabric together and iron them at some point. Since this is just for our house, I didn’t worry about that too much. These turned out wonderfully, and I even made a kitchen wet bag to hold them after they get dirty. Unpaper towels have been a great addition to our kitchen.
Interested in a paper-free home? Check out Creating a Paper-Free Home for lots of great tips.