Monday, February 13, 2012

Reusable UN-Paper Towels

Look how pretty these towels are!  You wouldn't even know that they're currently our new Reusable UN-Paper Towels.  
They aren't really that difficult to make (flannel on one side, thin terry cloth on the other).  I made about 18 over the course of a few days worth of "play times" on the floor in the sewing room / study.  I also didn't really know how many to make and I think I'm good for now.  I find that I use about 1-2 a day in lieu of conventional paper towels.  We've gone from going through at least 1-2 rolls of paper towels a week to maybe 5 sheets a week off the roll we now keep below the sink.  Huge cost savings!  Plus, I really do try to be more earth friendly.  Like the cloth diapering we've done, it started as a financial decision but makes you feel like you're doing the earth a favor by making a "healthier"/greener choice.  

I got the great idea from Chelsea at Finding Joy, who I went to high school and sang in the choir with.  She's a really neat woman who has an adorable 2 year old boy and brand new twins (2 babies! at once! ack!).  She's a really great seamstress and I get a lot of creative ideas from her, but she's also a SAHM who is trying to be financially responsible for her family.  She is one of the people I ended up asking a lot of cloth diaper questions from.  She even wrote a great blog about her Cloth Diapering System.

I am still playing with our storage solutions for them.  I think I'm going to buy one of these over the cabinet or pull-out cans for under our sink.  Instead of using it for a trash can I'll make another PUL can liner (to prevent any mess from hitting the can, and if it gets gross I can wash it too) and put the dirties under there until I wash them.  I've also experimented with the wash cycle and our Rockin Green detergent, which has done a pretty good job of keeping them fresh and clean without harsh chemicals like bleach being needed (you're not very green if you're pouring cups of bleach down the drain to keep your "green" towels from getting nasty are you? haha).  But that stuff is meant for cleaning CD's so you know it can clean.  If they get too gross I'll dry them outside once it gets warm enough to do some au-natural sun-bleaching.  Yeahhhh buddy. :)
can you tell I tried some fancy camera action and played with my settings? Yay photo blogs!
Edit: I've had some questions about how I made them. I just decided on a good size for us, sewed them right sides together leaving a 2 inch (or so) gap, clipped corners, turned right side out, and did a 1/8-1/4" top stitch to close.  It was a little more work but they've held up wonderfully.  
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