Ok, more like “The War of the Unpaper Towels,” but that just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
We all know my stance on toilet paper as being a lovely wall decoration and thus unacceptable. But how about paper towels?
Pretty much everyone uses them in the kitchen, at least, and around the house for odd jobs here and there. You wipe up messes and dry your hands and scrub things and whatnot.
But what if you could replace those with something that actually worked? And matched your decor? (Seasonal towels, maybe?)
Paper towels are alright, but how many does it take to wipe up a spill? Two? Three? Four? Half a roll? (yes, yes I did have one of those messes.)
Kitchen towels are too thin, they simply don’t have the absorbency needed. Bath towels aren’t sized efficiently for use in other places.
Enter the unpaper towel tutorials.
I looked at a few, tried a couple, and came down to my favorite. I’ll even tell you why.
The first one I tried, I used quilting weight cotton backed with birdseye cotton.
The second is flannel backed with terry cloth. (The tutorial calls for repurposed bath towels.)
Birdseye, for those not in the know about diapers, are what cloth diapers have been made of for a long time. It’s sort of a looser weave of cotton. In a diaper, this stuff is super absorbent, but you are talking layers of it. The loose weave also makes it very unstable, even starched.
Terry cloth isn’t a whole lot better to work with. My feed dogs kept trying to eat it, though keeping the flannel side down did help. Pins also helped, which made me sad, since I am just not a pinner.
Attempt one gave me a thin, flimsy rag that sort of sagged sadly in the middle, particularly when wet. Attempt two calls for lines of stitching crossing it so it is in effect quilted, which holds it together and stable.
Attempt 1 failed my quarter cup of water cleanup test. Attempt two was able to clean up after attempt 1’s failure and clean it’s own as well. (They are close to the same size.)
Attempt 2 has become my go to for all things in the kitchen. They are easy to grab and use to dry dishes quickly, wipe up spills, dry my hands, wipe down counters….
Frankly, I cut too small (smaller than the tutorial called for) because I wanted to get more of them out of the fabric I had. Bad idea, though they are useful. I wish they were bigger.
So, the winner is? *drumroll*
The Crafty Gemini’s Fabric Paper Towel Roll – DIY Tutorial
Other Paperless Towel Tutorials
Sew a Straight Line – Rolled Kitchen Towels – A Tutorial This one includes how to make a roll to attach the towels to out of plastic canvas. Brilliant!
Thrifty Nifty Mommy – How to Make Your Own Unpaper Towels