one green planet
one green planet

It happens to everyone. Towels get dingy, stained, torn, and plucked over time, and they start to look unappealing.  Well, if you have old towels that have seen better days, don’t just toss them out. There are lots of fun and inventive ways you can use your old towels with little to no expertise.

Sending used clothing to thrift stores is one thing, but not everyone wants to buy a secondhand frayed towel. Keeping fabric out of landfill is pretty important, and though recycling options for fabric aren’t always readily available, it is recyclable. So, what are your options?

It is worth looking into options in your local area for fabric recycling. Alternatively, you can cut up your old towels and upcycle them into something new and useful!

1. Swiffer-Style Mop Covers

Source: Hello Sewing/YouTube

Having to buy refills for your Swiffer-style mop isn’t the most sustainable, economical, or eco-friendly option. What’s more, these refill pads are full of questionable chemicals that you might be trying to keep out of your home. One solution to this is to make your own reusable and washable pads from old towels. You don’t even have to be that handy with a needle or sewing machine.  Simply cutting a piece of towel big enough to be able to poke the corners into the grabby holes on your mop would do the job. You can use a disposable pad as your template.

2. Dishcloths or Rags

Source: Needlepointers/YouTube

Cutting old ratty towels up into rags seems like a no-brainer. You don’t even have to neaten the edges, as who cares if a rag frays? However, if most of your old towel is salvageable, you could cut it into face cloth-sized squares and sew the edges with a zigzag stitch to prevent them from unraveling.

3. Kid’s Craft Apron

Source: HappyBannky CraftyMon/YouTube

Keep your kid’s clothes reasonably clean by tying a homemade towel apron around them before they get their hands in the paint. They can wipe their fingers on their apron without worry and even use it to dry their hands after washing. If you are pretty nifty with a sewing machine, you can follow any number of patterns on the internet for kid-sized aprons. That said, you could always go poncho style and cut a hole in the middle big enough to fit your kid’s head through, and voila! An instant, no-sew apron!

4. Soap Savers

Source: Hello Sewing/YouTube

Cut up small pieces of your old towel and sew them into little pouches just the right size for a bar of soap. These little pouches work to hold your soap bar whilst using it in the shower or bath. One great trick is to save up old bits of soap bar slivers and pop them into one of these bags. This way you won’t be wasting those little pieces of perfectly useable soap.

5. Un-Paper Kitchen Towels

Source: Billette’s Crafts/YouTube

Paper towels are great to have around for emergency spills and easy napkins. But, if you are trying to move towards a more waste-free lifestyle, making your own reusable un-paper towels is a classy step! All you need to do is cut up your old towels into paper towel-sized squares. There is an option to sew a double layer if you want a more substantial and absorbent un-paper towel. You can even sew little pieces of velcro or press studs to one edge of each un-paper tower so that you can attach them all together and roll them up just like the paper version.

6. Washcloth Hand Puppet

Source: ArfyMakes/YouTube

Make bathtime more fun for kids, and maybe a few adults, by sewing your old towels into a washcloth hand puppet. knowing your way around a sewing machine would make this a lot easier, but hand sewing would work just fine, too. A little imagination wouldn’t go amiss, either.  These would make great little gifts, especially if you paired them with some handmade soap, too.

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