Instead of throwing away your old towels, why not try doing these simple projects? Get DIY ideas for re-using old towels in new ways.
Hey y’all, today we’re going to talk about how to use old towels instead of throwing them away. First, let me share a few personality traits of mine – I love a bargain, I hate to just throw things away, but I also hate clutter. Combined, these traits mean I have stacks of old towels in my linen closet that I don’t want my kids using after a shower anymore, but that aren’t so threadbare that they’re useless. They have holes, or the edges are unraveling, mostly both, ha!
So what do you do with old bath towels? There are the general ideas like using them for your pets or donating them to the local animal shelter, but you can only use so many for those purposes. And sometimes the shelter is full on towel donations. I keep a few for plumbing emergencies and for when I give the dog a bath, but there’s still a whole stack besides those that I can’t bring myself to throw out. I can only make use of so many as cleaning rags, but if I think of my old towels as project fabric, I can come up with more ideas to repurpose them.
Well, in the video below, which you can also watch on YouTube here, I have a few ideas to repurpose old towels using your sewing machine.
How to Upcycle Old Towels to Make Hand Towels and Wash Cloths
Carefully inspect your towels for areas that are free from holes and see if you can cut out washcloths or hand towels from those areas. For a hand towel you need a section that is 24-26 inches long by 14-16 inches wide. For a washcloth you need a square 11 inches by 11 inches.
Add bias tape trim to the edges of your cut pieces so they won’t fray. You can make your own bias tape using this tutorial.
Once you have your bias tape cut out, then you can use this tutorial for help with mitering the corners.
Simply sew your bias tape the edges of either your hand towel our your washcloth sized piece of a larger towel and you’ll be able to continue to use them. These could also make nice gift sets – I’m thinking of some graduates headed off to college that could use personalized towel and washcloth sets to take with them. That way their linens will be easy to identify in a shared bathroom.
How to Sew Kitchen Towels
After you cut as many hand towels and washcloths out of the bath towel as you can, you might still have room to cut some to make a kitchen towel. You’ll need a 12 inch by 12 inch piece for this project.
The post linked above has a free pattern for the top part of the hanging towel as well as a video tutorial to show you how to make it. You can see from the picture that the bottom part is trimmed with bias tape just like the hand towels and washcloths. And if you use a lot of dish towels in your house this is a handy choice for those old bath towels to get more life.
How to Make Makeup Rounds from Upcycled Towels
Once you’ve cut out all the larger pieces you can from a towel, you can use the smaller scraps to make makeup rounds to use instead of cotton balls for removing makeup. These are washable and reusable.
There’s even a tutorial to make this mesh bag to wash them in, so they don’t get stuck in your washing machine plumbing.
I plan to update this post with more ways to use old towels, so if you have a great idea I should include please share in the comments below. So far it’s been suggested to use them in baby bibs – I think this tutorial would work well for that. I’ve also seen suggestions for dish drying mats, swiffer covers, bath rugs, padding in quilts, tooth fairy pillows and other crafts, and cutting into strips to make a mop or bath mat or dog toys. While I don’t have tutorials for those, I think they’re all good ideas and if I make tutorials for any of those in the future I’ll be sure to add them here.