Hopeful Thoughts

Projects Galore! Not a Paper Towel.

People are always asking me if I’m on Pinterest yet. Nope! And I plan to keep it that way. Why? I’m not opposed to the concept. In fact, it’s a great idea. The reason I stay clear is because if I see a project, I HAVE to try it, and I manage to find enough ideas through needs I see in my day-to-day life or simply stumbling upon them as I visit other sites. Take this one, for example. Last week I realized I was out of white caps for snaps. I had to order more, and while I was on the site, I noticed a link to “101 uses for KamSnaps”. I HAD to look! And here is the link that caught my eye

Of course I HAVE to make these “un-paper towels”. And so I did!

My finished roll of towels.

A single towel

The recipe called for two yards of flannel and two yards of terry to make 13 towels. Flannel was on sale this week at $2.99 a yard, and I got my terry with a 50% off coupon and scored an extra 23 of a yard from the end of the bolt. I spent $10.66 on terry and was able to cut 16 towel size pieces from it. It took about 30 sets of snaps (about $1.50 worth) and I had to buy a piece of plastic canvas for $1.79, but I think I’ll get four rolls from it. So, the project cost me around $17 (could have been double without sale prices). Oh…and I should factor in the cost of my machine…which I BROKE in the process. I don’t know yet how much it’s going to cost to replace the knife on my serger. 🙁

Pros of this project are that it’s pretty easy to put together and the towels are really pretty and practical.

Cons are a bit more involved. There seemed to be quite a bit of waste in pieces that aren’t really big enough to re-use. I was able to make 8 baby wipes from the leftover flannel, but the remaining pieces are too small to make anything that I’m aware of, as were all the terry scraps. (I’m pondering this problem, and I DO have some ideas…another reason I don’t need Pinterest!!) Also, I felt like the finished towels are really too thick to look nice rolled up. By the time I got the last towel snapped on, the roll was too big for it to fit all the way around. In addition, it took about 6 hours to cut and sew it all. (Not sure how much time the serger would have saved me since it broke on the third one!)

Overall, I like this project and I think that it is something I will make in the future, however, I’m going to try a thinner option for the terry layer. I’m leaning towards organic hemp French terry which would cost about $15 per set of 13. It’s more expensive, but I think the result would be well worth the extra cost. Not sure yet if I will add it to the list of items on Hopeful Thoughts (need to seek permission from the creator), but it’s definitely in the list of gift items!


  1. Mommmm meee aaah:

    Are these just for wiping up spills, using as “wall plates”, wiping off dirty baby faces… or to be used to soak up grease when you need too. Because most washers and dryers specifically tell you NOT to put grease soaked items into them. Especially dryers, as residual grease could/would be a fire hazard. Just saying….

  2. Hope:

    Hi, Mom. You bring up a very valid point, and I agree. These don’t eliminate the need for paper towels, but should cut down on their use by a significant amount. Squishing bugs and cleaning up peanut butter still must be done with the paper variety!! Do you LIKE the idea?????

  3. Mommmm meee aaah:

    evidently I must at some level. why do you think I keep so many “cleaning rags” ? We use those a lot you know when we might otherwise use a paper towel. It’s not a new concept. I still like using a single paper towel over newspaper for fried foods. Cuts down on the paper towels you need and uses up something that was going to get thrown out anyway!

  4. Mommmm meee aaah:

    and all those “cleaning rags” use up another source of potential waste. I cut them out of old towels that are too ragged to use any more but still have “good” spots left in them. LOL

  5. Sabra:

    These look great! I’m sorry your machine broke, though. For the issue with thickness, I usually do flannel for both sides. The terry is nice, in that it “scrubs” and absorbs a bit more, but it is bulky. I’ve also had people tell me birdseye fabric is a good alternative.

    We use paper towels for kitchen grease and oil. The fabric kitchen towels are mostly used as informal napkins and everyday spills, etc in our house. Even then, we only end up needing a paper towel a few times a month, depending on what I’ve been cooking. I haven’t purchased a new roll of paper towels in at least a year!