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DIY Cloth Hankies

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DIY Cloth Hankies
One way I keep my grocery budget low is by not buying a lot of paper products.

Instead of paper towels, we use dish towels.
Instead of paper napkins, we use cloth napkins.
Instead of disposable diapers, we use cloth diapers (when we can).
Instead of baby wipes, we use cloth wipes.
It works out to be a considerable savings for us and I like it because it’s a green option.

One of my goals for 2012 was to stop buying tissues. I’ve worked through my stockpile and we’ve been out for a while. I have resisted buying them, but not because I made my own, simply because we’ve been using toilet paper. That’s kind of missing the point, huh?

Today, I was motivated to finally make hankies. I grabbed some old t-shirts, my great cloth scissors, the cutting mat, and my tissue box, and of course my computer.


I love Google! It can find about anything and I quickly found a couple blogs posts to read. This first blog I looked at sewed cute rectangular tissues. Very cute, but more work than I wanted today.

The second blog made cute no-sew round hankies with a roto-cutter. Too bad my roto-cutter is MIA. I decided to go with her approach, but using my scissors.

Following the directions from Blog #2, I used the lid of my tissue box as a pattern, and since there was no way I was going to get a nice edge with my scissors, I made a jagged edge out of my (husband’s) old t-shirts. Don’t tell him, though. He hates to get rid of t-shirts.


I cut 40 hankies from 2 t-shirts.

Then, (since they’re kind of ugly) I put them inside my paper tissue box. I figure it’s ok for snot rags to be ugly, but once my no-spend challenge is over, I may go buy a new roto-cutter and make some cuter ones!

They are nice and soft, and once they’re used, we’ll just throw them in the laundry with my cloth diapers. And I’m feeling proud, because I have just knocked one thing off my to-do list for 2012.

And while I was busy making hankies, my son was busy at work on a Ninja outfit to go with the Mycenean shield he made earlier in the day. He can do just about anything with tape – duct tape, electrical tape, scotch tape, masking tape…it really cracks me up.


For more ways to turn junk into treasures, visit Healthy Child, Healthy World.

Linking up: Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways; Healthy 2day Wednesdays; Frugal Friday; Frugal Tuesdays;

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About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long time green living enthusiast and rural Iowa mom of four. An avid traveler, Michelle has lived on three different continents and has driven all four kids across the entire USA (by herself!). She loves sharing farm-to-table recipes, their family travel adventures, and gardening and homesteading tips on her popular lifestyle blog, SimplifyLiveLove.com.


  1. blankCara Ivey says

    Cloth Baby Wipes??? Have you posted about that one yet? With twins it sounds like a big money saver!!! We go through a lot of poop…. er, I mean wipes around here. 🙂

  2. blankBarb @ A Life in Balance says

    Love the cloth tissues. I have a small collection for myself, but I haven’t encouraged the kids in using cloth tissues. My collection is a combination of hankies I’ve found in thrift shops, plus some I’ve made myself from clearance rack fabric. As the resident nose blower, I try to use the cloth ones over the disposable unless I’m really sick. Then it’s disposable.

    I love your tissue holder, too!

    I use cloth wipes, too since my 3 year old isn’t potty trained yet. I bought some cloth wipes when I bought diapers many moons ago, and I also made cloth wipes from old flannel sheets. They’re super easy. Just edge with the zig zag stitch.

  3. blankAnne @ Quick and Easy Cheap and Healthy says

    Michelle, I love this! My husband has some hole-y t-shirts that I could utilize:) I’ve also stopped buying tissues, but we’re just using TP, haha! I don’t know if my husband would be willing to use hankies, but maybe we’ll give it a go. Thanks for linking up to Healthy 2Day Wednesday!

  4. blankKelly @ Blue Jeans & Coffee Beans says

    This is a fabulous idea! I do not buy many paper products, either, but have not yet replaced our tissues. I will definitely be trying this. Thanks for posting!

  5. blankKelly @ Blue Jeans & Coffee Beans says

    Fabulous idea! I don’t use too many paper products either, but have not bothered to find a non-paper replacement for tissues. I’ll be trying this. Thanks for sharing!

  6. blankDeb says

    My dad and then my hubby have always used cloth hankies. I never did much until the past year or so. I buy cheap bandana type handkerchiefs and keep the pretty ones for me and darker colors for him. I can get them pretty cheap second hand and I don’t have to hem them or zigzag. I sometimes uses them around my forehead to keep sweat off my glasses, hate that. LOL If I was to be real sick i would maybe use some paper, but hate to buy any so have managed to avoid it. Good post.

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