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Start your disposable free home with our DIY Homemade Reusable Cloth Wipes

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Are you tired of spending money on disposable products?  Have you learned how many chemicals they can contain that aren’t so great for us or the environment? What about how much waste is put into our landfills that won’t degrade for another lifetime?trash, landfill, litter

So, let’s talk about cost.

The cheapest disposable wipes I can find, for the sake of this research, are about 1 cent each.  I wouldn’t personally recommend these, they are chalk full of chemicals and are poor quality, but, the cheapest option.  From birth to potty training (we are going to say three years old, which is sparing for some kids) I’ll estimate that you use two wipes per diaper change (ha! Any parent knows this is a VERY low estimate, perhaps not even realistic).  Say you only change 6 diapers a day (yeah, right).  At these very low estimates, we are looking at 12 wipes/day @ 360 days a year for three years.  Thats 12, 960 cents.  Divided by 100 to convert to dollars = $129.60.  That’s not a whole lot over the span of three years, I’ll admit. Keep in mind my low estimates and that you are using the cheapest/lowest quality wipes on the market.  Also, who uses wipes JUST for diaper changes?  I use them for EVERYTHING.  Plus, there were some diaper changes that I used at least 10 wipes (when I used disposable).  Plus, look at all those wipes you are throwing into the environment.  How many was that? Almost 13,000!! Yes, there are more eco-friendly wipes with less chemicals, but the cost goes up astronomically.

chemicals

I’m not going to talk about chemicals because I’m not qualified to say exactly what they put in wipes that are “toxic” or cause reactions.  I don’t like uneducated assumptions about certain things.  I have taken many, many chemistry classes and I can tell you now that chemistry has a bad rep.  I do know they have harsh chemicals, but this is not the reason we don’t use them. I don’t use them just for the fact they are a disposable product that puts more trash in our landfill. I’m just mentioning this aspect because it IS more leverage to switching to cloth!

My method to switching over to cloth wipes is possibly free for you, assuming you have a sewing machine and thread available (using materials you already have around the house)! It just takes a little time and practice!

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If you don’t want to make them, the cost of choosing wipes is pretty minimal.  The wipes I make are about 1.30/wipe.  If you use the same estimates I did earlier in the post, you’ll need 12/day.  If you do laundry every other day, you’ll need 24 wipes.  Remember, I’m using sparing numbers, but I have to say, cloth wipes are more durable and you don’t have to use as many per change.  So… 24 wipes.  That’s $31.20.  You’ll be using these SAME wipes over the next 3 years and BEYOND.  They don’t take any extra laundry either.  Just throw them in the wash with the cloths or towels.  I like that number way better than $130!  Plus, you aren’t throwing anything away!  Let’s not mention the cute prints and the versatility of these wipes either, that would just be way too much!!

So now that you have the main reasons, let’s look at how to make them!

Homemade wipes are a great, easy solution for getting started on your journey to less disposables!  If you are looking for an easy project to sew up in just a few minutes, then this is for you!  They literally take about 10 minutes, start to finish.  You can use them out of almost anything flannel or terry too!  I use these wipes for baby wipes, face wipes, and cleaning cloths.  They are really versatile and have endless possibilities.

So how do you get started?  Do you have any left over baby receiving blankets, flannel shirts or sheets, towels, or blankets?  Any of those make great upcycle materials for wipes.  Or if you don’t want to MAKE them, I make them and sell them in my store!  You can get all kinds of cute prints.

These are from cute receiving blankets I found at a thrift store for about a dollar for a set of three.

receiving blanket, upcycling, flannel, cloth wipes

Find your cute print, and cut 2 squares of about 7×7 fabric (but any size works, I have all different sizes). To make it easiest, I have a cardboard template that I cut around with my rotary cutter.

cloth wipes, sewing project

Put the pretty sides together and sew a straight stitch all the way around, leaving about an inch or so open.

Pull the right sides of the fabric out through that hole you left open.  You can iron everything down to make the edges pretty.

Sew around the edges and close the hole and you’re done!

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Here’s a pretty pin for Pinterest for you!

If you like this project, you would probably also love my farmhouse napkins and upcycled burp cloths!

 

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Farmhouse Style Napkin Tutorial

upcycling project, napkins tutorial, diy napkins, sewing project, beginners sewing projects, easy sewing project, sewing, green living, green sewing, cute sewing project, unpaper towel, unpaper napkins, cloth napkins, DIY farmhouse napkins

upcycling project, napkins tutorial, diy napkins, sewing project, beginners sewing projects, easy sewing project, sewing, green living, green sewing, cute sewing project, unpaper towel, unpaper napkins, cloth napkins

Here at our house, we make messes…

I don’t know if that is the case with every house (surely we aren’t the only ones, right?). My husband is as bad as the kids! Am I the only one that doesn’t leave a billion crumbs when we eat dinner? Or have stains all over my shirt by the time we are done eating? Anyway…

I wanted to create a way to lessen our paper towel use. We have a disposable minded society; we love to throw things away. What happened to the days of people using actual cloth napkins and just washing them? Why in the past few decades have we gone to such a wasteful lifestyle? Once I started thinking of ways we could slowly change our impact on our environment, I started seeing “unpaper towels” and “unpaper napkins”, ect. Why call them “unpaper”? I just call them napkins and towels. That’s what they are (nothing against those of you who call them that!).

Anyway, I wanted to make some for myself. They are super easy, and if you have a sewing machine, you can do it too; you probably have everything you need lying around your house. No need to even buy fabric! The tutorial shows that I bought a pack of cheap washcloths at our local store, but for my original napkins, I just upcycled some old dishtowels and pretty cotton. The decorative cotton can be upcycled from all kinds of things you probably have lying around. I will be showing you examples of what I have upcycled!

 

What you will need:
Sewing machine
100% quilting cotton (this will be your decorative side)
Terry cloth (old dish cloth, towel, etc)
Matching thread (I used 100% cotton, but polyester will work too)
Scissors

Let’s get to it!
So, find your extra towels, dishtowels, napkins, anything terry cloth, really. Find the decorative cotton that you want to make them pretty. For my vintage style napkins, I had a whole set of quilting squares I had bought at a garage sale LONG ago and stock piled.

Yes, I have a fabric stock pile…. Don’t judge me… But they are the perfect size! If you want to make it super duper easy, you can buy them like this at walmart, hobby lobby, or Joanns (just remember, we are trying to upcycle things, but ultimately it is up to you).  You can find this type of fabric in your house by using old pillow cases, flat sheets, quilts, shirts (just make sure there is no stretch, this will make things more difficult for you), ect..

If you have precut quilting fabric like I did, all you have to do is lay one of your pretty squares on top of your terry cloth material. If you are upcycling from something else, just measure and cut out a 5×5 inch square of your cotton fabric and lay it on top of your terry fabric and cut around the edge of it to make a matching square.  This will be all the fabric for your first napkin!

Next, you have a few options.. What I did with my vintage style prints was just set the fabric pretty sides out (how you will want your napkin to look when it’s done) and sewed them together with a straight stitch.

BUT if you don’t like the frayed look like I do, you can put the wrong sides together and sew them, leaving a small gap unsewn.  Turn your fabric inside out through that hole you left, and do a top stitch all the way around, closing that gap.  Here I have a comparisons of what each of them look like.

upcycling project, napkins tutorial, diy napkins, sewing project, beginners sewing projects, easy sewing project, sewing, green living, green sewing, cute sewing project, unpaper towel, unpaper napkins, cloth napkins    See how one looks unfinished and the other has a cleaner look?  I personally like the frayed, zigzag look because I’m more of a shabby decor type person.  Plus, it is way easier than turning your fabric inside out and top stitching.

Warning, if you choose the unfinished, shabby look, they will fray.  But only for the first few washes, this stops after the extra terry cloth meets the seam line. I just cut the extra fabric off when they come out of the dryer and they look good again!

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The farm print was from fabric I had bought YEARS ago to make a heating wrap for my dad (he used to farm full time) and the solid red is from an old pillow case I didn’t have matching sheets for.

Ways you can mix it up: I recently bought a set of 18 colored dishcloths from our local H.E.B. for $4 and coordinated some with these farm print napkins.  Aren’t they adorable?  I have also made larger ones that are more “paper towel size”. You can also do a prettier stitch than just a straight stitch like the ones posted. Sewing machines have endless ways to personalize things!

So just play with it! There are so many things you can do when upcycling fabric!

I put these napkins in a decorative bowl on the table and we grab them when we need them.  They can even be reused for a few meals if they don’t get too dirty. We just leave our little napkin at our spot at the table and come back to it meal after meal.  When it’s dirty, I have a bag hanging in the kitchen next to the laundry room where I put the soiled napkins. When the bag gets full, I dump it in with the next load of laundry!

Super easy, and super cheap! Another small way we can change our impact on the environment.  One paper towel at a time!

If you love the thought of cloth, have you checked out our store? There are lots of ways to get started on your cloth journey! Check out our cloth wipe selection and pick out some prints to love, they make great face wipes, cleaning cloths, or baby wipes.  The versatility is endless!

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Here is a good pin for your DIY pinterest board!

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