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Are you looking for what to do with old towels once they get too shabby, grubby or full of holes? We use a lot of towels in our house. And with constant use, they get dirty and wear out very quickly. I hate throwing any cloth away if there is a way to reuse it. So here are some ideas for what to do with old towels, uses for old towels or ways to upcycle old towels that prevent or delay this useful cloth going to landfill.
- Ways To Upcycle Old Towels
- Unpaper Towels
- Make Up Remover Pads
- Towelling Bath Mitt
- DIY Travel Toothbrush Holder
- Make A Towelling Beach Bag
- DIY Washcloths – Or Family Cloth
- Wash Cloth Soap Holders
- Reusable Wet Wipes
- DIY Bath Mat From Old Towels
- Swiffer Mop Covers
- Garden Kneeler Pad
- Shower Pouf
- Reusable Sanitary Towels
- Baby Bibs
- Reusable Breast Pads
- Love This Post About What You Can Do With Old Towels? Why Not Read Some Of My Other Sewing And Craft Posts?
Ways To Upcycle Old Towels
Upcycled towels can serve so many purposes around the home. Why should you go about recycling old towels? Well, most of them are made from cotton, which takes a lot of water and energy to produce, and so is very costly to the planet to produce. Plus, because it is cotton, it will compost and decompose fully once it is worn out.
So to save all this useful cloth going to landfill I have compiled a list of things to make with towels, and how to recycle old towels into fabulous, sustainable and practical items for you to use every day.
First on my ways to upcycle towels is to make kitchen dish scrubbers. Plastic scrubbing sponges are so bad for the environment. But you can reuse your old towels by making unsponges and make something that does the job just as well, doesn’t cost a penny, and can even be composted once it has worn out. I call that a triple win!
This is one of my favourite towel crafts, and how to use old towels.
We throw away so much paper in the form of kitchen towels, so why not make these useful and reusable kitchen cloths whilst upcycling old towels?
Make Up Remover Pads
Even the smallest pieces of old towelling can be used by making these. Whilst you can make them as just a square shape to be as zero waste as possible, I love this hexagonal tile shape, that also minimises wastage yet looks oh so pretty.
Towelling Bath Mitt
This is a great way to use up all your bath towels. Just follow my tutorial and pattern to make this cute bath mitt with a soap pouch.
DIY Travel Toothbrush Holder
Why not repurpose old towels to make this ingenious family travel toothbrush holder? Swoodson Says has this great beginner sewing tutorial on how to make your own.
Make A Towelling Beach Bag
This is a brilliant way of reusing bath towels or old beach towels. Just sew up the sides and add handles to make a practical and thrifty bag to carry all you need to the beach. Also perfect for carrying a picnic blanket! See how to make one in this towelling beach bag tutorial.
DIY Washcloths – Or Family Cloth
Toilet paper has occasionally been a rare and valuable commodity in recent years. One way of ensuring you never run out or reducing your use of loo paper is to use fabric toilet cloths instead of paper and wash after using.
This is a super easy way of upcycling towels that are really stained. Most people use them after a bidet/lota or just for pee. And this saves paper.
You can also recycle the good parts of old towels into DIY wash cloths by doing this.
Wash Cloth Soap Holders
I love using shower bars instead of shower gel in plastic bottles. But hate the way the bars go mushy straight away.
These wash cloth soap holders keep your soap or bar secure and create a great lather in use. Plus they are a great way of reusing old towels. Find my tutorial on how to make washcloths from old towels in the link above.
Reusable Wet Wipes
This is one of my favourite ways how to reuse old towels. It is very simple to make reusable wet wipes that save you money and stop you from using plastic wet wipes.
Just take a small piece of old towel, serge around the edge. Make a few and pop into an old tupperware or takeaway box with a small spray water bottle. See how I made them in this video.
DIY Bath Mat From Old Towels
Wondering what to do with old bath towels? You can use an old towel as the base for a rag rug, in fact old bath towels are the best towels to try this with. You can recycle old towels and sew your jersey strips onto a repurposed towel to make a brilliant absorbent bath mat with this tutorial.
Swiffer Mop Covers
Still wondering ‘what can I do with old towels’? I love my Flash speed mop (or Swiffer mop), but hate using the disposable cloths that you are supposed to use and throw away to landfill.
So I have made a Swiffer Mop cover using old towelling. These can be washed and reused again and again. Thus saving so much money and stopping so much plastic wastage going to landfill.
Garden Kneeler Pad
Need an outdoor idea for what to do with used towels? Use old towels as the padding for your knees and keep gardening gentle on your joints with this lovely homemade garden kneeler pad from Homespun Seasonal Living.
Those plastic shower scrubbers that come with so many toiletry gift sets make me cringe with horror. Not only do they end up being mouldy and stinky, but they cannot be reused, and so end up going to the rubbish heap.
These shower poufs are made from old towelling, can be washed, and are compostable at the end of their life… Plus they look pretty!
Reusable Sanitary Towels
So much plastic wastage is produced by disposable sanitary products. But by making some reusable sanitary towels, using old towelling as a core, you can save so much money, and save the planet too!
This is one of my favourite old towel DIY sewing projects, and I have saved so much money by making my own pads. Find my free template and full tutorial by clicking on the link.
A lovely cheap way of making a baby shower present is to make some baby bibs up cycling some pretty fabric remnants with a towelling backing. Burp cloths are always an essential for a new baby, so any new mum will be happy to have these!
If you are making them as a gift you will probably prefer to use new towelling fabric, but if they are for your own use they are a great way to use up old towels.
Find my tutorial and free template to make your own baby bibs.
Reusable Breast Pads
And whilst we are talking about perfect presents for new mums, you can also upcycle old towels to make reusable breast pads. These are so useful and can be washed and reused again and again, so they save money too. See my video tutorial..
Love This Post About What You Can Do With Old Towels? Why Not Read Some Of My Other Sewing And Craft Posts?
I hope that you have enjoyed finding out some brilliant ways to upcycle old towels. There really are some great easy diy new ways for old towel reuse. Do you think that will be following any of these ideas? Which is your favourite use for old towels? I would love to know what you think.
I love to show you free easy sewing projects ideas that you can make. Some of these also include free sewing patterns. So why not read these other posts I have written?
- Zero Waste Project Ideas For Your Home
- How Sustainable Is The Fabric In My Clothes?
- Top Tips for Switching To A Zero Waste Life
- Fabric Scraps – How To use Every Last Piece
- Sewing Projects That You Can Sell
I hope that this has given you some good eco friendly sewing sewing projects ideas. I would love to hear how you get on! Let me know in the comments, or find me on social media
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