Monday, September 6, 2010

Gearing up to kill the paper addiction

Slowly but surely (and I mean sloooowwwly)  I'm making some progress on my Stash Buster / Going Greener To-Do List.  I've decided to whittle a bit at our paper towel habit.

We use paper towels for cleaning, for wiping up spills, for dinner napkins, for a lazy lunch "plate."  We use A LOT of paper towels.  This is going to be one hard habit to break.  

I've spent some of the Labor Day weekend cutting, pressing, pinning, pressing, sewing (repeating) a giant stack of cloth dinner napkins.  Here are the few finished napkins. . . .

. . . from this giant pile I've cut so far.  (That's my machine under there, somewhere.)

I stopped counting napkins after I cut the first fabric, so I have no idea how many we'll have.  These take longer to make than I had anticipated, mostly due to the step of pressing the hems and corners.  I made these to be 16" x 16", with mitred corners. 

Mine aren't so lovely.  But that's OK -- the napkins will be used to wipe spaghetti sauce from chubby little cheeks. . . I doubt the Monkeys will care if the mitred corners don't match up perfectly!

And for cleaning. . . .

I realized that I didn't own any fabrics appropriate for cleaning or wiping cloths (unbelievable, right?)  I could either buy fabric and make some myself, or I could purchase ready-made towels from a small business.  So, rather than add to my stash (and sewing to-do list), I decided to purchase a couple of different un-paper towels sold on Etsy

I first purchased a baker's dozen of unbleached towels from Athena Creates.  Simply put, they are fabulous.  They work hard, clean up spills, and don't show stains much.  I decided to buy a batch of 20 towels from Lucky Hanks, and I have to say that I love these, too... maybe a little more, just because they're a tad larger.  They are white, so they show stains more, but I don't mind using bleach or borax when I have to.  I'm looking forward to buying more from both sellers soon!

Now, it's time to start dinner, and put some of these towels and napkins to good use.  Have a lovely holiday!

PS -- I almost forgot to mention that there's a FREE SHIPPING sale going on right now on Etsy with the ETC street team!  Please do drop by!


  1. We have been using cloth napkins for over a year now and I love them. We also use cloth towels in place of paper towels probably 50% of the time (would like to use them more often than that...) but I have found that if you have a puppy, you HAVE to have paper towels for clean-ups!! LOL

    We also got rid of paper plates, something we used more than any other paper product! It was just so easy! But I am happy that now we wash our plate after every meal so it's ready for the next meal.

    Good for you for doing this! It's been a great thing for our family and I know you'll be glad you done it also! Now, as for cloth bottom-wipes...I don't think we'll ever get there! For babies, yes...grown-ups?...ack!! LOL

  2. Thanks for the encouragement, Jenn! We're not big paper plate users any more... now the only time we use them is after a baby is born in order to simplify things a bit, or sometimes for big family get-togethers. And I TOTALLY agree with you on the puppy AND the "family" cloths. :P


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