Unpaper Towels DIY: Say Goodbye to Disposable Paper Towels and Embrace Sustainability!

Are you tired of constantly buying rolls of disposable paper towels that end up in the landfill? Do you want to make a positive impact

Ella J

Are you tired of constantly buying rolls of disposable paper towels that end up in the landfill? Do you want to make a positive impact on the environment while still maintaining a clean and tidy home? Look no further than the world of unpaper towels! In this article, we will guide you through the process of creating your very own unpaper towels, saving money, and reducing waste. So, grab your sewing kit and let’s get started on this eco-friendly journey!

Unpaper towels are an innovative and sustainable alternative to their disposable counterparts. Made from reusable fabric, these towels offer the same functionality as traditional paper towels, but with a much smaller environmental footprint. By opting for unpaper towels, you can significantly reduce your household waste and contribute to the preservation of our planet. Plus, they are not only good for the environment but for your wallet too – no more endless trips to the store for paper towel refills!

Choosing the Right Fabric for Unpaper Towels

Before embarking on your unpaper towel DIY adventure, it’s important to select the right fabric. The fabric you choose will determine the absorbency, durability, and overall performance of your unpaper towels. There are several options to consider, each with its own unique qualities and benefits.

Organic Cotton

Organic cotton is a popular choice for unpaper towels due to its absorbency and softness. It is a natural and sustainable material that is free from harmful pesticides and chemicals. When choosing organic cotton for your unpaper towels, look for a medium-weight fabric that will hold up well to repeated use and washing. Consider selecting colorful prints or patterns to add a touch of style to your towels.


Bamboo fabric is another fantastic option for unpaper towels. It is known for its exceptional absorbency and antibacterial properties, making it ideal for cleaning up spills and messes. Bamboo is also a highly sustainable material, as it grows rapidly and requires minimal water and pesticides to cultivate. Look for bamboo fabric blends that include organic cotton for added durability and softness.


Linen is a natural fabric made from flax fibers, and it offers excellent absorbency and durability. It has a slightly rougher texture compared to cotton or bamboo, but it becomes softer with each wash. Linen is highly sustainable and biodegradable, making it a great choice for eco-conscious individuals. Opt for linen fabric in neutral tones or subtle patterns to create a classic and timeless look for your unpaper towels.

Now that you have a better understanding of the fabric options available, take some time to consider your personal preferences and the specific needs of your household. Remember, the fabric you choose will determine the longevity and functionality of your unpaper towels, so choose wisely!

Tools and Materials You’ll Need

Now that you’ve chosen the perfect fabric for your unpaper towels, it’s time to gather all the necessary tools and materials for your DIY project. Here’s a comprehensive list of items you’ll need to ensure a smooth and successful experience:

Sewing Machine

A sewing machine will make the process of creating your unpaper towels much faster and more efficient. If you don’t already have one, consider borrowing from a friend or family member, or look for affordable options at local thrift stores or online marketplaces.


Choose a high-quality thread that matches or complements the color of your fabric. It’s important to use a thread that is strong and durable to ensure the longevity of your unpaper towels.


A sharp pair of fabric scissors is essential for cutting your fabric accurately. Avoid using regular household scissors, as they may result in jagged edges or fraying fabric.

Pins or Clips

Pins or clips will help hold your fabric in place while you sew. They are especially useful when working with multiple layers of fabric or when attaching closures to your unpaper towels.

Snaps or Buttons

Depending on your personal preference, you’ll need either snaps or buttons to secure your unpaper towels. Snaps are a convenient option for easy attachment and removal, while buttons add a touch of charm and can be sewn on using various decorative techniques.

Ruler or Measuring Tape

Accurate measurements are crucial when creating your unpaper towels. A ruler or measuring tape will help you achieve consistent sizing and ensure that your towels are functional and practical.

Fabric Marking Tool

A fabric marking tool, such as tailor’s chalk or washable fabric markers, will allow you to mark your fabric accurately for cutting, folding, and sewing. Choose a tool that is easy to remove or that will disappear with washing.

Iron and Ironing Board

An iron and ironing board are essential for creating crisp and professional-looking seams. Pressing your fabric before and after sewing will enhance the overall appearance of your unpaper towels.

Optional Embellishments

If you’re feeling extra creative, consider adding some optional embellishments to your unpaper towels. This could include decorative trims, embroidery, or fabric paint to personalize your towels and make them truly unique.

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Now that you have all the necessary tools and materials, you’re ready to dive into the exciting world of unpaper towel creation!

Measurements and Cutting

Before you start cutting your fabric, it’s important to determine the desired size of your unpaper towels. Keep in mind that unpaper towels come in various sizes, so consider your personal needs and preferences.

Standard Size

A common size for unpaper towels is approximately 12 inches by 12 inches. This size is versatile and suitable for general cleaning purposes, such as wiping countertops, drying hands, or cleaning up spills. It’s a great starting point if you’re unsure about the ideal size for your needs.

Larger Size

If you have specific tasks in mind or if you prefer larger towels, you can opt for a size of 14 inches by 14 inches or even 16 inches by 16 inches. These sizes are perfect for tackling bigger messes or for use in the kitchen when handling hot pots and pans.

Small Size

If you’re looking for unpaper towels that are more akin to napkins or reusable wipes, consider cutting them to a smaller size, such as 8 inches by 8 inches. These compact towels are great for on-the-go use or for packing in lunchboxes.

Once you’ve decided on the size, it’s time to cut your fabric. Use a ruler or measuring tape to mark the desired dimensions on your fabric, ensuring accuracy and consistency throughout the cutting process. If you’re using a rotary cutter or fabric scissors, make sure to cut along the marked lines, keeping a steady hand and taking your time to achieve clean and even edges.


If you’re making multiple unpaper towels, consider using a cutting mat and a rotary cutter for faster and more precise cuts. This method is especially useful when working with larger pieces of fabric.

Remember, you can always start with a smaller batch of unpaper towels and adjust the size or quantity based on your needs and preferences. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find the perfect fit for your household!

Sewing Techniques for Unpaper Towels

Now that you have your fabric cut to size, it’s time to put your sewing skills to the test! Don’t worry if you’re not an expert seamstress – creating unpaper towels is a beginner-friendly project that allows for plenty of creativity and personalization.

Sewing Machine Setup

Before you begin sewing, make sure your sewing machine is set up correctly. Thread the machine with the appropriate thread color and adjust the stitch length to a medium setting. It’s also a good idea to test the stitch on a scrap piece of fabric to ensure proper tension and stitch quality.

Straight Stitch

The most basic sewing technique for unpaper towels is the straight stitch. It’s simple yet effective and provides a clean and secure seam. Place two pieces of fabric together, right sides facing each other, and align the edges. Sew along the edge using a 1/4-inch seam allowance, removing pins or clips as you go. Backstitch at the beginning and end of each seam to secure the stitches.

Zigzag Stitch

If you want to add extra reinforcement to your seams and prevent fraying, consider using a zigzag stitch. This stitch creates a decorative and functional edge that helps your unpaper towels withstand repeated use and washing. Simply sew along the edge of the fabric using a zigzag stitch setting, ensuring that the stitching extends slightly over the raw edge of the fabric.

Decorative Edges

If you’re feeling adventurous, why not experiment with decorative edges for your unpaper towels? There are various sewing machine feet and techniques that can add a touch of flair to your towels. For example, a rolled hem foot can create a neat and professional-looking rolled edge, while a ruffling foot can add gathers or pleats for a more intricate design.French Seam

A French seam is a great option if you want to enclose the raw edges of your fabric and create a clean and polished look. This technique is especially useful when working with lightweight or sheer fabrics. To create a French seam, sew the fabric wrong sides together with a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Trim the seam allowance down to 1/8 inch, then fold the fabric along the seam so that the right sides are facing each other. Sew another seam with a 1/4-inch allowance, enclosing the raw edges within the seam. The result is a tidy and durable seam that prevents fraying.


Topstitching is a decorative technique that adds a professional touch to your unpaper towels. It involves sewing a visible line of stitching on the right side of the fabric, usually along the edges or seams. This not only enhances the aesthetic appeal but also reinforces the seams and prevents them from coming undone. To achieve clean and even topstitching, use a longer stitch length and guide the fabric carefully under the sewing machine needle.


If you want to get really creative with your unpaper towels, consider adding appliqués. Appliqué involves attaching a separate piece of fabric onto the main fabric using stitching or fabric adhesive. You can create fun designs or patterns using scrap fabric, felt, or even iron-on patches. Appliqués not only add visual interest to your towels but also reinforce the fabric and make it more durable.

Feel free to mix and match these sewing techniques to achieve the desired look and functionality for your unpaper towels. Don’t be afraid to experiment and let your creativity shine!

Adding Snaps or Buttons

Now that you have your unpaper towels sewn and ready, it’s time to consider the closure method. Snaps and buttons are popular choices for securing unpaper towels, offering convenience and versatility. Choose the closure option that best suits your needs and preferences.

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Snaps are a practical and efficient closure method for unpaper towels. They allow for easy attachment and removal, making it a breeze to replace dirty towels with clean ones. To add snaps, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the packaging. Generally, you’ll need to mark the desired placement on your towels, attach the snap components using a snap press or pliers, and ensure a secure and tight closure. Snaps come in various sizes and styles, so choose the ones that best match your fabric and aesthetic preferences.


If you prefer a more traditional and decorative closure option, buttons are a fantastic choice. Buttons add a touch of charm and can be sewn on using various techniques, such as a two-hole or four-hole sewing method. Choose buttons that complement your fabric and consider using different sizes or colors for a unique look. Before attaching the buttons, mark their placement on your towels and sew them securely using a strong thread and a reinforced stitching pattern.

Tie Closures

For a rustic and bohemian vibe, consider using tie closures for your unpaper towels. This closure method involves adding fabric ties or ribbons to each corner of the towels, allowing you to tie them together for storage or to hang them conveniently. Tie closures are simple yet effective, and they offer a charming and handmade touch to your towels. Sew the fabric ties securely to the corners of your towels, ensuring that they are long enough to tie easily.

Choose the closure option that best suits your style and functionality preferences. Whether you opt for snaps, buttons, or tie closures, your unpaper towels will be secure and ready for use whenever you need them.

Washing and Care Instructions

Now that your unpaper towels are ready for action, it’s important to know how to care for them properly. By following the recommended washing and care instructions, you can ensure the longevity and performance of your towels.


Before using your unpaper towels for the first time, it’s advisable to pre-wash them. This will remove any sizing or residues from the fabric and improve their absorbency. Simply throw the towels into the washing machine with a mild detergent and wash them on a gentle cycle. Avoid using fabric softener, as it can reduce the absorbency of the towels.

Regular Washing

When it’s time to clean your unpaper towels, treat them like any other reusable cloth. You can toss them into the washing machine with your regular laundry load. Use a mild detergent and wash them on a gentle or delicate cycle to prevent excessive wear and tear. For heavily soiled towels, you may need to pre-treat any stains or spots before washing.


When it comes to drying your unpaper towels, there are a few options to consider. You can air dry them by hanging them on a clothesline or drying rack. This method is energy-efficient and helps preserve the fabric. Alternatively, you can use a dryer on a low heat setting. Avoid using high heat, as it can shrink or damage the fabric. If you want to reduce wrinkles, you can iron the towels on a low heat setting before folding and storing them.


Storing your unpaper towels properly will help keep them organized and readily accessible. Consider having a designated basket or drawer in your kitchen or laundry area where you can neatly fold and stack your towels. You can also roll them up and secure them with a ribbon or a fabric tie for a more aesthetically pleasing display. Keep your unpaper towels in a dry and clean environment to prevent any musty smells or mildew.

By following these washing and care instructions, your unpaper towels will remain fresh, clean, and ready to tackle any mess. Remember, the key is to treat them like any other reusable cloth and incorporate them into your regular laundry routine.

Unpaper Towels for Different Purposes

Unpaper towels are not limited to just cleaning up spills and messes. They can be incredibly versatile and serve a variety of purposes in your home and beyond. Here are some creative and practical ways to utilize your homemade unpaper towels:

Kitchen Cleanup

Unpaper towels are perfect for handling kitchen-related tasks such as wiping countertops, cleaning appliances, and drying dishes. Their absorbency and durability make them a reliable ally in the battle against spills and messes. Keep a stack of unpaper towels within easy reach in your kitchen for quick and efficient cleanup.

Napkins or Reusable Wipes

Why use disposable paper napkins when you can have stylish and eco-friendly unpaper towels? Fold your towels into smaller squares and use them as reusable napkins for mealtime. Not only will you save money and reduce waste, but you’ll also add a touch of elegance to your dining table. Additionally, unpaper towels can be used as reusable wipes for cleaning hands and faces, especially for children.

Bathroom Essentials

Unpaper towels are not limited to the kitchen; they can also be handy in the bathroom. Use them to wipe down bathroom surfaces, clean mirrors, or dry your hands. You can even make smaller-sized unpaper towels specifically for personal hygiene purposes, such as removing makeup or as an alternative to disposable wet wipes.

Eco-Friendly Gift Wrap

Unpaper towels can be repurposed as unique and sustainable gift wrap. Instead of using traditional wrapping paper that ends up in the trash, consider wrapping gifts in a beautifully folded unpaper towel. Tie it with a fabric ribbon or secure it with a decorative clip for an eco-friendly and stylish presentation. Not only will your gift stand out, but you’ll also inspire others to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle.

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Crafting and DIY Projects

Unpaper towels can be a valuable asset for various crafting and DIY projects. They can serve as a protective layer when working with messy materials, such as paint or glue. Unpaper towels are also great for cleaning brushes or wiping away excess materials. Having a stack of unpaper towels in your craft room will ensure that you’re always prepared for any creative endeavor.

These are just a few examples of how you can incorporate unpaper towels into your daily life. Feel free to get creative and find new ways to utilize these versatile and eco-friendly alternatives to disposable paper towels.

Storing and Organizing Unpaper Towels

Now that you have a collection of beautifully crafted unpaper towels, it’s time to find the perfect storage solution. Keeping your towels organized and easily accessible will ensure that you can grab them whenever you need them. Here are some practical and stylish ideas for storing and organizing your unpaper towels:

Basket or Bin

A simple and effective storage option is to use a basket or bin. Choose a container that is large enough to hold your towels and fits well in your designated storage area. Stack the towels neatly inside, ensuring that the edges are visible so you can easily grab one when needed. Place the basket or bin in a convenient location, such as your kitchen counter or laundry room.

Hanging Organizer

If you prefer to have your unpaper towels easily accessible and visible, consider a hanging organizer. You can use a wall-mounted towel rack, a shower curtain rod with clips, or even a tension rod placed inside acabinet or closet. Fold your towels neatly and clip them onto the rod or hooks. This method allows you to see all your towels at a glance and saves valuable counter or shelf space.

Drawer Dividers

If you have a drawer available, consider using drawer dividers to keep your unpaper towels organized. Fold your towels into smaller squares and arrange them neatly in the compartments created by the dividers. This method keeps your towels easily accessible while maximizing space efficiency. You can even label each section to further streamline organization.

Rolled Storage

For a visually appealing storage method, roll your unpaper towels and secure them with a fabric tie or ribbon. Place the rolled towels in a decorative box or basket, creating a stylish and functional display. This method works particularly well if you have limited storage space or if you want to showcase your towels as a decorative element in your kitchen or dining area.

Hanging Hooks

If you have wall space available, consider installing hooks to hang your unpaper towels. Attach the hooks in a convenient location, such as near your kitchen sink or in your laundry room. Fold your towels neatly and hang them by their corners or by attaching a loop of fabric or ribbon to each towel. This method not only keeps your towels easily accessible but also adds a charming and rustic touch to your space.

On-the-Go Bag

If you plan to use your unpaper towels outside of your home, consider creating an on-the-go bag to keep them organized. Use a small drawstring bag or a reusable zippered pouch to store a few folded towels. Toss the bag into your purse or backpack, ensuring that you always have a clean and sustainable alternative to disposable paper towels wherever you go.

Choose the storage method that best suits your space, lifestyle, and personal preferences. Whether you opt for a basket, hanging organizer, drawer dividers, rolled storage, hooks, or an on-the-go bag, keeping your unpaper towels organized will make it easier to incorporate them into your daily routine.

Spreading the Word: Encouraging Others to Go Unpaper

Now that you’ve embarked on your unpaper towel journey, it’s important to spread the word and encourage others to embrace this sustainable alternative. By sharing your experience and knowledge, you can inspire friends, family, and even strangers to make a positive change in their lives. Here are some tips on how to encourage others to go unpaper:

Lead by Example

Actions speak louder than words. Show others the benefits of using unpaper towels by incorporating them into your daily life and demonstrating their effectiveness. When people see you confidently using and advocating for unpaper towels, they will be more inclined to follow suit.

Share Your Success Stories

Share your personal experiences and success stories with unpaper towels. Talk about how they have reduced waste, saved you money, and contributed to a more sustainable lifestyle. Use social media platforms, blog posts, or simply have conversations with friends and family to spread the word about the positive impact of unpaper towels.

Host a DIY Workshop

Organize a DIY workshop or gathering where you can teach others how to make their own unpaper towels. Provide step-by-step instructions, share helpful tips, and encourage participants to get creative with their fabric choices. This hands-on approach allows people to see the process firsthand and empowers them to make their own sustainable changes.

Give Unpaper Towels as Gifts

Give the gift of sustainability by gifting homemade unpaper towels to friends and family. Not only is it a thoughtful and unique gift idea, but it also introduces others to the concept of unpaper towels and encourages them to incorporate them into their own homes. Include a card or tag explaining the benefits and uses of unpaper towels to further educate and inspire.

Collaborate with Local Businesses

Reach out to local businesses, such as zero-waste stores, eco-friendly boutiques, or farmers markets, and propose collaborations or partnerships. Offer to teach workshops, provide demonstrations, or even supply them with your handmade unpaper towels to sell in their stores. By working together, you can amplify the message of sustainability and make a larger impact in your community.

Remember, change starts with small steps, and by encouraging others to adopt unpaper towels, you are contributing to a more sustainable future. Each person who switches to unpaper towels reduces their environmental footprint and inspires others to do the same. Together, we can make a difference, one unpaper towel at a time!

In conclusion, creating your own unpaper towels is a fun and rewarding DIY project that promotes sustainability and reduces waste. By choosing the right fabric, using the appropriate tools and techniques, and caring for your towels properly, you can enjoy the benefits of unpaper towels in your everyday life. From the kitchen to the bathroom, unpaper towels prove to be versatile and eco-friendly alternatives to disposable paper towels. By spreading the word and encouraging others to go unpaper, you can inspire a movement towards a greener and cleaner future. So, grab your sewing kit, unleash your creativity, and join the unpaper towel revolution!

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