Use your flannel scraps to make reusable paper towels

I try to find ways to add less to landfills and I’ve seen some ways lately of using fabric for spills and cleaning. “Oh, rags?” You say. Ha, yes but a tad fancier. I am urging you to use your flannel scraps to make reusable paper towels. (They’re actually not paper at all, they’re fabric. Genius!)


I have made every person in my family a flannel quilt. I saved all the leftover fabrics. I found the blue ones and pressed them so they would lay flat.

I had to choose a size so I went with 10 inches. That seems to be about the amount I need for a clean up. I cut 10″ strips.

Second, I cut those strips into 10″ squares. Each strip resulted in 8 Did I want those to be single fabric or double fabric?

I wasn’t sure so I cut a couple more strips and ended up with 24 total squares. I made 8 single fabric and 8 double cleaner squares.


I sewed the edges on my serger and it took about 30 minutes to cut and sew all of them. I didn’t stop while I was serging. I just rounded the corners, so fast!

Were my rounded corners all perfect? No way! I just went back and redid them. Remember,re-cloth-4 these are fancy rags!

I did my test, using both the single layer of fabric prototypes and the double. For me, the doubles were superior. So I made a bunch more!

I used up all my blue flannel scraps. An added bonus for me was using my serger. If I didn’t re-cloth-5have one I would have made them all double and turned them inside out. The only extra step would be closing the gap where you turned them inside out.

We had this “basket” from when my husband won a prize at a golf outing. I think it was originally filled with Harry and David fruits. One less item in a landfill, hooray.

I filled it with the double layer towels in the back and the single layer in front. I stuck the Windex in there as well. It’s right next to the paper towels which we may put away.

When I use one, I throw it in the laundry basket on top of the washer. Whenever I do a load, I add whatever is in there. They wash up great!

I am pretty excited about this project. 3 wins – use up stash, sew with my serger and less waste.

Now I have to think of more ways to sew and win!

Sew happy!

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I also wrote a post on upcycling shirts to make bottle holders. Read it here.

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    Kathy Mathews

    My passions are quilting and sewing. Add to that French, Spanish, books, swimming, travels, new restaurants, yoga and chocolate and you have me. All of these are best shared with family and friends. Except for chocolate, don't touch my chocolate. You can email me at

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