Sunday, March 20, 2011

Guest Post: 7 Ways to Repurpose Old Sheets and Towels

Bailey Harris contacted me offering to share her tips and ideas for repurposing old materials.  I hope you glean some great ideas from this post!


7 Ways to Repurpose Old Sheets and Towels

Repurposing items you already have is a great way to save money. It is also a good way to be  environmentally friendly. Many household items can be reused, including old towels and sheets. Of course, we all know that you can cut old sheets and towels up and use them as cleaning rags. But what if we have enough cleaning rags, then what do we do with them? There are many things that you can make--all you need is some time and basic sewing skills.

Make a Toy

If you have a child, or know someone who does, you can make a teddy bear or doll from an old towel or sheet. All you need to do this is a pattern and sewing machine. Cut out the shapes, stuff with the smaller pieces of fabric, sew it up. If this is for a small child you can put a rattle inside of it. If it is for a bigger child, add buttons for eyes or decoration, but only do this for children over the age of four.

Make a Heating Pad

This is a very simple and useful way to reuse old towels. All that is needed for this project is a baggie full of dried rice, a needle, and some thread. First, you will need to cut your towel to the size you want your heating pad to be. Next you will want to sew the towel together, leaving an opening big enough to slip the bag with rice in. Once you have the bag of rice inside finish sewing it together. You can make a removable, washable cover by using an old sheet.

Make a Rug

For this project you can use any kind of fabric you have, old towels, sheets, or t-shirts. All that is needed is a rubber craft grid and some time. First, cut your craft grid to the desired rug size. Next you will cut the fabric into one inch by two inch sections. The final step is to thread the pieces through the grid and tie them in a knot.

Make Cloth Napkins

This is another great opportunity to make something you will use every day. This project can be very simply done by just cutting a 16 by 16 inch square of fabric. For a "company's coming" version, take a nice old sheet and sew two pieces of it together.

Make a Pot Holder

This will work better with old towels, but you can also cut pieces of an old sheet and braid them together, to make a pot holder. Take your old towel and cut out as many 7 by 7 inch squares as you can. Take two of the squares and put some cotton batting between them and sew it all together.

Make a Bib

This is great idea if you have children. If your kids are toddles, make a feeding bib. If you have older children, make an artist's bib. Take your old towel or sheet and cut it to the size you want the bib to be. Next, you will need to cut out a hole for the neck. Fold the edges over and put a quick stitch around the outside of the fabric. Use Velcro or a button to close the neck hole.

Donate It

This is a good option if the towels or sheets are stained or if you simply don't have time to make other items. Animal shelters are always in need of old towels, sheets, and blankets. These items are used to keep the animals warm and dry.


Guest post from Bailey Harris. Bailey writes for Area Rugs Online, a retail site that sells brand name area rugs.



  1. Such great ideas Beth! I have one more to add, how about making a Super Hero Cape for our little ones who like to save the day? I used to do that all the time :)

  2. That's a good one!
    These are not my ideas, but the ideas of the guest poster, Bailey Harris. :-)


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