The other day, my friend scoffed at the fact that one of her relatives still uses paper towels. The absolute horror! I blinked a few times, trying to hide the fact that I, too, still use paper towels. I consider myself to be fairly green, but had never really thought about our paper towel consumption. After the conversation I had with her, I started to notice just how many paper towels our family was going through on a weekly basis.

When I came across the paperless paper towels sold by Polder’s Old World Kitchen, I was instantly inspired to make some of my own. These towels are great for wiping down countertops, cleaning up accidental spills, or lining berry baskets full of fresh produce.

They are one of the easiest sewing projects you can make, so if you’ve been looking for an excuse to refresh your serging skills, this is the perfect opportunity to do so. Two yards of fabric made me over ten towels, and took me less than an hour! I think these would also make great gifts paired with some handmade eco-friendly cleaning products.

paperless paper towels

“Paperless” Paper Towels

2 yards diaper cloth fabric
Serging Thread

Step 1: Wash and iron the fabric, then cut into 15×15” squares.

paperless paper towels step one

Step 2: Serge along the edges of the fabric. I liked keeping my corners square – to do so, simply serge up to the corner of each square; when you come to the corner, lift the foot and give a very slight tug backwards to release the towel from the serging needles. Then, turn the fabric, place the foot back down, and continue sewing up along the next edge. Alternately, you could round the corners.

paperless paper towels step two

Step 3: When you come to the last corner, leave a 2-3” tail of thread, and tie a knot close to the base of the fabric. Use an embroidery needle to pull the tail back through the serged edge, and trim.

How to Make 'Paperless' Paper Towels | DARLING

I used navy thread to add a pop of color, but you could use any color thread you’d like! When you’re finished, be sure to check out my DIY laundry room organization tricks over on Boxwood Avenue!

What tips do you have for cutting down on extra waste?

Images via Rachel L’Antigua Photography



  1. J’aime bien aussi cette locution trouvée chez Littré : vivre à la grecque, vivre dans le luxe et la mollesse. Il ne manquait plus que cet autre défaut. Il est lié à l&tiquo;homosexualsré supposée, mais aussi à la représentation que les Romains avaient des Orientaux trop raffinés et ostentatoires, représentation qui s’est ensuite étendue à Byzance.

    1. I haven’t noticed too many stains actually, but I suppose it’s just something I wouldn’t mind too much since they are just cleaning rags 🙂 A little baking soda or vinegar as a pre-treatment would help combat stains!

  2. This has been on my mind to do for a while! I don’t have a serger, but I do have a sewing machine. Can you recommend a technique for finishing the edges on a regular machine?

    1. I think these could be also finished with a regular sewing machine set on a tight zig-zag stitch.

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