Easy Homemade Handkerchiefs

>> Saturday, February 13, 2010

Earlier this week, I mentioned that I was going to be making some hankies for my family to help us dispose of our disposable paper products, and I asked, "Anyone know what the best fabric for homemade handkerchiefs is?"

Brenda from Sense of Home
responded that "the best handkerchiefs are 100% cotton."

Aha! We happened to have a bag of my husband's old 100% cotton t-shirts hanging around the closet, waiting to be turned into rags. Instead, why not make handkerchiefs?

My husband and I took turns cutting them up, and I'm not even going to bother hemming them. I'm going to blow my nose in them...they don't have to look pretty. And if they fray in the wash, they'll be easy and cheap to replace.

I've also read that linen makes a good fabric for handkerchiefs, so I thought I'd buy some linen and make a few prettier handkerchiefs, just for fun. But, phew, linen is an expensive fabric! So I'm going to wait until later in the month when JoAnn's is having a fabric sale, and then buy enough linen to make some bread bags also. Two birds, one stone.

But even without the "pretty" handkerchiefs, we are well-stocked in cloth tissues now. And just in time...I think I'm coming down with a cold.


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Brenda February 13, 2010 at 11:17 PM  

When my two children were babies I used cloth diapers. When they grew out of diapers I started using some diapers as dusting rags and some as hankies. Unfortunately they have since worn out, but they were the softest hankies and best dusting rags I have ever had.

Cherie February 14, 2010 at 9:39 AM  

Erin - one thing I used to like to do is find ladies handkerchiefs at antique stores. They're not very expensive and yet are pretty to use. And it's green!

Dogfood Provider February 14, 2010 at 10:25 AM  

I always have bandannas around because I cover my curls with them when I sleep. I've been dealing with some serious sinus issues for months now (ugh!) and my nostrils have been taking a beating. Skin has been cracking and pealing and just generally ouchy. I switched from fancy expensive tissues to using my bandannas and my nostrils have healed right up! Any "convenience" I ever gained from using those dispo tissues is seriously outweighed by how much more gentle my bandanna-hankies are on my nose. The eco-friendliness is the icing on the cake.

Before people freak out, I just wash the bandannas with my linens, I haven't had any problems with confusing a snotty-bandanna for a hair-covering bandanna. :-)

Erin aka Conscious Shopper February 14, 2010 at 9:14 PM  

@Brenda - We use old diapers as dusting rags also. They are amazing rags!

@Cherie - I'm going to have to start checking out antique stores. Thanks for the suggestion.

@Dogfood Provider - I'm definitely preferring the feel of 100% cotton to recycled toilet paper on my nose.

KaKi February 15, 2010 at 9:52 PM  

You are soo smart! I have a friend here in Raleigh who is an attorney. He wears white and blue pinstripe suits in the summer and ALWAYS wears a bowtie!! He also carries a handkerchief/bandana. He told me once that there is a special way to fold it where there are layers, you blow your nose in one "square, then fold over that bit, and use the next "square". i can't figure out how to describe this in writing. Hope you are getting the gist. Anyway, one hankie should be good for several uses. I think it is too late...must go to bed.

The Prudent Homemaker February 17, 2010 at 1:02 PM  

I love using old 100% cotton sheets. They are SO soft.

I do hem them. For my children (who love having them) I embroider their initials in the corner. The last time I made one with a scalloped edge with my sewing machine.

'Becca February 19, 2010 at 12:56 PM  

Old T-shirts make excellent hankies. They really don't fray much; I've had some for several years. They do stretch out of shape so that they don't fold into nice neat squares anymore, but that doesn't matter. I love hankies!

Viagra Canada November 16, 2011 at 2:40 PM  

handkerchiefs are 100% cotton its means quality , if you are looking to the best product , 100% cotton is the best option !

Lauren @ Hobo Mama December 20, 2011 at 2:48 PM  

I'm trying to find handkerchiefs I like and wondered what I might have around that would work well to repurpose. Thanks for the ideas!

Zurainny Ismail May 21, 2015 at 5:18 AM  

I don't know why it took me this long to realise that hankies are the best - way better than messy tissue papers. :D Thanks for sharing the idea - got lots of old cotton t-shirts, too.

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