Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Recycling old towels...


 With Blossom less than 16 weeks away from her baby's due date, she's using the time before then to carefully work through each room of her home. Removing things she won't be using any more, or items that are past their 'use by' date, her intent is to create a less cluttered space with more room for the baby.

She's also mindful of what can be recycled, like these old towels I brought home with me...
I suggested turning some into bath mats and cleaning cloths and she jumped at my offer to make them, so this afternoon I cut three of the towels into nine rectangles, raided my tub of binding strips...
 ...and made nine bath mats. 
The binding covered the raw edges, adding a pretty trim at the same time.
I find this kind of sewing wonderful as it's easy, productive and creates useful items - not to mention it's free because I already have on hand what it is needed!

One by one the pile grew...

...and when my girl dropped by later (after picking up Mr E from work to save me a trip into the city) she was so excited with how they had turned out!

Now, I can hear some of you wondering why so many bath mats, right?

Well, we live in the humid tropics and their bathroom has no air conditioning or exhaust fan so things like towels and bath mats must be washed and dried every day to avoid mold growing on them. Making use of a few old towels and my scrap quilt bindings has given her a fresh bath mat for each day of the week and a couple spare for good measure. 



With the rest of the towels I'll be making some cleaning cloths and dish cloths, plus a few covers for the baby change table. Fortunately I have plenty of binding left to play with and may even pull out some of my own old towels to sew items for my home too.

It's wonderful making new things from old, so simple and satisfying.

Do you have any ideas for recycling towels?

hugs


41 comments:

Carmen y Prady said...

Jenny que idea más genial para aprovechar las toallas. Han quedado estupendas.
Un beso

Dot said...

How wonderful! I just love this. :)

Sharon - creativity and family said...

What a fantastic idea Jenny! They are so so pretty, it just doesn't look as though they have been made from old towels!

Christine Barnsley said...

What a great way to recycle some old towels! They look so pretty, I can understand why Blossom was pleased with them! Christine x

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

What a great recycling idea!! My old towels become dog towels. What are dog towels used for you asked? Well with three BIG dogs (100 pounds each) I lay one over their beds, wipe their feet when they come in on wet days, and of course they are used for dog baths. They are also my Go To stack when there is a spill. Not nearly as pretty as yours, yet very useful. Sometimes when I need more, it's a good excuse to hit a good towel sale.
xx, Carol

Baa. xxx said...

Great idea - and they look so pretty.

Little Quiltsong said...

What a wonderful idea! Love how they turned out. I often used my older smaller towels for batting when sewing little 'burp-mes' for our children. They looked to pretty on the outside and the towel inside worked better than batting, and draped better over the shoulder. So glad Blossom is feeling better.

allthingzsewn said...

I use old towels for setting under flower vases to protect furniture, how cute they would look with your binding idea. Thank you so much for sharing.

kathyinozarks said...

I love it

Corinne76 said...

c'est une bonne idée !!!
Bonne semaine
Corinne

Maria said...

Great idea for re cycling Blossoms towels....lucky lady having a clever Mum...

cooneen said...

Another way I use my old towels is to make them into Swiffer covers. I hem them making sure there is enough to cover the corners of the Swiffer head and and put elastic on the diagonal width wise. I have a dog so I do hairball hunting.

Brenda said...

Good Morning Jenny! Blossom is right to be excited about these cute bathmats you created, adding binding and turning them into bathmats was a great idea; along with all of the other ideas you and other readers mentioned. On the kitchen counter, under the dish drain, is where I created a mat with binding for the dishes to drip dry. I actually need to make up a few more. Another great use, that another reader mentioned was making a Swiffer Sweeper for collecting all of the dog hair and dust bunnies. The towels work fabulously. Thank you for sharing and have a fantastic creative day!

sandi s said...

I love your idea for the towels, they are so pretty. Hugs,

Montse said...

Están maravillosas!!! es una idea genial de reciclar ,te felicito .
Besos.

Jacqueline said...

your binding makes all the difference. Very cute and practical.

Judy Magner said...

Recently I turned an old towel into a hair wrap for when I get out of the shower.

Lynne Tilley said...

What a fabulous idea! I live in Texas without that humidity problem ya'll have, but cutting off the frayed and ruined edges of old towels and giving them new life as a bath mat is fantastic!

Lin said...

Great recycling Jenny. xx

Marion K said...

Great idea !! Looks beautiful!

Águeda said...

Great your idea! I do the same as another reader: when the towel is old for humans, becomes the new dog towel :))

Jan Gunter said...

This is wonderful! I shall add this to the "To Do List" I have old kitchen towels that need a "make over"I can use them for the swiffer, then take my old bath towels and make "new ones" for my dish drainer! Much prettier and I love to "up-cycle".

Thank you Jenny and all the wonderful readers here <3

Christine M said...

What a great idea, Jenny. Those towels look as good as new. xxx

grammajudyb said...

I too have used old bath towels as extra dish drained mats. Sometimes I need to strip piece a whole new top because they are too thin. Great ideas.

desertskyquilts said...

Love your idea. I usually just use mine until they fall apart. Then I give them to the mechanic's box in the garage, for whomever needs a handwipe while fixing something. Your ideas are much more attractive, of course!

Judy1522 said...

I just use old towels for cleaning but I love your idea of turning them into bath mats. They look so pretty.

Phil Pogson said...

Oh my goodness, why have I never thought of having 7 bath mats - makes total sense.

Jill at emeraldcottage said...

Such a clever idea :) Do you make your own trim/binding ? It's so pretty!
Jillxo

Jenny of Elefantz said...

Yes, I do, Jill.

Annabel Smith said...

Wonderful! I shared this as we can make so much from so little. Very inspiring! xxx

Kris Meares - Tag Along Teddies said...

Hey Jen! The 'new' bath mats look fab ... and I did indeed wonder why you'd need so many! :0) Not very tropical here on our 'hill'! Another use for old towels ... I dye them with Parisian essence and use them to make my Tag Along Teddies bears ... the towelling is lots less expensive than mohair bear fur, has a lovely rustic/aged look, makes for a lovely cuddly ted and is washable ... in case the bears spill honey on their fur. :0) They give great cuddles, too! Tee! Hee! Hee! Have fun upcycling. Bear Hugs! KRIS xx

Sisbabestitches said...

Hi Jenny. I was with Kris, in being a smidge perplexed with the number of bath mats ;) We mostly have dry heat down here :) The mats have come up a treat, so pretty! Given your family circumstances, I thought I'd share; I used some old towels for the back of baby bibs, with printed flannelette (cheaper than flannel) on the front. They were really absorbent for all the dribbles, and my Sister loved them (and actually requested more). So easy to wash as well. Such fun getting whole new lives out of things :)

maguida said...

Me encanta!
Lucen un montón

Baa. xxx said...

Yay Nana - congratulation on your new grandson! Blessings and Love to all.

Tania said...

Pretty awesome recycling Jenny!

The bath mats look fantastic, and I can see why you girl would love them :)

xTania

Createology said...

I have hemmed, ruffled and banded towels however I have never put fun cute fabric bindings on them. Lovely and practical ideas. My old towels become car washing/drying towels. Blossom is very fortunate to have such a wonderful mum to create useful mats for daily use.

Allie-oops Designs said...

Beautiful recycling!!! What a great idea. And girl, I love your new spotted bathing suit!!

Kelley Dibble said...

These are perfectly darling!

We live in the tropics as well, however, we clip our terry cloth bath mat to a clip-hanger, the kind that pants are hung on in retail stores. We hang up the towel after each use so it can dry out. We know all about that horrid mold!

Good ideas you have there!
Kelley~

young77 said...

I really enjoyed your idea of re-purposing old towels. Do you have a suggestion on how to make them slip-proof? Shirley

Carla said...

What a neat idea. I may have to recycle some of my towels to bath mats. We have enough towels for car washes and drying puppies.
Thanks for the re-purpose idea

Jennifer said...

These are so fantastic! I love this idea and am going to try to make some! Thank you!