DIY Unpaper Towels Tutorial

DIY Unpaper Towels are a great way to be stylish and eco friendly at the same time! It all started when my friend Sarah posted something on Facebook that she wanted someone to get these for her wedding present from etsy. They were over $50 plus shipping! I told her I would make them for her instead! She loved the idea. These are ones I made for another friend for a wedding gift!

Terry Cloth about 1/2 yard
Cotton or flannel fabric about 1/2 yard
Matching thread

Step 1: Cut out 10 equal squares that are 10 by 10 of both fabrics. Make sure they are very even!
Step 2: Pin right sides together and sew like a pillow leaving about a 3″ gap to turn right side out. Sometimes I like to cut off extra fabric on the corners. To make this easier and skip a couple steps you could just surge the whole thing and leave the surged edges out.
Step 3: Turn right side out and then iron flat.
Step 4: Top stitch around the whole thing about 1/4” around. Then through the middle  sew a wiggly line from one corner to the adjacent corner. This ensures when you wash it that they fabric in the middle doesn’t come apart which is very annoying.
Step 5: Hand sew on velcro. I sewed the soft velcro on the terry cloth side and the rougher velcro on the cotton side. Sew two of each on each side. If you have a snap applicator it would be a lot easier to use snaps instead of velcro!
Sew two of the same velcro on two corner and the opposite velcro on the other side on the other corners without velcro. Sounds kind of confusing but hopefully the picture above helps.
Step 6: Put the velcro together and roll up like a paper towel roll. Every time you need a towel just “tear” one off. Use and wash.

Aren’t these towels really adorable! I wish I got to keep them! This is a great weekend project and so eco-friendly! Have a great Saturday

Homestead Barn Hopthe Morris TribeSew ChattySew Can DoCraft-O- ManiacHomemaker on a DimeFrugally SustainableThrifty Decorating, Destination Craft, tiptoe thru tuesday, Dog Days of Winter


  1. says

    Those are cute! I just have a rag drawer that holds 2 king size cotton flannel sheets that were cut into 6 by 6 inch squares. This is much cuter.

  2. says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I saw those on Etsy but there was just no way I was spending $50! We’re using old towels, socks, etc. now for most cleaning. I wondered how the roll worked, I never thought of velcro. Awesome.

  3. says

    LOVE this idea. I keep trying to get rid of paper towels in my house and this look like a fun way to do it. Very cute fabric too. :)

  4. says

    I have to agree with everyone else, this is an amazing idea! We don’t use any paper in our house, and instead have a drawer that is overflowing with rags – which are all just washcloths we bought on sale at Target :-) I think this would be a great help in our kitchen, since my youngest is now opening up the top drawers, taking all the rags, and then hiding them about the house!

  5. Steph says

    Wow-this is so neat!! I have really been thinking about the amount of paper towels that we use-pretty unnecessary!! I am just learning to sew, maybe this could be a good project to practice on!!

  6. says

    This is fabulous! Maybe if I put something like this on the paper towel roll, my future father in law will have less to complain about not having paper towels around.

  7. says

    have you tried washing these? I have seen these done with snap buttons. The velcro would be much easier but I wonder if it would snag the terrycloth in the wash? Just curious if you have tried them.

    • says

      Hey Amy I haven’t had a problem with them yet. Although I could see possibly having one in the future (after many washes)! I wish I could do snaps but I don’t have a snap machine or whatever it is you need to put snaps on :). Sorry it took awhile to respond back I’ve been on vacation!

  8. says

    Thank you so much for this tutorial. My granddaughter and I made these this past week and we just love them. We used material from some old towels and a pretty but old cotton shower curtain that had been in my linen closet for years. She learned how to sew and this was a great and simple project for her to start with. I am going to have to post it on my rarely used blog. :)

  9. says

    I really need to get somebody to make a roll of these for me! Great tutorial and a really beautiful roll of unpaper towels! The only thing that would make it better would be if you had used snaps instead of velcro. But I’m biased, lol!

    Judy @

  10. says

    I’m hoping to make these as Christmas gifts for my sisters but I am trying to decide between the snaps and the velcro. Could you tell me about washing them up? Here are my thoughts:

    I think velcro would be the easier fastener to “tear” off of the roll but I find that anything with velcro has a tendency to get “stuck” on things (even itself) in the washer/dryer and eventually the velcro fills up with lint, making it less sticky.

    And then I think that maybe the “snaps” might end up being more of a hassle to put together as well as “tear” off…

    What a wonderful project! Thanks for any feedback :)

  11. says

    We already use wash cloths, now I think I’ll try cutting some cotton fabric to match their shape and sew a set. I don’t have a sewing machine, but hand sewing is relaxing when there’s no time limit and doesn’t use electricity!

    • says

      They should hold up fine but if your worried about the velcro I would use snaps instead! Plus it may take less time than sewing the velcro!

  12. Jacqueline says

    Those are really cute for a gift. Me, I just use cut up pieces of old material. It’s a little simpler! And if I have to clean up something really gunky and decide to just throw away the rag, then I’m only throwing away something that was destined for the garbage anyway.

  13. Melanie Gardiner says

    These are awesome! I have a snap tool and snaps…they are sold at Joanna in their cloth baby lines supplies line. Babyville Boutique…I cant wait to make these! What it the girth when they are all rolled up? Will they fit on a papertowel dispensor?

    • says

      Thanks Melanie! I wish I could tell you the girth but I can’t because I gave them to a friend as a wedding gift! They should be able to fit on a normal towel dispenser! A snap tool would be much easier! I would have rather done that but didn’t own one so just went with the velcro! Hope you have fun making them!

  14. Heidi says

    I LOVE this idea! I’m going out to get the materials today to make them. This is the perfect birthday gift for my mom-in-law who is against the use of paper towels. I’m buying extra because I want a roll too! Thank you so much for sharing this!

  15. Laurel says

    That is such a cool idea. Thank you for sharing. I’m going to pull out my ancient sewing machine and try this.

    • says

      I was so excited when I found this fabric! I don’t know if it actually makes me want to clean haha! Thanks for coming over Leslie! Hope to hear from you again!

  16. says

    Hi! I love this idea! I have been looking for a tutorial using velcro. I was wondering if you have noticed the velcro becoming dull after a few washes?


  17. Donna Wells says

    I’m so glad I found these. Somebody had received these (they were a little smaller) and had given them to me. I kept thinking they weren’t thick enough to be pot holders and now I finally know what they are! Can’t wait to make some of these bigger ones! Great idea!

  18. Amy says

    Love how these came out! I’m wondering if you can use them for all the ‘tough’ jobs specifically to lay bacon to get the extra grease off? I’ve tried doing this with cloth napkins and I’ve never been able to get out the grease. Any ideas how these hold up to stains??

  19. Kaitlin says

    I am by no means a crafty person but want to give these a try. I am trying to figure out that second step where you said sew the right sides together. Exactly which way is the terry cloth and fabric facing when I sew them together?

    Thank You!


    • says

      Should be right sides together. That way when you sew around the edge and leave an opening you can flip them right sides out. Does that make sense?

  20. Bay says

    Hi, I love this idea. I was wondering why do you use a cotton/flannel fabric for one side. Why not keep it as a terry so both sides can be used as to absorb liquids better.


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