I love paper towels…

by Nichole on May 17, 2011 · 5 comments


LOVE them. Seriously…

I love how clean they are.

I love not having to keep them in my kitchen sink.

I love that they don’t have the chance to get smelly.

I love that I can use one for a single mess, then throw it away and use a new one for a new mess…

I just love them!

I know that they can be pricey, unnecessary (say what!) and easy to replace but…. I don’t know, I just love them.

That said, I’m always looking for efficient ways to save money.

side note: if you buy paper towels, buy VIVA!! I can’t say enough about them. They are soft, you can wring them out to wipe off your entire counter… They go on sale at Target like once a month and you can also find coupons for them. Ah…. I love you Viva. Special thanks to Todd & Morgan for the introduction ;) .

ANYWAY, we are on our last roll and I happened to be browsing pinterest.com and saw this adorable roll of paper towels that weren’t actually paper, they were fabric. Each piece of fabric was snapped together so that it was able to stay in a roll just like your regular paper towels, and it definitely mimicked the look. (Don’t believe me? Search etsy for ‘unpaper’ paper towels… tons of cute ones). I found myself dreaming of someday having the time to make these or the money to buy them. “Someday,”…. I said to myself…. “I will buy those and say goodbye to my paper towel obsession..”

Thanks pinterest… thanks a lot.

Then the day went on… And I could not get these off my mind! Everything in me wants to say I decided then and there to make myself some pretty “unpaper” towels. But…. time didn’t magically multiply and… I wouldn’t say I made anything pretty. The more I thought about it, the more I kept realizing that it would be a waste of my money to spend a lot just so I could have something cute…. to wipe up messes with!!! And if I did purchase something cute, wouldn’t I be reluctant to use it? And if I wasn’t reluctant to use it, well… wouldn’t they just end up stained and dirty? And those snaps, are they going to scratch up my table and other surfaces I use paper towels on? And don’t get me started on having to do laundry and resnap them all together!!…. And some of those unpaper towel rolls only hold like 8-12 paper towels… I often use more than that in a single day! **judge, judge** What then?!?!?!

Aren’t you glad you aren’t me? Seeing ONE picture on pinterest.com and obsessing over it all day long? Yeah,… that’s what I thought.

So it occured to me, I actually have a lot of clothes in my garage just waiting to be given away. Some stained, some no longer fit, some I just am tired of…. certainly I can put those to good use. So what did I do? I brought them in (well…to be perfectly honest Daniel brought them in,… I held my baby – who happens to be sick again & doesn’t want me to bring in a big tub from the garage  since such a task requires setting her down**gasp**We wouldn’t want that!) and began cutting.

I cut up 100 pieces of clothing, old burp rags cut in half (the super stained ones), and old stained baby wash cloths:

I figure if I’m going to try this out, I need to try it right. My original goal was to have 140 unpaper paper towels (I figured that way if I washed them once a week I’d have the ability to use 20 a day if I so desired) but… I’ll get there. My baby needed to go to sleep.

I then needed a container to put them in. Eventually I will buy something like this:

image from store on amazon.com - you can get it here.

But until then… I will make do with something free. I don’t want to invest money into something that I’m not even sure I will commit to. After all, I do LOVE paper towels… can I really break my habit?

For the time being I made this:

I took an old costco cereal box:

Then I started from the place it was already open and cut a little of it off like this:

Then I folded it up and hot glued it like this:

Then wrapped it like I would a present in brown wrapping paper, using hot glue instead of tape for a stronger hold.

I then put half of my unpaper paper towels in from the bottom:

And placed it on my counter:

The other half went in a bag under the sink acting as my new paper towel roll ready to be used.

I also put a tub under my sink acting as my unpaper towel trash can. That way I can use as many as my heart desires and still feel like I’m tossing them, but when the tub gets full I will just throw them in the wash…. easy enough.

**I have to add, these will not be used to clean up non-kitchen/food messes, I have rags for that.**

So there you have it. I also did not fold these towels at ALL. I just washed & dried them and dumped them in. If the task is one that is creating a great deal more of work, I will not want to do it – I have enough to keep up with as it is. But 100 of these are not even a full load of laundry. That, I think I can do.

I will keep you updated on whether this actually satisfies my need for paper towels. I have a feeling it will be much harder than it was breaking my microwave habit (as I already used the toaster oven the majority of the time).

Dear Viva paper towels,

We’ll still be friends…. we’ll always be friends. No seriously… I just ‘liked’ you on facebook…. so unless your page starts to annoy me, friends we will be…


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  • http://www.charisscofield.com charis

    you are hilarious.  got me laughing at the end.  i should do this too though.  i just reuse a rag right now and i would rather new ones over and over. :)  
    my recent post: another bold step forward

  • Myriahg

     You’re funny. And for all your readers (wink wink) I thought of an even easier way to make the holder (i think). Instead of wrapping the cereal box, cut it at one of the corners and re-glue it back together inside out… Same look, less work? maybe? ha. great idea you genius you!!!!

  • cpete220

    hahaha!  i love how confused i was at your house when i was looking for the paper towels and you pointed to this box.  but the idea is brilliant.  though you are the one who addicted me to viva.  

  • Bethany

    That is awesome. Love it. I think I may follow suite. :)

  • http://www.blognotperfect.com Nichole

    Seriously! So far, so good!! We do miss the paper towels from time to time, but not near as much as we thought we would. 

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