Reusable Tissues – Make Your Own Handkerchiefs

Why make your own handkerchiefs?

I will admit that I am not a follower of fashion, but I do love a colourful handkerchief. There is something cheerful about a bright fabric when you have a bit of a cold in deepest, darkest winter. By making your own handkerchiefs you are able to reduce your weekly food shopping bill. Reducing your carbon footprint in the process. So zero waste and No Spend basically the perfect combination! 


How to Make Cool Handkerchiefs

If you have spare fabric, from an old bed sheet etc that is great. If not I got my cotton fabric online. Before buy a 

Sewing Machine have a look at our advice for best buys. Or try to hand sew.

Handkerchiefs need ironed material

Sadly true that you will need to get the iron out and ensure that the material is crease free. Then you will need to pin the edge inwards. You leave the bold print outside and fold into the back. hankies ready yo be sewn This is the tough bit, you need to iron them again! But it gives you a smooth edge to your handkerchiefs. You can see why it is important for the finished look. using a sewing machine to get a good finish to your handkerchiefs

Sewing your Handkerchiefs

I set my machine to a smaller stitch as I wanted a posh look. You remove the pins as you sew closer to them. Our sewing machine has a foot pedal so it is easier to control the stitch speed. When you get to a corner with the needle in the material, lift the foot. Then turn 90 degrees to then have the next edge in front of you. That way you don’t get a missed space where the stitch was meant to be. When you leave the needle in, but the foot up you can rotate as much as you want, therefore a smaller stitch size helps to still get accuracy. 

a pile of handkerchiefs, fresh off the sewing machine! I love the range of colours and patterns. You may rather go for a plain material. 

FAQ’s for homemade hankies

What is the best fabric to use for handkerchiefs?

Because we are a zero waste site I’m going to say that any waste cotton is fine. However the best fabric is probably a linen as you will find it is softer and more absorbent. In this guide to making your own hankies we will look at using up old scraps of cotton fabric. So our reusable tissues will not match, but will look all the better for it!cotton ready for making into handkerchiefs

How do you make a kerchief?

Well we will talk you through each step as I am not an overly confident sewing expert, but found these a good beginners project. Sadly you will have to iron the material, which is always a shame but quite important to get the lines right.

Are handkerchiefs unhygienic?

If you don’t wash them regularly yes! But we use our little eco egg in our machine and they come out fine. The linen material ones are absorbent as well as soft, but they get more soft as they are washed. Both the cotton and the linen type are machine washable.

How big is a handkerchief?

I’m not having any of this man-size nonsense here! Women’s Handkerchiefs are likely to be the same size as any other, but if you want a pocket patch go for around 10″ square, otherwise 8″. The bigger the better, but you must be sensible and be able to pop it in your pocket without too much sticking out. I also like our handmade kerchiefs to stand out a bit and be colourful and fun! So have a look and get started making your own today. Reusable tissues and handkerchiefs material ready to be sewn  

More Zero Waste Projects to Try

magnetic blackboard bottle tops 

zero waste bathroom swaps how to reupholster chairs upcycling ideas, easy for your garden