START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

Who Needs Tissues? How to Sew a Handkerchief

How to Sew a Handkerchief

OK, guys, I will let you in on a secret now: handkerchiefs are just cloth napkins using an assumed identity! This reversible napkin tutorial is perfect for making a super absorbent, durable hankie for cold and flu season. All you need to make your handkerchief are:

two pieces of fabric – these can be the same or you can mix up your fabrics to have a little fun! Choose something absorbent like organic cotton, hemp, or linen

  • sewing machine
  • iron
  • pins
  • thread
  • fabric scissors
  • measuring tape

Here’s the tutorial:

Read more: Cold and Flu, Conditions, Crafts & Design, Crafts & Hobbies, Eco-friendly tips, Green, Health, , , , , , , ,

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

Becky Striepe

Becky Striepe is a freelance writer and vegan crafter living in Atlanta, Georgia. Her life’s mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible to everyone! Like this article? You can follow Becky on Twitter or find her on Facebook!


+ add your own
1:31AM PST on Jan 24, 2013


8:29AM PST on Jan 23, 2013

I love cotton hankies, so much softer & gentler. With allergies, they get used year round. But when anyone is sick here with a cold or sinus infection, we do use tissues. I buy the ones made from recycled paper. Even though they do end up in the landfill. With the sheer volume used when someone is sick, can't imagine having that many hankies and having to keep washing them. But always something to strive for.

4:02AM PST on Jan 22, 2013

I don't agree with ditching tissues (mine are made from fast growing sustainable trees). Nor do I agree with "cold and flu season" and "all those stuffy noses". Three years ago I found that we suffer poor immunity (and chronic conditions) due to toxicity and also widespread deficiency in critical nutrients, especially minerals (depleted soils) . Two of the main ones - magnesium and boron, which must function together - are affordable and readily available in their pure and natural form (although corporate interests strive to sabotage our access to these).

My household no longer suffers colds and flu (nor stiffness, lethargy, or dozens of other common conditions). Magnesium is most efficient and effective when applied to the skin (or added to a foot soak) in the form of "Magnesium Oil" (which is actually condensed seawater). See Dr Carolyn Dean's website or the product information website of Global Light Network.

Boron is best consumed in its natural and pure ionic form, which is marketed as "Borax". For details about dose, etcetera, see the website of Walter Last and read his 2012 article titled, "The Borax Conspiracy".

9:57AM PST on Jan 20, 2013

I've gotten a lot of satisfaction out of using hankies sent me by my mom's partner after she died over a decade ago. Not only do I save on paper, but it's just the idea of them. I like the cloth now. Perhaps I'll make some hankies when these are no longer useable. Great idea, thanks.

8:51AM PST on Jan 20, 2013

No thanks to the cloth hankies for me. I do have some lovely ones just to look at. I call them antiques because they are older than me. They were left to me by my aunts and some even have a little note tucked inside the fold.

8:43AM PST on Jan 20, 2013

I have been seriously thinking about going back (I'm 85) to using cloth hankies-I take pills that make my nose run all the time and go through MANY boxes of tissues -cost a small fortune-I know how to crochet lace around the edge and they can be washed in the washer with no problem-I'm sure it would be hard for younger folks that never used hankies-because of the eweu-factor-just a thought-

7:57AM PST on Jan 20, 2013

Thank you

5:48AM PST on Jan 20, 2013

Interesting that people used handkerchiefs for generations without being particularly more sickly than we are, though I think our great-grandmothers would have had their cotton or linen hankies boiled, which would have been more hygenic, perhaps?

Personally, I always carry a cotton handkerchief in my pocket, not for blowing my nose, but to dry my hands (rather than wasting energy with electric hand-dryers) or to use as a napkin, or for any number of other purposes where cloth is just better than paper tissue.

2:50AM PST on Jan 20, 2013

I have beautiful embroidered handkerchiefs ,but can not deal with the washing part ....and the dampness of a material when reused ,as much as I love to recycle (I hope tissue paper is made form recycled paper ) I can not go back using the handkerchiefs .....I think of incorporating them in a patchwork tablecloth ...

10:43PM PST on Jan 19, 2013


add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

I think we 'all' suffer from some kind of mental illness,, in one way or another... Some are wors…

I was looking for a service like that a decade ago, but wouldn't trust the medium for confidentialit…

Precious puppy! *_*

They look scrumptious! Dammit! Hungry now...


Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.

site feedback


Problem on this page? Briefly let us know what isn't working for you and we'll try to make it right!