Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Achoo! Homemade Hankies

I love Spring:  the ground is warming, the birds are singing, the plants and trees are flowering.... 

Uh oh.  I mean, "achoo!"  Sometimes I think Ohio has two seasons:  hypothermia, and allergy/asthma.  We are firmly in the latter, and, in previous years, this has meant a real boon for the facial tissue companies.

In a month of allergy season, we can go through about four boxes of tissues around here.  At $1.35 a pop for the store brand, this adds up.  So this year, I've switched about 90% of my tissue useage to hankies.

I am aware of the standard complaint that hankies let you carry your germs with you; the solution, of course, is to have enough hankies to toss in the wash frequently.  They wash up with any number of loads, so you should never have to run a special hankie load.  And making them is a snap.  Try one of the below methods:

Method One:  Hankies to be Seen in Public
Take soft, used cotton and cut a square about 12" by 12" (bigger or smaller according to preference).  I have made some lovely hankies out of an old jumper that looked horrid on me but was made from a wonderful fabric.  Turn each side under a half inch twice (that is, turn it under a half inch, then turn that under another half inch).  Run a zig-zag or straight seam up the fold, or whip stitch by hand.  Embroider if you wish. 

Method Two:  Hankies for Household Use
This is my favorite:  cut old tshirts and tank tops to your preferred size.  The ones in the picture above are cut from tank tops that had outlived their usefulness as actual garments.  Since tshirt material doesn't fray, you don't have to seam them.  And since no one will see them but your housemates, who cares what they look like?  And how pretty does something have to be to be more attractive than a used tissue?

The Analysis

Fast:  Method One is for those looking for a craft project.  Method Two is for those who need hankies -- and lots of them -- in a hurry.  I can cut a tshirt apart in a couple of minutes.  Obviously, you can cut around any stains and get some extra life out of those garments, too.

Cheap:  Well-worn material makes the softest hankies, and it is free.  If you are feeling miserly doing this, think of it as "aged and distressed to make a soft finished product."  If I avoid buying three of my usual four monthly boxes of tissues, I save $4.05 a month during allergy season. 

Good:  I actually find soft cotton to be easier on skin than tissues, and it certainly creates less waste and expense.

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  1. Cute hankies! Want to let you know that you won the Green Bar to Go on my blog! :)


    I need your address to have it sent to you, so come on over and send it my way!!

    Congrats :)

  2. p.s. is Hilltop communications referring to the Hilltop in Columbus?