DIY Wash Cloths

In the Sly studio, I'm always trying to come up with creative ways to reduce waste and use fabric remnants, I keep the off-cuts in big boxes, but they're starting to build up!

Being just a little bit obsessed with patchwork at the moment, combined with a love of repairing and hand stitching, you can find these sustainable fashion wash cloths made from recycled towels and off-cuts, up-cycled clothing will work too, whatever you have around to repurpose. These can be used for washing up, and are also quite thick and padded, so make great pot holders for hot dishes too.

They're easy to make, creatively satisfying combining prints and patterns, and will last for years. The perfect rainy day project and a great use for old towels that could have a bit more life squeezed out of them. Sustainability plus!!!!


I cut up an old towel into squares 20cm x 20cm and sewed together patches of linen remnants to the same size for the reverse.

Then sewn inside out, leaving a 10cm gap in the center to bag out, (turn in the right way), which can then be hand stitched closed or sewn around the outside with a 5mm top stitch to create an edge.

Craft instructions how to make an upcycled wash cloth from fabric scaps

I then use two very basic stitch techniques, the running stitch, (left image below),  in lines running throughout, and blanket stitch, (right image below), for the edging. Embroidery threads have been used to add detail, I find most of my threads in local op shops, (always check the haberdashery section at op-shops, they have the best treasures from retired sewers, and you can find some unique gems for a fraction of new prices.

embroidery stitch running stitch how tohow to blanket stitch beginners guide

These perfectly imperfect, wabi sabi style dish cloths, make the best Eco-friendly, personalised gifts, and are a clever way to recycle old materials and scrap fabrics that will last a life time.

DIY Wash Cloth from sustainablly sourced fabric scraps finished project