All about the simple things in life

All about the simple things in life

Ahchoo – time to bring back the hankies

For many of you out there there is one down side to spring…. Hayfever. And following after a long wet winter with lots of colds tissues have been in abundance in this household.

A few weeks ago both Rapunzel and Minnie both had yet another cold. Rapunzel's nose was very red and sore from wiping it so much. We just happen to run out of tissues, so we raided hubby's drawers to find a hanky. Later that day Rapunzel asked "mummy can I please just use daddy's hankies? They are nice and soft and don't make my nose hurt."

So that got me thinking…. what are tissues made out of? when it comes down to it wood and chemicals (yes even those really expensive soft ones). So no wonder why after using them all day long we get a red and sore nose. And then the cost and waste of all those tissues.  Surely nice soft cotton fabric is much nicer use (and cheaper).

But finding hankies for kids is not an easy task. I searched the shops and couldn't find anything besides big men's ones that just don't fit in the girls little pockets. So I went home and made some…. that's right I made them and it certainly isn't hard.

I know some people think that hankies a gross because you don't throw those germs in the bin. But instead of throwing them in the bin you throw them straight into the laundry basket ready for your next wash. Easy – germs are gone.

So just how do you make them… it is so very easy.

  • 100% cotton fabric (poplin, homespun, any cotton fabric really)




    • for extra soft and very absorbent hankies try flanelette or bamboo cotton
  • sewing machine, overlocker or pinking shears (zigzag fabric scissors)
  • scissors or rotary cutter
  • ruler
  • cutting mat or flat surface
  • cotton thread.
Overlocker Method:

     1. Wash and dry fabric espcially if it is new.

     2. Lay fabric out on a flat surface and cut 28cm (11 inch) squares

          I use a roatry cutter and square ruler to make it rally quick and easy, but drawing lines on the back of the fabric and cutting out with scissors works fine.

    4. Overlock around each edge using a narrow rolled edge












     for my overlocker the settings are as follows:

  • three threads not four
  • stitch width: 1
  • stitch length: 1.25
  • differential: N

5. Trim excess threads and iron flat

6. Repeat with all others…. And now you have your very own hankies.


Alternative Methods:

If you don't have an overlock here are a few other options.

– using a zigzag stithc sew around each edge of the square

– fold over a 5mm (1/4inch) hem and iront flat. Straight stitch around the edge

– using pinking shears cut along each edge of the square (no sewing needed here but probably wont last as long)


I made about 40 hankies in 2hours. So far this has been enough for us, but am going to probably double our stash so that when we get the sniffles there are plenty of hankies in stick.

What is even better you can make hankies for every occasion. Bright funky patterns for the kids and elegant and sophisticated white and cream ones for that special occasion or for work. If you are really creative you might even embroider them.


If you would like some made but don't have the time just contact me.



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