Monday, November 28, 2016

10 Ways to Recycle Old Flannel Sheets

One of our most beloved old sheet sets gave it’s last gasp and expired this week. I hated to let it go, but my foot kept getting caught in the hole every time I rolled over in bed. It didn’t seem right to throw away all that nice flannel, so I started cutting it down to save. But right away the idea hit me that I could at least make some cloth diaper liners, or even whole diapers, and I set to work. I made a half dozen basic diaper liners/doublers in 10 minutes, by folding the flannel into long rectangles, and using a zig-zag stitch down the middle and along the two ends. They are very soft and absorb very well. For shaped diapers, I used an old one as a pattern, putting together two pieces with a rectangle of extra layers down the middle. The elastic from the bottom sheet is still in very good shape and will be perfect for elasticising the legs of the diapers.

Here are some other uses for an old flannel sheet:

Burp cloths. A sheet set could be cut down into a good number of large cloths good for catching baby spit-up before it hits your Sunday dress or your good quilt.

Backing for a comforter. If small parts of the sheet are damaged, by cutting them out you may still have enough for a child’s or infant’s blanket.

Filling for a comforter. Again, cutting it down, you could get two to three layers for a small, lightweight comforter.

Pillowcases, or pillowcase backing. You can use some interesting fabric for the top, and flannel for the back. That way whoever’s sleeping with the pillow can always flip it over if they desire comfort over beauty.

For those who like “green” living, and don’t like waste, a whole flannel sheet could be cut down into a huge number of cloth wipes for diapering purposes. Zig-zag or serge the edges and you’re good to go.

Likewise, flannel is soft and absorbent and would be a good ingredient in cloth menstrual pads. (Don’t freak out on me! It’s a real and growing trend among natural living folks!)

If enough of the sheet is not too thoroughly worn, it can be used to make a soft, cozy basic baby sling. If it is too worn to hold weight safely, it can be used to line other fabric for a sling.

For cleaning rags, you don’t even need to sew the edges. Just cut down and use. Flannel is good for wiping up messes, soaking up spills, and polishing things that need to sparkle.

I was having so much fun making those diapers that I even considered going to the thrift store for more flannel sheets, to cut down and put to use.


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