The use of disposable tissue papers is bad for the environment and in the long run, they cost more than washable hankechiefs. However, the idea of using the same hankechief over and over and shoving it back in our pockets or sleeve can be a bit disgusting and stops people from using them. So how about an hybrid between the two? Here is my instructable on how to make one-time-use washable handkerchiefs and the box that goes with it!
Step 1: Materials
You will need:
- one regular tissue paper box and extra cardboard (or another tissue paper box)
- at least one tissue paper for the size
- fabric to make washable handkerchiefs
- paintbrush to apply the glue and the podge
- fabric scissors
- regular scissors and/or exacto
- tread and needle (or sewing machine)
- 2 part velcro pieces with sticking back
Step 2: Cut Your Fabric
Cut your fabric slightly larger than the size of a regular tissue paper.
For the fabric, you can use whatever you have that is suitable. I had large pieces of cotton fabric that I used for this instructable. Old bed sheets could do. If you are planning on buying, I would suggest organic fiber. Bamboo could be an excellent choice. It is extremely soft and absorbent, and the more you wash it, the softer and absorbent it gets.
In terms of quantity, the handkerchiefs will be folded twice each to make small squares, so you can pile them up and see when you reach the top of the box.
Step 3: Sewing the Handkerchiefs
If you are at war with your sewing machine, this is a good time for peace, because you need to sew the edges of all your little handkerchiefs.
Otherwise if you are extremely patient, don't have a sewing machine, or, like me, you cannot approach a sewing machine without going mad, you can do it by hand.
Fold the edges twice (so the cut edge does not show) and pin to place. Sew all for sides.
Step 4: Prepare the Tissue Paper Box
Now, time to make the box that will hold both your clean and used handkerchiefs.
Choose an empty tissue paper box with a design that you like (you will be keeping this box for a while now!)
Open one side of the box with an exacto knife or slowly by pulling on it, trying not to rip the cardboad.
Remove the plastic from around the hole of the box.
Step 5: Cut Your Box
Cut a square opening on one side of the box (not the side where it was opened)
You can leave a small border all around. Make sure you cut it in one piece, we will use the removed half.
The square opening should take half of the box where a folded in four handkerchief can fit in.
If you want, you can trim the little rough edges around the hole of the tissue paper box for a smoother design.
Step 6: Make a Separation
Take your extra cardboard of tissue paper box and create a separation that will be glued later in the middle of your box. Leave folded edges to your cardboard piece so you can easily glue it. Using an old tissue paper box is useful because you have the exact height you need and you can use it for the design on the box.
Step 7: Glue the Box
First, glue the cut out square on the top edge of the separation cardboard (see where the design face is placed to be able to see it in the finished box)
Then slide it inside the box through the open side and glue everything in place (but not the side of your tissue paper box, you need that open)
You now have a box with one open square half, and a closed half with a small circle opening.
Step 8: Podge or Paint
You can now put Podge (sort of white glue that protects the surface a bit, can be found in all crafts stores) or you can paint the box if you want it a different color. Podge or paint inside as well as outside. The idea is to protect the cardboard from moisture and so it can last longer.
Step 9: Velco Side
Put small piece of sticky 2 side velcro tape in order to be able to open and close the side of the box to retrieve the used handkerchiefs.
Step 10: Finished Box
Fold all your little handkerchiefs in four, put them in the open half of the box and your ready to use them!
Once used, pop them into the small hole, and when you do your laundry, take them out and wash them with your clothes. Simple, cheap and eco-friendly!
I'm guessing you could also find the permanent tissue paper boxes or box cover that where used in the 80' I believe, and transform those for a more durable box, or any two-part or two containers that can work.