I ran out of napkins, paper towels and Kleenex the same day. It always happens that way, doesn't it? Later that evening, in our little local store's toiletry asile, my eyes bugged out of my head. Who pays $4 for a box of Kleenex? I wondered. Oh yeah. Me. I did. When I made $125,000 a year, I did.
But no more. Oh no. These are the days of layoffs and wipe-outs. These are the days of bail-outs and sell-offs. These are not the days of $4 Kleenex. I got so alarmed that a pack of paper towels, a sack of napkins and a box of Kleenex was going to run me almost $15 that I backed out of the aisle altogether. (I bought a Hershey's with almonds instead. The trip wasn't a total loss.)
Back home, I began rummaging through my bins of scrap material. I came upon my used-clothes stash. Oh yeah! I forgot about these pajama pants, I thought, as I pulled the baby-blue cowgirl print from the middle of the stack. They used to be some of my favorite pajamas before the spaghetti strings frayed on the top and the rear got stretched-out on the pants.
So you can guess what I did. I slit the pant legs up the side and undid the elastic and cut four pieces - each 13 inches square. Then I ironed them flat. Starting at the bottom right corner, I folded the bottom side up 1/2 inch and ironed it flat. I repeated this 'fold and iron' step all the way around the square. Now it measured 12 1/2 inches. So I turned the sides in again, 1/2 inch around, and ironed all the way around again. There. After I stitched the hem down - two with the sewing machine and two by hand, I had four perfect square feet of pajamas -turned - reusable Kleenex. And I still had fabric left over. Take that, expensive napkins and tissue!
I've only used them for a few days now, but I really love them. Toss in the wash and reuse. And reuse. And use again. My once-favorite pj's have a new life. It's strangely gratifying.
What's that old mantra my Grandma used to have? Oh. Of course: Use it up, Wear it out, Make it Do, or Do Without. I think Grandma Elizabeth would be proud.
So don't be surprised, family and friends, if you find a few handmade hankies tied in ribbon tucked in your stocking this year. I promise you'll love them, and I further promise they won't be made out of my old pajamas. (In case you were already worried.)
And if... by chance... anyone else is hung up over the $4 Kleenex thing, too, here's a great tutorial on how to make these.
Stay warm this weekend! -Brin
(By the way, I later broke down and cut up the top of that pajama set, too. And I cut up the pants below the knee. I got five more hankies of various sizes for a total of nine reusable hankies. Wow! The rest of the fabric went into my Postage Stamp Quilt basket so nothing went to waste. )