Sewing With Girly: How to Make a Reusable Handkerchief

This week the kids decided to help the family conserve what tissues and toilet paper we had in the house (they usually use about 1/4 of a roll of toilet paper in a single nose blow) and make their own reusable handkerchief. The husband guy always has one with him (he started carrying one when we started hiking more and this region’s different flora and fauna caused different allergies to spring forth).

Make an eco-friendly handkerchief.

Reusable Handkerchiefs are one of the easiest begining sewing projects. You cut a square, in our case 18″x18,” and roll one of the sides so you can’t see the raw edge anymore and hem it!


  • Fat Quarter
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Thread and Needle (hand sewing)
  • Thread and Sewing Machine (machine sewing)


  • Cut your fabric into a square. We wanted a pretty sizeable handkerchief so we went with 18×18. The one we were measuring was 20×20 and some of the daintier, decorative ones are closer to 12×12. It’s really up to you.
  • For both options, lay your fabric right side down in front of you and start to tightly roll one side of the fabric until the raw edge has disappeared into the roll.

Hand Sewn Version:

reusable handkerchief tutorial stitch illustration
  • Thread your needle with enough thread to go along the entire side of your handkerchief plus a bit extra. You can use enough thread to go around the entire perimeter to eliminate all the knots at the corners but it might get tangly.
  • At the end of your roll, push your needle into the middle of the roll and up through the top layer.
  • Now, make a small stitch below the roll into the main handkerchief fabric. This stitch will show from the front.
  • Make a larger (around an inch) stitch into the top layer of the roll. Don’t go all the way into the front of the handkerchief!
  • Repeat that all the way around the handkerchief. Enjoy!

Machine Sewn Version:

  • Simply sew a straight line down the center of your roll! You can use a rolled hem sewing machine foot but, with practice, you can make a nice neat stitch line with just a regular foot.

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