The Beauty of Bias Tape Part 2: Freshen Up an Old Towel


I keep things for a long time.

I drive my cars until they have well over 200,000 miles on them and my kids tease me because I’ve held onto my basic flip cell phone for so long. It’s just hard for me to get rid of things when there is still some good use left in them.

I guess I’m just weird that way.

Did you know you can get at least a week more from your lotion bottle by just cutting it in half to access the rest of the lotion? You can even get another wash or two from your shampoo and conditioner by shaking up a little water in the seemingly empty bottle. Your toothpaste will last at least another five days if you cut the tube in half when you don’t think you could squeeze out another drop. So many ways to get a little more for our money by just getting creative.

You can even get more life from your old worn out towels by freshening them up with a little homemade bias tape to make some cute washcloths.


For the rest of the “how to” go here.

Wow, I am so grateful to all of you who responded so positively to last week’s bias tape tutorial. You guys are the BEST. I can’t even begin to tell you how much it means to me that you appreciate what I do here so I also want to giveaway these washcloths to one of you. All you have to do to be entered into the giveaway is pin this week’s tutorial and leave a comment. I’ll announce the winner on Saturday, May 24th.

Stay tuned next week for more ways to use all that fun bias tape you’ve been making.

Happy Saturday!


For more refashion inspiration click here.

About The Renegade Seamstress

I'm a busy wife, mom, grandma, and teacher who loves to create. I've joined the refashion scene and I 'd like to share and connect with all those talented and creative people out there doing similar things.
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61 Responses to The Beauty of Bias Tape Part 2: Freshen Up an Old Towel

  1. Lora Mayea says:

    Great idea! I love your site–got hooked when I made the upcycled sweater dress and have loved everything since.

  2. Lori Scott says:

    Love the tutorials! Easy to follow even I can do it!

  3. Diane says:

    Hi Beth. Just love your clever ideas and how-to’s! Thank you so much for inspiring us! Even though I do not have the time to sew all my clothes as I did in the past, it keeps me primed when the opportunity arises. And reminds me of simpler times. Keeps my teenage daughter engaged in sewing and re-creating as well 🙂 Keep ’em coming!

  4. ooobop! says:

    I’d almost forgotten about my bias tape maker. Love these little towels. They’d make great pressies too!

  5. Rozy says:

    Wow, never thought of that. I’ve hemmed fraying towels to get more use; and I’ve sewn two together with crisscrossing (sort of quilting) lines of sewing for rugs in the mudroom. Thanks for one more good idea to get more mileage out of worn towels.

  6. says:

    Can never manage to get my comment to post at ehow. Do I need to set up an ehow account? Anyway, my socks are rolling up and down! So many ideas…

    Sent from my iPad


  7. Kellie says:

    I learned how to make bias tape back in the ’80s when I took a quilting class at my community college. Thanks for giving me the inspiration to get back to sewing and looking in my closet to refashion things I don’t really like as they are.

  8. Jennifer says:

    Shut the front door! I never thought of cutting the lotion bottle – you are quite possibly the smartest person ever!! Thanks for this great tutorial, I can’t wait to make “new” washcloths!! Your tutorials are all so inspiring! Thank you!

    • You are so welcome, Jennifer! It works for makeup, too. Have fun with your washcloths. It’s so satisfying because it’s a quick and easy sewing project that you can do in an afternoon. Happy Saturday!

  9. honeymadeit says:

    Consider this post pinned. I think I will do this with a different color binding for each of the grands. That way I will know who didn’t hang up their wash cloth. LOL Keep the great ideas coming and blog on.

  10. We camp in a teeny travel trailer. This would be a great way to “freshen up” the old towels I use. The bias tape will keep the towels from fraying and add toms of time to their usefulness. Thanks!

  11. Elaine says:

    Wow, I thought I was the only super thrifty one but I never thought of cutting container s in half! I just stood lotion bottles on their heads which can be quite a balancing act. Great idea for making new washcloths to match good towels.

    • Hey, Elaine! It’s nice to know I’m not alone in using things up to the very last drop. Standing the lotion bottle on end works for awhile, but when you cut it in half, you’ll find even more inside. 🙂 Just be sure to keep the lotion bottle sealed in a plastic bag after you cut it in half. Otherwise, it will dry out before you can get to it next time.

  12. I’m frugal too…and love using every drop of things I buy…Love the bias tape washcloths…My Momma used to crochet around hers…and made them last so much longer …cute gifts too!

  13. These are wonderful! We tend to use our resources to fullest extent as well. Most of our ‘old towels’ get relegated to car duty. We use them as long as we can in our home and then use them to dry our cars! By the time the car is done using them, they are all but useless.

    I really like these ideas though. It gets the mind thinking! 🙂

  14. Connie says:

    And I thought I was the only one who cut open tubes and jars! I do that!

  15. Ann says:

    Your post brings to mind something similar that I do. I buy Tommy Bahama beach towels at Costco, cut off a piece on one end, and finish all the edges with bias tape to make a hand towel. I then hem the raw edge of remainder, for a large bath towel. In this way, I get a beautiful designer bath towel and a hand towel for about $20. I also refurbish old towels with new bias tape bindings, as you do with your wash cloths, because the only part of a towel that seems to wear is the taped edges. I like your ideas for getting every last drop of lotion and toothpaste. I often turn lotion bottles upside down, and then “decant” them into the new bottle, when there is room. Not only do these ideas save money, they prevent waste. Some people believe we should never throw away anything. I am not that extreme, but I like to save money for fiscal and ethical reasons.

  16. Katie says:

    I love how they turned out!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Hi Beth, I thought I was the only one who did all those things with lotion, shampoo and toothpaste. I enjoy your blog a lot…..Thanks for all the sharing…..

  18. You are so creative. Your towels have made my towels wish to go live with you. lol

  19. I would’ve pinned this awesome tutorial with or without a giveaway! Great ideas! 🙂

  20. P.S. I hope you keep these bias tape refashions coming! 🙂

  21. So pretty!! I’ve got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for tomorrow morning that links to your tutorial:

  22. Vicki F says:

    Pinned it. Thanks for the tutorial.

  23. Pingback: Tutorial: Pretty bias trimmed washcloths from an old towel | Sewing |

  24. Kate says:

    I’ve pinned your tutorial. I’m definitely going to make some of these. Thanks.

  25. Miss Manitas says:

    Great idea!!

  26. Jo H. says:

    If you’re weird, you have lots of company here, including me 🙂 I like to get every drop of everything, too!

    These washcloths are so cute; such a good idea for recycling the good parts of towels in a very fun way.

  27. debbielynne says:

    I love every single one of your projects – so inspirational!

  28. Pingback: The Beauty of Bias Tape Part 4: Summer Flip Flops | The Renegade Seamstress

  29. Anonymous says:

    thanx for sharing…i enjoy reading all your posts & have learned some new ways to refashion.

  30. Gayle says:

    So cute! Pinned

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