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Recycle towels into bibs

Recycle worn towels into bibs for adults and babies.
Photo by Win McNamee

Youth groups like Girl Scouts and American Heritage Girls are often looking for easy service projects that are inexpensive and meet badge requirements. One opportunity is to recycle towels into bibs. Sometimes towels become worn along the edges, but the main part of the fabric is still good. Towels like these can be turned into bibs. It can be used to teach the basic straight stitch on a sewing machine, or sewn by hand.

Nursing homes use adult size bibs for patients who need help with their meals. Alpha Center is a local nondenominational outreach that provides infant items to women who have decided not to have an abortion, but need some help with keeping their babies. Organizations such as these would be happy to receive a donation of bibs.

Hand towels and kitchen towels can be used to make a simple bib. Hand towels are about the right size for an adult sized bib. To make a bib for a toddler, cut a kitchen towel in half.

Decide how big the neck opening needs to be. Most baby bibs have an opening that is about four inches wide. Adult bibs usually have a circle that is about eight inches wide. That size will accommodate up to a 20-inch neck.

Find an object that is about the right size circle; a mug, small plate, or can lid. Place it on the top edge of the towel, about three or four inches down from the top edge. Cut around the circle. Fold the towel in half and cut down the center fold from the top edge to the circle. This will make two flaps that will go around the neck. Round off the corners of the flaps to make it easier to sew binding tape along the edge.

Make wide bias tape from scraps of woven fabric. Most towels are made of cotton, so the trim fabric should be made of cotton or a cotton blend as well. Bind all the cut edges with the bias tape. Sew one square of Velcro to the top right flap, and the matching piece to the bottom of the left flap.

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