8 awesome ways to recycle your old handkerchiefs 28



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Handkerchiefs used to be (and still can be) found in every dapper man’s pocket and every lady’s purse. They were what you used when you had a sniffle but now, they’ve all but been replaced with tissues.

Nevertheless, they still seem to hang around in our cupboards, but what can you do with them now that they aren’t used as much?

Here are 8 awesome ideas and tips for reusing hankies you don’t want to throw away.

1. Gift or sachet bag

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Source: Pinterest

2. Shower curtain

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Source: Pinterest

3. Pin cushion

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What you need

  • 1 embroidered handkerchief
  • 1 small jelly canning jar
  • hot glue gun
  • stuffing
  • scissors
  • A4 piece of cardboard


  1. Unscrew the jar lid and take the top of the canning jar (metal lid) and trace around it on the cardboard. Cut out the pattern with scissors.
  2. Ball up the stuffing in your hand the same size as the jar lid.
  3. Place your handkerchief upside down then place the stuffing and the lid on top. The bottom of the jar lid should face you.
  4. Hot glue the hankie to the top of the jar. Be sure to pull tight and not glue too close to the edge of the jar lid and trim off the excess fabric. If the edge of the jar lid is too thick, it will be harder to screw the metal band back onto the jar later.
  5. Hot glue the cut circle onto the back of the lid then push the top of the jar lid into the jar screw band.
  6. Now all you have to do is wait for it to dry and fill the jar!

Source: Pinterest

4. Tissue holder

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Source: Pinterest

5. Hankie shirt

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For the man who still loves his hankie.


  1. Iron handkerchief flat then fold the right side of the handkerchief towards the middle and iron the fold flat.
  2. Fold the left side of the handkerchief towards the middle and iron the fold flat.
  3. Fold the right side of the handkerchief towards the middle again and iron the fold flat.
  4. Fold the left side of the handkerchief towards the middle again and iron the fold flat.
  5. Fold one end of the handkerchief back (away from the crease side) about half an inch and iron the fold flat.
  6. With the crease side of the handkerchief facing up, fold the upper right corner diagonally towards the centre of the handkerchief.
  7. With the crease side of the handkerchief facing up, fold the upper left corner diagonally towards the centre of the handkerchief.
  8. Fold the other end of the handkerchief upward about 1 inch.
  9. Open up the fold towards the right to form the right sleeve of the hankie shirt.
  10. Open up the fold towards the left to form the left sleeve of the hankie shirt.
  11. Fold the hankie shirt up and tuck underneath the collar.
  12. Using a piece of ribbon, tie a tie around the collar of the shirt and you’re done!

Source: Pinterest

6. Hankie doll

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This is one to make with the grandies.

What you need

  • 1 hankie
  • 1 favour bag
  • Roll of ribbon
  • 3-5 Cotton Balls


  1. Iron the handkerchief flat and fold into thirds
  2. Stuff the hankie favour bag with 3-5 cotton balls and then tie it shut – this will be the head
  3. Place the stuffed favour bag approximately half way up the folded hankie
  4. Use the strings of the bag and tie it tightly around the folded hankie
  5. Pull the edges of the hankie over the stuffed part
  6. Tie a piece of ribbon around the head of the doll
  7. Pull the other edges of the hankie out to make the arms
  8. Tie a knot at the end of each of the hankies to make the doll’s hands

Source: Pinterest

7. Blouse collar

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8. Garland/bunting

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How many old hankies do you have? Do you still use them?

Starts at 60 Writers

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  1. I actually use them as hankies much to my daughters disgust.
    I get hayfever when I go out, if I forget to take a antihistamine, my nose is like a tap. Tissues fall apart. Yes I know…too much information!

    4 REPLY
    • I always remember being told to never leave home without a clean hanky and to this day, I never do.

    • I do too Philomena. Although my hayfever is so bad that I use mens hankies. Like you probably too much information. lol

    • I still use hankies, much softer than tissues. Wash better than tissues too! Men’s hankies are great for colds or hay fever.
      Like you Pam always leave home with a clean hanky, Mum’s standard question when you left.😃

  2. I made a double quilt…used 150 handkerchiefs. Crazy patchwork.

  3. My eighteen year old granddaughter is using mine.
    I had some pretty ones and as she is a hay fever sufferer she likes to carry one sometimes.
    Pleased that they are still useful.

  4. I have seen them used very effectively, in patchwork quilts: also doilies appliqued on to plain squares.

  5. My Mother in law used to make hankies and crochet around them. She made them for her daughters in law for Christmas, with 11 of us that was quite a few hankies, we always got at least two each. Still have them, treasured memories.

  6. It’s amazing how many lovely memories can be attributed to a hankie, given with love from a very special person. I keep mine in a drawer, and they really don’t take up much space. One day they will be a source of conversation and possibly amusement for grandchildren, or even great grandchildren. 🙂

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