We use linen tea towels. I get them from the op-shop.. those souvenir ones that are super handy but not quite cute enough for decoration. We have a dozen or so in the kitchen and they last and last.


Eventually though, they do become stained and worn. I don’t care for bleach, or waste, so it’s time for a new life as oven mitts. I find linen works much better for this repurposing than cotton.


Wash the tea towel, dry, then fold into a pad shape suitable for a mitt. The multiple folded layers provide the thickness that protects your hands.
I got tricky this time and folded so as to leave a pocket to put my hand, so the mitt doesn’t fall off.


Time to stitch around the edge to keep the layers together. Look closely and you may see linen thread around the edge.. It had a rip or two so I repaired that first in about a minute.
I held the layers together with some quilt clamps but pins are just as good. The thread is cotton I got from the thrift store in a bag of a few colours, and the needle is a sharp paper and linen needle I use for mending. If you are not sure how to do Blanket stitch, a quick google peek will sort you out 😉👍.


I am using a trick my Gran taught me to keep my stitches even – draw some spaced lines onto your thumb, so when you hold the fabric to stitch, it is clear where the next one should go. 😎


The average linen tea towel folded up fits both my and hubby’s hand. The little pocket works a treat, the mitt washes up easily to use again and again, and when it is really at the end of this second life, it will likely end up at the bottom of a trenching hole to feed the earth, like my other cotton and linen fabrics.

This took me about 20 minutes, and I am not a sewing person by any stretch. I will make a few more, as they are super handy and easy to throw into the wash.

~ Look wide and mend, folks 🧵~