This week two interesting articles in the Make It from Scratch carnival caught my attention: Tammy at Simply Beck’s Bounty ruminates on the practicality of cloth napkins relative to paper, and Beth at Fake Plastic Fish explains how to make ice packs and heating pads without benefit of plastic.
Tammy points out that you can make napkins from bath towels and face towels, among other handy sources of fabric. When I’m here alone, one of my favorite napkins is a waffle-weave dish towel. They’re very absorbent, soft on the hands, and big enough to cover your lap generously.
If you have a family and would like them to behave as though they live in civilized society, it would be very easy to snip a waffle-weave towel into napkin-sized pieces and seam the cut sides. You could get two out of a single towel, and since they only cost about three bucks apiece, this is highly cost-effective compared to buying finished napkins. They come in lots of colors and designs, making it easy to find something that goes with your decor.
Beth points out that it’s easy to make one of those microwaveable warmth bags with a sock and some rice (oatmeal works handily, too). These things are great. She also contemplates various ways to apply ice to sore muscles and bruises.
If you’re not repulsed by the presence of plastic, a convenient way to make an ice pack is to dampen a paper towel (you could use a cotton washcloth or towel, of course!), lay it flat inside a ziplock bag, zip the bag tightly shut, and freeze it flat in the freezer. The result is much less messy than a plastic bag full of ice cubes—doesn’t leak as the ice melts—and as it softens you can mold it around a sore body part. To keep from applying extreme cold directly to the skin, wrap it in a light towel (such as a cotton flour-sack towel) or a napkin.
I find these work exceptionally well for migraine headaches. Yes. Weirdly, an ice pack may ease your migraine. Whatever works, works.