One of the things I am most famous for, or shall I say, infamous for, is my decision to eschew toilet paper and use- gasp- not newspaper- but something green and reusable- cloth toilet paper, also known as family cloth. I've written all about the hows and the whys, and the sanitary aspects and the benefits and alleviated concerns in this post.
When people hear about the concept, they usually either find it fascinating or shnasty, often a bit of both. But some people have decided to make the plunge to family cloth, and like myself, have never wanted to look back.
Instead of repeating everything I already did in my previous post on the subject, I'll just give a quick overview.
Family cloth does not mean one giant cloth that all our family wipes our bum on repeatedly until it gets filthy enough to need a washing.
Family cloth is just a name given to using cloth wipes to wipe your bottom after using the restroom. It costs me no money for the cloths- I just take any cotton or other similar soft and absorbant clothes, that get either stained or ripped beyond repair, chop them up into roughly a square or rectangle large enough to wipe with, and use them. (No hemming or sewing necessary, seriously.)
To use them, most people use dry after peeing. After a bowel movement, you can use them dry, or you can wet them before use, or you can spray yourself with a bidet or a spray bottle, then dry with the cloth.
Once used, they go into a little garbage can meant for that purpose, and when filled, they get dumped into the laundry as is. (No need to spray and rinse the cloths like you might need to do with cloth diapers.)
I get it, the concept is gross, but in actuality, especially if you clean yourself with a bidet first, there isn't much of anything getting on to the cloths. And if you're too grossed out for that, just use it for pee and you're good.
P.S. Once a baby is eating solid food, their poop is no difference than an adults, so if you're willing to cloth diaper, this isn't far from that. And there is far less on family cloth than with cloth diapers, and you don't need to prewash cloths like with diapers, so I actually find it much less gross than cloth diapers- just use and dump into the wash. And no, it doesn't make a smell. And its so little in quantity that it doesn't cause any more laundry- each "load" of family cloth is roughly the size of one adult t-shirt.
But anyhow, the purpose of this post wasn't to tell you all about family cloth, because I don't need to recycle post topics... (Or should I? )
It was because we don't just put our family cloth in a basket near the toilet for that purpose. No... where's the fun in that?
We make a cute little "tissue box" to hold our family cloth, make it easier to use and pretties up the bathroom a little bit. People have asked me to share instructions for making our family cloth tissue box, so that's what this post is.
As I've said numerous times in other places, I force no one to use family cloth. Whoever wants to, may. We keep toilet paper on hand in the bathroom for everyone else.
So, how to make your own family cloth tissue box. Takes a few minutes to make the box, and a few minutes to fold up a tissue box worth of cloths. Totally unnecessary, but I think it makes things more fun, so why not?
And if you're not into the idea of reusable cloths for the bathroom, how about making a tissue box with cloth tissues for wiping your nose? Much gentler on the nose when people have colds, not to mention greener and cheaper.
Start off with a container with a cover. We took an old container that used to have a soft cheese in it. (We got it free because my husband used to work at the cheese counter in a grocery store. And no, it doesn't stink- it was washed and is clean, just like any other dishes.)
Now that you have your container, it's time to fold the cloths to go inside as tissues.
Lay one cloth (A) down.
Lay another cloth (B) down, partially on top and to the left of cloth A.
Fold the uncovered side of cloth A over on to cloth B.
Now lay cloth C on top of cloth A and B, to the right of cloth B, so that the edge of cloth C aligns with the folded edge of cloth A.
Now fold cloth B in half over cloth C.
Put cloth D over cloth B, and to the left of cloth C, so the edge of cloth D aligns with the edge of cloth B.
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Until all the cloths are used up.
When you get to the end of your stack, you'll have a pile of folded cloths, and one hanging over to the side.
Fold that over on to the stack.
Place the stack inside the container so the folds of the cloth are in the same direction as the cut in the top of the container.
Put the cover on it, and turn it over.
You could leave it like this, and if the box you're using is pretty, like a decorated shoebox, you can have it like this and pretty. But since my box is an ugly plastic container, with a quick fix, I am able to make it cutesy and prettier.
Take a cloth thats wide enough to wrap around the container, with room to spare. I used some extra striped t-shirt material. I think stretchy material is better, but the important thing is that it be opaque.
Place the container upside down in the cloth, and wrap the cloth around it so the overlap of the cloth is at the top. You want cloth draping over the sides.
Using yarn or ribbon, gather the edges of the cloth, and tie it tightly, like a candy. I made a bow.
Turn the tissue box rightside up, and cut a slit in the cloth over the opening in the box so you can reach the tissues.
Reach into the hole/slit and pull out a family cloth tissue.
The way it works is as you pull out one cloth, a new cloth will come out to replace it, as happens with a regular tissue box.
Voila- family cloth, made cute.
Ever heard of family cloth before? Know anyone who uses it? If you're a family cloth user, would you make a tissue box like this? If you would never dream of using family cloth, would you make such a tissue box for nose wiping?