How to Fold your Handkerchiefs in a Tissue Box
I love handkerchiefs - they are functional and a great way to reduce waste from disposable paper tissues. They're also way less harsh on my nose when I have a cold, because the fabric is softer than paper tissue. I have an assortment of cute floral vintage handkerchiefs and have virtually eliminated one-use disposable tissue from my life.
The only flaw with reusable handkerchiefs is that they don't come in a handy box like your fresh new Kleenex box from the store. Thankfully, that's an easy fix!
Start with a narrow shoe box. You can use any kind of box, but I found that a re-used Kleenex box was not quite big enough for my handkerchiefs. Plus, the shoebox has a built-in lid. If all your shoeboxes have obnoxious branding, you could paint a box or wrap it in paper. This box is plain enough for me.
You'll want to cut a hole in the top of the box as shown. Mine is a little too large, so I taped some ribbon on either side to make a smaller opening. This also mimics the plastic covering and slit on store-bought tissue.
Then, start folding your handkerchiefs. Sometimes I iron the handkerchiefs if I'm feeling extra-fancy, but these days I usually don't. Since most of them are hidden inside the box, you don't really get to see your pretty ironing work anyway.
I typically just wash them together on a normal cycle, then hang to dry. You can wash them on hot if you're concerned about germs (especially if you're getting over a cold). Alternatively, you could boil them in a pot for about 10 minutes after washing.
Overlap two handkerchiefs so that the middle is roughly the size of your tissue box:
Then, fold the bottom handkerchief over the top handkerchief, and place a new handkerchief over that spot.
Do the same for the top handkerchief. Rinse and repeat!
But wait... what if you have a mix of men's and women's sized handkerchiefs? I have a mix of small handkerchiefs and a few giant ones inherited from my grandfather. They are easy to mix together - just fold the corners of the large handkerchief in, and you'll have a small handkerchief!
When you have a nice stack of folded handkerchiefs, stick them in your box. It's okay if your stack is a little big for the box - it will still work if you smush it in a little.
Put the lid on, pull the first tissue through.. and voila! Never buy a box of tissues again!