Hankie Doodle Dandy

by Stefani on 10-July-2008

Kids go through phases.

I know this.

You know this.

But ARGH!!! Do we have to go through THIS phase?

I mean it was bad enough when one of them walked around with his hands down his drawers all the time.

Oh yes.

And it was mightily unpleasant when one of my men began licking his fingers. Or rather, as he told me, “rubbing his tongue” incessantly.

But now, now we have a picker.

I try not to make a big deal out of it, but really after all the sickness we’ve had around here, I just cannot stomach the idea of him touching every door handle between here and Oklahoma and then mainlining those germs straight up his nostrils.


Telling him to get a Kleenex does not work. He is unwilling to stop what he’s doing and search out a sanitary solution to his itchy nose when his fingers are right there at (ahem) hand.

So I had him carry a kleenex in his pocket, which might have worked accept that it gets rubbed and shredded to bits and ends up everywhere, most especially in my dryer.

Enter the hankie


Hankie Doodle Dandy

It’s going to take a little bit of training to get him to remember to use it instead of his fingers, but so far so good.

I even sprayed a little (heavily) diluted peppermint oil on it, which he loves. So, we might just be trading one habit for another… nose picking for hankie huffing.

Hankie Huffing

Now, if only I could think of a crafty cure for that whole, “mama watch me cross my eyeballs” thing.

Anyhow, If you’d like to make some hankies of your own, you can find my little sewing cheat sheet here. It’s nothing fancy, but it gets the point across I guess. (*** and I just realized that I spelled “flour sack” towels as “flower sack” towels on the sheet. Guess I’ll have to fix that later. Or not. You knew what I meant, right?)

A couple of notes:

I just used flour sack towels for our handkerchiefs. You can buy them in big packs of 6 or 12 at your local discount store.

Also, about spraying them with essential oils – I’ve listed a few oils on our down and dirty little sewing instructions sheet, that are said to help with cold symptoms, but I’m not in anyway an official herbalist or anything, so take it with a grain of salt.

And please, never use undiluted oils on children unless directed to do so by someone who really knows what they are doing.

For our hankie purposes, we filled a 4 oz spray bottle with water and added about 3 drops of peppermint oil. Then, each hankie got a couple of squirts.
Anne July 10, 2008 at 9:58 pm

What sweet little hankies. Don’t have the picking habit yet, but we did just end the hands down the pants phase. What mamas have to endure to turn these boys into gentlemen!

Corynne Escalante July 10, 2008 at 10:08 pm

that’s a great idea! tissues in the pocket totally shred!

brit July 10, 2008 at 11:36 pm

I have a four year old with a constant runny nose. CONSTANT. So we go through a lot of hankies too…I just used old flannel and stitched around fun prints to stuff in every pocket he has, but I’m liking the flour sack idea almost as much as I love the essential oil…although if he is like me he is allergic to half of them..it is so hard to love nature sometimes, when in makes you so itchy!

ERNA July 11, 2008 at 12:39 am

lovely idea! sweet embroidery!

Rachel L July 11, 2008 at 2:29 am

What cute hankies! I found with my youngest that giving him a proper, cotton hankie definitely made him more likely to use it! Nice idea with the oils. I used to put a few drops of Olbas oil onto the hankie or pillow at night time – Joe called it “magic potion”!

christi July 11, 2008 at 3:11 am

those are so cute! i wouldn’t mind some for myself! i especially love your little lion and octo-jelly!

erin July 11, 2008 at 4:54 am

really really cute!
i know some girls who would love these, too.

amy July 11, 2008 at 5:02 am

I just got Finn a hankie too! He has seasonal allergies like dad and it was a must! Yrs are so much cuter and fancier though- I won’t let Finn see this! 🙂

Diahn July 11, 2008 at 5:14 am

Now that’s a great idea. I have a picker…Lord, do I have a picker…I may have to try this one and see if it helps. Big thanks and much love for this one!

Tracy July 11, 2008 at 5:37 am

wow. that’s pretty darn cute!

elissa July 11, 2008 at 6:06 am

ok… you’re doing it again today. that whole can cracking business :-). um. glad to know that you wrote about hands down the drawers in the past tense.. gives me hope, as we seem to be in the PRESENT tense here (either that or nude from the waist down (3 yr old), which in general is worse!) i also use hankies (or “snot rags” as we affectionately call them!) because i can’t stand the stupid amount of tissues that we go through and because they are a heck of a lot more substantial than generic walmart facial tissue. mine are all old diaper burp cloths though, so maybe it’s time to make some cute pocket sized ones…. nothing like blowing your nose on a cute embroidered robot or something!

melissa July 11, 2008 at 6:15 am

I love the hankies!

Aileen July 11, 2008 at 6:47 am

Hands down the pants? Ugh. No one told me about THAT. 3 girls before and here I was praying for that boy (which I got). But, hands down the pants? We’re not there yet. Maybe that phase will skip us. please. please. please.

jessica July 11, 2008 at 7:05 am

I just love your embroidery!

nicole July 11, 2008 at 7:16 am

these are awesome! and now i’ve yet another project to add to my long list! :0)

Crystal July 11, 2008 at 7:18 am

You totally rock. I love the hankies. Super idea… I have just been adverting my eyes when the picking goes on and well that does not do much to stop it, eh?

I had no idea that boys were so gross. I was surrounded by women growing up and there were not many boys around. Imagine my surprise and delight when I had a boy five years ago. My little does all the same things as yours. He has now taken to wearing his older sisters bra and yelling about his new boooooooooobs. He is a real pain in the butt and has the energy of a tornado but I have never enjoyed someone so much in my life.

Carolyn July 11, 2008 at 7:22 am

Very cute! I could use these in the winter!

Annika July 11, 2008 at 8:31 am

What a lovely idea! Thank you for the cheat sheet. Perhaps I will finally get to use some of my wee wonderfuls stitchettes!

Jackie July 11, 2008 at 8:47 am

Any thoughts on what to do with a scab picker?

Jackie July 11, 2008 at 8:49 am

Any thoughts on what to do with a scab picker?

Lasso the Moon July 11, 2008 at 9:13 am

what a great idea. yours turned out awesome. i love a good flour-sack project.
the tongue-rubbing thing had me rolling on the floor!

Lisa Clarke July 11, 2008 at 9:24 am

We have a picker here. I’m afraid he’s been a picker since he was two, he’s now eight, and there seems to be no end in sight. *sigh* I’ve tried all kinds of things, going so far as to tell him, “I don’t mind if you pick your nose as long as you do it in private.” It’s gotten really tiresome sitting next to him while he hunts for treasure up there. And, boy, can that kid dig!

The hanky thing, though, has worked so well for my other son, who has spring allergies, and has a complete meltdown when he feels his nose running. Tissues don’t calm him, but a pile of nice, soft, Mommy-made handkerchiefs are just what the doctor ordered. They’re particularly nice when made out of well-softened vintage sheets.

Lasso the Moon July 11, 2008 at 9:29 am

what a great idea. yours turned out awesome. i love a good flour-sack project.
the tongue-rubbing thing had me rolling on the floor!

Lynn July 11, 2008 at 9:58 am

I like that you gave them their own, personalized hankies. They don’t need to share hankies or germs!

bec July 11, 2008 at 11:05 am

that was a funny picture. thanks for sharing, it brightened my day!

molly Bridle July 11, 2008 at 11:26 am

Hoping the finger licker wasn’t the one who also had his hands down his pants! I have a nose picker too. Ew!

Elizabeth July 11, 2008 at 11:27 am

I just found your blog today! I’m excited about trying out the bread recipe that you posted! Thanks for sharing!

MJ July 11, 2008 at 11:32 am

I loved your sewing instruction sheet! It made me feel like I was getting special directions from a friend! Keep it up!

YayaOrchid July 11, 2008 at 11:52 am

My two boys are grown now, but I can sympathize with you, LOL! I love the idea of their own little hankies, and with a sweet touch of embroidery, you gotta love ’em! I think my favorite part of your post was the hand drawn sewing instructions! Really, really cute!

Jennifer July 11, 2008 at 12:37 pm

Those are the best hankies! What a good idea. Last Christmas, the kiddo was sitting on the couch with me when I noticed out of the corner of my eye picking going on. Then suddenly he stopped and said, “Mom, how does Santa watch you?” hmmm…

Christina Joy July 11, 2008 at 12:45 pm

Holy cow, those are tres cute! Love the embroidery…good thing my little man hasn’t discovered that his fingers fit perfectly up his nose yet!

Thimbleina July 11, 2008 at 1:08 pm

Great hankies, you are such a good mummy for finding something to stop this little habit.
We use Olbas oil when the kids have colds

Marjorie July 11, 2008 at 10:01 pm

hankie huffing. HAAA! that’s funny. My little Lukie was smearing his boogers on the wall the other day. When I caught him, he just laughed. Arghh. He said “that’s where I put it last time.” nice.

Michele July 12, 2008 at 7:04 am

Great idea! I will have to try it. Not sure I can make the hankies, but I can get him some!

patty T July 12, 2008 at 7:41 am

We have one picker and the other doesn’t seem to pay attention to his nose. The picker used to like to put a corner of the blanket up her nose to rub her nostril. Now it’s the finger instead. It seems to happen when in a daze so we try to remind her to stop. She usually doesn’t even realize she’s doing it. Yuck!

sUsAn July 12, 2008 at 8:55 am

This rocks! Thx! I love hankies and had never thought about the oil-brilliant!

Relyn July 12, 2008 at 10:16 am

OH, I laughed and laughed at this post. I teach and boy have I had my share of pickers. ICK!

miss chris July 14, 2008 at 11:36 am

That chicken hankie. I mean, seriously? That is awesome.

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