Homemade Cheese Cloth Bags

I make a lot of yogurt. With a lot of yogurt comes a lot of whey, yogurt cheese, sourcream, and cream cheese. In the past I had a small local fabric store, that sold the sturdy cheesecloth by the bolt. I would buy a few yards for a few dollars and I was set for the year. That store went out of business and now I’m lost! All I can find is the flimsy cheesecloth with holes that are way too big, and is so cheap that you can’t reuse it. That can end up being expensive. And we all know how cheap I am….

But alas I found the answer! And a permanent answer, that you won’t have to buy again and again and again.

I don’t normally shop at Walmart. Not for any ethical reason really, it’s just a total zoo. In our area there are only 3 Walmarts for 5.7 million people. Crowds are not my favorite thing. However I am the ultimate cheapskate, and so I ventured in to Walmart, bought 4 packages for these flour sack towels (for $2.79 per package) and ran for my life. (to be honest it took me two trips. The first time I was so depressed with the lack of healthy choices, and disgusted with the families in there with shopping carts full of garbage that I had to leave. But that’s a whole other topic…)

At home I washed and dried the towels and got to work straining yogurt. I loved the durability and texture of the towel, it was perfect. But I had a problem with yogurt going around the edges of the towel and into the whey. So I folded one towel in half, and sewed up the edges (by hand, because I don’t have a sewing machine) and ran a ribbon through the top for a drawstring.

Now I can pour a whole gallon of yogurt into this bag and hang it over a bowl and leave it to strain. I don’t have to babysit it, I can just come back the next day and it’s cheese…

Your other option, and I am going to do this next time, is to skip the drawstring part. These towels are the perfect shape, if you just sew up the long sides. They fit right down into a 1 gallon pitcher. Just fold the towel edges around the rim of the pitcher, and secure in place with a rubberband. Pour in your yogurt and leave it to drain.

They rinse out really easily under warm water, and can be thrown right into the wash. God, I love being cheap. 1 towel makes 2 large, gallon-sized bags. So you can make at least 10 bags for $0.27 cents per bag! That was worth the trip!

Add some herbs and homemade crackers and this is the perfect snack!

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14 Comments

  1. ybertaud9 said,

    April 24, 2012 at 5:36 AM

    Brilliant! ❤

  2. ThriftyNut said,

    April 24, 2012 at 10:28 AM

    Is that really all you do??? I have no idea and maybe I missed a previous post… What kind of yogurt do you use and where on earth do you hang it so no bugs or domestic animals get into it (if you have any)??? SOO COOL! Thanks for your post! I hear these clothes work well for cleaning too.

    • April 24, 2012 at 12:05 PM

      Yes my dear that is really all you do 🙂 I put a bowl on the countertop, and hang the bag full of yogurt from an upper cabinet’s doorknob, so that it is directly over the bowl. If you let a little bit of whey drip out, you have greek yogurt. If you let it drain for many hours you have a very thick cream cheese. (aka yogurt cheese). I like to stir in some herbs and spices after it’s done draining and eat it on crackers. Delicious. I have also used it plain to make zillions of recipes that call for cream cheese, or sourcream. (cheesecake, stroganoff etc). I’ll post a tutorial about this for you soon.
      P.S don’t throw out that bowl of whey! That is very valuable liquid full of probiotics. I use it to ferment sauerkraut, lemonade, condiments etc…

  3. April 24, 2012 at 11:39 AM

    I’m not a walmart person either, mine however if or ethical reasons. However, sometimes in our small town that is the closest thing unless you want to drive several miles to the next town. So sometimes I cheat, don’t tell anyone! 😀 I do LOVE this idea. I’ve been toying around with the idea of nut milk bags to make sprouts. I think these would do the trick! Absolutely wonderful idea. I guess walmart is now on my to-do list 😉

  4. April 24, 2012 at 7:23 PM

    can I please buy a few of these off u? I am serious.

  5. April 24, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    I linked this post onto Facebook. love it.

  6. April 26, 2012 at 12:02 AM

    I LOVE this idea! I love being cheap as well. I’ve been wanting to do the nut milk thing but I didn’t want to blow the money on the bags. You think these would work for nut milk?

  7. Teresa said,

    February 16, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    Thanks!
    I came a-lookin’ for a solution to the cheapo cheesecloth problem. Why can’t i find any by the bolt anymore? Anyways, I remembered to do a search for DIY before buying any online. I’m so glad i did1

    I just wrapped a rubberband around the cheesecloth to close it and to hang the bag from my upper cabinet knobs. Easy!

    Thank you again for this blog

  8. January 14, 2014 at 3:01 AM

    Hi, I loved your post, thanks!
    If I may, I would strongly recommend buying grade 90 Cheesecloth. You were probably using a lower grade, which is too loose for yogurt making. Grade 90 is the tightest grade available and also reusable and washable.
    I would recommend http://cheeseclothfabric.com – I’ve used them before and I’ve always been satisfied.
    Good luck!

    • January 24, 2014 at 10:31 AM

      Minnie, Thank you for your comments. I just fold the looser cheesecloth in half and use it. But that website is good to have. Thank you!

  9. Caitlyn said,

    January 14, 2014 at 6:32 PM

    Would this work at a nut milk straining bag??? Love this idea, I also really do not like Walmart for ethical reasons, but also because it is a zoo.

  10. Kaja said,

    March 14, 2014 at 5:55 PM

    Hello. For nice fine fabric to strain my cheese I went to my local Indian Cloth House and picked up a few yards of their thin cotton lining fabric. It’s very thin but strong enough that I’ve washed and reused the pieces several times. I paid about $2 a yard up here in Canada.


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