Friday, February 01, 2008

Way Cool RDI Lifestyle Project--Folding Machine!

Pamela and I folded these perfect-looking towels and T-shirts in less than eight minutes. How, you ask?

I would love to take credit for this idea, but there are a ton of videos at You-Tube with T-shirt folding machines made out of cardboard! ~*~Jennifer~*~ posted a clip of one at her blog, which inspired me to try this as a one-time project we could make and as a way to make folding clothes together more fun and easy. I made my own tweaks to the slightly different style in which we fold T-shirts, which is to fold in half twice rather than once. I sure wish I had known about these at the boat school when, as a harried plebe, I had to fold every single article of clothing perfectly.

  • I made sure zero on the yardstick lined with the the edge and that the yardstick was perpendicular to the edge.
  • We measured three points (not two) to catch any error if all three fail to line up nicely.
  • I held the yardstick while Pamela drew a cutting line with a pen.
  • I prefer rotary cutters over a retractable knife for cutting foamboard. Pamela held the cutter with her left hand (her preferred hand), while I applied pressure and guided with my right hand (my preferred hand).

  • Cut one piece of foamboard in half lengthwise to make two 10" x 30" pieces.
  • Take another piece of foamboard and cut to to make a 14" x 30" piece (you do not need the remaining piece--except for an underwear folding machine I have in mind).
  • Take the last full piece of foamboard and cut two pieces: 10" x 15" and 10" x 7.5" (you do not need what is left),
  • Assemble and tape the pieces as you see in the pictures below. While my dimensions and pieces are slightly different, you will get the ideas by watching this You-Tube clip.
The following two pictures show the completely assembled machine with the pieces labeled. The first is the front, and the second one is the back.

The following two pictures show the folding pieces at an angle. This one shows the two 10" x 30" pieces, which are the first ones that you flip.

While the machine in the You-Tube clip has a total of three folding pieces, mine has four because that is how I have always folded T-shirts. Call me obsessive! This one shows the 10" x 15" and 10" x 7.5" pieces, which are the last ones that you flip.

The following clips shows Pamela using the machine! The biggest trick is to smooth out the T-shirt neatly. She caught on right away! We decided to experiment with large towels, and it works beautifully with a little bit of creative thinking and patience.

This clip shows the fifth T-shirt she has ever folded.

This clip shows the sixth T-shirt she has ever folded.

This clip shows our first experiment with folding towels.

The final clips shows us folding two towels. You can see how Pamela is more confident and more active in seeing what needs to be done and doing it. I think I need to make the flaps longer, but I will do it on another day and see if we can problem solve it together. Or, Pamela might come up with a different solution. In the meantime, the "too small" size means we have to coordinate our actions more.

Now, I am fantasizing about machines for folding pants, underwear, towels, etc. LOL!)


poohder said...

Tammy, Way cool machine! It is wonderful to see Pamela taking such an active part. After she understood her role, she was on a roll! Hey I made a funny. Seriously, Great job!! Rhonda

walking said...

No, Rhonda, you made a PUNNY!

Tee, hee, hee . . .

Prince Andrew and the Queen Mum said...

just breezed in and haven't watched everthing but the i thought the first clip (5th shirt) was funny because you go WWHHOOO!!! who knew that folding shirts could be fun???!!!

Unknown said...


Your card board looks sturdier than ours -- I used an old box. It could be that I've used it so much that it's getting worn. I need a fresh one probably. Ü

I LOVE this post!! You are doing a great job Pamela!

When I use this to fold my towels -- I fold it in 1/2 first... then it makes it the size of a large t-shirt... less flapping around.

It is fun -- isn't it? I fold all the jeans and stuff by hand and as I'm sorting through I pile up the "folding" things. Towels and shirts. Then I stand and go through that pile really quickly. Anything that goes on a shelf or in a drawer gets folded -- I like the uniformity. °Ü°


When you make a machine for folding jeans -- I'll blog about it too! LOL

walking said...

I have to add a funny postscript. I sent a clip to my sister whose husband sells merchandising for their Bronco club. They have a ton of T-shirts to fold on a regular basis, so he built four folding machines!