When my husband and I came together, so did our collection of hot pads and dish towels.
I have been using these for the last 4 years. (Yes, that snowman one gets used all year long.) I couldn't justify replacing them because they were useable.
Now though, the frayed edges, holes, and burn marks are bad enough that I can, without guilt, craft my little heart out and make new ones.
I started with some oven mitts and hot pads:
I used the tutorial here for the oven mitts. I liked the idea of the thumb being where I need it for pulling out hot pans from the oven. She recommends a thicker fabric. I used a home decor weight and it worked out great.
The other thing I thought of while making the mitts is that they would be great for puppets. Then I took these pink ones as prizes at a baby shower and someone mentioned the same thing!
The hot pads I just made myself. There are plenty of tutorials out there if you're looking for something fancier. My hint, if you happen to struggle with bias tape, like I do: baste the layers of fabric, batting, and Insulbrite together before attaching the edging. It made it easier to control and sew on.
Now to get working on some dish towels...