DIY Kitchen Towels

Hello, friends! Genie here from the Sew and Tell Project today, with a fun, easy, and inexpensive project – DIY Kitchen Towels. These make great gifts!

I bought a package of 12 flour sack towels from Wal-Mart for $7.88. All of these were embellished with things I had on hand, but you could easily pick up a fat quarter stack, some buttons, and a couple of packs of ric rak and embellish all 12 towels for under 20 bucks.

The first pair I made used a combination of simple strips of fabric, applique, and some trims & buttons from my drawer. For the towel on the left, I cut 6.5″ strips of 5 different fabrics (from a coordinating fat quarter stack), and then sliced them into various widths. I sewed them together, and then cut long strips 1.25″ tall. The smaller strips got attached at the bottom of the towel with a little pom pom trim, and the other two small strips were attached to the wider one, and then sewn onto the towel with some extra top-stitching.

The towel on the right was made with applique. I found a flower outline I liked as free clip-art online and printed it out. I like to use fusible web for applique because I find it so much easier than pinning. It holds the applique in place while I stitch the edging and I don’t have to worry about shifting. There are many brands and a few different weights that you can use, but they all work the same. Cut a piece of the fusible web slightly larger than the design you want to applique, and iron it onto the back of the fabric you want to use.

Trace your design; you can use a fabric marking pen or chalk on the fabric, or you can trace it backwards onto the fusible web backing. Cut the piece out, peel off the backing, and then iron them in place on your towel. You’ll use a tight zig-zag stitch on your sewing machine around all of the edges. I strongly recommend test stitching on a scrap to make sure your zig-zag has the stitch width and length that you like.

While sewing, be aware of your needle when you need to pivot. It will matter which side it’s down on for different shapes. I usually find that my sewing looks neater when I have the needle on the left while I lift my foot and pivot.

After completing the zig-zagging and any other top stitching, embellish and press. Cute, right?

This set is another applique with a simple strip. Super easy and really cute. Those state shapes are so trendy right now, I couldn’t resist giving my Spartans a shout out. Go Green!

My final set is the ever handy hanging towel. Between my toddler and my dog, I can’t keep towels hanging in our kitchen unless they’re firmly attached! I used a free pattern from this blog, but you could probably free hand a simple design pretty easily, too. I did not use the tutorial with the pattern as I really wanted to add a ruffle and didn’t use fluffy towels. My flour sack towels were roughly 30″x30″. I cut two in half, hemmed the raw edge, and then folded them in half. I gathered across the folded edge. So I didn’t have to mess with hemming the ruffle, I just cut it twice the size I wanted, folded it in half, and then gathered the raw edge. I cut two pieces of the pattern in the fabric I wanted to use and one in interfacing. I applied the interfacing to the wrong side of one of the pieces and then sewed them up, right sides together, leaving the bottom open. Trim your corners, and then turn right side out, making sure to poke out your corners. Press the bottom raw edge in. Are you still with me? 🙂

Next, sew the ruffle into a loop. Adjust the gathers on the towel to fit inside the “handle,” and then adjust the gathers on the ruffle to fit around the towel. Baste it in place.

Your final step is to insert the towel/ruffle combination into the handle, neatly up under the edges you pressed in. Sew across, and then top stitch all around the outer edges of the handle. Add a button and buttonhole (or a snap), and hey presto! I added a strip to the bottom of both sides of these towels, too, because I just love these cat prints.

I’ll be making a bunch of these for Christmas gifts over the next few weeks. I hope you found some ideas, too!

4 Responses

  1. I like the idea of using flour sacks, and love the ruffles. Fun to have on-hand at Christmas for unexpected gift giving 🙂 Thanks!

  2. Genie,My Grand Daughter and I are learning to sew together and we don’t know how to make the tops of the decorative towel holder with buttons.We have been making towels with pot holders and want to venture out.lol..Can you please help us.If you can send us a copy we can print it out and make a few.lol Thank you and Have a blessed day.

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