Cute & Crafty Dish Towels To Make

Looking for a way to add a little color and personality to your kitchen? Cute and crafty dish towels can do it! With minimal sewing skills, you can embellish kitchen towels in plenty of different ways (and some ideas presented here add a useful feature or two as well). Here are a bunch of free tutorials to get you started, keep these in mind for housewarming gifts (and homemade gifts for any occasion). I’ll be adding to this list as I find more goodies, enjoy!
Harvest Stamped: Stamp designs on plain white kitchen towels using printing inks and a potato stamp (or any stamp you like).

Anthropologie Towel Tutorial: A fun, anthropologie inspired design using a tea towel and fabric scraps.
Monogram: Add color and personalization to your kitchen with screen-printed monogram dish towels.

Patchwork: Add a strip of pretty patchwork prints across a plain kitchen towel.
Design Transfers Tutorial: Transfer a design of choice onto flour sack towels using t-shirt transfer papers.

Fabric Embellished With Snaps: Sew a strip of pretty cotton fabric across a towel for embellishment, features snaps so they can stay hanging.
Charming Towels Tutorial: Towels made with various pieces of pretty fabric, features appliques and needlework.

Scrappy Bunting: Fabric scraps and bias tape are sewing onto plain white towels for this pretty project.
Dish Towels That Stay Put: These feature button tab tops to hold towels in place.

Handy Homemade Kitchen Towels: These hand towels attach to a handle or a knob in the kitchen.
Triple Border: Jazz up plain kitchen towels by adding strips of pretty fabrics.

Stay Put Kitchen Towel: Towel stays put with a casing for ribbon ties and embellished with strips of fabric.
Clothesline: Embellish a tea towel with a bit of needlework, fabric scraps, fabric glue and a bit of ribbon (handwritten tutorial available via jpg file).

Ribbon: So pretty! Use assorted decorative ribbons to embellish the end of a dish towel, simple sewing is all that’s needed.
Striped Cotton: Free crochet pattern via pdf download. Finished size is 12 in. by 24 in.

Soft Cotton Knit: Free knitting pattern. Finished size is approximately 9-inches x 16-inches.
Potholder Topped Hanging Towel: Attach a square potholder to a towel, loop and button closure holds towel in place. Another tutorial found here.

Crochet Trimmed: Learn how to make a dishtowel with fabric then trim with crochet edging.
No Slip: Here’s a trick to keeping towels from slipping off the oven door handle.

Kitchen Towel Dress: Double sided dish towel that hangs nicely over your stove handle.
Pretty Jelly Towels: Add strips of pretty fabric and rickrack to flour sack dish towels.

Fabric Topper With Ties: Learn how to add a fabric piece and ties to the top of a dishtowel.
Grain Sack: There is a free design motif to download (pdf) that you can use along with step-by-step instructions on how to add the design to the towels.

Button Tab Top: Learn how to make nice tab topped towels for hanging.
The Perfect Tea Towel: Make kitchen towels with a loop of twill tape for easy hanging.

Appliqued Flour Sack Towels: Learn how to applique fabric designs onto towels.
Pleasant Kitchen Embroidery Patterns: Set of free designs to embroidery on towels. Plenty more designs found here: Embroidery Archives.

Tie-On Dish Towels: Pretty fabric rectangles are sewn on one end of the towel, you can make all kinds of variations, different sizes, and shapes.
Easy Sew Kitchen Hand Towels: These very simple kitchen towels are made with quilt quarters (bundles of color-coordinated fabric already-cut), terry cloth fabric and decorated with a few yo-yo’s.

Round Dish Towel Tutorial: Made with a towel cut in a circle shape, finished with bias tape and a square of fabric (features a loop for hanging).
Pretty Flour Sack Towels: Easy project, simply sewn on a strip of pretty fabric (both sides) of a flour sack towel.

Bound Edged Tea Towel: A simple strip of fabric is sewn onto two edges of a plain towel.
Swedish Weaving: (huck embroidery) This is a 3-page tutorial showing you how to embroider on huck toweling, I’m linking to the last page since it has reference links to both the 1st & 2nd tutorial pages.

Printed Cloth: Learn how to transfer a design of your choice (candelabra template provided) onto ready-made kitchen linens with water-based fabric ink.
Linen with Measuring Tape Edge: These are pretty neat, sew twill measuring tape along the edge of a towel (and make a loop for hanging).

Topsy Design: Clever way to keep a dishtowel in place by attaching a square of fabric and a button.
Tucked Dishtowels How-To: A lovely hope chest craft, flour sack towels are pressed square (as much as possible) then decorative tucks sewn near the hem edge.

Cabled Toppers: These are done in regular, worsted-weight cotton and have two buttons added at top to hold towel in place.
Crocheted Mitered Square: Made with worsted weight cotton and a size G hook, stitches used are (sc), (dc) and (hdc). Skill level marked as Easy+.

Rainbow Stitched: Here’s an easy makeover for flour sacks, stitch rows of thread in various colors.
Gridded (knitting): Made with kitchen-grade cotton yarn in at least two different colors and can be washed (will shrink with use).

Coffee Cup Applique: Steam design is stitched by hand or by machine (running stitch).
Hand Painted: Stripes made with fabric paint on linen pieces (hem), can stitch a monogram in the corner if you like.

Crochet Edgings: Four different designs to try, each between 1″ – 1 5/8″ wide, Skill Level noted as “Easy”.

Also see:

Flour Sack Tips

*First published January 12, 2008 and moved to this page for better organization

Picture of Flour Sack Bundle - Tipnut.comHere’s a small collection of tips for making flour sack tea towels:

Adding ric rack across the bottom of the towels is so Very pretty!

Add a sweet crochet border to the towels

Say Good-bye to Stains by Adding Fabric Trim

Here’s a handy How-To: Flour Sack Dish Towels.

Remembering The Flour Sack:

The Flour Sack by Colleen B. Hubert

In that long ago time when things were saved,
When roads were graveled and barrels were staved,
When worn-out clothing was used as rags,
And there were no plastic wrap or bags,
And the well and the pump were way out back,
A versatile item, was the flour sack.

Pillsbury’s Best, Mother’s and Gold Medal, too
Stamped their names proudly in purple and blue.
The strings sewn on top were pulled and kept;
The flour emptied and spills were swept.
The bag was folded and stored in a sack
That durable, practical flour sack.

The sack could be filled with feathers and down,
For a pillow, or would make a nice sleeping gown.
It could carry a book and be a school bag,
Or become a mail sack slung over a nag.
It made a very convenient pack,
That adaptable, cotton flour sack.

Bleached and sewn, it was dutifully worn
As bibs, diapers, or kerchief adorned.
It was made into skirts, blouses and slips.
And mom braided rugs from one hundred strips
She made ruffled curtains for the house or shack,
From that humble but treasured flour sack.

As a strainer for milk or apple juice,
To wave men in, it was a very good use,
As a sling for a sprained wrist or a break,
To help mother roll up a jelly cake,
As a window shade or to stuff a crack,
We used a sturdy, common flour sack.

As dish towels, embroidered or not,
They covered up dough, helped pass pans so hot,
Tied up dishes for neighbors in need,
And for men out in the field to carry seed,
They dried our dishes from pan, not rack
That absorbent handy flour sack.

We polished and cleaned stove and table,
Scoured and scrubbed from cellar to gable,
We dusted the bureau and oak bed post,
Made costumes for October (a scary ghost)
And a parachute for a cat named Jack.
From that lowly, useful old flour sack.

So now my friends, when they ask you
As curious youngsters often do,
“Before plastic wrap, Elmer’s Glue
And paper towels, What did you do?”
Tell them loudly and with pride don’t lack,
“Grandmother had that wonderful flour sack.”

Found in many places, but rediscovered here, thank you!.

Yes, I admit, I’ve been bit by the Flour Sack bug ;)…

If you’d like to try your hand at embroidering your own set of vintage style flour sack towels (and really–is there anything that towel dries dishes better?), you’ll find several free downloads in this section: Vintage Patterns & Transfers.

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    • Christi

    Where do you find flour sack towels to embellish them?

      • melissa

      I get my floursack towels at Walmart. They come in packs of 3 and 7?, I think. You can also buy them online, Google search. Hobby stores also have them, but, Walmart is my favorite because of the price. 🙂

    • jenny

    would like the pattern for Kitchen Towel Dress would like to try and make a few for my kitchen

      • Tipnut

      Hi jenny, if you click the link listed for the dress you’ll visit the project page, at the bottom you’ll see a link that says “Enter Gallery”…click that and you’ll be on the first page of the tutorial.

    • Mrs.T

    I have made quite a few of those triple border dishtowels. They are quick and easy and the tutorial is fantastic! Thanks for sharing all of these. I am hooked on dishtowels, I’m afraid!

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