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!
Anthropologie Towel Tutorial: A fun, anthropologie inspired design using a tea towel and fabric scraps.
Patchwork: Add a strip of pretty patchwork prints across a plain kitchen towel.
Fabric Embellished With Snaps: Sew a strip of pretty cotton fabric across a towel for embellishment, features snaps so they can stay hanging.
Scrappy Bunting: Fabric scraps and bias tape are sewing onto plain white towels for this pretty project.
Handy Homemade Kitchen Towels: These hand towels attach to a handle or a knob in the kitchen.
Stay Put Kitchen Towel: Towel stays put with a casing for ribbon ties and embellished with strips of fabric.
Ribbon: So pretty! Use assorted decorative ribbons to embellish the end of a dish towel, simple sewing is all that’s needed.
Soft Cotton Knit: Free knitting pattern. Finished size is approximately 9-inches x 16-inches.
Crochet Trimmed: Learn how to make a dishtowel with fabric then trim with crochet edging.
Kitchen Towel Dress: Double sided dish towel that hangs nicely over your stove handle.
Fabric Topper With Ties: Learn how to add a fabric piece and ties to the top of a dishtowel.
Button Tab Top: Learn how to make nice tab topped towels for hanging.
Appliqued Flour Sack Towels: Learn how to applique fabric designs onto towels.
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.
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).
Bound Edged Tea Towel: A simple strip of fabric is sewn onto two edges of a plain towel.
Printed Cloth: Learn how to transfer a design of your choice (candelabra template provided) onto ready-made kitchen linens with water-based fabric ink.
Topsy Design: Clever way to keep a dishtowel in place by attaching a square of fabric and a button.
Cabled Toppers: These are done in regular, worsted-weight cotton and have two buttons added at top to hold towel in place.
Rainbow Stitched: Here’s an easy makeover for flour sacks, stitch rows of thread in various colors.
Coffee Cup Applique: Steam design is stitched by hand or by machine (running stitch).
Flour Sack Tips
*First published January 12, 2008 and moved to this page for better organization
Here’s a small collection of tips for making flour sack tea towels:
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.