Bite Sized Sewing: DIY Ruffle Hand Towel


Hello, hello Craft Snob readers! My name is Sarah, and I blog at Craft Quickies. I am a rather scattered person, so my blog is scattered, just like me. I cover everything from sewing to jewelry.

Are you scared of ruffles? Don’t be! They are so easy! I whipped out these towels in a hurry. Yes, I have sewn a LOT of ruffles in my day, but I am no extraordinary seamstress by any means, so I know that you can do it too! Let me walk you through the steps.

Ruffled-Towels-1Start by cutting off part of your hand towel. I got this cute one at Target and cut off 4 inches from the bottom. I actually wish I had cut off 1/2 inch to an inch more.

Ruffled-Towels-15Cut the ruffles for your towel. I chose two fabrics and used one ruffled from one fabric and two ruffles from the other fabric. My towel is 16 inches wide, so I cut my ruffles 22 inches long and 3 inches wide. I like to do about a 1.5 ratio on the length of my ruffles unless I want BIG ruffles on something like a dress for my daughter, in which case I would double the length of the original item.
Ruffled-Towels-16Iron THREE of the sides of your ruffle with a small hem, about 1/4 inch wide. I wanted to keep my top open so it would fray a bit and look “shabby chic.”
Ruffled-Towels-17Sew down the three sides on each ruffle.
Ruffled-Towels-19Now baste along the top edge of each ruffle. Basting is sewing with a very long stitch. DO NOT back stitch on either end of this. You need the thread loose so that you can do the next step.
Ruffled-Towels-20Use your hands to create the ruffle now. Hold onto one of the strings and simply push and scrunch the fabric gently until you have created a ruffle.Ruffled-Towels-21Once you have gathered the ruffle, spread it evenly. Pin it onto your towel.
Ruffled-Towels-26Arrange the ruffle so that you end up pinning it onto the towel evenly spread out. Pin it very, very well.
Ruffled-Towels-22Once the pins are in place, tie off the threads with small knots.
Ruffled-Towels-25Now carefully stitch your ruffle onto your towel. Be sure to set your sewing machine’s stitch length back to the regular amount and to backstitch at the start and finish of each ruffle, just as you always would.
Ruffled-Towels-27Now repeat this process with the next two ruffles!
Ruffled-Towels-210Ta-da! You are finished! Wasn’t that simple? I love how they turned out. And if you want to invest a bit more time in this project and add some extra oompf to it then you can create some Shabby Chic Flowers using similar techniques. Be sure to check out the full Shabby Chic Flower tutorial on my blog today! I was going to include it here, but the ruffles by themselves or the flowers by themselves qualify as bite-sized sewing. NOT both. But I think they really add to the final project, don’t you?
Shabby-Chic-FlowersThanks again for having me, Sara! I hope that all of your come visit me at Craft Quickies and that you have a lovely day!

  1. Cute towel!! I’ve linked to your tutorial over at Craft Gossip:


  2. Your towel looks terrific! Thanks for sharing your how-to.

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