Learn how to make towels quickly and easily. These linen towels will be small to store, ecofriendly, and they dry fast!
Why am I sewing towels when I have perfectly good towels? Because I’m a bit obsessed with linen after a trip this summer to Williamsburg, VA. It’s my ADHD hyper focus of the year, I suppose. I’m so glad my husband just rolls with this stuff. We just got linen bedsheets and I’m loving them. I probably would have bought linen towels and skipped making them, but THE COST. The 100% linen towels seem to run around $34 each. I figured making them would be cheaper, but I didn’t do the math until I started writing up the supplies section of this post. So you decide.
Note that I made both bath towels AND hand towels (or dish cloths, whatever you want to use them for). The width of the linen wasn’t wide enough for the long direction of the towel so I used the excess to make small towels. I’d like to make some washcloths too.
Benefits to Linen Towels
- Linen is made from flax which uses fewer pesticides and less water than cotton
- Linen stores small. This means more room in the linen closet. Ours is packed so that’s ideal.
- They dry FAST. This is perfect for reusing the towel (without the musty smell) and also for popping them in the dryer.
How to Make Towels with a Loop!
- Linen Fabric: I used bleached 100% Linen – 5.3 oz Medium Weight Fabric
- Twill Tape: https://amzn.to/3clqY4A
I got a deal on 15 yards so I have 540″ length of fabric- theoretically. Linen does shrink when it’s washed, however, so it’s important to plan for that shrinkage. I should be able to get about 9 bath towels from the 15 yards. I paid $173 for 15 yards of linen on sale and that included shipping (I need to try buying some using a sale coupon at a local store, I haven’t been getting out much). Soooo $173 ÷ 9 is $19.22 per towel.
On top of the 9 bath towels though, I can also make 4 dish towels or hand towels per bath towel. That’s roughly 36 hand/dish towels. So I think I made out okay! I’ll probably make some wash cloths too.
I also think it’s fairly easy to sew towels so it’s not a huge time suck…. AND I get to put a hanging loop on the towel which is AMAZING. I may need to switch to using ONLY towels with loops and then switch out the towel bars for a hook. I’m SO tired of the kids pulling the hand towels off the towel bars! SO TIRED!
I know, I know, they’ll probably still pull the towels off the hooks. But a girl can dream.
DIY Towel Tutorial
Step 1: Serge the edges of your fabric before prewashing to prevent fabric loss or fraying. → Learn about serging here.
Step 2: Prewash Fabric. THIS IS IMPORTANT because linen shrinks… a decent amount. → Learn about prewashing fabric here.
Step 3: Iron your fabric. I actually ironed after cutting but ironing first would have made it a lot easier. I really need a big ironing board in my she shed.
Step 4: Cut your fabric.
- Bath Towel: 32×60″ cut
- Dish Towels: 23×14″ cut
I cut the towel so it used 32″ of my fabric width and 60″ of the length. This left me with enough leftover fabric to make (4) dish towels from the extra smaller cuts. The excess would also be great for a hand towel or wash cloth.
Because you have ALL THE POWER, you can choose to make your towels whatever size you deem best! It’s totally up to you. But I think the 32×60 should work well for the bath towel and I like how big the dish towels are as well!
Step 5: Iron your edges with a 1/2″ seam allowance (or however large you want it to be). If you’re using a cover stitch machine, you can iron them over once or twice. If you’re using a sewing machine, do a double fold.
Step 6: Finish the edges around the fabric.
I used a coverstitch which is fast and easy, but you can also double turn the edges and use a straight stitch on your sewing machine.
Step 7: Sew a small loop of twill tape on in a loop for easily hanging your towels! This is my FAVORITE part of these towels. I imagine a larger loop may be problematic during laundering so it’s probably wise to keep the loop big enough to go around a small knob, but not so big it will go around a door knob. But I’m not 100%. Do you!
And that’s all there is to it! Linen gets softer as you use it so your towels will get SOFTER over time- with no extra work on your part! These towels will store small and give you lots more space in your linen closet for other things.
Once my kids INEVITABLY get these stained, I can easily bleach and dye them fun colors.
I made this hand towel holder for my bathroom to hold the smaller hand towels.
Here’s the video tutorial!
Please share and pin this post! If you make this project, share it in our Stuff Mama Makes Facebook Group. We have regular giveaways for gift cards to craft stores. You can also tag me on Instagram @doityourselfdanielle; I love seeing everything you make!