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Ruffled Scrap Fabric Towel

Find an old, tattered towel or purchase one at the dollar store and create quick, easy scrap fabric crafts that will last a lifetime. This Ruffled Scrap Fabric Towel can easily complement anyone's kitchen decor and is so easy to make.



  • Kitchen towel
  • Fabric scrap
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron
  • Crochet thread
  • 1-inch wide bias tape
  • Rickrack


  1. Measure the width of your kitchen towel. Cut a strip of fabric 5 inches wide by a length one and a half times the width of the towel.

  2. Fold the strip in half with the right sides together and the long edges matching. Pin the short ends. Sew the short ends using a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Do not stitch the long edge. Turn the strip right side out and press.

  3. Place the long open edge of the strip under your presser foot at the end of the strip. Knot the end of crochet thread. Place the crochet thread under the presser foot with the knot behind the foot. Set your machine to a wide, long zigzag stitch. Sew the length of the edge, zigzagging over the thread. The zigzag stitch will create a casing over the crochet thread. Cut the thread at the end of the strip and tie into a knot.

  4. Pull the crochet thread to gather the strip until its measurement is the same as the width of the towel. Determine which side of the ruffle will be the back and lay it on your work surface with the back facing up. Cut 1-inch wide bias tape 2 inches longer than the width of the towel. Place the tape on the gathered edge of the ruffle with the wrong side facing up. Center the tape on the edge with an equal amount extending from each end of the ruffle. Pin the tape to the gathered edge of the ruffle. Sew the pinned edge using a 1/4-inch seam allowance.
  5. Fold the tape to the front of the ruffle and press. Fold the excess on the ends to the back and press. Pin the tape to the ruffle. Top stitch the pinned edge.
  6. Lay the towel on your work surface. Place the ruffle on the towel with the tape edge approximately 1-1/2 inches above the bottom edge of the towel. Pin the tape edge to the towel. Top stitch the pinned edge as close to the top edge as possible.

  7. Cut rickrack 1 inch longer than the width of the towel. Position the rickrack over the top edge of the bias tape. Center the rickrack with an even amount extending from each end of the ruffle. Fold the ends to the back of the towel and pin. Top stitch down the center of the rickrack to attach.

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Very cute idea for adding some interest to an otherwise plain towel. I think it would be fun to use the vintage style fabrics for the ruffle and some true vintage or vintage style trims. You could do this with any towel for the bathroom or kitchen. Super fun project!

This would be a great idea to extend the life of a towel that's getting ragged on the seams, even bath towels. I had never thought of using the crochet thread either, as others have mentioned. Also, an applique of the ruffle material could cover any spots that are worn thin!

I think an applique would be perfect for this project. I do not believe the ruffle is big enough to add an applique, but the towel is certainly big enough and I think that would be a great work surface for your daughter to learn on. Depending on the type of towel you get, it can hide a multitude of creative differences. With that said, if you wanted to do an applique on the ruffle, just extend the width of the ruffle to come down more. I would not suggest you start your daughter out with a tiny applique until she is more confident with her new skill.

The use of the crochet thread is brilliant. I never thought of that before. I also think that these will make a great practice craft for my daughter to learn how to make ruffles on without worrying about ruining a bigger project. Has anybody tried making an applique out of the fabric to use on the towel? I thought that might be a fun little extra touch..

I never thought of zigzagging over crochet thread to gather. so smart. Love this towel


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