Do you have solid color towels you'd like to "jazz up"? Fabric borders are a simple, quick embellishment for a towel.
Once you learn this fun, easy border embellished towel technique, you can decorate hand and kitchen towels for every season using seasonal fabrics. It's a fun project for all skill levels.
Embellished hand and kitchen towels also make wonderful gifts. For gifting, pair a kitchen towel with cooking or baking utensils for a kitchen gift. Or make a spa gift set by pairing a hand towel with fragrant soap, soothing lotion and bath sponge.
The towels in this tutorial were purchased at Kohl's and machine embroidered with a fun design. Want to learn how to machine embroider on a towel? Our tutorial gives all of the tips and tricks to successfully towel embroider by machine!
Learn how to put a pretty border on a store purchased towel with our video tutorial or keep reading this blog post for a photo tutorial with step-by-step instructions.
It's very easy and you can use this to decorate any store purchased towels!
Printable PDF Version - Keep reading for a free version of this tutorial. This tutorial is available as an ad free printable version in our book "12 Easy Sewing Patterns". You can get
a copy of the book for FREE through this link, Free Book Offer. The book is also available for purchase from our Etsy Shop listing 12 Easy Sewing Patterns Book.
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how to embellish towels with a fabric border
What is needed to make a fabric border towel:
- Store purchased towels (see links below)
- Sewing tools - Sewing machine, thread, pins
- Cutting tools - Scissor or rotary cutter and mat
- Pressing tools - Iron and ironing board
STEP 1: Choose and Cut Fabric for the embellished Towel
To add a border to the towel you will need two complementary strips of fabric. Pick out some pretty fabrics. This is the perfect project for using leftover scraps of attractive material. Fabric Cutting Instructions
Measure the width of the towel from side to side. Then cut:
- Accent Fabric - 1 strip - 1" wide x the width of towel plus 2" - 3"
- Feature Fabric - 1 strip - 2 1/2" wide x the width of towel plus 2" - 3"
Step 2: Iron the accent strip in half
After cutting the strips, fold the 1" accent strip in half lengthwise with the wrong sides together
and press with an iron. The strip is now 1/2" wide.
Step 3: Sew the two strips together
Next is to sew the folded accent piece onto the feature piece.
Go to the sewing machine. Lay the 2 1/2" feature strip pretty side up and place the 1" folded accent strip on top lining up the raw edges. Sew the pieces together with a 1/4" seam.
Step 4: sew the fabric piece to the back of the towel
In this step, the fabric strips will be sewn to the back of the towel.
With the WRONG SIDE of the towel facing up, place the fabric strip RIGHT SIDE DOWN (or with the wrong side also facing up) on top of the towel. It is placed this way because the fabric strip will be wrapped around the towel to the front later.
Line up the center of the fabric strip with the center of the towel. The fabric piece will extend beyond the sides of the towel.
Align the raw edge of the fabric strip with the bottom edge of the towel. The accent part on the strip should be away from the edge and NOT under where you will be stitching. See the photo below.
Sew the layers together, using a 1/4" seam.
Step 5: ironing the fabric border piece
Take the towel to the ironing board and with the towel's wrong side up, iron the fabric strip just sewn to the towel away from the towel.
Next iron the 1" strip that was sewn onto the 2 1/2" strip. Press the 1" piece open and flat away from the 2 1/2" strip. Refer to the following photo.
Step 6: turn the fabric border to front of the towel
Turn the towel over to the front. After turning, the right side of the towel is facing up and the wrong side of the border is facing up.
Fold the whole border up to the front of the towel and iron.
Step 7: tucking in the border sides
Next, unfold the border so you see the wrong side. The extra fabric that extends beyond the sides has to be folded inward.
To do it, fold the extra fabric at each side of the fabric border toward the towel so it aligns with the edge of the towel. Press in place, adjusting as necessary to make sure the fabric's edge is super neat and flush with the edge of the towel.
Also, fold in the corner to tuck in the raw edge. We don't want the raw edge to show. Iron this tucked piece.
Step 8: fold fabric border up
With both sides folded in, bring the border back up against the front of the towel. With an iron, press it again. Pin the sides and along the top edge of the border to hold it in place.
Step 9: Sewing the fabric border down
The final step is to sew the border to the top of the towel. Sew the border in place by sewing along the seam between the two borders using the Stitch in the Ditch method.
Also, edgestitch along both sides of the borders. (I found after washing that if I didn't sew the sides down, they would pop out and fray!)
I hope you enjoyed this video and photo tutorial.
Until the next time, Happy Sewing!
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