It is easy to forget that so many simple items for the home can easily be made without spending the extra money needed to purchase them.
This DIY dish drying mat is a perfect example. There is no need to run out and buy a dish drying pad. Instead, recycle an old, soft towel.
Just add some pretty fabric for a nice binding to go around the perimeter, and a new dish drying mat is born, free of charge!
Because it is made from a recycled old towel, this DIY dish drying mat is soft and absorbent, and it washes up so nicely in the washing machine.
Purchased mats are often very firm and washing them in the machine is not as easy. This mat will also fold up to fit under the sink or in a drawer when not in use.
Learn more about making a DIY dish drying mat from an old towel by watching our video or keep reading this post for a photo tutorial with step-by-step instructions.
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. We make a small commission on sales through the affiliate links, at no extra cost to you. Thank you in advance for your purchase and your support! Please see our full Affiliate
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WHAT YOU NEED to make a dish drying pad
- Old towels
- Fabric for binding
- Threaded sewing machine
- Quilter's ruler
- Cutting mat
- Rotary cutter
- Small plate
- Fabric marker
INSTRUCTIONS for making a recycled dish drying pad
STEP 1: Cut the old towels to size
Begin by cutting two pieces from the towels, both measuring 18" X16". Keep in mind that this dish drying mat can be cut to any size that is desired. Using straight pins, pin the two pieces of fabric together.
To add a nice touch to the DIY dish drying mat, the corners can be rounded.
This can easily be done by laying a small plate at one of the corners of the pinned towels. Be sure the plate lines up with both of the corner edges of the towel and use a fabric marker to draw a curve around the plate.
Next, using scissors, cut the sharp corner off. Repeat with the remaining three corners. The towel should have nicely curved corners and straight sides.
Step 2: Cut the fabric binding for the dish drying pad
With the cutting mat, quilter's ruler and rotary cutter, cut the binding fabric into 3" wide strips. Once joined, the 3" binding will need to be long enough to go around the entire 18" X 16" towel.
Once the 3" wide strips are cut, join them together. See the tutorial on joining strips and making a double fold binding.
Step 3: Attach the binding to the edge of the DIY dish drying mat
Once the binding has been made and ironed, it is time to attach it to the towel. This method is similar to our Quick Quilt Binding. Line up the raw edges of the binding with the raw edges of the towel, keeping the folded portion of the binding towards the inside.
Leave a tail of about 6" before starting to sew the binding to the towel with a 1/4" seam allowance. Be sure to back tack when beginning to stitch.
Stitch the binding around the towel, stopping several inches from where the stitching began. Be sure to back tack and leave a 6" tail on this end as well.
To join the binding together, overlap the two ends 3" since that is how wide the binding is. Once the overlap is at 3", cut the other end of the binding off.
Open the two ends of the binding up, and place them right sides together at a 90-degree angle. Pin the ends together.
Stitch the two ends together on a diagonal, being sure to backtack at the beginning and end of the stitching. Using the scissors, cut a 1/4" seam allowance from the stitching.
Finger press the seam open and there will be an almost invisible seam. Lay the binding down on the towel and continue sewing the binding on.
step 4: Secure the binding to the back of the dish drying mat
Fold the folded edge of the binding around to the back of the towel covering up the machine stitches on the back. Use clips or pins to hold the binding in place.
There are two different methods to finish the binding. The binding can be hand sewn using a slip stitch. The binding can be machine sewn using an edgestitch along the folded edge or use a serpentine stitch or another decorative stitch in the center of the binding.
The DIY dish drying mat is complete! Place this pretty mat beside the sink to air dry clean dishes.
I hope you enjoyed learning how to make a DIY dish drying mat. The kitchen counter never looked prettier!
If you have any questions about this project, contact us through the YouTube Video
comments or our Contact Us page. We respond to questions in e-mails and YouTube comments regularly.
Other Ways to Recycle Old Towels
Other Kitchen Items to Sew
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We make a small commission on sales through the affiliate links, at no extra cost to you. Thank you in advance
for your purchase and your support! Please see our full Affiliate
Statement for more information.