cute + easy ruffled hand towels

The school fete will be here before I know it. There are actually two craft stalls. One for Christmas craft which a super organised lady is running and then there is the craft stall that I’m running. And I’m not super organised. But now that we’re coming into term 3 I’m getting super organised. I mean my Pinterest board is full of great ideas and I’ve started giving people projects to do and sitting down to do some.

And one of the projects on my list was ruffled tea towels that I’d seen on Pinterest. The night before our sewing day I started to read how to make one and then realised I needed a ruffle foot. And I stopped reading. But don’t worry you don’t need a ruffle foot and I was going to call these tea towels but they are so cute that I put the sample one in my bathroom.

here is what you will need

a plain white waffle tea towel or hand towel (spotlight/homewares store)

jelly roll strips or 2.5 inch strips of fabric (by width of fabric – 44 inches or near enough)

ribbon to hide your top line of stitches

your usual sewing supplies and a sewing machine

how to make

The first step is to fold your jelly roll/strip in half lengthways and press with your iron. Take to your machine and zig zag or overlock the edge. On my sample I didn’t do this step on a ruffle and it was starting to fray so do yourself a favour and zigzag

Now put your stitch setting on the longest length you can so you can gather your strip. On my machine it’s a 5 on the stitch length. Do one big long line of stitches near your zig zag edge but not right on top of it.

Now gently pull the lower thread (on the back of your sewing) and gather evenly. To get a really full ruffle you’ll use the whole length of fabric so gather just a bit longer than the width of your tea towel because you’re going to tuck a bit on each end and sew to the back of the tea towel.

Work out some nice co-ordinating fabrics and you could do 3 or 4 ruffles to a towel. Start with your bottom ruffle and pin across the bottom of your towel or a little bit up like we did here. Take care to note that if your towel comes with a hanging tape that it’s at the top and ruffles at the bottom. Fold over the edge on itself at the back of the tea towel and sew to your tea towel on or close to your gather line. Repeat with the other ruffle strips going up the towel.

Trim all of your threads and find some fun ribbon and pin across the top ruffle and then sew.

You are done! Admire! Quick and easy and fun for a quick gift or your school fete. And a big thank you to my lovely reader and friend Robyn who joined me at my school craft sewing day. What a champion! She did all of these pretty ruffles for me and now I just need to trim and get some pretty ribbon and they are done.

I hope you enjoy making these and I hope I can keep the momentum going and get some more finished………..


  1. They’re so cute! I’m not game enough to go down the white towel path, I couldn’t bear them getting dirty quickly with little fingers!

  2. Oh Wow, these are adorable too! So clever Corrie, you’re a machine at finding little moments to be productive and creative, love it! :) xo

Leave a Comment


Optionally add an image (JPEG only)