DIY cloth towels from fabric scraps


Another pair of jeans successfully went through an amputation (that is, became a pair of shorts) and I was the proud surgeon, again. (Read this post to see how I did it.)

The left over part of the legs became something else altogether, unlike last time when they were transformed into a document holder.
As I was celebrating Anjana’s clearing the school admission interview process (she will start with kindergarten in June 2017), I started to make a list of items that she and my elder daughter Santoshi (moving to Grade I come June). One important item that needs to be packed for school everyday is a cloth towel (or lunch napkin as Santoshi calls it). While Santoshi needs two everyday (one each for snack and lunch) and Anjana will need only one (no lunch).

The school is quite particular about the size of these towels in order to avoid territorial wars on the snack table (“Hey, don’t you keep your water bottle on my towel!” or “Ma’am, I don’t have a place to keep my snack box, his towel is sooooo big…”). Bottomline, the towels have to be square in shape and measure around 10 to 12 inches each side. 

Luckily, the leftover denim legs were roughly about the same size. And, if (that’s a big IF) I cut them properly, there will be eight towels.
I looked into many pins on Pinterest about DIY cloth towels, applique, perfect corners, etc. I was thinking – there are people out there who sew things perfectly and put tutorial pins up. And, here I am, far far away from perfection, but that’s ok. After trying to do corners with a strip of fabric, I gave up and used serging for the corners. I checked with my daughter and she approved the serged ends, yay!

Now, let’s move to how I did it:

Things needed:

  • Leftover denim fabric from the pair of jeans
  • Fabric scraps for applique
  • Colour-coordinated threads (I didn’t use this)
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Sewing Machine
  • Stencil/ template (I used freehand drawing for my shapes)

Step 1: Draw the design / shape on the fabric. If it is a symmetrical design (such as a heart or a butterfly), fold the fabric into half, draw one half of the design on the fabric and cut both sheets of fabric together. I can never draw both sides to be of the same shape or size.

This is the outline of a bird:


This is one of the wings:


Step 2: Cut to shape.

Step 3: Arrange on the base (cloth towel in my case).


Step 4: Sew the fabric pieces one by one to the base. The body first, then the wing on the body, then the tail wing, followed by a small brown triangle for the beak. I used zig-zag stitch in my machine.


Step 5: Sew the other parts, if required – I did the eye and the legs using the regular stitch.


Step 6: Serge the ends or use fabric tapes to go all around the edges. I just used zig-zag stitch the one side which might fray.


And, that’s it, you are done!! Simple, isn’t it?

I did make towels with the other pieces too. I am posting pics of all but one (which is bad, trust me, you don’t want to see it).


Thanks for reading the post and hope my sewing did not scare you. Please leave a comment.








One thought on “DIY cloth towels from fabric scraps

  1. Pingback: Labelling a basket for kindergarten | crazycookup

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