Use Old (unused) Cloth Diapers and Scrap Linen to Make Dish Towels

October 20, 2023
Published on  Updated on  


If you are as hopeless in the kitchen as I am, you may need a kitchen towel to lift your spirits. I take solace in the fact that, at the end of dinner time, when even the dog won't touch my creation, I can always order some great take out or head over to the sushi bar and drown out my sorrows with a nice cup of Sake.

I like to keep my projects as inexpensive as I can, so instead of dishing out money (pun intended) to buy waffle embossed cotton or terry cloth, I substituted some cloth baby diapers I had lying around. I had never actually used them as diapers, but I have used them many times to clean up spills and they work great! The combination of linen and cotton are great for clean ups and easy to wash. Enjoy!

Tip: Pre-wash your linen under the same conditions you plan to wash when used. For instance, I wash everything on cold and tumble dry regular. So, I'll pre-wash my fabric the same way.

Tip 2: Use a press cloth when ironing linen to prevent a shiny coating.

Don't have an embroidery machine? No problem! There are tons of awesome appliqué patches on the market that are easy and quick to apply.

Sewing Supplies step 1 1/2 yard of linen

2 cloth baby diapers


Edge Stitch foot

Universal thread

Universal needle

Pins Basting Spray

Embroidery Supplies

Embroidery Thread

Embroidery Pattern


Embroidery foot

Embroidery Hoops

Marking tool

Step 1 I used the size of the cloth diapers to determine the ending size of my kitchen towels. Cloth diapers stretch in some funky directions, but I found that I can get a good and even measurement of 19in by 21 in with very little waste.

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Cut 2 cloth diapers and 2 pieces of linen at the above measurements. Step 2 Lay out the cloth and apply a light coat of basting spray. Roll up the linen piece like you would a newspaper. Line up the corners of the linen to the corners of the cloth diaper piece and slowly unroll.

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Step 3 Sew a 1/2 inch seam along the two longer sides and along the top (shorter), leaving the bottom open.

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Turn right sides out.

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Step 4 Fold kitchen towel into thirds (or as you plan to fold it in your kitchen).

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Mark a center point with your marking tool. Make 4 more marks an inch from the top, bottom, and sides to start a grid. This helps you evenly space out your embroidery. Feel free to add more marks to the grid if you need.

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Step 5 Use your basting spray to add stabilizer to the back of the grid markings.

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Step 6 Position the center marking as best as you can to the center of the embroidery frame. Make sure your material is snug enough to feel taut, but not so much that the fabric is warped.

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Step 7 For the first towel, I embroider the words.

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On the second towel, I first embroidered the sushi picture. I wasn't sure if "eat sushi" was really necessary. However, I felt it was missing so I went back and added the words.

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Step 8 Turn fabric wrong sides out and trim down your embroidery stabilizer. step 13 copy

Step 9 Sew a 1/2 inch seam along the opened edge leaving a hole larger enough to fit your hand. I like to leave my opening slightly off center so I can avoid a corner.

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I find it's easier to get crisp corners is I clip them before I turn everything right sides out.

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Step 10 Turn fabric right sides out and press the opening closed.

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Step 11 Install your Edge Stitching Foot and Top Stitching needle. Stitch as close to the edge as you can for the first row of stitching.

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If you would like a second row of stitching, move your needle over 1/8 of an inch. These make a great house warming gift. I plan to give these to my brother - he's just as bad in the kitchen as I am. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and thank you for reading! Happy Sewing!

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