unusable as a towel, that is. as the base for a new bath mat, it was perfect. and so i embarked on a project to dress up our bathroom.
- an old towel
- a yard or so of fabric that you'd like to place your just-out-of-the-shower feet on [i used the ruffle from an old bedspread]
- needle and thread, or sewing machine
1) cut your towel into two equal-sized rectangles, at whatever size will fit best in your bathroom.
2) iron your fabric, and cut it into strips that are 4-1/2" wide, and 4" longer than the sides of your rectangle in length (so, unless you've cut squares out of your towel, you'll have 2 strips of one length and 2 strips of another).
3) iron down a 1/4" fold on each of the long sides of the strips, then fold in half and iron the whole strip flat, until it looks like this:
then fold back 2" at the short ends of each strip, and iron down.
4) place the two rectangles of towel on top of each other, lined up neatly. then place the strips of fabric under the edges of the towels and fold them over at the crease that you ironed in, so that they create a border. follow the photos below to make neat corners:
5) if you like the way it looks at this point, just sew a straight stitch along the inside edges of the border, being sure that you catch both the front and back edges, and you're all done!
6) however if, like me, you're not crazy about the color of your towel, or just want more of the fabric in the design, or just want to make life more difficult for yourself, you can keep going. i decided to fill in the middle with a lattice design, like the back of an old lawn chair. if you are going to go this route, don't sew that broder fabric down just yet....
start by cutting a bunch of strips of fabric in a width that looks appealing to you (i used 2"). remember to add a 1/2" to that width for finishing the edges. measure the open space of your mat that you need to fill, and figure out how many strips you need to cut to fill it. for length, cut them an inch longer than the open space, to allow for them to overlap (or, acutally, underlap) with the border fabric.
iron down a 1/4" on each of the long sides of the strips, then sew them down with a straight or zig-zag stitch.
**if you are working with a fabric that's prone to fraying, add 1" to the width that you decide on for the strips, and fold the edges of the fabric over on themselves again before sewing down.
7) weave the strips together...
...pin them around the edges, and baste them to the towels.
8) then put the border fabric back in place, fold it over the lattice, and pin it down. sew a straight stitch along the inside edges of the trim, being sure that you go through both the front and back edges.
and that's all!