This simple dishtowel sewing project makes your kitchen look stylish and is a great way to upcycle old towels

Kitchen towel sewing pattern with a hanging tab hanging on a drawer

Hey ya’ll, today I’m sharing how to sew a hanging towel with a free pattern so you can make one too. The tab at the top keeps the towel securely hanging on the oven handle or drawer pull instead of getting knocked to the floor. A hanging kitchen towel can be a fun way to add a little style to your space, and they are also great gifts to sew. In fact, this would be a cute gift set if paired with a potholder in the same or coordinating fabric.

I’ve wanted to do a tutorial for hanging dish towels for a while. When you have kids and dogs in the house, it seems that kitchen towels are more prone to falling on the floor. Funny how that works. But the push to get me started on making these was actually bath towels. We’ve had a lot of bath towels that needed retiring in our house lately and I’ve been trying to extend their usefulness. This project is a great way to upcycle those old bath towels. Simply cut off frayed edges and cut around threadbare spots and holes.

And now that I’ve sewn some for the kitchen, I think they’d also be good as hanging hand towels in the bathroom. Because those same kids and dog in my house are guilty of knocking bathroom towels off the bar after drying their hands or just because they’re bored (in the case of the dog).

Dishtowel with button tab hanging on a drawer handle


These hanging towels stay on the stove on with a button and double fold bias tape finishes the raw edges. The button secures the towel to the stove handle so it can’t fall. I’ve also created a free pattern for the towel toppers that you can download to use if you don’t want to draft your own template. And because it only uses a small amount of fabric, this project is good for using scrap fabric. The materials list is

  • The pattern. See below to get the free one I made for newsletter subscribers or instructions to draft your own
  • 1/2 inch wide double fold bias tape – a little over 1 yard. You can make your own bias tape using this method. And this post shows how to sew double fold bias tape.
  • Fabric for the hanging loop – two 7 inch width by 9 inch tall pieces
  • Interfacing. I used lightweight fusible interfacing on each wrong side of my topper pieces, so you’ll need two 7 inch width by 9 inch tall pieces of interfacing.
  • A button. I used one that is 1 inch wide, widths from 5/8 inches up to 1 1/2 inches will work. Alternatively, if you don’t want to sew a buttonhole, then you could use sew on Velcro or a snap.
  • Terry cloth or toweling fabric. I used an old bath towel and cut off the frayed edges. You’ll cut your towel piece to 12 inches by 12 inches square.
  • Thread, needle, sewing machine, basic sewing notions
Home sewn kitchen towel hanging on the oven bar

Get the Pattern

To get this pattern, you must either be a free newsletter subscriber or have purchased a gallery access pass. Then click your preferred option from the buttons below. Existing newsletter subscribers should look at the bottom of the most recent Friday newsletter for the current free pattern gallery password. If you purchased the all access pass you’ll log in to your shop account to download the pattern. Note that the free version of the pattern does not have printable instructions so you’ll need to refer to this post for instructions.

If you prefer to draft this kitchen towel sewing pattern for yourself, you can use basic shapes with dimensions below. Note that this draft includes a 1/2 inch seam allowance already.

Drafting diagram for a kitchen towel topper pattern

Sew the Dish Towel

Once you have your pattern, cut two toppers and two pieces of interfacing. Fuse the interfacing to the toppers and cut your 12 by 12 piece of toweling. Then watch the video tutorial below or on YouTube here to see how to make hanging towels.

Close up of bias tape finish on a kitchen towel

Time needed: 15 minutes.

How to Sew a Hanging Dish Towel

  1. Sew on double fold bias tape

    Sew the bias tape over the raw edge of the towel on three sides to finish them, carefully mitering the corners. If you don’t know how to sew on bias tape, see this post.

  2. Sew the towel topper pieces together

    Press the lower raw edges of the towel toppers 1/2 inch to the wrong side. Place the towel topper pieces right sides together and stitch from the fold line around the top and stop at the fold line on the other side. Use a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

  3. Trim, turn and press

    Trim the seam allowances down to 1/4 inch, then turn the topper right side out. Keep the pressed lower edges turned to the inside. Press all the edges.

  4. Pleat the towel and insert into the topper

    Fold a large pleat into the middle of the raw edge of the towel piece, so that the width of the towel at the top is the same as the towel topper. Insert the top 1/2 inch of the raw edge in between the folded edges of the towel topper so that it is enclosed between them. Pin, making sure pins are inserted through the towel topper on both sides. All raw edges should be inside the topper piece.

  5. Topstitch

    Topstitch around edges of towel topper to secure towel in between layers.

  6. Add buttonhole and button

    Sew a buttonhole centered in the round end of the towel topper. For buttonhole help, see this post. Fold the tab and mark where to sew the button. Sew the button on. For button sewing help, see this post.

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