In Handmade Home (Trumpeter Books, 2009), Amanda Blake Soule offers simple sewing and craft projects for the home that reflect the needs, activities and personalities of today’s families. Our homes are a place of comfort, nourishment and love, and the 33 projects in Handmade Home express the sense of making something new out of something old as a way to live a simpler, more connected and more mindful life. The following DIY bath mat project from "Nurture" is perfect for repurposing old towels and sheets.
With busy little ones in and out of the bathroom—and the spills and the messes and the mud that follow them—nothing beats a bathroom rug that can be tossed right in the washing machine and hung out on the line to dry quickly. This project, which also provides the comfortable feeling of standing on a worn in, soft towel, can be easily adapted to your own design and taste. It’s also a wonderful project for showcasing some of those funky retro towels from your youth! Use this pattern as a base for what works well in your home and with your style.
• A half-day project
• Finished size: 34 inches x 21 inches
Use What You Have
This project will make excellent use of bath towels and cotton sheets no longer in use or purchased used. (The photographed rug is made from a vintage sheet for the base and vintage towels for the back and the strips.)
Approximately 2 yards total, as follows:
• Fabric 1: (1) 34-inch x 21-inch piece of cotton for the top
• Fabric 2: (1) 34-inch x 21-inch bath towel for the rug bottom (Note: If you do not have a towel this large, piece together strips of towel to get the proper size.)
• Fabric 3: (8) 2-inch x 22-inch strips of towel for the top
• Optional: Puffy fabric paint (available from local arts and craft supply store)
Make the Bath Mat
1. Prepare Materials: Gather all materials and cut all fabrics to the measurements given above.
2. Piece Mat Top: Lay the 34-inch x 21-inch piece of cotton fabric flat, right side up. Arrange the eight towel strips as desired on top of the cotton fabric, and pin them in place. Stitch the towel strips to the cotton fabric 1/8 inch away from the raw edges.
3. Prepare Mat Bottom: Place the large towel (the bottom of the bath mat) right side up. On top of the towel, place the mat top you just completed, right side down. Pin together. Beginning on one of the long sides, stitch around all four sides, stopping 4 inches before you come to your starting point.
Trim the corners. Turn the mat right side out, gently pushing out the four corners with a pencil or chopstick, if necessary.
4. Finish Bath Mat: Press the rug flat. Topstitch around all four sides of the bath mat, approximately 1/4 inch from the edge. Close the 4 inch opening as you go.
Depending on your bathroom floor and the towel you used for the bottom, the mat could be slippery. If this is the case, apply strips of puffy fabric paint to the bottom of the bath mat.
More from Handmade Home:
From Handmade Home: Simple Ways to Repurpose Old Materials into New Family Treasures by Amanda Blake Soule, © 2009 by Amanda Blake Soule. Reprinted by arrangement with Trumpeter Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, Inc. Boston, MA.