Dry Feet – A Towel Mat Tutorial

We recently had to rethink our bath mat strategy after one too many cat accidents on the bath room rug. And here is the solution: a towel mat made of two older towels with colorful binding.


To make this mat, you need:

  • two bath size towels
  • a resident artist to draw the picture to be quilted on the towel using a washable fabric markerĀ  (optional)
  • blanket binding or fabric remnants


  1. Cut the towels to size. This particular mat is 37″ by 27,” but the size depends on your requirements.
  2. Draw your design on the towel. I commissioned robots from my 7-year-old, but if flowers are your thing that would be a nice choice as well.
  3. Baste or pin the two towels together so they won’t shift when you “quilt” your design.
  4. With a wide zigzag stitch sew the towels together following your design. You may want to experiment on a piece of scrap towel to find the setting that works for you. That leaves you with two pieces of fabric sewn together.
  5. Finish off the edge of the mat with some binding. If you decide to make your own, measure the circumference of the rug and note that down. To make 1″ wide binding, cut 3″ wide strips of fabric.
  6. Sew the strips together until you reach a length equal to the circumference of the rug plus a bit just in case.
  7. Fold the binding in half lengthwise and iron it.
  8. Open up the binding and fold in the left and the right sides of the binding to meet in the middle. Iron this. You should now have a long strip of binding with three ironing marks going down the length of the binding.
  9. Right sides together fold over the short edge of the binding and sew the length of it to the mat following the line closest to the edge. I like to begin in the middle of a side rather than at the very top so I don’t have to deal with the corner and the matching of the beginning and end of the binding at the same time.
  10. Stop about one inch before the end of the side of the mat and make a mitered corner following Alicia Paulson’s Binding Tute on Posie gets Cozy. Continue all the way around.
  11. Fold the binding over the edge and fold under the quarter on the other side of the binding. Now you can either machine stitch or hand stitch the binding to the other side of the mat. Hand stitching took me maybe an hour or two and involved a lot less swearing.

That’s it. Enjoy your bath mat and keep your kitty off it, unless you decide this is the perfect kitty blanket.

Tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Dry Feet – A Towel Mat Tutorial

  1. Aunt LoLo says:

    1) YEA! Explorer didn’t choke and die on craftevolution today!
    2) LOVIN’ on the robots. Kudos to the artist.
    3) Brilliant idea! It’s not as non-skid as a normal bathmat…but EVER so much more washable and eco friendly. It’s a trade I’d gladly make. Love it!

  2. Cathy says:

    Great project idea, I am a big fan of washable bathmats. Those rubber-backed ones always gets smelly and mildewy eventually (even if you don’t have cats peeing on them!) and they don’t do very well in the washer. I like your idea for using kid art for the quilting. It reminds me of some of the bed sheets that my grandmother still uses – she let my toddler-aged mom and her brothers decorate them with markers! :)

  3. sandra says:

    This is great – just what I needed (since I always use ordinary bath towels to put my feet on after taking shower)!
    Embroidery is such cute addition!

  4. Dawn says:

    Adorable! I love how you incorporated your child’s artwork into a craft project! Fun idea!

  5. Myrnie says:

    LOVE it! Ernie is big into drawing “Big Head” people right now- you know, huge heads with big ears and big smiles, then little legs and arms sticking out. Wonder if I could get her to help with a bath mat…? :) This would make a GREAT Christmas present!

  6. jessica says:

    what a great idea.

    p.s. about the shed….the owner of the property does not pay extra tax because the shed is not a permanent fixture, it is movable.

  7. What a super cute idea! I was wondering just the other day what I was going to do with the massive quantity of kids towels my daughter has outgrown!

  8. Awesome tutorial, I will be doing this soon!!! Love the artist idea. Thanks!!

  9. tamara says:

    This is so fun Simone! I love it.

  10. Barbie says:

    Could you use the material you use on the bottoms of children’s pj’s to make it slip resistant?

  11. margaret says:

    this is very doable. since I have some pretty towels that h ave seen better days. Im working on this project right now and will use it tomorow. thanks

  12. grannyglenna says:

    To Aunt Lolo, if you have ever done any canning, you must know what jar rubber seals are. If you want to make it really slip proof, hand stitch 4 of those rubber seals on the back side. it wont slip on you. Good luck.

  13. Linda says:

    I liked the mate ideal and I am going to make soon. Wish me luck!

  14. Jeannie says:

    Just went shopping for bath mats or a runner or something for the kids bathroom. We have gone through so many…didn’t purchase anything. This is so perfect. I will use beach towels as they have a sea side theme in their bathroom. Thank you for A grand idea.

  15. Harriet says:

    What a great Idea, I am already using old towels on the floor as the back of my bathmats wore out. I am going to do this very soon.

  16. I love your bathmat idea and included it in my blog, here (http://handmadebyclairebear.com/2012/06/19/for-me-one-bathmat/.

  17. Deepika says:

    This is very nice. I will try this.

  18. Shirley Woods says:

    I am so done with bath mats and their rubber shredding. I need to do this and might just try using the canning rings to make it non slip.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>