How to make baby towels and washcloths

How to make baby towels and washcloths

If you are tired of paying a lot of money for rough, thin baby towels and wash clothes or if you just want to make something special for the little one in your life then you have found the right article! Making a soft, absorbent hooded baby towel and matching wash clothes is an easy project that turns out beautifully!

You will need:

Approx 3 yards of 100% cotton flannel or very soft lightweight knit or woven terry

Fleece Binding (to coordinate with fabric)

Fabric tips:

Flannel makes absolutely wonderful baby towels! It is extremely soft, super absorbent, and remains that way wash after wash. It is also fairly inexpensive and comes in a wonderful array of prints and solid colors.
Terry also makes great baby towels, however, it is important to make sure the terry is 100% cotton (especially if you are using a knit terry) and very soft. For this pattern, lightweight terry is best.
Wash all your fabrics before cutting and sewing to pre-shrink them!


Cut 2, 1 yard (36 inches) pieces of fabric. If your fabric is a standard 45 inches you will now have an approximately 45 x 36-inch rectangle. Lay your two pieces of fabric wrong sides together (so that the print/right side is facing out). Trim the pieces so that all edges are straight and they are the same size. These will now be referred to as the body pieces of the towel. Using a remnant of your leftover fabric, place it behind the body of the towel and cut the edges even.

Remove the remnant and cut it into a triangle for the hood of the towel. The triangle should have one long edge (this will be the opening that fits over the baby’s head) and two shorter even edges (these two edges form the corner and should be the same size as the corner of the body piece). Cut a second hood piece the same size as the first. Finish the long edge of the hood by binding them with fleece binding. To do this, place the two hood pieces right sides together. Open out the fleece binding and cut off a section 2-3 inches longer than the long edge of the hood. Open out the fleece binding, place the edge of the hood centered in the binding and fold the binding closed. Sew the binding to the hood with a straight stitch being sure to catch both sides of the binding (front and back).

*Optional- if you would like to put a pre-made applique on the hood, do so now! Place the hood in position on the body of the towel and pin in place (raw edges of the corner of the hood should be even with the raw edges of the corner on the body). Using the remainder of the fleece binding, bind the edges of the towel, in the same manner, you bound the edge of the hood. Pay close attention to the multiple layers of the hood & body of the towel to ensure that all layers are bound securely within the fleece binding.

To make a matching wash cloth cut two 12×12 inch pieces of fabric. Place the fabric wrong sides together and bind the edges with fleece binding!
The towel and wash clothes can also be made by turning and topstitching instead of binding. To do so, cut all the pieces the same as mentioned above. To finish the long edge of the hood place hood pieces right sides together and sew along long edge. Clip seam cloth to stitching and fold right sides out. Press seam, and topstitch close to the finished edge.

Place one body layer of the towel right side up on a large smooth surface. Pin the corner edges of the hood even with one corner edge of the body of the towel. Place the remaining body piece of the towel wrong side up so that the right sides of the towel are together with the hood sandwiched between. Pin securely, and then sew around the edges leaving an opening for turning. Clip the corners so that they will form crisp points, and then turn the towel right side out. Push out corners, then topstitch around close to the finished edge of the towel being sure to stitch the opening closed. The same turn and topstitch method can be used for making the wash clothes as well!

Fun Options:

  • Use two different coordinating fabrics for the front and back of the towel. Cut the hood out of the fabric that contrasts with the side it will be placed on!
  • Have the hood of the towel custom embroidered with a cute baby design, or the name of the baby it will be given too!

-Use a laced binding, or lace tucked into a turned and topstitched seam for a little girl’s towel.

-Combine fabrics: terry on one side, flannel on the other

-Make a bigger kid version! Enlarge the proportions and make a towel for your toddler or school-age towel. Or even Mom & Dad!

Leave a Comment