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pleated projects week: pleated dish towel

    One of the best things about creating is turning humble, everyday items into something gift-worthy.


    Take this dish towel, for instance. It started as a very inexpensive and readily available flour sack towel and just by adding a row of pleats to the bottom, it becomes this understated feminine dish towel.

    Here’s what you need to make one for yourself {or your mom, or a friend}:


    :: two flour sack kitchen towels {I bought a 4-pack at target for about $5}
    :: scissors
    :: pins
    :: sewing machine {not shown}

    You will need two towels – one as your base and the second to create your pleats with.

    Begin by cutting of the selvedge of the towel you’ll use for the pleats.  Then cut three strips {approximately 4 inches x the width of the towel}.


    Sew the three pieces into one long strip by stitching the ends right sides together. Fold the long strip in half width-wise and iron to hold crease.


    Finish one edge of the strip by turning the fold inside out to sew right sides together.  Turn right side out to begin creating the pleats.


    Beginning at one end {with the finished edge} begin hand pleating and pin into place along the bottom edge of the towel {leaving about a quarter inch overlap}.


    To finish the end of the pleats, mark where you need to end, turn the fold inside out, sew right sides together and trim the end {as above}.


    Sew pleats to towel along the top, back stitching at the beginning and end.


    When you are finished, the result is this dainty pleated towel.



    One more great thing about this project: you can do this to much more than a dishtowel. Try adding the pleated trim to the bottom of a skirt, to the edge of tablecloth or along the perimeter of a baby blanket. Just follow the steps as shown above and let your creativity inspire many new pleated projects.

    Don’t forget … tomorrow is the link party to showcase your favorite pleated project.

    18 thoughts on “pleated projects week: pleated dish towel”

    1. Hi! I am VERY late to this party. However, I have the same question and can NOT picture how you finished the top raw edge of the pleats on the back of the towel. Is it possible for you to take a pic of what you meant or could you clarify the answer. Sorry for the silly question but I am a visual learner. BTW , I love the delicate and elegant way this towel looks in your photo!! :) Thank you!!

    2. I just bought my flour sacks and can’t wait to start on this cute project! I’m wondering the same as Carolyn W. Did you do anything to finish off the cut edge of the pleats on the back of the towel, or just leave them raw? Thanks. :) And thanks for the adorable idea!!

    3. I pinned this when you posted it, and finally got around to making it today. It’s adorable! I love seeing the little pleats hanging in my kitchen. :) One question: did you do anything to finish off the cut edge of the pleats on the back of the towel, or just leave them? Thanks for this lovely idea!!

    4. OH my! After spending so much time on your blog this morning I just couldn’t help but comment finally. You see your week of pleats left me giddy… yes giddy! They are so sweet, and so feminine, and well they remind me of my childhood. Yes, my mom loved pleats and ruffles (however i did NOT but now i do!)… She still does! my house is pleatless and ruffleless… can you say 3 boys?! :)

      so thank you so very much! for sharing!! now i must go and actually start following your blog. :) Have a wonderful day!

    5. Absolutely love this! I have always been a flour sack towel using gal but never display them. Now I can liberate a couple from the depths of the drawer and let them show off a bit. Thanks for the inspiration!

    6. How did you finish the raw edges at the end? The instructions weren’t clear. Did you fold the towel over the raw edges to enclose them?

      1. sorry … I tried to explain it. I just made a seam in the edge of the pleated strip by folding it right sides together, stitching the end closed and then turning back right sides out.

    7. This is the best week ever! I LOVE each and every ruffle idea and project! Today’s towel might be my favorite….though I really don’t know because I love all the rest too :) Can’t wait to try them ALL!

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