Over the last decade I’ve enjoyed having a matching set of towels for our bathroom. That said, we’ve recently replaced our towels with a set that doesn’t include a bath mat and I didn’t realize until then just how much I wanted my bathroom to continue to match. I came up with this idea to turn an extra towel into two bath mats and thus returned my bathroom back to it’s awesome cohesiveness! This is how I did it in case you’re interested too.
Back when Matt and I were planning our wedding we added matching purple bath towels, hand towels, washcloths, and floor mats to our wedding registry through Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Looking back I’m so glad we did as I loved having the entire bathroom match. I especially adored, over the years, the fact that I could fold them into two sets each containing a bath mat, two bath towels, and two hand towels. Whenever we needed to launder the one set I switched to the other one and thus they were evenly used over the years. This meant our ensuite or main bathroom, depending where we lived, had a matching set always in use. Our other bathroom also had a purple hand towel and I justified it’s need for a bath mat by attempting to Tunisian crochet one.
I knew over several months that we should replace our towels but wasn’t sure who to go with. Finally I went down the home goods section at my local Costco as I knew I’d rather shop in person for towels then online. One particular design caught my eye but I didn’t want bath towels that didn’t match my hand towels… then I noticed they came in both and decided to splurge on them. I ended up buying four indidivual bath towels (online they seem to come in a two-pack) and a pack of four hand towels and four washcloths (I thought this was in two packs but online this would be only one). At the time I was disappointed that they didn’t have a bath mat that matched but still bought them and brought them home as I liked how they looked. After prewashing them we started using it and loved them but I then realized just how much I loved having two separate sets that included everything and I really missed the cohesion within our bathroom.
I knew I needed a better matching bath mat and considered briefly bringing one of the washcloths into stores with me so I could match colors but I never really got around to doing it before going back to Costco again for groceries. While there I went down the home goods aisle again and noticed most of the towels picked over but they still had a couple blue ones left. I decided then and there to experiment by creating my own bath mat and quickly grabbed another towel as it was only $10 and I knew that if I didn’t buy one now I didn’t know if I would ever be able to again as things always seem to move quickly there. I then set it aside for weeks before decided I really needed to just do it.
With the bath towels so large I had realized I could simple cut the one I bought in half and have two bath mats from that single towel. This meant I would be back to my two sets and be at ease once again.
Single Bath Towel to Two Bath Mats
I knew my serger would make this really simple as I could easily cut the towel in half while simultaneously serging the one half so it wouldn’t unravel. Once done I could then grab the other half and serge it, without trimming, to finish off it’s cut side too. I didn’t want a large and obvious stitch showing so I decided to use a three-threaded rolled hem so it would be tighter and not as visible. This is similar to how I did my simple napkins years ago.
With my plan decided I next realized that my biggest issue with this would be making sure, while serging along, that my serger blade lined up perfectly with the center point so I wouldn’t end up with any weird zig zags or anything once done. I decided I’d fold my towel in half with the short ends together and use some tailor’s chalk to mark that center line. This didn’t work at all as none of the chalk transferred to the towel. I then considered switching to a rolling chalk pen or even a disappearing ink pen but I worried the marks wouldn’t disappear completely. Instead, I grabbed my purple tomato filled with sewing pins and carefully inserted them, along the center line at the fold, all the way across the bath towel.
Once the center line was marked I brought the towel, and purple tomato, over to my serger. I wanted to use white serger thread to better match the towel so after confirming that I had three spools already loaded up I next confirmed that the rolled hem stitch was properly set. With that all done I started serging carefully down the center of my towel making sure that the blade lined up with my sewing pins and that they were removed before coming too close for comfort.
Once I serged the whole way across I was left with one finished bath mat and I only needed to serge along the other half to finish it too. Before starting, however, I examined the stitch on the first half and noticed it was wider than I thought it would be as the towel was thicker than the woven fabrics I had previously used this stitch one. I decided to flip the other half around so it was reversed from before making the whiter side the side with the wider stitch and the bluer side the smaller stitched side. Thus both of my bath mats look slightly different if their finished edge were examined and contrasted with each other.
And with that I had two new bath mats that perfectly matched my new towels! All I needed to do was trim the excess threads off either end of their newly finished edge.
Finished Bath Mats
At this point I still hadn’t removed the tag from the towel yet so I had two newly made bath mats with one still sporting it’s tag and looking a tad more professional than the other. I absolutely adored how simple this was to do!
I love the immediate effect the bath towel had when added to the bathroom with the rest of it’s set.
If I didn’t have a serger I could have, instead, used my scissors to cut the towel in half, thus skipping the sewing pins, and then use a zigzag stitch on my sewing machine to finish the edges.
Overall I’m happy with how my bath mats look and am going to leave them alone. That said, I could always go over the edges again if I want to change up how the edge appear. For instance I could going over it again with either my sewing machine or serger so the white edge is more obvious.
If I were to do this again with a new towel I could see playing with the edge more. If the towel was thinner, for instance, I could see using a decorative stitch that matched the theme. Or I could play with the thread color whether it was to better match the bath mat colors, my other towels, or the bathroom itself. Or even a variegated or metallic thread could be fun. I could see my kids loving that!
I hope you’re having a great day and this post helps you out. If you end up turning a bath towel into two bath mats or, especially, if you use this to inspire you to do something else I’d love to hear about it in the comments below so do please share. I hope you’re having a great day.
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