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Reversible DIY Bath Mat out of (Old) Towels with a Twist

The DIY bath mat is so easy to make using our quick step-by-step instructions. Honestly, explaining how to do it takes longer than actually making the towel bath mat! The best part is you can recycle towels that are too good to throw out. Pick colors to coordinate with your bathroom, or go for a bright contrast. If you have an all-white bathroom – try a coral bath mat or one in navy blue. Of course, you can go all white, or try black as a contrast, or even have a pretty patterned bath mat. These are brilliant presents for larger families as there is always a hunt for a dry bath mat. A little luxury at your toe tips never went amiss after a shower.

reversible bath mat diy

This homemade bath mat has to be one of the most practical ideas we have worked on. I love that you can recycle towels to make the bath mat or use brand new toweling fabric – especially if you are making these as gifts. No one is going to toss a gift like this aside. Everyone needs bath mats, and if you have a large family, they need to be cycled through the wash regularly. It is such a luxury to wiggle your super clean toes into a soft bath mat that is fluffy and dry. Our step-by-step instructions show you how easy this is to make – so get cutting and sewing. Within around 30 minutes or less, you’ll have a brand new DIY bath mat that you’re going to love using.

homemade bath mat

Below you will find my step by step written tutorial with VIDEO instructions for all the visual learners.

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How to make a bath mat

diy bath mat finished

Supplies and tools

bath mat supplies

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How to Sew a bath mat

Watch the diy bath mat video first and then follow the written step by step instructions below.
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For the bath mat, you will need:

Bath mat center:

Two pieces from toweling (reuse bath towels) or from toweling fabric 30 x 20 inches (80 x 50 cm)

For the binding on the mat, use a strong cotton fabric

2 strips 31 x 5 inches ( 82 x 13 cm) for the long sides

2 strips 21 x 5 inches (52  x 13 cm) for the short sides

Finished bath mat size: 30 x 20 inches (80 x 50 cm)

You can make it any other size, just see instructions below

bath mat binding size

If you want to make a bath mat in a different size, adjust accordingly, making sure the binding is 1″ (2cm) longer than the towels

bath mat binding size comparison

Please note that the measurements below are given both in inches and in cm but are rounded so it’s easier for everyone. It’s not straight up conversion from inches to cm, but as I tested both, the result will be great no matter whether you are working with imperial or with metric measurements


bath mat mark joints

Place one short side strip over one long side strip with the right sides facing each other and pin along the 5-inch (13cm) edge on the left.

Do the same with the other short and long strips.

Step 2:

Sew ½ inch (1 cm) in from the edge, back tacking at the start and finish for both strips.

Step 3:

bath mat pinned binding-edges

Open the strips out and place one down on the worktop, right side up. Then place the other piece on top, so the right sides face each other. It is essential that the short and long sides alternate – so that when they are all sewn together, you don’t have two long sides or two short sides next to each other. Pin the ends in place.

Step 4:

Stitch down both ends ½ inch (1cm) from the edge to create a fabric loop.

Step 5:

bath mat diagonal lines

Lay the joined fabric flat and measure 2 ½ inches (6.5cm) up from the edge – this should be the mid-point of the 5-inch (13cm) border. Measure 1/8″ (3mm) up from this point, inside the seam (point A). Then measure 2 inches (5cm) from the midpoint along the seam of the fabric on either side, then mark 2 inches (5cm) from these marks along to the length of the fabric – these will be points B and C. Join A and B, then join A and C. Mark these diagonal lines with an erasable fabric marker.

Repeat for all four point where the fabric is joined.

Step 6:

Stitch along the diagonal lines, making sure not to go right to the edge – leave that ½ inch (1cm) free for creating the seam allowance. Back tack at start and finish at the widest part of the point. To get the point neat, lift the presser foot and swing the fabric with the needle still in the material to get a sharp point, then depress the foot and carry on sewing.

Repeat for all four points.

Step 7:

bath mat cutting binding corners

Trim off the extra fabric from the point, cutting ¼ inch (5mm) from the stitch line on all four corners.

Step 8:

bath mat pressing binding

Press the seam allowance on all four sides ½ inch (1cm) in from the edge, on the wrong side of the fabric, folding over the edges, so the right side is uppermost on the ½ inch seam allowance. Do this on one side of the material only because the other side is going to be stitched in place.

Step 9:


bath-mat stitch all around towels

Pin the two towel pieces together with the right sides outwards, and stitch ½ an inch (1cm) in from the edge all around the two pieces. Lift the presser foot at the corners, swinging the fabric with the needle still in the material, then depress the foot to carry on sewing. This will give you four neat 90-degree corners.

Step 10:

bath mat corners

Measure 2 inches (5 cm) towards the center from each corner and make a mark using an erasable fabric pen. An easy way to mark accurately is to use a long ruler from corner to diagonal corner, mark off the 2 inches (5cm) from each corner, and then do the same on the other diagonal.

Step 11: Pin binding

bath mat pinning binding

Pin the side that doesn’t have the seam allowance pressed down to the towel. Work from the long sides first and ease in the fabric to pin it around all four sides of the towel, about 1.5 inches (4m) in from the edge. It is placed in a bit from the border to give a better thickness to the edging.

Step 12: Stitch binding to the towels

bath mat pinned binding

Stitch around all four sides, but not over the pointed pieces, back tacking at the start and finish, one side at a time.

Step 13: Make the corners

bath mat flipping corner

Flip out the corners and tuck them over the corners of the bathmat. Use a knitting needle to poke out the corners, so they lie flat. Flip out the homemade bath mat

bath mat flip over

Step 14: Topstitch the bath mat

topstitch the bath mat

Pin all around the edge, ensuring that the pressed edge lies flat and that the border fabric is the same width around the edge. Finish with a top-stitch ¼ inch (5mm) from the edge all around the bathmat. Lift the presser foot at the corners with the needle left in the fabric, swing the material 90 degrees and then depress the foot and carry on sewing to ensure neat corners.

Step 15: Press

Give the bathmat a final press around the fabric binding. Don’t press the towel fabric as you don’t want to flatten the pile, then you are ready to put it to use in the bathroom.

homemade bath mat corner

Having a few of these easy-to-make towel bath mats is worthwhile if you have a big family, so no one has to get out of the shower or bath onto a soggy bath mat. They are light enough to toss in the washer, unlike some commercial bath mats that seem to take up a lot of washer space and take ages to dry. If you enjoyed this tutorial, then please share it with friends so they can also experience the soft toe-wiggling luxury of a DIY bath mat. For more clever DIY sewing projects, please hit the subscribe button to have the best ideas delivered straight to your inbox.

how to make a bath mat

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diy bath mat in front of door

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Other uses of towels:

Kids Bath towel with hood – kids just love it

Tie it up and dry it up – hair towel wrap

Super practical Soap saver pouch

Stay put kitchen towels

Reusable mop pad – ditch those single use plastic pads

Reusable unpaper towels sooo much more absorbent than the paper ones

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 8 comments
Mary - May 28, 2022

This mat needs some sort of nonslip backing. Just towels (or other terry cloth) is too slippery to use on a bathroom floor.

    Helen - May 30, 2022

    You can add some kind of non-slip backing even after the mat is finished. Off the top of my head – some puff paint dots, rubber shelf liner or non-slip carpet pad similar to the ones I used for my jar openers here will do the job

Jayne @ Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs - May 29, 2022

What a fab project and a great way to give old towels a new lease of life. x #MMBC

Patty McGill - May 29, 2022

Thanks so very, very much for the instructions on how to make a Bath Matt from towels. Can’t wait to make one or several …………….hee, hee!

Really appreciate your giving us the instructions. Thanks!! patty

Julie - July 30, 2022

A great idea, thanks for sharing at Handmade Monday, this will be a feature this coming week.

Stephanie 139a - August 2, 2022

That looks great, and a great project for upcycling. It’s made me realise towels could be used on the back of rag rugs for extra absorbency, off to work out how! Thanks for sharing with #PoCoLo

Ruth - August 6, 2022

I love this idea! It’s a fantastic way to repurpose an old towel and it looks great too.

chickenruby - August 14, 2022

I usually recycle old towels for cleaning rags, but could give this a go where there is only a small bit of damage that could be removed.
Thanks for linking with #pocolo, sorry for the delay with commenting


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