continuous hand towel

July 19th, 2010

I was sick of the stupid bathroom towel always ending up on the floor. So I whipped up this bad boy in the spirit of those awesome old fashioned public bathroom continuous towel thing-a-ma-jigs (which I can seem to find on the internet; have they ceased to exist?).  All it took was a little patchwork bias tape to cover the raw edges and velcro to join the ends.  You could use buttons or snaps, but I could not because my monkey of a son would then use it as his personal bathroom swing.

The towel fabric is a waffle weave muslin that I found when I was looking for fabric for the kids’ summer towels or summer robes. I only bought a quarter of a yard so I could see if it would soften when I washed it. And it did, nicely too. Then I went to get some more, only this time I went to Joann’s instead of the fancy fabric shop, and when I washed the three yards of it I got, it came out super thick and shrunk up (see above).  Does Joann’s just carry inferior everything, or did I wash it wrong? Has anyone worked with waffle weave muslin before and have some insight?  Because I really like how the bathroom towel turned out and had visions of making kitchen towels for everyone for christmas out of this stuff

Wouldn’t it be great in the kitchen? I suppose linen or terry cloth would work just as well.  I’m going to have to use the shrunk up stuff to make the kids’ robes; I just hope they don’t make them look like little sumo wrestlers.

Posted in sewing.

32 Responses to continuous hand towel

  1. Jennie says:

    Brillant! The hand towel in my children’s bathroom is always on the floor. I need to make one of these.

  2. Kelly says:

    This is so great! Now I have another project to add to my list.
    And yes. I do think Joann’s has inferior everything. At least in regard to fabric. (the only thing I can think of that Joann’s sells that I think is pretty awesome is the Lion Brand Fishman’s yarn)

  3. Antoinette says:

    Great idea! I have not used waffle weave fabric, but I have bought waffle weave dish towels at IKEA and Target, and they all shrunk on me in that odd little way. The ones from Target are thicker and deform more when they come out of the dryer. Could be that both sets of dish towels are made from cheapie fabric, though…

  4. AJ says:

    Ha!! That’s awesome! I actually photographed one of those public bathroom things on a recent trip, because it was like a relic to me, I hadn’t seen one in ages. And yes, I am firmly convinced that Joann’s is an evil conspiracy.

  5. karen says:

    Very clever. I have an old x-large waffle weave robe (which definitely makes me look like a sumo wrestler, there is no question about it) which I should cut up and make dish towels out of. I kind of like the texture of the shrunken stuff from JoAnn’s that you have there. It looks super absorbent.

  6. cheryl says:

    I absolutely love this idea. We always are knocking the kitchen hand towels on the floor. This would be a perfect solution!

  7. Ali says:

    I want one of these dearly, but don’t have a space in the kitchen for the mounting rail. Love your bias tape edging treatment.

  8. Becky says:

    Absolutely fantastic idea!

  9. CitricSugar says:

    I think this is a fantastic idea!! You could do it up all fancy for party guests, too. Love it!

    And the phrase “monkey of a son” will live with me forever… :-)

  10. craftytammie says:

    I’ve been meaning to make one of these for my kitchen sink! My husband always takes my hand drying towel to use as a pot holder/stove top spill wiper. grr. Don’t know about the cloth, never tried it, but I did buy similar towels from a dollar store one that shrunk terribly.

  11. Cass Ward says:

    Awesome idea. I’ve got some of that waffle weave fabric I’ve been wondering what to do with and I’ve got hand towels on the bathroom floor all the time, problem solved thanks

  12. eef says:

    great idea! they still have these in europe. i love them!

  13. Caitlin says:

    I love this idea! Of the fabric I’ve purchased at JoAnn’s, it has been low-quality. In general, I steer clear of their fabrics unless I’m making a clothing muslin. They do have some awesome cheap deals that are hard to pass up, tho.

  14. Stephanie says:

    Totally brilliant. It’s 50/50 for me between the floor and soaked in the sink. Sigh.

  15. Dani says:

    Hee, hee. This is a great project. And it made me laugh. Double score.

  16. I so need to do this, my 4 year old has a really hard time keeping the hand towel on the rail and it’s over the toilet so keeps falling down behind or on the toilet, so nasty. It would be handy for the kitchen towel over the oven handle too.
    Not sure why I didn’t think of this as a solution before as the hand towels in the house of one of my best school-friends have been like this as long as I’ve known them. I think they have really thick wooden dowels in some kind of holders mounted to the wall/door (kind of like giant toilet roll holders) that the towels hang on which means you can sew them in the continuous loop and still easily remove them for washing.

  17. Anne Marie says:


    The old fashioned public bathroom continuous towel thing-a-ma-jigs can actually be found in the bathrooms/restrooms in Oslo airport Gardermoen. So someone are still making them.

    Yours looks nice and is a great idea!

  18. Looks amazing! What a great idea. I love that your towel holder is directly in front of your radiator… Cozy towels.

  19. Jenny says:

    *smacks self on head* Now WHY didn’t I think of that?!? I detest those towels with the crocheted handles that you find in some homes around here, but love love those continous towels!! I have some old towels that I can use instead of buying new fabric, the ends are fraying, so I can just cut them and bind the edges! I’ll make one for the kitchen too, for the oven door handle.

    Ditto on the “monkey of a son”. They have no fear of falling and cracking their heads open, do they?

  20. Elisabeth says:

    So brilliant! We have the same problem…I feel like all I do all day is walk around picking things up, again and again and again. Now if you could also invent something that automatically replaces books on shelves and legos in their bins…

  21. Corinne says:

    This is a brilliant idea – bravo!!

  22. claire says:

    what a clever idea – i’m always picking the hand towel up off the bathroom floor.

  23. Amy says:

    I love this idea. My daughter is tall enough to grab the towel and pull it down but not tall enough to put it back. I will definitely have to try this!

  24. dorie says:

    wow, that’s a good idea. it will not fall down and it will not get one grimy spot on the corner!

  25. Holly says:

    Awesome idea! I’d *love* one of these in my kitchen. Could you do a quick tutorial with a better source of material than JoAnns? (Though I love the idea of checking out old robes first).