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Crochet New Life Into A Ratty Old Towel!

Updated on February 9, 2015
SheilaSchnauzies profile image

SheilaSchnauzies is a Miniature Schnauzer rescuer, writer, crochet designer, gardener, crafter, wife, mom & friend living in Omaha, NE.

Wait! Don't Toss That Towel!

I know I have several of them lurking in the back of my linen closet - I bet you do, too! Those beloved favorite towels with hems long gone, maybe even a tear here and there, or a corner torn off. The usual plan is to tear such a towel into cleaning rags, which is perfectly fine, of course. But if you have that special towel that you just can't bear to see in the rag pile, there IS hope for it! Just pick up some size 10 crochet thread in a color that coordinates, and get busy!

I'll give you the basic instructions for repairing and adding a pretty crochet edging to a towel, but your creativity is the limit! You could end up with something far prettier than it was brand new!

What You'll Need...

Crochet hook in your preferred size

Crochet Thread Size 10

An Old Towel

How To Fix Your Towel - It's Easier than you may think!

To crochet this pretty edging, the only stitches you will need to know are single and double crochet! In case you need to brush up, the handy YouTube tutorials can be referenced below.

Attach your thread at the top corner of the long side of the towel. If your towel has a right and wrong side you will want the right side facing you.

Round 1:

SC in towel about 1/4" from edge. *Ch 1, SC in towel again, making your stitches about 1/4" apart. Repeat from * around entire towel. Join with sl st to first stitch.

NOTE: Some towels have a wider hem at the top and bottom ends. They may also be thicker than the sides. It's your choice - you can continue to work 1/4" from the edge, or you can work further into the towel, say 1/2" and just pull up longer stitches.

Round 2:

(I use this on the short ends only but you could certainly do the whole towel). Attach thread to right hand corner of one short end, right side facing. *CH 3, DC in base of ch 3 just made. Ch 3, SC in base of ch 3 just made. CH 3, DC in base of ch 3 just made. Skip one space, SC in next space. Repeat from * across. Fasten off.

I can't tell you how much easier this hook is to use than a normal straight thread hook! I have severe arthritis in my hands and this hook is the only thing that allows me to keep crocheting!

What do YOU Think?

You Can Do New Towels Too, Of Course!

You can use the edging pattern to edge almost anything –new towels, pillowcases, aprons, bedspreads, comforters – anything you want to add a special touch to!

Have you ever done a crochet edging before?

See results

How To Cover Holes

Why not crochet a little object - a flower, a butterfly, whatever you like - or purchase a pretty applique – then applique it onto the towel over the hole. Voila - it never happened!

More Sprucing-Up Tips

As you crochet, you will want to get rid of ratty threads hanging around. If they are very fine, you can always tuck them into your crocheting. If they are larger, you may want to just trim them off with a scissors.

For pieces of bias tape torn loose, you may want to tack them in place with heavy duty sewing thread before crocheting.

Learn to Crochet on YouTube!

Another Use For Old Towels!

Your local furry friends at the animal shelter could snuggle up in your old towel on a cool night and would be very grateful! Just bundle up your old towels, blankets, etc. and take them to your town's animal shelter.

Here's One I'm Working On Now

I purchased this pretty embroidered towel at a craft show. I'm going to remove the holly red dots so it won't be Christmas, just roses. Then I'm adding some red edging.

Please Say Hello!

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    • SheilaSchnauzies profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Omaha, NE

      @Deadicated LM: thank you so much!

    • profile image

      Deadicated LM 

      6 years ago

      Great ideas, you are very talented.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Let's save those towels and give them new life even prettier than new! This reminds me of the sewing baskets so many ladies had while I was growing up and it's a good practice for us to return to for sure!

    • MelonyVaughan profile image


      6 years ago

      Great project!

    • Mistl profile image


      6 years ago

      These are some great ideas. I love the thought of fixing rather than throwing away.


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