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Bibs From Used Towels

Use towels and some scrap fabric to make cute bibs.

There are loads of videos on how to sew corners, binding, etc. online, so be sure to check them out if you get stuck or prefer a different method.

If you use iron-ons or anything like that, please secure it so it won't come off.

Materials Needed

A towel, either a hand towel or bigger. The towel can be worn, but do not use thread bare or holey ones

Paper for tracing. (I use newspaper)

Sharp scissors

Rotary Cutter (optional, but is a great thing to have!)

Ruler, or a square grid ruler... thingy

Circular object for tracing. I used my 7in embroidery hoop

Sewing machine

Water soluble glue. (Elmer's non toxic glue would work)


Ironing board

Thread, matching to your scrap fabric, or contrasting- your choice. I used what I had

Scrap fabric. You need enough to make a 4–5 foot by 2 inch strip.

Making the Pattern

You will need:

Newspaper (or whatever paper you're using),

Writing utensil,



Measure a rectangle that is 4 inches by 8 inches on the center fold of the newspaper.

Cut it out.

Creating the Curves:

Lower Curve:

Use the circular object, and place it at the bottom of the rectangle. The center fold is on the left side.

The circle is placed at the corner of the center fold and then to the edge of the right side of the rectangle. This will vary depending on the size of your circle.

Once you lined up the circle how you like it, trace it.

Neck Curve:

On the center fold side (left in pictures), mark 2 inches down from the top.

On the outer side (right side in pictures), mark 3/4 of an inch from the right.

Line up the circle shape to match up with the marks you have made. Trace this curve.

Once you have drawn the two curves, cut them off.

Cut the Towel

Find a nice clean section of the towel that will fit the pattern.

You can open the pattern you made so it is the whole bib and trace that, or you can fold the towel, as I did and trace 1/2 of the pattern.

Fold the towel in half where you want to place the bib.

Place the center fold of the pattern on top of the center fold of the towel. Trace and cut it out.

Create the Binding

Iron out the wrinkles and folds of you scrap fabric.

Measure and cut two inch wide strips of the fabric. Create enough so that you will have at least a four foot long strip at the end of this step.

For Wonky Ends:

Take two strip ends and line line them up so that they overlap well. (about 4–5 inches).

Using the 45 degree angle line on your grid ruler, line up the bottom of the over lapping strips with this line.

Cut the ends of the strip. In my pictures, i cut the overlapping strips on the right side.

When you separate the two peices you will see that they will line up when placed next to each other.

To sew the strips together:

Place the ends so that the right sides are together and the top strip end is lined up with the end of the bottom end. Then you will adjust the ends so that there is a tail on either side of the end.

Sew with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Iron the seam flat.

Fold the binding lengthwise, so you will keep the same length (keep it skinny!) Iron to create a nice center crease.

Open up the binding.

Lay the binding in front of you so that it goes from left to right.

Starting at one end, fold up the outer edge of the binding to the center crease you created. Iron this to create a nice quarter crease.

Do this all the way down the strip

Now flip the binding over and do the same to the other side.

Now you will have a long 1 inch long strip.

Take your glue and LIGHTLY glue the sides down. Just use enough the hold them down.

Wait until dry to continue.

If the binding is stiff, bend and manipulate the binding to loosen it up. You will be sewing this so do not put too much glue on!

Attach the Neck Binding

Lay the binding with the right side down (The wrong side of the binding is the side where the raw sides were glued down).

Place the edge of the neck part of the bib on top of the binding so that they edge of the bib lines up with the center of the binding. Start this about 1 inch from the edge of the binding.

Start gluing the bib to the binding. Use as little glue as possible!

Go in short sections. Create small folds (going the same way) if needed.

The side of the bib we just glued to will be called the "FRONT SIDE" of the bib.

Flip the bib over so the 'back side' of the bib is now on top.

Starting at the center, fold over the binding to the back side of the bib. Glue down the binding to the bib. Do not pull or stretch the binding or it will get at wonky and uneven.

Slowly glue the binding down going from the center.

Once done and the glue is dry, cut the left over binding off about 1 inch from the edge of the bib.

Outer Edge Binding

Fold the bib and binding in half to find the centers. Use a pin to mark the center of the bottom of the bib and the center of the binding.

Place the binding right side down. Put the bottom of the bib on top of the binding, matching up the centers you pinned. The side of the bib that is facing you will be called the "Back side" of the bib.

Starting at the center, glue the bib to the top half of the binding. Stop when you get to the curves of the bib.

Flip the bib over to have the front side of the bib facing you.

When doing the curves, you will need to create folds in the binding. go slow and keep the outer edge of the binding even as possible.

Keep the center of the binding in line with the edge of the bib.

Glue up the sides to the edge where the outer part and neck meet. Let glue dry.

Flip the bib over so the back side of the bib is facing up.

Starting at the center bottom of the bib, fold over the binding and glue into place, as you did with the neck. Glue all the way around.

Tucking in the neck binding:

Place a small amount of glue at the end of the neck binding and place the end into the fold of the outer binding. There should be no gaps between the bib and the binding.

Do this to both sides.

Allow the glue to dry before continuing.

Sew on the Binding

Iron the binding that will become the strings to be used to tie on the bib in half.

On the Sewing Machine:

Find a stitch that you like. My sewing machine comes with a few decorative stitches that would firmly hold the binding to the bib. I chose a stitch and experimented with it on a scrap piece of cloth to get my settings the way I like. My grandma calls it the blanket stitch.

Start sewing:

You want to start on one end of the binding string of the bib to sew it shut. Based on my stitch, I placed my string at the proper position. Start sewing until you reach the bib.

You will want to sew the outer binding to the bib first. Go all the way around the binding and up to the other side of the binding string. Go all the way to the end of the string.

Neck Binding:

Start right at the point that is created by the outer and neck binding. Back stitch to insure a good hold. Stitch all along the neck binding and lock the stitch at the end of the other corner of the outer/neck intersection.

Cut away all loose and hanging threads.

Finish the strings:

It's a good idea to keep the strings as long as possible to insure a nice sized tie around the neck.

I measured 12 inches because I had the length to do this on both sides.

Mark those measurements.

I changed my sewing machine setting to a tight zig zag stitch and stitched across the stings at the marks.

Then I cut above the stitches to end my strings (the side that didn't lead to the bib)

If you prefer another method to end the strings, go ahead and use it. I just like this way.

Check for any more loose or hanging threads and cut them away.

Wash the bib! After washing, see how the bib is holding up (it also gets rid of the glue). Cut any loose/hanging threads. If needed, re sew sections.

All Done!

There ya go- a durable, custom bib!

Remember, if you add any embellishments to the bib, remember to secure it down. Clear/transparent thread works great.


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