Colorful Retro Christmas Dishtowels

I am officially declaring this Christmas Kitchen Week. You didn’t know we were going to do that did you? Me either.

But the stars have aligned and by complete accident – (or I’m subconsciously a much better planner than I thought) I have some fun items this week to give your kitchen Christmas style with a retro flair.

Actually, we started (accidentally again) last Friday with the Crush of the Week. Jen from Rook 17 has some fantastic recipes for you to check out for your Christmas baking and gift giving.

Today, to go along with edible yummies – I have a couple visual yummies – in the form of these two super cute dishtowels!!

They are decorated with fun retro fabrics and ruffles and ric rac. I just love them!
I think they would be great for hostess gifts, or to take to a teacher or neighbor with a plate of cookies!

Ready to make a set? Here’s what you’ll need.

  • Waffle weave fabric: 17″ X 28″ for each dishtowel (or you can use a purchased dishtowel)
  • Fabric for ruffles and applique:
    For each ruffle you need a rectangle 4″ x 36″
    Small pieces of each fabric for the ornaments and tree .
    Small pieces of black fabric for the ornament toppers, the tree trunk and the presents.
  • Variety of Ric Rac
  • Patterns – Click Here to Download

Begin by cutting out all your fabric pieces.

For each ruffle, hem the two short sides and one long side. On the other long side, sew a ruffle stitch.

Hem three sides of your dishtowel fabric as well, leaving one short side unhemmed.

Pin the bottom ruffle to the unhemmed side of your dishtowel, right sides together. Sew the ruffle in place and press down.

Pin the second ruffle one inch above the seam of the first ruffle. Right sides should be together and the raw edge should be pointing to the bottom. Sew this ruffle on and press down.

Repeat for the third ruffle.

Let’s do the ornament applique first. :)

Lay out your ornament pieces where you want them. You can use heat-n-bond or something similar to iron them on, or you can just pin them on and sew. Whatever you are more comfortable with.

Sew the ornament pieces on.

Sew strips of ric rac from the top of the dishtowel to each ornament. (You can use ribbon too if you want – though it’s not near as squiggly. :)
Make sure with each piece of ric rac that you very slightly burn the edges so they don’t fray.

 Sew on your ornament toppers next.

Finish off this one with cute ric rac bows at the top of each ornament.

For the Christmas Tree towel, you will do the same thing. After you sew on the ruffles, sew on your applique pieces.

Fray check all your raw edges so the appliques don’t fray when you wash them. If you don’t like the raw edges, there are a couple things you can do. You can sew all the pieces on with a satin stitch ( a very tight zigzag stitch that covers all the raw edges). Or you can add a seam allowance to the pieces and cut out two of everything. Sew the pieces together and turn right side out, then sew them on.

Add in ric rac embellishments and bows on the packages, and a bow at the top of the tree.

Sit back and admire your Christmas Ric Rac Ruffliness.

These appliques would also look great on onesies or t-shirts! Feel free to go crazy with them!  (And send me pictures of course. :)

I’d love to hear what you think!


  • Reply October 24, 2013


    These are so cute, going to make them for my daughter in laws for Christmas. Thanks for sharing them.

  • Reply October 24, 2013


    I love these dish towels! They are adorable! A perfect hostess gift to make for Christmas time. Quick question — How do you make the ruffle binding look so finished? When I make a ruffle, both long ends are undone and tattered looking.

  • Reply November 5, 2013

    Joyce Wittschen

    Where do you find the waffle weave fabric? I shope at Jo anne’s and it’s not avaulable, I also asked abou flour sackand they ddon’t carry it either. Thank you. Also I love these. ♥

  • Reply November 6, 2013


    Too Cute!! Plan to give as hostess gift for our annual Sunday School Christmas party. I’ve been looking & looking for something to make and these are Purrrr-fect. Thx much

  • Reply November 16, 2013


    So cute, I’ve been looking for project ideas…thank you.

  • Reply November 25, 2013


    Very cute will make nice gifts. I also like your scripture at the end of your page…thanks for sharing your ideas.

  • Reply July 15, 2014


    Thank you for this very cute and ingenious pattern. I needed something different to make friends for Christmas and this is perfect.

  • Reply February 13, 2015

    Nancy Dabat

    So cute thanks for the fabulous idea. Great for gifts.

  • Reply July 24, 2015

    Idarean Devers

    Your idea for Christmas is neat going take this to my class. Question do u have ideas for other holiday. Like this one.

  • Reply August 23, 2015


    Estoy iniciandome en hacer lencería para mi hogar y encontré este blog que me parece muy útil

  • Reply September 2, 2015


    Here’s another possibility for making the appliques for those of us who don’t want unfinished edges– cut one piece of decorative fabric & another of interfacing. Place the fabric right sides together (the face of the printed fabric will be facing the interfacing, not facing out). Stitch together at the edges all the way around. From the interfacing side carefully cut a slit in the interfacing and use that to turn the applique inside out. Now the finished face of the printed fabric is facing out. Press something like a chop stick inside to open the seam out to the edge. Press flat with an iron. Now sew around the edge to attach to the towel with the printed side out. So easy. Used this to make appliques for my daughter’s clothes when she was little…many years ago when appliques weren’t retro. ;-)

  • Reply October 21, 2015

    vickie ray

    I really enjoy your ideas so cute I

  • Reply November 15, 2015


    What is a ruffle stitch?

  • Reply November 19, 2015


    This is a wonderful idea going to make some for my girlfriends!

Leave a Reply