Decorate your plain bathroom towels to dress up your bathroom. In addition to creating customized, one-of-a-kind decorator towels, you can save a good deal of money by making them yourself.
Attach an Applique
Browse the aisles of your favorite craft store to see if a pre-made applique catches your eye. You can sew it onto your towel with a simple hand- or machine-stitch around the applique's edge.
To customize your applique, make your own from fabric that coordinates with your bathroom decor. Iron a piece of fusible webbing to the backside of your fabric; then cut out the design you want to transfer. Iron it onto the towel following the instructions provided with the webbing. Make the applique permanent by stitching around its edges by hand or machine. A zig-zag or blanket stitch hides the fabric's raw edges.
Make It Monogrammed
Monogrammed towels add a personal touch to the bathroom. Monogram your towels by hand or machine, but remember some simple guidelines while doing so. Make a bath towel monogram large; 3 to 4 inches is standard, but don't be afraid to go larger. Place the monogram 4 inches above the hem, unless the towel has a decorative band. If so, place the monogram 2 inches above the band.
You can hand-embroider monograms, but the standard satin stitch takes some time because the stitches have to be very close together. A large chain stitch -- or rows of chain stitching -- go faster.
Machine embroidery is the fastest way to make a monogram. If you have an embroidery machine, you probably already have monogramming software programmed into your machine. If not, check with your embroidery supply store to find a program for your machine. The biggest challenge for machine embroidery is getting the placement right. Use a straight pin or small sticker to mark the placement on the towel before hooping. Align the machine's needle to the desired stitching area. Be sure to remove the pin or sticker before you begin to embroider.
Whether monogramming by hand or machine, use a piece of tear-away stabilizer on the back of the towel and a piece of water-soluble stabilizer on the front of the towel. When you embroider over the water-soluble stabilizer, the stitches will lie on top of the stabilizer and won't get lost or compressed among the terry-cloth loops.
Iron fusible webbing to the back of fabric and cut your initial from a template. Iron it onto the towel, following the instructions included with the fusible webbing. Stitch around the edges by hand- or machine-sewing. You can even make your own template by finding a font you like online and printing your initial to use as a pattern.
Decorate your bathroom towels by adding some decorative stitching or trim to the edges. Hand-stitch around the edges with a blanket or chain stitch. Sew a premade trim like bias tape around the edges of the towel.
For a fancy look, add ball fringe, tassel fringe or a braid around one of the ends of the towel. For a cute look, add rickrack. For a more romantic look, sew rows of lace or ruffles above the edge of the towel.
Be an Artist
Fabric paint may help you create a look you like on your bathroom towels. Painting the band or low-pile stripe that is on some towels is easier than painting fluffy terry cloth, but it can be done. For a fun towel in a kids' bathroom, let children cover their hands in fabric paint, then press it onto the towel. You can also use a stencil to paint your initial or a motivational phrase.
Open to Change
Create towels that you can change when you want a new look. Instead of sewing on pre-made appliques, simply pin them onto the towel. Add bows or purchased ribbon flowers in the same manner.
Hot-glue a small rare earth magnet to the back of the applique; then "attach" it to the towel with another magnet place on the backside of the towel.
Tying ribbon or twine around your folded towel is another simple way to dress up your towels. Change the ties to match seasons, holidays or your decorating whim.