How to Make Bathroom Mats

Updated January 17, 2018

Stepping out of a warm bath or shower onto a soft, fluffy bath mat is one of the simple pleasures in life. Although many bath mats are available at retail in a wide range of styles, they are often expensive. Synthetic carpet mats are colourful, but they repel water. Instead of buying a commercially made bath mat, sew your own from absorbent, cotton terrycloth bath towels, which are inexpensive enough to allow you to make several.

Spread a bath towel on your work surface. Cut off all hems and bands from each end and down each side, leaving only the plain terrycloth fabric. Repeat with the other towel.

Spread the cotton batting on your work surface. Cotton batting is absorbent, and it is less lumpy than other batting types, explains Quilting 101. Place a towel that you have trimmed on top of the batting and mark around its edges with a fabric marking pen. Remove the towel and cut the batting along the outline.

Place one towel on your work surface, arrange the batting on top and place the second towel on top of the batting. This method, which is used in quilting, is sometimes called sandwiching. Align the edges of the three pieces and trim any excess. Cut each corner into a slightly rounded shape. Smooth the layers of fabric and batting to remove wrinkles.

Measure across the unfinished rug with a yardstick. Divide the measurement into equal portions. For example, if the rug is 40 inches across, divide the measurement into 10 equal portions of 4 inches each. Lay the yardstick across the centre of the fabric, and make marks at 4-inch intervals. Repeat the marks along the upper and lower edges across the fabric. Connect the upper, middle and lower marks with the fabric pen using the yard stick to make straight lines. Repeat this process in the opposite direction on the fabric, giving you vertical and horizontal lines, or a grid, on the fabric. This is the guide for quilting the rug. Pin the layers of fabric together along each line of the quilting grid, working from the centre out toward the edges to prevent puckering.

Sew along the grid lines through all layers, beginning at the centre and working toward the outer edges. Quilting holds the layers together through washings and helps guard against uneven shrinkage. Sew around the perimeter of the rug as close to the edge as possible.

Slip the edge of the rug into the fold of the bias tape and pin it. Pin the tape around the edge until you return to the beginning point. Cut the tape, leaving an extra inch. Fold the excess tape under itself and pin to the rug. Sew around the rug, securing the tape binding to the perimeter.


Any absorbent material works in place of terrycloth. Use more batting layers to make a thicker rug.


Avoid synthetic batting, which repels water. Check for hidden pins after sewing.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 Cotton terrycloth bath towels
  • Scissors
  • 1 Yard cotton quilt batting, or 1 prepackaged roll
  • Fabric marking pen
  • Yardstick
  • Sewing pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Heavy-duty thread
  • 1 package double-fold bias tape, 1/2-inch
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About the Author

Carole Oldroyd, a writer based in East Tennessee, has authored numerous DIY home improvement, Human Resources, HR and Law articles. In addition to holding a degree in paralegal studies, she has more than 10 years of experience renovating newer homes and restoring historic property.