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Creating Memories with Family Recipes: Recipe Towel Tutorial

There are not many things as wonderful as food lovingly prepared by those people you hold dear. Why not create an indelible connection to those foodie memories with a Recipe Towel printed with your favorite family recipe? Perfect for a gift or a keepsake of your own; we make it easy!


We’ll need to decide on the size of the hand towel to get started. Below you will see the information we have gathered as common sizes for hand towels. Whichever size you choose, know we’ll need to add 1″ to the height and 1″ the width of this measurement when setting up our workspace in a later step. This is to make sure you have the added fabric necessary for your use in sewing and hemming your project.

Common Hand Towel Dimensions:

  • 15″ width x 26″ height
  • 16″ width x 28″ height
  • 16″ width x 30″ height
  • 18″ width x 30″ height

Setting Up Your Workspace

Now let’s open up the Online Creator to start designing!

If you have a photo editing software you are comfortable with you can also use that software, just make sure to set up your workspace with the following specs.

  • Desired design dimensions + Seam Allowance
  • 150 DPI
  • RGB Colors

To set up the dimension of your workspace to mimic your placemat sizing, use the Pattern button (in the upper left corner).  We wanted our finished Hand Towel to be 15″ width by 26″ height, don’t forget to add an inch to the height and width for seam allowance. So this would bring our workspace dimension to 16″W by 27″H.

OPTIONAL: Using the Add → Rectangle tool we created a 15″ by 26″ rectangle as a reference of where our finished towel will be. When selecting this tool a menu will open on the left side of the screen to set the size to the dimensions of your finished placemat. This will give you a visual of the space you have to work with to ensure you do not place anything outside this space that may look odd if cut off. Also, uncheck the Fill Color button to the right of the Fill color options!

We also drew temporary reference lines to show us where our towel will be folded. This helps to see the viewable area of the towel so we do not add important elements in areas that will be not be seen when draped over an oven handle or towel holder. Using the  Add → Polygon tool we added a horizontal line at the halfway point of the towel. We also drew two vertical lines to divide the towel into thirds. If you fold your towel into thirds before folding it in half over your holders then you may also want to do this. This method has highlighted the center-lower third of the towel which will be our desired area for placing our family recipes, notes, and photos.

Designing Your Recipe Towel

Using the Add → Text tool, you can choose from the available fonts and type your recipe into the text box available in the text menu (on the left side of the screen).

Don’t worry if when everything is typed out, if your text doesn’t really fit within the area we have sectioned off. You can go into your text box & where you would like the text to end you hit the “Enter” button on your keyboard to move that section to another line. Keep doing this until your text fits within the desired area.

Using the Add → Image tool you can now insert designs to decorate your Recipe Towel. You can either use designs already available in the Creator software, find designs online from free-use design websites, or create your own to add to your towel.

We also used alternative photo editing software to adjust the image of our loved one shown in our towel. We removed the background of our image for a cleaner look & edited the style of the image for a more sketch-like appearance. You can see the two links below on how to recreate this look.

Optional: Once all placement is finished you can choose to color your towel. You can click on the Pattern button to choose a background color. Then, select your text to open the text menu. Here you can change the text color to better coordinated with the new background color. Keep in mind if you decide to have a darker towel you may want to have your font be in a lighter color so that it is more legible. 

Once your overall design is done you will remove your guidelines. Then, adjust the size of your rectangle guide to 16″ by 27″. This will become an outline for your overall towel and give you a clear cut line to separate your towels when printed. If your fabric is 54″ or wider you will receive 4 complete towels per yard if printed horizontally. Anything narrower you will need to print the towel vertically and print 2 yards to receive 4 complete towels.

How to Turn Your Design to Print Horizontally

Select your entire design, by drawing a Selection Box around ALL parts of your design.

Go to Arrange → Group, this will take all the elements of your design and make them one. This is so that we do not accidentally move anything out of place while we rotate our design. If there’s a change you want to make later to your design, you can go back to this menu and UnGroup your design.

Next, we’ll rotate our workspace so that your towel will print horizontally on our 54″ wide fabric. We do this by going to the Pattern button and switching the width and height dimension like shown below.

You will now need to rotate your image to fit the new space. Select your design and go to Edit Rotate Right.

Re-Center image as needed & click Process Fabric when done.

See the lists below for our recommendations of fabrics to use for this project.

Hand Towel:

  • Basic Combed Cotton – 54″ wide – Print horizontally for best fabric use.
  • Heavy Cotton Twill – 58″ wide – Print horizontally for best fabric use.
  • Faux Linen Canvas – 54″ wide – Print horizontally for best fabric use.
  • Faux Linen Slub -42″ wide – Print vertically for best fabric use.

We took ours a step further and added a background color and texture for a more visually interesting design.


Below are basic instructions for two different ways you can choose to finish your hand towel.

  • Double turn the edges to the back with a 1/4″ seam allowance
  • Apply single-sided 1/4″ binding.
  • You can also line the back of the towel with terry cloth if you would like this to be both function and beautiful! Cut a piece of terry cloth fabric to the size of your printed towel. Place the recipe towel and the terry cloth wrong-sides together. Pin layers together. Apply 1/2″ double folded binding around all 4 sides.

This article has 2 comments

  1. Dana Lucisano

    This is such a wonderful idea! I am looking forward to trying it. Thank you for these helpful instructions.

  2. Dana Lucisano

    Thank you for this excellent tutorial. Since I am new to the My Fabric Designs platform, I was very grateful for the detailed instructions. I also appreciated your suggestions concerning photo editing software. Looking forward to future tutorials. Thank you for a great project!

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