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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!

What Size Towel Should You Make?

We’ll need to decide on the size of the hand towel to get started. Below you will see the information we have gathered on common sizes for hand towels. Whichever size you choose, know that you’ll need to add 1″ to the height and 1″ to the width of these measurements when setting up your workspace in a later step. This is to make sure you have enough extra fabric to hem your project. Without this, you might end up losing any part of your design that was placed along the edge of the towel when you create your hem.

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 Towel Dimensions + Seam Allowance
  • 150 DPI (Resolution)
  • RGB Colors

To set up the dimension of your workspace, use the Pattern button (in the upper left corner).  A new menu will open, like shown below, giving you the option to adjust the workspace size and background color. We wanted our finished towel to be 15″ width by 26″ height, but don’t forget to add 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 for 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 of the dimensions of your finished towel. 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!

OPTIONAL: We drew temporary reference lines as shown below. This helps so we do not add important elements in areas that will 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. 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 & 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 when you’re finished typing everything out & 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 or paid design websites, or create your own to add to your towel.

OPTIONAL: We used alternative photo editing software to adjust the image of our “Nana” 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. You can also change the color of your text by selecting your text to open the text menu. Here you can change the text color to better coordinate with the new background color. 

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. For anything longer, 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 dimensions as 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 the 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 functional 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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