Special Touches Make Overnight Guests Feel at Home
An elegant and easy way to welcome overnight houseguests is by giving them a stack of personalized towels. One way to personalize a simple white towel set, without monogramming them, is by applying a simple grosgrain ribbon. Each towel set should contain a color co-ordinated washcloth, hand towel and bath towel. If multiple guests are spending the night, use a different ribbon color for each person.
To complete the towel set, you can also add a terry-cloth bath robe and bedroom slippers. Pull all the pieces together by wrapping a ribbon around the bunch and leave the package on the bed or on a nightstand before your guests arrive.
For this project, select a plain, high-quality white cotton towel with a fairly narrow dobby. The dobby is the braided or flat piece that distinguishes the border from the main part of the towel. If the towels you are using don’t feature dobby borders, you’ll need to position the ribbons about 1.5 inches from the edge for the washcloths, 3 inches from the edge for hand towels and 3 3/4 inches from the edge for bath towels.
When choosing grosgrain ribbons, look for ones that are colorfast, so that the coloring agent doesn’t bleed into the white towels when they are laundered. Much of the grosgrain ribbon produced domestically is colorfast and will not shrink when washed, but it is a good idea to read the labels carefully.
DIY Personalizing Towel Sets with Grosgrain Ribbon
- White cotton washcloths
- White cotton hand towels
- White cotton bath towels
- Grosgrain ribbon
- 26 yards fusible web bonding, such as Stitch Witchery®
- Straight pins (optional)
- Thread (optional)
- Prelaunder towels. Test grosgrain ribbon to be sure it is colorfast.
- Trim pieces of the fusible web bonding to lengths of the dobby on one washcloth, hand towel and bath towel. Depending on the size of the dobby on the bath towel, you may need three or four lengths of web bonding. Select ribbon that is wide enough to cover the dobby on the washcloth, hand towel and bath towel. You’ll need different lengths depending on the type of towel you are using. (We used 5/8-inch-wide ribbon for the washcloth, 7/8-inch-wide ribbon for the hand towel and 2 1/4-inch-wide ribbon for the bath towel.)
- Place the strip of web bonding over the dobby on the facecloth. Place proper size ribbon over the web bonding. Cover ribbon with a damp press cloth. Set a steam iron to the “Wool” setting and press on top of the cloth for about 10 seconds. Flip the facecloth over, position the pressing cloth over the back of the dobby and press again for about 10 seconds. Check to see if the ribbon has bonded to the cloth. If not, repeat pressing.
- Repeat the procedure with the remaining facecloths, hand towels and bath towels.
- If you don’t want to use the fusible web bonding to attach the ribbon to the towels, you can also sew on the ribbons. Pin ribbons to the front dobby of the washcloths, hand towels and bath towels. Tuck the raw ends of the ribbon under and sew the ribbons onto the front of the towels with a sewing machine. When attaching the ribbons to the towels, sew as close to the edge of the ribbon as possible. When threading the needle, use a thread color that matches the color of the ribbon; to ensure that stitches won’t be visible on the reverse side of the towel, use white thread for the bobbin.DIY