How to Make Decorated Towels and Sachets
Easy Potpourri Sachets
Holiday time is the perfect time to experiment with the many creative options for potpourri sachets. Not only can you make these a part of your holiday decorating scheme, but easy-to-sew custom sachets make pretty and practical last-minute gifts too! The front of the sachet can be almost any fabric, from festive silk duppioni to earth-toned mudcloth or a country floral-print cotton. Splurge on a rich, luxurious fabric, since as little as ½ yard can yield a dozen or more sachet fronts!
The front of your sachet can also be a showcase for your creative talents, such as hand or machine embroidery, beading, hand painting, needlepoint, photo transfer or appliqué. Our sachets were embellished with a wide variety of Wrights trims, available in your favorite fabric stores. It’s usually easiest to apply any trims or creative applications before you sew the sachet.
To optimize the aromatic effect, choose a sheer but fairly firm fabric like organza for the back, in a color that complements the front fabric. The scent can be revived later on with a few drops of scented oil, as needed. Choose different shapes, sizes and aromas for a variety of uses, and enjoy the “scentual” pleasure they offer!
- Fill diamond or star-shaped sachets with fresh pine or holly berry-scented potpourri to accent your Christmas tree.
- Combine a sachet with a sprig of mistletoe, adding an aromatic element to a classic holiday tradition.
- Offer the gift of relaxation with rectangular sachets of soft satin; they’ll comfort tired eyelids when filled with aromatherapy-style potpourri blends.
- Hang a few sachets on coordinating satin-covered lingerie hangers.
- Tie a sachet onto each gift for extra-special packaging.
For each Sachet you will need:
- 5” square of fashion fabric (or cut out a circle, star, heart or any other shape)
- 5” square of coordinating organza for backing (same size and shape as fashion fabric)
- Loose potpourri
- Ribbon, charms, rosettes or other embellishments, as desired
- 1/4 yard of cording or ribbon (optional)
To make each Sachet:
- To create sachet front, shape or decorate fashion fabric with any desired techniques. Keep designs to within 3/4” of raw edges.
- For a hanging loop (optional), fold cording in half. Position it as desired on the sachet front (right side up), with the ends of the cording extending out from the raw edge of the fabric. Pin or baste into place.
- To assemble the sachet, pin front to organza back, right sides together. Sew together, using a 1/2” seam allowance, and leaving a 3” opening at the bottom. Be sure to keep the hanging loop free, stitching only through the ends you have pinned/basted in place.
- Turn sachet right side out. Press lightly and fill with potpourri. Stitch the opening closed with invisible hand stitches.
Suddenly the holidays are upon us, and our creative instincts are scrambling for easy last-minute gifts and decorating ideas. Decorative options abound, allowing you to make even the simplest terry cloth towel into a thing of beauty. You’re limited only by the practical consideration of laundering, so be sure that any fabrics, threads, ribbons or other accents you sew onto the towel are machine washable.
- Be inspired by the emergence of “spa life” and create a complete spa bath ensemble as a gift to pamper.
- Use holiday prints on hand or tea towels for whimsical hostess gifts, or to decorate your own home.
For each Fabric-Trimmed Towel you will need:
- Towels to be embellished
- Fabric for trim
- Optional additional trims, such as ribbon, rick rack, etc.
To make each Fabric-Trimmed Towel:
- Measure the width of the towel. Cut the fabric strip the width of the towel, plus one inch.
- Determine how deep you want the finished fabric band to be; double this measurement and add one inch. Cut your fabric strip to this length.Turn under 1/2” on each long edge and press.
- Turn under 1/2” on each short edge and press.
- Fold fabric strip in half, matching long pressed edges. Slide strip over the edge of the towel so that the towel end sits in the fold. Pin in place, making sure that pressed edges are in the same position on the towel front and back.
- Edge-stitch along front pressed edge of strip, through all thicknesses. Tie off thread ends and trim close, or use a needle to pull thread ends back into the towel, hiding them under the fabric strip.
- Edge-stitch along short pressed edges of strip, through all thicknesses, encasing towel inside. Secure thread ends.
- Decorate as desired – we used rick rack, metallic braids and ribbons from Wrights for our towels, but you can use any trim or embellishment techniques you like. Some ideas:
- Stitch along the fabric design or around shapes, through all thicknesses, to give a quilted look.
- Try out fancy embroidery machine designs, or use your sewing machine’s decorative stitches to create borders, based on the recipient’s personality and décor.
- Embroider monograms by hand or machine for a classic look. Initial appliqués are available in your favorite sewing store, for a quick and easy alternative.
- Use pretty laces and ribbon rosettes for a romantic Victorian mood.
- Cut your fabric strip twice the length of your towel edge, plus one inch. Pleat or gather the strip at desired intervals, excluding 1/2 inch on either short end, until the pleated/gathered area is the same length as the towel edge. Finish edges and attach as above.