Home » $1 and Free, Headline, Kids, Wearable Crafts

Make Baby Pants From Dish Towel

7 April 2009 35,562 views 24 Comments

by heather

I made some wee pants/shorts out of a dollar store dish towel, inspired by the dish towel toddler skirt at Filth Wizardry (but I don't have girls!) and a how-to at Rookie Moms about how to make toddler pants out of a t-shirt. I was hoping they would be fun shorts for my two year-old, but they were a bit of a craft fail in that area (too tight!). They look like they would fit babies from newborn to 12 months.


Dish towels come in different sizes at the dollar store. The one I used (had it on hand) was 15x26". I'm pretty sure you can find larger ones at the dollar store, so next time I go I'll pick up a bigger one and try again.

This is my Make Something Cool Everyday for today! And I even have a tutorial for you!

Project Materials:

  • Dish towel, $1
  • Elastic, $1 or on hand
  • Scrap fabric for pocket (optional), on hand

Total cost: $1 and up

To make:



1. Cut a dishtowel in half.
2. Line two pieces up together with right sides together and good seams facing down. Fold in half. Cut a curvy cut out.
3. Take rectangular pieces of scrap fabric and fold about 1/2" in around the outsides and iron. Fold over an additional turn on top of pocket. Sew a seam across top of pocket.
4. Pin pocket to right side of shorts pieces. Sew around sides and bottom, leaving top open.
5. Place pieces of shorts together, making sure right sides are facing each other, and line up.
6. Pin curved sections and sew.
7. Clip curves to allow for more stretch.
8. Open up shorts and shift, bringing sewn seams to the center.
9. Take inseam part and line up together. Pin and sew.
10. Fold top waistband over and pin. You are going to leave a small spot open for the elastic to feed through. If you're forgetful like me, mark the spot with two pins so you don't accidentally sew the whole waistband closed!
11. To make elastic easier to feed through casing, attach a safety pin to the end. Feed through waistband casing.
12. Tighten elastic to desired size, then put two pieces together and sew. Clip elastic, finish waistband casing seam.
You're done! Try them on your kid and hope they fit!

Follow Me on Pinterest

Disclosure: this article may contain affiliate links or other forms of sponsored content. Opinions are 100% the author's. Full disclosure policy.


  • RookieMom Heather said:

    Super cute! Nice job. I never had that elastic on hand so my little pants frequently fall down.

    Whitney, on the other hand, made splendid pants from tee shirts and even an old sweater from her husband.

  • Rachel said:

    WAY cute! I love the fabric combo! I’ll be linking.

  • RookieMom Whitney said:

    Funny that you just found us because I just started reading you via makeandtakes, I think…? Anyhow, love your site and added it to my RSS reader last week!

  • jo said:

    If you don’t feed him or let him bend over they will be fine :o)
    I would need 2 dish towels for my monkey – fab idea!

  • Delilah said:

    Once again, very cute idea! Great work!

  • Kitten Muffin said:

    Thanks for linking to us. I’ve been making the bloomer/shorts I mentioned in our post too. They have turned out a bit more like culottes, but I guess that’s what happens when you don’t know your arse from your elbow with making up sewing patterns ;) I’ll put them on our blog soonish. I love the material of the tea towel you used for the shorts!

  • Anne Weaver said:

    These are so cute!! I posted a link to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing Blog: http://sewing.craftgossip.com/tutorial-baby-boys-shorts-from-a-dishtowel/2009/04/08/

  • Tutorial: Baby boys’ shorts from a dishtowel · Sewing @ CraftGossip said:

    […] You can make these cute little boys’ shorts from a dishtowel.  Dollar Store Crafts posts a tutorial to show you how.  She says these are best suited for a small guy, up to 12 months old.  Don’t have a dishtowel suitable for boyish clothes?  Use a scrap of shirting fabric instead.  Get the tutorial. […]

  • Kitten Muffin said:

    Got our shorts up now too…
    Turns out the 20 inch by 26 inch towels work great for about 3T to 5T sizes.

    I love how cheap this is and using the all cotton tea towels will be really nice and comfy for the kids to wear when summer gets here too.

  • Jennifer said:

    Cute idea! Now that I have a boy I’ll be needing this!

  • Julie said:

    I will totally be making some of these (with the larger towels) for my little guy. He loves the ‘lounge pants’ I made out of t-shirts, so should enjoy these. The plaid you used is great – I love plaid shorts on boys! (OK it’s good on girls too but I have a boy and clothes options for them are totally lacking.)

  • Jennifer Perkins said:

    Oh I might try to whip up a pair of these for Talulah when she gets a little older. There are some cute dish towels out there too. Once on an episode of Stylelicious we did a dollar store challenge and I think it was Vickie who made a cute as all get out top out of a dish towel. They have all kinds of possabilities.

  • dana said:

    Bummer that they don’t fit! But still adorable. I like the fabric (er, dishtowel) choice. Great stuff.

  • Jane Blogs said:

    What a shame that they didn’t fit!

    But thanks for the idea, I *have* to try this out in Spring. :D

  • KimchiExtract said:

    I used this pattern but made shorts…LOVED IT! Used my new sewing machine I was super happy until my husband noted that, “there isn’t room for his stuff.” I am new to sewing, so don’t laugh, but how do I make the crotch a little lower? Make the portion of the pants from crotch to waist taller???

  • Freckles said:

    I just love this tutorial. I have made two pairs for my 3 yr old son and when I asked him if he likes his shorts he said “Yeah, they make my butt feel happy!”

  • Kati said:

    Thank you for this tutorial! I used it to make some Pirate pants for my boys for Halloween! I just cut out some fabric in the rectangle shape of the towel and went from there! THANK YOU!

  • katie said:

    one way to give the little one more space is to add an extra waist band. I’m assuming that the top was just rolled over to make the casing for the elastic. so just unsew that part and add some extra fabic for the casing on the top and then you get an extra 1 to 1 1/2 more in depth.. If that is not enough then you might want to add some more fabric onto the back seam of the inside leg.. back only like a gusset then resew the inside seam.. that should give him some sit down space. KT

  • Shantel said:

    Great idea! I’ll be featuring on my blog:

  • Tommy said:

    These are cute and easy for beginners. I will copy and hange this up for my customers to see and they can come check out your ideas. Little boys clothes are hard to find in the sewing arena.

  • repurposing | Kojo Designs said:

    […] they are serious about repurposing. Tea towels become aprons (tutorial by my spare time), or shorts for little boys(by dollar store crafts), or teeny skirts (tutorial by grace violet)… bandanas become dresses […]

  • $2 Dishtowel Christmas Pillowcase Dress said:

    […] people are making other types of children’s clothing with dishtowels.  I am not sure about this, but mad props to this mom for being […]

  • Summer Clothes Tutorials Roundup said:

    […] Dishtowel Shorts by Dollar Store Crafts […]