Tutorial | Oval Bathmat

Oval Bathmat

A perfect addition to your shower area.

Oval Bathmat Project
To make this 20″ x 30″ oval bathmat, you’ll need:
2/3 yd of fabric (best to pre-wash and dry to shrink)
1 old terry towel (one that coordinates well would be best as it can peek thru from below) or 2/3 yd of terry cloth
2 1/2 yds of jumbo ric rac
*this .pdf template will print on a single sheet of 11×17 tabloid paper. If you cannot print that size, you can print it in sections and piece it together. Essentially, the piece is a 1/4 slice of a 20″ circle (so it is only 10″ wide) plus, the addition of a 5″ piece to create width of mat.
1. Make your pattern piece. Print 2 of your pattern piece. Cut along the long edge of a single piece and then align it to the dotted line of another. Tape in place. Trim the completed pattern piece on the line.
2. Cut your fabric. Place pattern piece on fold as directed. Pin and cut. Press.
3. Cut your terry. Lay the fabric over a freshly pressed terry. With a marker, outline the fabric with the addition of anywhere to 1/4″ or 1/2″ extra. It is not important to be too accurate here, but you definitely want the terry piece a little larger than the fabric piece.
*As you might notice, we cut it very close here and when it came time to sandwich our pieces together we were wishing we had a little more wiggle room.
4. Finish the edge of the terry. If you have a serger it will be much easier, but it can still be done with a regular machine. This will save lots of little loopy fray fragments from getting all over your project.
4a: Serger: trim the terry leaving up to 1″ excess around. Your serger will trim as you go. Serge right on the line you drew allowing your machine to trim the excess.
4b: Sewing machine: trim on the line you drew. Using a zig zag stitch on the widest settings edge the entire terry piece.
Press when finished.
5. Attach the ric rac to the top fabric.
5a. Ric rac can pucker your fabric edges, so when you’re done, expect it to be a little bumpy along the edge. Pin the ric rac in a place so that when you sew your 1/4″ seam, it will be in the position you want it. For me if left about 1/8″ at minimum exposed.
5b. Make sure to tuck under edges of ric rac and make it tidy at the ends. Be sure to place this seam in a rather inconspicuous area- I made it happen about 1″ into the straight edge of the mat- this way it was not on the curve, nor was it in the center of the mat which could be distracting.
5c. After you pin, baste 1/8″ from edge of fabric. Press to flatten ric rac, but be careful if it is polyester, as the iron might make the puckering worse. You just want to give it a decent pressing to smooth it out a bit.
6. Pin the pieces together. Layer the top fabric to the terry, right sides facing. Make sure your front fabric is centered within the terry oval. Pin in the center of the oval. From there, smooth out the fabric to the top- pin. Smooth to the bottom – pin. Smooth to the left- pin (this curved edge is where the ric rac curls up the most, so be sure to flatten it down well and secure with a pin. Do the same to right side. Now, while continuing to smooth, keep pinning all around the circumference of the oval, be sure to keep the fabric edges from curling by pinning well. This should do the trick as the terry will pull it back into place once pinned.
7. Sew the mat pieces. Sew 1/4″ from the FABRIC edge all along the circumference leaving a 6-8″ section open for turning inside out. It is IMPERATIVE you do this along the straight edge. It makes sense to do it in the same location as your ric rac seam as well.
8. Turn inside out. Turn the mat inside out and smooth out the edges. You will need to fuss a bit at this point. Working from the top of the mat, use your fingers to push the seam flat along the ric rac and fabric, while simultaneously, pushing the terry under the mat so you can’t see it. Pin well as you go along and if you seen the terry peeking through, just go back and roll it under some more.
9. Secure the opening. In the area where the opening is, you’ll note that the ric rac is not stitched as deep as where it’s been sewn into the terry. So, using your fingers, press the fabric into the ric rac at the same distance to make the seam look continuous from the front. Give a little press with the iron to keep the crease.
9a. Roll the terry under and inside the mat in much the same way, so that it look continuous from the back. Pin well.
10. Topstitch. Topstitch about 3/4″ from the seam where the fabric meets the ric rac. It is easiest to topstitch here first as the terry creates a bit of thickness. Once you go all the way around the circumference, give it a press.
10a. Next, topstitch a scant 1/16″ from the seam where the fabric meets the ric rac – this will give it a nice clean flatness as well as seal up the opening. Press.


29 thoughts on “Tutorial | Oval Bathmat

  1. Love the idea! Maybe we can make one with one of the fabrics we used for Théo’s weekly picture. That would be perfect for our bathroom on the 1st floor since it’s not very big and the bathmat we have just doesn’t seem to fit properly in there. Would my 1st sewing project coming soon?! 🙂

  2. What a great bathmat. I love the fabric you used too. Awesome. Thank you so much. My cat just ate part of my bathmats last week coincidentially too. LOL YES, he ate down one entire side of my mat. ugh. And then he chewed the paint off the corner of my wall too. Seriously. I think he might have a vitamin deficiency or something. OR maybe he’s just being a brat wanting more attention. LOL

  3. What a great idea! In our rental home we have an avocado bathroom – oh joy! Finding coordinating accessories has been a challenge, to say the least! With some minor adjustments, I could make it a bath mat/toilet mat. They sit like your toilet and shower do, but much closer together, so only one mat fits. Thanks for the tute!

  4. How clever is that? Great idea, lady!
    (And the fish fabric is perfecto!)
    My bath mats are pretty much ready for a redo, and I think I could do this. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I love that fish fabric. My daughter just redid her bathroom and is having trouble finding a mat she likes…this is so perfect.

  6. It’s a great idea….one can get fabric and co-ordinate to match whatever your design or colour of the bathroom is.

  7. May I suggest preshrinking the top fabric before joining it to the terry, so there won’t be a greater shrinkage from the top layer against the prewashed terry when the time comes to launder it. Thought that would be a good suggestion for your very clever idea — and I DO like the fishes! :^)

  8. What a terrific idea….but I am thinking about making one for my kitchen by the sink…guess what my project is going to be over the weekend?! Thanks!

  9. Instructions were clear except one thing. Why does the terry need to be larger than the fabric?? Wiggle room? Thought that if terry was smaller it would help pull the edges under and terry wouldn’t be showing.

  10. You might also want to soak your rick-rack in hot water to allow it to shrink…this will allow it to lay down much better after washing.

    • Beverly, your idea of placemats and table runner is fabulous. I’ve been working on a set for our dining room table for some time and haven’t liked any ideas I’ve come up with so far. This may be the answer.

  11. Wonderful idea! We need new mats in our hall bathroom. They aren’t that old, but cat threw up on one and stomach acid bleached out two huge splotches, whiter than snow and the second one had a close encounter of the worst kind with bleach.

    Bathroom is in nautical and curtains are denim with blue and white mattress ticking trim and machine embroidered designs. So all I need to do is dig out some old denim pcs and do this. I have some non-slip slipper grid to place on back of the rug and I think I’ll put some nautical designs on the rug, maybe a lighthouse. And doesn’t red rick rack sound great? Thanks, lady. Luvit!

  12. Just read your tutorial and love it. I need an updated bath mat. I think I will put a low loft batting inside and do some straight line quilting across the entire thing. Thanks so much for giving us such great instructions..

  13. Good idea. I took it a little further and used non-slip rug matting for the bottom instead of terry cloth . (safer for us old folks!). If you have trouble getting the matting through your machine, you can use tissue paper underneath, or even interfacing.

  14. What a great DIY, I would love to try this one out in my bathroom, as I love changing things around in spring and this DIY would be just perfect, but I’m aways afraid to try new things.
    Thanks so much for sharing such a beautiful project

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  17. I’m looking forward to making this bath mat. I have already purchased 3 yards of terry cloth, but I also have other colors. I think this is going to be fun.

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