How To Make A Buffalo Check Ruffled Tea Towel

Love the farmhouse style? Then you need to add one (or more!) of these adorable buffalo check ruffled tea towels to your decor!


Who doesn’t love buffalo check? I love it year round! Every room of my house as pops of buffalo check. I can’t get enough of it! And these cute and adorable buffalo check ruffled tea towels is another way I love to decorate with it!

Buffalo check ruffled tea towels are cute anywhere in your kitchen, bathroom, or drape over a basket. They make cute gifties too! So many decorative ways to use these towels!

Not only are they cute, decorative and of course practical if you want to actually use them as a towel (although in my house they are off limits for dishwashing, wink! wink!) they are super easy and affordable to make too! Once you make one, you won’t be able to stop. Trust me, I can’t!


What You Need

To make these adorable tea towels you just need a few supplies.

  • Tea towels – I use the Mainstay flour sack tea towels from Walmart. They come in packs of 5 for about $5! CLICK HERE FOR TOWELS
  • Buffalo check fabric – I get my buffalo check fabric at Hobby Lobby. You can use any fabric you like!
  • Sewing machine – you can sew this by hand as well but in my tutorial I show how to make these with your sewing machine.
  • Starch – I recommend starching your towels first for a nice crisp tea towel
  • Good scissors
  • Rotary cutter, optional
  • Thread



  • Starch and press your tea towel.
  • Lay it out on a flat surface and measure the width.
  • Cut the bottom seam off tea towel to have a raw edge. This is optional, but I like to do that.
  • Measure your buffalo check fabric (or whatever fabric you’d like to use). You will DOUBLE the width of the measurement of the tea towel. So if you measured 30 inches, you will need 60 inches. If you measured 25, you will need 50 inches of buffalo check fabric.
  • Make sure when you cut your fabric that you pay attention to direction. It doesn’t matter so much with buffalo check, but if you are working with other patterns, you will need to pay attention.
  • Once you cut the length of your fabric, you will need to to cut the width to 5-6 inches wide, depending on how wide you want your ruffle and if you are going to hem the bottom. See a few steps below.
  • So if the width of your tea towel is 30 inches, you will need to have buffalo check fabric 60 inches long and 5 inches wide.
  • Now that you have your tea towel press and ready to go and your buffalo check fabric cut to size you’re ready to go!
  • I like to fray the bottom edge of the ruffle to create a shabby chic, worn look. To fray the bottom just gently pull the treads to create a frayed edge. You can see in the video how I do it.
  • If you prefer a clean seam, just add a 1/2 seam to the bottom and sew.
  • Now fold in each end about 1/4 inch and then fold in another 1/4 inch, pin and sew.
  • Now it’s time to create the ruffle! You will need to sew a basting stitch. You can do that by hand, or with your sewing machine. Increase your stitch length, don’t backstitch and sew! You will do this 1/4 inch and a second row another 1/4 inch from that stitch row.
  • Gently pull and gather your fabric by gently pulling on either the top of bottom threads. Don’t pull on both. Continue to do this until you get the length you need.
  • Once you have your ruffle, pin the towel and ruffle right sides together.
  • Change your stitch length back to your desired stitch length (I use 2.5) and sew together. I use the last row of basting stitches as my guide so once it’s sewn together the basting stitches are not showing. You can also pull your basting stitches out after you sew the ruffle to the tea towel. Make sure you backstitch to lock in your stitches.
  • Once it’s sewn together you have a cute and adorable tea towel!

Cost & Time

The towels cost me $5.00 for a pack of 5, and I purchased 2 yards of fabric from Hobby Lobby which is WAY more than I need for one towel but I’ll have it for other projects, and to make more tea towels! The cost for 2 yards of fabric was $14.00.

It takes about 30 minutes from start to finish to make 1 tea towel. I don’t like to rush. When I rush, mistakes happen then I’m spending more time ripping seams so I would much rather take the time and get it right the first time.


If you don’t have enough length of fabric, you can piece and sew it together if you don’t mind seam. You really don’t see once it once you create a ruffle. If you prefer not having a seam make sure you have enough yardage length.

A yard of fabric is 36xWOF which on average is about 40-42 inches. Just check that when getting your fabric and also to make sure the direction of the fabric would be in the right direction.


Time to Sew!

Ready to make one of these cute buffalo check ruffled tea towels for yourself? Once you do, you won’t be able to stop! They’re fun and easy to make and just think of all the different fabrics you can use seasonally!

If you make one of these tea towels I’d love to see! Snap a pic and tag me on Instagram @motherthyme! I’d love t see this or any of your projects you make!


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