Usually only seen in fancy hotels or on cruise ships, towel art is a great way to make bath time fun for little kids, a thoughtful greeting to guests, or a special way to let your college-aged children know you’re happy they’re home.

Here are a few examples of towel art – or towel origami – that I’ve learned to make.

I’ve looked through numerous books, at YouTube videos, and spent a fair amount of time just folding towels to figure out some of these designs.  Look here and here and here for links for simple animal folding instructions.

But some of the most basic folds are my favorites.  To make these cute dishtowel cupcakes, simply fold the towel lengthwise in thirds or quarters — so the towel is 3 to 4 inches wide.

Starting on one end, fold up the edge in a triangle — the way you would begin folding a flag — so that it sticks up slightly above the towel fold.  From there,  roll the towel in a spiral, slightly pushing the center up.  This way the tip of the cupcake is raised.  Secure with a straight pin if necessary, add a birthday candle, and tie with a ribbon.

They’re perfect for a shower or housewarming gift.  If you want to add a little extra, place the cupcakes in a coffee mug or ceramic ramekin.  So cute!

This next gift idea is the easiest of all.  Roll dish towels in spirals, stack, insert a dowel for stability, pin and tie with a ribbon.  Insert spatulas, whisks and wooden spoons, perfect present.

And finally… baby washcloths spiral folded, placed inside a bath towel.  Peas in a pod… a beautiful gift for a new baby.

What a thoughtful and unexpected way to present towels!  Enjoy!

On the set of the Hallmark channel’s Home + Family.