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Terry-Cloth Caddy

Martha Stewart Living, August 2003

Clear off bathroom countertops by storing toiletries in a hanging organizer. To make one, just stitch a few seams in a hand towel.

Tools and Materials
Hand towel (about 19 inches by 40 inches)
Straight pins
Sewing machine
1/2-inch-diameter dowel (2 inches longer than width of towel)
One yard grosgrain ribbon

Fold down top of towel 1 1/2 inches; pin, then sew to create a channel for the dowel. Flip towel over; fold it onto itself so it overlaps about 5 inches; pin. Repeat to make a second pleat so bottom edge of towel is bottom edge of caddy; pin. Sew along both sides of towel, leaving channel at top open and reinforcing pockets' corners. Sew two more seams to divide towel's width into thirds. Pass dowel through channel, tie ribbon to both ends, and hang.

Comments (41)

  • ThonyME-Schweigman 13 Jun, 2014

    It is extremely difficult yo find towel s in the length. Ive found some n got the only tnree colours present. Follow the directions n it is eash to make. Done several before n now I can make a few more.

  • Huney Dew 18 May, 2014

    Again a video of this project would have been nice for beginner's and those who are visual learners.

  • nyladybug 2 May, 2014

    I have been racking my brain to figure out a baby shower gift. When I saw this, I knew I had my answer! Thanks!

  • Jennifer Marks 18 Aug, 2013

    My mom made me 2 -- we couldn't find towel that was exact but any towel really works well.. One in kids bathroom to keep lotion, soap etc.. The other is on line closet door with smaller pockets -- for first aide tubes, bandaids, Advil etc.. Either hang it with 2 hooks or put a little velcro/command tape on bottom edge to cut down on swing... :) I think I need one for master bath too --

  • korteas63 27 Mar, 2013

    Wow ! what a great Idea, going to be making for the [filtered word] family. We have a summer home and that is such a great Idea will have one for everyone, with there names on them, can't wait to get sewing. Thanks

  • qutie442001 23 Feb, 2013

    Just saw this today and made a quick smaller size one to fit inside the bathroom cabinet. I put a cotton balls, q-tips, wipes, purse-size tissues, and small pkg of wipes in it so far. Thanks so much for the idea!

  • MarthaFanPatty 2 Sep, 2011

    lol I agree with Sheryll .:)

  • aerybeth 28 Feb, 2011

    Great.. but you can't find a towel the dimensions you have on here.. I used a bath towel and cut it down.. zig zagged the edge.. I also put the ribbon on the towel corners.. made a casing with a top like a curtain so you can sew the ribbon at the top and it won't be in the way of the slot for the dowel.. then added ribbon trim for my daughter's bath.. too cute.. great project!

  • Sheryll 5 Feb, 2011

    Okay, as soon as I hit submit, I realized this must be a regular towel and I can understand the instructions. Now, that I realize it has to be a bath towel instead of a hand towel. lol

  • Sheryll 5 Feb, 2011

    I am a long time accomplished seamstress and I don't get the instructions. This photo shows six compartments, but how do you get them out of ONE hand towel? And 40 inches long? They must have used two and then the instructions don' t make sense to me. I can make one that looks just ike this photo, but not with those instructions!!

  • ryenh 4 Oct, 2010

    Treeesha, About the electric toothbrush and the 1 plug ordeal, what I did is I bought a tiny little shelf and affixed it to the wall close to the plug. I use a multi outlet in the plug so that I can use the hair dryer etc without having to unplug the toothbrush. The shelf looks neat and it is out of the way also.

  • ryenh 4 Oct, 2010

    I fold the top edge for the dowel in such a way that the pretty decoration at the top end of the towel is visible. It gives the caddy a real pretty look at the top also.

  • tinastevenson 21 Apr, 2010

    Super easy! I used a hanger instead of a dowel and the ribbon. It hangs well on the back of our bathroom door and my twin 2 year olds can't get into anything in it!

  • tinastevenson 21 Apr, 2010

    Super easy! I used a hanger instead of a dowel and the ribbon. It hangs well on the back of our bathroom door and my twin 2 year olds can't get into anything in it!

  • Kathay 20 Mar, 2009

    (Part 2 Cont.) buy 2 brackets and a piece of glass the size you need. I like to use mail baskets the basket that is flat on one side to hang flat against the wall but they come in different sizes so make sure the elec. toothbrush fits. I use one of these baskets in my half bath with paper guest towels in it I buy them at sams they are thick and folded. My visitors love them as they are germ free. Hope this helps

  • Kathay 20 Mar, 2009

    If your bathroom is tiny hangthe organizer on the back of the door. Do not get a shoe organizer as sometimes there are spills we don't see or the bottle is wet from the shower and it willcause mold in the shoe organizer. Made from a towel is great you can wash it and dry it. Now the plug problem they make small adapter plugs that are a row of three to go into one [filtered word] and the clutter on the counter a couple of things you can do is put a cubby or a shelf near the plug you can go and buy 2 brac

  • josien 3 Oct, 2008

    41I made this. One for us and one for guest. Ik works perfect and its so simple. And because its made out of a towel u can get any color you want.

  • cjhill 16 Sep, 2008


  • ChicaAndJo 25 Aug, 2008

    Wsb, we've used the shoe organizer like you have but I never thought of leaving room for my guest's things. Perhaps I will make this one and leave it empty and add some lettering to the bottom so they know it is for their organizational use while visiting. Great idea!

  • peaceandlight 12 Aug, 2008

    You definitely want this to be washable, so if you don't use a removable dowel, the velcro or snap fasteners would be the way to go along the top.

  • slowpokegirly 12 Aug, 2008

    Treeesha, I too only have one outlet in my bathroom. Mine is actually connected to the light on the side of the medicine cabinet, and all I could do was install a shelf next to that, and use an adaptor to accmodate my toothbrush as well as other plugs from blowdryer, curling iron, etc. My shelf is neat an organized.

  • Wsb 12 Aug, 2008

    I've also used an over the door shoe organizer in my Guest bathroom. I filled half of it with items that my Guests might need or want to use but not bring with them (like bandaids, lotions, brand new toothbrushes, etc.) and the other half is empty for them to put their items in when they're visiting. So far they've all loved it.

  • Ldybugsrus 12 Aug, 2008

    I'm going to make one out of nylon mesh and hang it in the shower for all those shampoo bottles and shaving cream and being mesh it will dry fast.

  • pastel 12 Aug, 2008

    This is a great idea - I have the Martha Stewart shoe organizer on the back of my bathroom door. It is great. This holds bandaids,medicines,lotions etc... All my children are in college for those who have small children you would not use this to hold medication. Thank you What a space saver.

  • mary2327 12 Aug, 2008

    For travel use a linen towel due to luggage weight restrictions

  • Treeesha 12 Aug, 2008

    I have a bathroom organizing question. How do people keep their bathroom countertops neat if they have electric toothbrush that needs to be plugged in. My bathroom is tiny and has one plug. That's right only ONE!!! I don't think I would use this caddy idea becasue I have drawer organizers underneath the sink, but if anyone has suggestions for hte toothbrush and 1 plug ordeal I would GREATLY appreciate it!!!

  • cookingwild 26 Jul, 2008

    I use either velcro or snaps along the channel to attach to a dowel or hanger. Also for use in the kitchen, use dish towels. If length is a problem, use two.

  • tajicat 15 Jul, 2008

    Great idea! For travel or cleaning, it might be easier if this was removable. One could sew on ribbon ties, velcro or even buttons, it could then be attached to a hanger. :)

  • Violet74 11 Jun, 2008

    Perfect gift for the college bound (especially when put on a plastic hanger as suggested)! I added a few ribbon loops to hold a razor, hairbrush, etc. This works as a great caddy to the bathroom and back.

  • kmeyersvt 28 Apr, 2008

    Combine this with the previous day's idea to use clothespins to hold tags for the pockets - easier for kids to know what is supposed to go where! This will be great to de-clutter my small bathroom counter!

  • sewnatural 24 Apr, 2008

    I'm thinking eco-friendly these about cutting that stain or worn spot from your towel and use the rest of your towel to make the will match too !

  • mcnuisance 23 Apr, 2008

    This is a great idea, but is a hand towel 40 inches long? I can even see this pattern being altered to create a washable organizer for a gym locker.

  • miistry 22 Apr, 2008

    The travel idea is great. Instead of using a wooden dowel you could sew it around the bottom of a plastic clothes hanger. Hang it on the shower rod and all your toiletries are right there.

  • MHolguin 22 Apr, 2008

    Too cute! What a wonderful gift idea. Can't wait to try one. :)

  • GramRay 18 Apr, 2008

    Love this organizer, and all the helpful ideas from the various comments, esp the different colors for various holidays, and the idea of the Flap/cover to take with you when visiting. (maybe add a velcro fastener on the cover?)

  • arteest 1 Apr, 2008

    Good idea for a baby's room. These would make nice gifts.

  • slodeester 5 Feb, 2008

    Wow stitchnymph! Great idea!

  • stitchnymph 26 Jan, 2008

    This has given me a good Idea I wil make one with a flap to cover the front the when I visit friends my bathroom organiser comes with me.

  • sandyt621 24 Jan, 2008

    this organizer could be used inside a cabinet door, a childs shoe organizer is good to use too. I have one on the bathroom door to hold all my hair clips and
    pony tail holders.

  • animallover4ever 20 Jan, 2008

    Its a great idea, to get all the stuff off the sink counter top. It would be great to use in other rooms too. Can't want to make a few.

  • mmsrjs 19 Jan, 2008