Whether the towels are out on display or tucked away inside a cupboard, these two simple methods for folding towels will help you maximize your towels storage in a pretty way! Follow these simple steps for how to fold towels and I guarantee you’ll be looking for a way to display them if they aren’t already out!
This post was originally published on June 13, 2018 and has since been updated.
Growing up, one of the chores we traded off doing as children was folding all the towels after they were washed in the laundry. I still vividly remember my dad teaching me how to fold towels the “right way.”
He wasn’t necessarily concerned with the fact that they looked pretty, but wanted them folded this way so they would optimize the space in our towel cupboard. And in the moment, I remember rolling my eyes and thinking this was the most ridiculous “skill” to be learning.
And now, years later, I’m teaching all of you how to fold bath towels! I love how things like this work out. 😉
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As a designer, I’ve found that folded towels are honestly one of my favorite ways to add style to your bathroom. Every bathroom I’ve designed has some sort of open shelving on it with folded towels on display because they add softness to a bathroom.
In my guest bathroom, there are always 3-4 folded towels on the open shelves for guests:
In our master bath, we actually store all of our towels (that we use daily) on the open shelves next to our shower:
Even my overnight guests get nicely rolled towels on their welcome trays!
How to Fold Towels
If you’ve ever walked into a hotel or spa and wished your towels looked as luxurious and inviting as theirs, then this post is going to rock your world!
Before you get started, make sure you have some quality white (or colored, if you prefer) towels. Here are my favorites from Bed Bath & Beyond, and they’re only $10 each!
Ok, let’s get to it! I’m going to teach you two super simple ways to fold your towels that are both pretty and functional. No matter where you’re storing your towels, one of these methods is bound to help give you a towel folding method that both looks nice and maximizes your storage.
Three Ways to Master Towel Folding
THE THIRD-FOLD METHOD
The third-fold method (as I like to call it) is great for towels that will be stored on open shelves or in a linen closet. Towels folded this way don’t take up much room and it can be easily modified to fit on smaller or more narrow shelves too.
The basic steps are as follows:
- Fold into thirds long-ways
- Fold in half twice
- Put on display with open edge to the back
Now, for the more detailed steps with pictures. 🙂
STEP 1: FOLD IN THIRDS LONG-WAYS
The first step is to hold the towel in front of you by pinching two of the short side corners.
Next, fold one side in a third of the way (“hot-dog” style).
Then take the other side and fold it over a third as well.
STEP 2: FOLD IN HALF TWICE
After it’s folded in thirds, use one hand to scoop up the bottom end and grab it at the top with the other hand.
Lastly, fold it in half a second time.
STEP 3: PUT ON DISPLAY
When I put my pretty folded towels on display, I prefer to put the open side towards the back and the patterned, or finished part of the towel down.
FOLDING TOWELS FOR NARROW SHELVES
If the shelf you’re storing your towels on is narrower than your towels ends up being when folded in thirds, for Step 2 above, simply fold in half and then in thirds rather than half both times.
As shown below, my mom has some rather narrow shelves in her bathroom and we had to fold hers that way to make them fit on the shelves.
THE ROLL METHOD
Many people believe rolling linens makes them easier to store, so if you prefer to roll your towels then this method will be your go-to. I learned how to roll towels so that I could put them on my guest trays without taking up too much of the tray. 😉
Many hotels and spas use the roll method because it looks cleaner than the fold method discussed above.
The basic steps for how to roll towels for display are as follows:
- Fold one corner over to the center
- Fold in half long-ways
- Turn over
- Roll the towel long-ways, starting with the side that isn’t folded under
- Tuck in the corner
And the details with pictures:
STEP 1: FOLD ONE CORNER OVER TO THE CENTER
Begin by folding one of your corners over so that the short end of the towel is aligned with the opposite long side.
STEP 2: FOLD IN HALF LONG-WAYS
Next, fold the towel in half the long way, being careful to keep your prior fold in place.
STEP 3: TURN OVER
After your towel is folded in half, turn the entire towel over.
STEP 4: ROLL TIGHTLY
Starting at the straight end, roll the towel up tightly.
STEP 5: TUCK IN THE END
Lastly, tuck the “pointed end” into the end of your roll to hold it tight.
You should end up with a nicely rolled towel with two seams that cross decoratively on the side of the roll.
Well, there you have it, two super simple ways to fold towels that are both pretty and easy to store!
If these folding methods are new to you, you are not alone! While it sounds like a basic skill, folding towels in a way that is pretty and functional is definitely a learned method. Just keep practicing and soon you won’t even have to think about it any more, you’ll just do it.
I hope these methods for how to fold a towel help you next time you go to decorate your bathroom or even just put away your clean towels!
Have a great day!