We are very excited to introduce you to our new 4 week blog series: We {Heart} Handmade!  Each week we will be posting a *new* free tutorial for gifts, home decor, clothing and accessories - and a giveaway to boot!  

Let's get started with our first tutorial: Tea Towels.  

We absolutely love all the fun tea towels from Anthropologie.  We actually each own a few ourselves.  If you were to purchase an embellished set of 3, it might set you back between $60-$80.

 

Now, you're crafty, right?  Even if you're doubtful, this tutorial is for you!  Keep reading, and you'll learn how to create your own original set of 3 for a fraction of the price, using embellishments you probably already have lying around your workspace.

Tea towels make for adorable hostess and housewarming gifts!  They're so customizable, you can make them to fit any gal's style.

We will be making a set of three tea towels; in saturated, bold colors.

Fabric Recommendations: The tea towel itself should be made from a light to medium weight linen as this fabric is durable enough for kitchen use.

Supplies: 3 linen rectangles that are 22" wide by 27" long.  We used Kokka linen for our tea towels.  We love the weight of the linen and all the fun mix and match prints and saturated colors. The three we have picked are:

  • Kokka - Echino Butterfly in Blue
  • Kokka - Echino Nico Patchwork in Multi
  • Kokka - Echino Nico Bicycles in Pink 
    Now you can decide embellishments!  
    We grabbed our big box of ribbons, trim, and buttons and started setting out the ones we liked.  This is where you can really have fun!
     
    We decided on a Linen Stripe for a double ruffle, blue pom-pom trim, vintage french floral ribbon (actually purchased in Paris),  some great Renaissance Ribbon in a Lemon motif, and some pink stripe Linen fabric for an applique.
     Cutting:

    Cut your fabric down to size.  The fabric should be 22" wide x 27" long. Note:If you purchase 3/4 yard of fabric you can create two towels.  So you can make one for you and gift one to a friend.

    Creating the Ruffled Tea Towel:

    1. Hem the top and bottom raw edges of the tea towel.  Turn the raw edge under 1/4" and iron, turn the edge under again 1/4" and iron flat.  Sew across the ironed hem. At this time the raw side edges will be left raw.
    2. Create the ruffle.  Cut two ruffles out of coordinating fabric. Each ruffle should be 40" x 3.5".
    3. Hem the raw bottom edge of the each ruffle. Turn the raw bottom edge up 1/4" and iron, turn the edge up again 1/4" and iron flat. Sew across the ironed hem.
    4. Sew a gathering stitch 1/4" down from the raw top edge of each ruffle. Gather up both ruffles until they are 1/2 the original length. NOTE: If you use Linen for the ruffle like we did, you'll want to use upholstery thread for gathering.  It will take the frustration away, because it won't break while gathering!
    5. Attach one ruffle the bottom finished edge.  The bottom edge of the tea towel should be lined up with the finished bottom raw edge of the tea towel.  The raw side edges should be lined up. Pin the ruffle to the towel.
    6. Sew the ruffle to the tea right along the gathering stitch.
    7. Place the second ruffle right over the first ruffle.  The finished edge of the second ruffle should overlap the raw edge of the first ruffle by 1/2". Pin the ruffle to the tea towel.  
    8. Sew the ruffle to the tea towel right along the gathering stitch.
    9. Pin the ribbon to the tea towel.  The ribbon should cover over the raw top edge of the top ruffle.  Sew the ribbon to the tea towel right along the top and bottom edge (not in the middle).
    10. Hem the right and left side edges of the tea towel. Turn the raw side edges in 1/4" and iron, turn the edge in again 1/4" and iron flat. Sew across the ironed hem.
    11. Embellish as desired.  We sewed on two cute navy bows!
     

    Creating the Pom-Pom Tea Towel with Squirrel Applique:

    1. Hem the top and bottom raw edges of the tea towel.  Turn the raw edge under 1/4" and iron, turn the edge under again 1/4" and iron flat.  Sew across the ironed hem. At this time the raw side edges will be left raw.

    2. Sewing the Squirrel Applique:

    • Print the squirrel applique Here.
    • Cut the squirrel out of coordinating fabric. (If you don't want the squirrel to fray, you can back her with interfacing before attaching to the tea towel.)
    • Embellish as desired (We sewed a bow around this neck).
    • Pin the squirrel to the tea towel.  We recommend pinning her off center about 6-9" from the side edge.
    • Sew around the applique.
      3. Pin the pom-pom trim right along the finished bottom edge. Sew the pom-pom trim to the tea towel.
      4. Hem the right and left side edges of the tea towel. Turn the raw side edges in 1/4" and iron, turn the edge in again 1/4" and iron flat. Sew across the ironed hem. 
      Note: if you machine is not powerful enough to sew over the pom-pom trim, sew as far as you can and then either hand-stitch or use hot glue to secure the bottom.

      Creating the Ribbon Tea Towel:

      1. Hem the top and bottom raw edges of the tea towel.  Turn the raw edge under 1/4" and iron, turn the edge under again 1/4" and iron flat.  Sew across the ironed hem. At this time the raw side edges will be left raw.
      2. Secure ribbons to either the top and bottom edges (or both) with pins.
      3. Sew the ribbons to the tea towel along the top and bottom finished edges.
      4. Add more ribbons if desired.  The fabric we chose was a cool patchwork print, and was pretty bold on it's own.  At first, we added just the Renaissance Ribbon in the Lemon motif, but it kind of got lost amongst all of the patchwork of the fabric.  So, we picked out 4-5 more ribbons and sewed them on one half of the tea towel for a more eclectic look. The more we added, the better it looked! 
      5. Hem the right and left side edges of the tea towel. Turn the raw side edge in 1/4" and iron, turn the edge in again 1/4" and iron flat. Sew across the ironed hem. 
      You have now created an amazing set of three handmade Tea Towels that rival any Anthropologie towel out there....
      and best of all, they're handmade by you, which always means a bit more to the recipient!
      We took a few quick pics of them around Jessica's kitchen, just for fun... although she doesn't get to keep them...
      Keep reading just a bit longer for the giveaway part of this post...
      We've got 2 Giveaways for you!
      First up, how would you like to win this exact set of 3 tea towels for your lovely kitchen??
      Secondly, how would you like to win the fabric to try your own hand at making similar tea towels yourself?
      Enter below to win:
      Contest ends 12/25 at 12 noon :)
      We have also teamed up with our blog sponsor Vivienne Rose Fabrics to offer special sets of pre-cut fabric to create your own set of 3. Each listing has each print precut to 22" x 27" for only $18.00.
      Click here to purchase.
      December 20, 2013 by Jessica Herning

      Comments

      Tanya

      Tanya said:

      These are so sweet and would make sweet Christmas gifts for neighbours!

      Tanya

      Tanya said:

      I forgot to add, the bicycle one is my favorite!

      mechele johnson

      mechele johnson said:

      i am in love with the Bicycles!

      jan

      jan said:

      hard to choose a favorite..i love all the fabrics/trims…but my eyes first went to the butterfly print…i had no clue you could get linen in such awesome prints!

      Amy

      Amy said:

      I’ve never thought about making these before, but what great idea!

      Laryssa

      Laryssa said:

      My fave is the squirrel one! Sooo cute!

      Bethany

      Bethany said:

      I like the squirrel.

      Lynda

      Lynda said:

      I love them all but the squirrel is really cute!!!

      Michele T

      Michele T said:

      I really love the tea towel with bicycles and ruffles – simple but sweet!!

      fenna

      fenna said:

      the bike one :)

      Ellen M.

      Ellen M. said:

      I love the ribbon one – so much color and texture. Looking forward to this great series. Thanks!

      Sue G.

      Sue G. said:

      My favorite of the towels is the Pink one with Bicycles & Stripped Ruffle !! Each holiday I make a personal pillow case like these for all the Great Grandkids & they love it !!

      Gina

      Gina said:

      I love them all but I think the ruffled one is my favorite!

      Nita R.

      Nita R. said:

      They are All favorites!!!!

      Karen

      Karen said:

      I love the pink bicycle one!

      Stephanie B

      Stephanie B said:

      My favorite is the squirrel appliquéd one!

      Stephanie B

      Stephanie B said:

      My favorite is the squirrel appliquéd one!

      Stephanie B

      Stephanie B said:

      My favorite is the squirrel appliquéd one!

      Brooke

      Brooke said:

      I like the one with the bicycles!

      candi

      candi said:

      Love the patchwork!

      Amanda Levanovich

      Amanda Levanovich said:

      Ruffles ruffles ruffles!!!

      jacqueline d

      jacqueline d said:

      I love the pink bicycles!!

      Lindsay Cherry

      Lindsay Cherry said:

      The pink bicycle one is my favorite!

      rachel adams

      rachel adams said:

      I love them all but my fave is the patchwork one!

      Brandy

      Brandy said:

      I love them all – love the ruffles and also really love the squirrel applique! Beautiful creations!!!!

      Autumn

      Autumn said:

      Love the double ruffle one…sooo cute!! Thanks for the tute!!

      Dana Larson

      Dana Larson said:

      I adore all of them and I love the mixing of new elements with old elements. Gorg!!

      Heather Barrie

      Heather Barrie said:

      The patchwork towel is my favorite, but they are all so cute. Thanks for the inspiration!

      Lisa Cowell

      Lisa Cowell said:

      My favorite is the print with the butterflies.

      Kimberly C.

      Kimberly C. said:

      I like the bicycle towel! They are all cute… love the bright colors!

      Sandy

      Sandy said:

      Wow, don’t think I could just pick one; I love them all~

      Kyla

      Kyla said:

      I love all of them but I will have to go with the bike as my favorite!

      Bonnie knopf

      Bonnie knopf said:

      I’ve purchased lovely tea towels just like these from anthropology- and have often considered making my own .
      <3

      Janel Waters

      Janel Waters said:

      I’m a sucker for navy and pink lately – I LOVE the bikes!!

      Stephanie

      Stephanie said:

      I love them all, too hard to decide, but am loving the pom pom towel.

      Lori Nicholas

      Lori Nicholas said:

      The Squirrel, so cute!! My daughters would love it!!

      Kathleen

      Kathleen said:

      I love the Ribbon Tea Towel! So pretty and bright.

      sara

      sara said:

      Love this post, beautiful towels!!!

      susan brown

      susan brown said:

      I love the bicycle towel!

      Pamela Coughlin

      Pamela Coughlin said:

      This looks like a fun project!
      I really like the little squirrel tea towel!

      Becky

      Becky said:

      Love the fabric so cute!

      Theresa

      Theresa said:

      Love the Bright Bicycle towel but love the others too!! Hard to pick just one to love!!

      KellyG

      KellyG said:

      Love these! The pink bicycle towel is my favorite!

      Melissa Johnson

      Melissa Johnson said:

      Sooo adorable!

      Melissa Jones

      Melissa Jones said:

      Love the tea towel made of Bicycles in Pink linen. The two navy bows are so adorable.

      Jill A

      Jill A said:

      The Ruffled Tea Towel! I am such a sucker for ruffles!!! :)

      Emilie Proctor

      Emilie Proctor said:

      I love the bicycle tea towel!

      Erin Noie

      Erin Noie said:

      The bike one!!

      Kristine

      Kristine said:

      I’m a triathlete so I have to go with the bikes. I’ve got swimming and running fabric so I want that bike fabric to match my pink bike!

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