27 December 2010

Embellished Tea Towels

Christmas is over, but I'm still in a gift making mood.  Embellished tea towels are one of my favorite things to make--they are quick, easy, cheap, and can be personalized. You can by tea towels or kitchen towels at most dollar stores, but I prefer to make my own with muslin. Muslin is very cheap, and you can usually find it on sale for $1 to $1.50 per yard.   

To make a muslin towel, measure one of your favorite kitchen towels to find the length and width.  My dimensions were 20 x 15.  Press well and hem all four sides.  Remember, when making a hem fold twice and sew the inner edge of the fold. Use a wider hem at the bottom and top.

Once you have your towel, you can embellish.  One of the quickest embellishments is just a strip of printed fabric sewn on the front.  Press and fold the edges of your fabric and sew in place.  In the photo, I did this and then stitched some ribbon around that to add a little bit more character.

You can appliqué the towel (as I did with an apple), use rickrack, fabric flowers, ruffles, or whatever suits your personality (or the personality of the recipient).

(For a great tutorial on how to make fabric flowers, see this post by LilBlueBoo. The only change I made was folding my fabric strips because I wanted to avoid the frayed raw edge.)

Pair this with a set of matching towels, add it to a gift basket, or give with some homemade bread.  It's a simple, thoughtful gift that people will cherish.

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