Saturday, November 19, 2011

12 Weeks of Christmas- Week 6 : Handpainted Tea Towels

Once upon a time, I took a sewing class. We were told to go out and buy an entire bolt of unbleached muslin (a somewhat inexpensive cotton fabric).  The sewing class ended up going really badly for me. I struggled in it, fell behind, and then I stopped trying and doing assignments and then I failed the course.

So... long story short, I have a TON of muslin left over.

After looking around online, I found out that you could make tea towels (or dish towels) from muslin! And it's really easy. I was so excited.

If you don't have a large amount of muslin taking up space at your house like I do, you could buy the tea towels from Wal-Mart or someplace like that and then decorate them. But I'm getting ahead of myself...

I found this tutorial for making tea towels from old tablecloths and then stamping them with fabric paint over at A Beautiful Mess- a blog all about fashion and creativity!

For my tea towels, I used one I already had to measure my fabric. Make sure to add a little for seam allowances. Then, based on the tutorial, I folded each raw edge over twice (1/4 inch each for each fold) and then pressed them carefully with my steam iron. This gives you neat little edges.

Then I sewed all of the folds in place.

After you do your sewing, you'll want to steam iron/press all of the folds down again just to keep it all nice and flat.

Next, using my Marks-Be-Gone fabric marker (that I used back in the embroidery tutorials ), I made some shapes on the bottom third of my fabric- mostly just freehanded. You could do any sort of design you wanted!

Then I took some fabric paint (VERY cheap at the fabric store) and a small paint brush and filled in all of my lines.

Here's the result:

The paint is still drying in these photos. The bottle says to let it dry for 72 hours before washing it. Oh and be careful drying it- this IS 100% cotton!

I think I'm going to keep this particular towel for our house! We really need a new one of these (the one I used to measure my fabric is getting pretty yucky).

Tea towels are a very versatile Christmas gift! Not only are they good for washing dishes, they also really come in handy when baking- making cake rolls, covering food to keep it warm, or covering bread dough while it rises. This would also make a great housewarming gift!

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