Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Easy DIY Fancy Tea Towels

I seriously love tea towels. I have PILES of them in my kitchen at home and I use them several times a day. In my very humble opinion, there's no better or easier way to add a little color and style to a kitchen. 

While walking (running!) through Target on an emergency milk run, I found these little babies on clearance. 

Aren't they cute? They were only $2 a pop! I love the bright red color- the predominate color in my kitchen- and that they were covered in pictures of toast! Who doesn't love toast? 

Once, as a silly teenager, I only ate buttered, white toast for about a week. I thought it would make me skinny like Britney Spears. Again, I was a silly teenager (with, I might add, impeccable taste in food, even if my knowledge of nutrition was seriously lacking)!

Anyway, I instantly fell in love with these towels, but felt they needed a little spiffing up.
Enter... my stash of trimming scraps. 

We are moving back home (Hallelujah!) next week, and so I seriously need to cut down on my stash of scrap fabric and notions. Little projects like this are the perfect way to do it! 

Fold your tea towels in half, hot dog style. Measure the width. Mine were about 8-ish inches wide, so I cut my strips of trim 9 inches long so I'd have some room to tuck the unfinished edges under. 

Remember, you'll be doing a front and back of the folded towel, so you'll need to cut double the amount of the trim you want.

For example:

I wanted two layers of white ruffle on my towel, so I cut four 9 inch strips.
I wanted one layer of red ruffle on my towel, so I cut two 9 inch strips.

Got it? It's easy-peasy. Once you get this down, you can do any type of embellishment you want- buttons, ribbon, lace, etc.! This would also make s totally easy project for a beginner- no hard and fast rules, and just simple, straight seams!

Ok, so now that you have your trim cut, unfold your towel and pin trim in place, making sure to tuck the unfinished edges under on the edges. Sew in place! You'll want your trim to be on one half of the towel, top and bottom, like this: 

 You could, of course, do trim all the way across. I tried that earlier and it made my towels lay funny, and these puppies are just going to be decorative accents on my stove, so I wasn't too worried about it. 

Next, you'll need to add your ties. Find where the center crease of your towel is when it's folded hamburger-style. My towels had been sitting on a self in Target for some time, so it was easy to see. If yours aren't, just measure the length and divide by half. 

Cut two 10 to 12 inch lengths of ribbon or lace, and pin them to either side of the center crease on the UNEMBELLISHED side of your towel. That's important. You'll see why in a sec! 

Sew the ties in place.

And you're done! Just fold your towel so that the ruffles are on the outside and the ties are on the inside.

Drape over the bar on your stove, and tie the ties in place. Now your kids, dogs, husband, etc. wont be able to pull or knock your pretty towels off and onto the floor ( I can't tell you how many times that's happened in my house)! 

Super cute, and super easy! I hope you give this one a try and go crazy with it- you can never have too many ruffles!

Have a great day!