Tea Towel Tricks

Updated April 17, 2017

A tea towel is like an empty canvas: Transform a tea towel into something else entirely, or merely enhance it, making it something special and unique. Tea towels often feature patterns that lend themselves to projects beyond the kitchen. Since tea towels are already hemmed, a clever person with a few tricks up her sleeve can whip up a tea towel project in no time at all.

Colourful Tote

Tea towels are perfectly sized for tote bags and come in colours and patterns that lend themselves to a colourful accessory. Fold one in half, sew it up the sides and add a handle for a quick bag that will serve well as a laptop tote, gift bag or as storage for craft supplies. Create a tote bag quickly by attaching grommets to hold cord handles. Simply run a thick cord through the holes and tie knots to hold it in place. Make a more complex tote by adding interfacing and a lining; such totes make creative gifts for teachers.

Stamped Tea Towels

Stamp tea towels to create a personalised gift. Consider stamping a message on tea towels for a housewarming or wedding present. Use foam letter stamps with fabric paint to print an important date, the couple's names or monogram, or a fun quote. Experiment with the stamps before printing on your tea towels; paper towels make a good test surface.

Grocery Bag Holder

Make a handy grocery bag holder that coordinates with your tea towels. Sew a channel for cord on the top and bottom of a tea towel, then sew together the long edges to create a tube. Thread some elastic or cord in the channels and attach a small loop for hanging. You'll keep your plastic grocery bags organised and handy in a pleasingly decorative manner.

Pick-Me-Up Pillow

Tea towels often offer interesting designs that can't be found in fabric stores. Some tea towels may complement other decor in your home. Sew a pillow out of a tea towel to add a quick pick-me-up to a sofa, bed or chair. Simply fold the tea towel in half with the wrong side out, iron and sew it shut. Leave a small opening to turn it right-side out again and stuff with polyester filling or cotton. Sew the opening closed and voila--you have a near-instant pillow to complement your decor You can also leave one side of the pillow open in order to create a sham for a boudoir pillow, as tea towels are usually an appropriate size for this pillow.

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About the Author

Elise Wile has been a writer since 2003. Holding a master's degree in curriculum and Instruction, she has written training materials for three school districts. Her expertise includes mentoring, serving at-risk students and corporate training.