When Spoonflower calls and says “Hey! Do you want to join makers from around the globe in a hand made holiday blog hop and show us how you celebrate Christmas with fabric?” I said “Sure thing Spoonflower peeps, you know I can’t resist beautiful textile designs.

I love to give handmade at Christmas, but the truth is unless you start your present making early, it’s easy to run out of time once rolls around.

I’ve got the perfect solution for a unique handmade gift which is super practical too.

These aren’t your plain old boring tea towels though, they are like mini works of art. With Spoon flower you can order fabric to be printed with your choice of designs from 1000s of indie designers or you can even create a design yourself. It doesn’t take long to hem the fabric edges so it’s a quick and easy hand made gift.

But tea towels aren’t just useful for washing up, I’ve framed some really pretty ones to hang on my wall, and they make great eco friendly wrapping too.

Inspired by Furishiki, Japanese fabric wrapping, I’ve hemmed up a bunch of tea towels and used them to wrap some small gifts. It’s doubling up the joy with zero gift wrapping rubbish to throw away.

I chose 6 designs that felt festive and summery with a retro twist. Each design is printed on a quarter of Linen Cotton Canvas Ultra fabric.

I can’t pick just one favourite, but I’m pretty enamoured with the seafood tea towel, and the Kitchen friends calendar.

How to make a Tea Towel

You will need:
  • 1 quarter of Cotton Canvas Ultra fabric (or alternative).
  • Scissors or Rotary Cutter, Ruler and cutting mat
  • Iron
  • Sewing machine
  • Denim needle (optional)
  • Rolled hem foot (optional)
  • Matching sewing thread
  • General sewing supplies
How to:

1. Order a tea towel Quarter design from Spoon flower and wait patiently for it to arrive. Alternatively you can use a fabric from your stash (cotton drill is a good choice).

2. If the tea towel will be for personal use, give it a wash. If you are making for a gift, you may want to skip this step as some darker designs can fade slightly. Once dry give it a good press.

3. Square off the edges with a rotary cutter and ruler. You can also use scissors.

4. Use your Rolled hem sewing machine foot to make a narrow rolled hem on the long sides of the tea towel. The small hem requires less fabric so your tea towel doesn’t end up too narrow.

Tip: I found the Linen Cotton Canvas Ultra fabric quite and a little tough to sew once there were a few layers. A denim needle helped pierce all the fabric cleanly.

5. Press a double fold hem on the top and bottom of the tea towel (short sides). About 1cm should be fine. Stitch down and press to finish.

Tea Towel Furoshiki – An Eco Friendly way

Now comes the fun part, using the gift you’ve just made to wrap another gift. It’s like gift giving inception. Mind Blown!

Traditional furoshiki cloths are large, square and made from fairly thin fabric, which makes them very adaptable to wrap and carry almost anything. With a tea towel you are more limited with wrapping styles, but with the help of some yarn, string and twine, I’ve managed to wrap six small gifts in unique and interesting ways.