Saturday, April 2, 2011

Anthro-Inspired Tea Towels

I'm back!  France was amazingly wonderful and inspiring and romantic...I could go on and on!!  I'm already looking forward to our next visit...whenever that might be :)  I keep telling John that we HAVE to return someday soon in the spring or summer.  The gardens alone would be reason enough!

Among my favorites were the countless yummy bakeries around every corner, the Musee d'Orsay, seeing the Eiffel Tower sparkle at night, renting a flat in Montmartre with a view of the Sacre Coeur, the beautifully detailed and classic architecture and my very favorite, spending 10 whole days with my distractions, just us, hand in hand exploring the streets in the rain (getting lost a few times).   I'll post some pics of our trip over the next few weeks.

These are a few photos I took at the Palace of's unbelievably opulent and over the top.  Did you know that every single room in the palace has been redecorated over 10 times, some many more!!  And the expansive and manicured! 

A couple of weeks after I returned, I hosted a girls crafty night at my home.  We made vintage-inspired tea towels.  I love the cute tea towels at Anthropologie, but don't really want to pay $24 a piece.  So I thought...they can't be difficult to make and would cost much less.  Some of us purchased thick, textured linen to make our own towels using this tutorial.  If you don't want to go to the trouble of make the actual towel, you can buy plain, inexpensive towels pretty much anywhere...I love target!  We added embellishments like lacy trim (I found the yellow crocheted and rick rack trim (all one piece) below at my local fabric shop), pom poms, and ruffles made from extra fabric.  If you live around Seattle, Pacific Fabrics and Crafts has a great selection of unique trims.

I used a simple leaf stitch on my sewing machine to make the flower stems.  Then I cut up some flowers out of fabric and layered them and stitched them in place, placing a button in the middle to finish it.  I also stitched on top of the petals with some violet embroidery floss to hold the petals in place (I took this photo before I decided to do that part).      

The black and white towel below was a simple towel I purchased at Target.  I added the green floral ribbon and black cotton lace at the bottom.  I also added some of the yellow crocheted trim on the other side (not pictured).  I also added some embroidery detail using yellow thread...just simple little stitched circles!  

All in all, the two towels combined cost less than $20 to make.  I gave both of these away as gifts, but I can't wait to make some for my own kitchen!  I love the fact that you can customize them to the exact colors and style of your kitchen.  If you are looking for some creative fabric resources, check out this site!  It's great because you can choose what type of fabric you want...quilting weight, upholstery, linen, etc.  A friend also informed me of Fabric Worm.  She cut up some larger illustrations and stitched those on her towels (below).  You can also piece together different patches of fabric, sort of like quilting, to make a border.  

I loved our craft night and can't wait until the end of April when we hold our next one!  
A simple, useful craft that costs less than the original inspiration.  As Martha would say, it's a good thing :)


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  2. Em! The paris pics are ah-mazingly beautiful!! Oh my gosh. It looks so dreamy. Must go ASAP. I love the sepia conversion on them, also. Gorgeous. It makes them look timeless and romantic. So glad you love birds could have a great time.

    And I never saw you tea towel finished all the way...SO cute! Love the leaf stitching. Genius!

  3. BEAUTIFUL pictures! It is so fun to see the beauties you were able to see. Thank you for sharing :)

  4. Crafty girls night was so fun ;)

    I love seeing your Paris transports me back to the week I spent on those streets and in those museums and eating that delectable food :) So good. And the Eiffel Tower sparkling at night - isn't it the best? Romantic? Too bad I went with my roommate...maybe someday when our kids are grown I can talk Jacob into going back with me :)

  5. Thanks Em for the tea towel, it's hanging up in our kitchen, I love it!