Wednesday, July 3, 2013

DIY Embroidered Tea Towel

Hey friend-os! Today I'd like to share a DIY for embroidered tea towels. I know, the picture made you think we were talking ice cream today, but no. We're talking tea towels!

I had picked up a couple of plain tea towels earlier in the week and knew I wanted to embroider them, but didn't necessarily have a good plan in mind for what I wanted to embroider. So, as I was sitting in the kitchen with my head in the freezer (seriously. My place was swelteringly hot.), I started thinking about rainbow sherbet and how awesome it sounded. Then I started thinking about how awesome rainbow sherbet colors were and decided that would be a great color scheme for my project!

So I had the colors figured out, but still no idea what to embroider. I thought I might try out using this cute ice cream cone stamp I got recently, but decided it was too small. Around this time, I realized how ridiculous it was to be in the kitchen with my head in the freezer, and went into the bathroom to get a cold washcloth to put around my neck. That's when the inspiration struck! My bathroom has darling hexagon tiles for the flooring, so I decided to borrow from that motif and create a cute little hexagon border on my tea towels.

Here's how to make them!
First up, supplies! You'll need:

  • A tea towel
  • A hexagon template
  • A pencil or sewing marker. I used a ballpoint pen, but this is not a good idea. I was just too hot to search for my one remaining pencil that has likely been stolen by my cats.
  • An embroidery hoop
  • An embroidery needle
  • Embroidery floss in 3 colors. Preferably rainbow sherbet colors, but you do you.
  • Scissors 
Begin by tracing hexagons into a honeycomb formation onto your tea towel. You'll be making a border, so I suggest having the hexagons 2-3" up from the bottom edge. Rows 1, 2, and 3 were constant, but I occasionally left out the hexagons in the row 4 to create an interesting pattern.
When you're done tracing, you should have something that looks like the picture above.
Next, put your tea towel into your embroidery hoop and start embroidering! You'll want to backstitch around the perimeter of each hexagon.
Backstitching is real easy. You can get a decent sense of how it works from looking at the picture above, or you can check out this tutorial to learn how!
When your first hexagon is complete, you should have something that looks like this! Keep going!
Look at all those cute little guys. I did my top and bottom most row in orange, the second row down in mint green, and the third row down in pink. That way, you won't have two hexagons of the same color right next to each other and you get a nice mix of them all together.
Once you've made it through all your hexagons, give your tea towel a good press.
And hey, if it's too hot to iron, forget it! A few wrinkles never hurt anyone. Particularly not when there's rainbow sherbet to be had!

Til next time!

-Becca

53 comments:

  1. This turned out super cute! The colors are perfect for summer :)
    -Katie

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  2. so cute! your stitched are so neat.. I'm ashamed hahah

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    1. Thanks Juni! I'm actually pretty new to embroidery (my first project was like a year ago), but I've been sewing for ages so I think that helps. Practice makes better!

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  3. this is adorable!! man, i really need to learn how to embroider haha

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    1. Thank you! I learned by picking up an old 70s crewel set and just tried to follow the weird little diagrams they included on how to make each kind of stitch. It's really pretty easy but takes some patience to finish a big project. You should try it out!

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  4. Holy crap this adorable and so is your blog! I just found it and I'm hardcore crushing on all of your posts right now!

    www.room-334.blogspot.com

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  5. This is so cute! I absolutely love it! xo

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  6. You always make the cutest things!

    www.whimsydarling.com

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  7. I love how your design is simple but really pretty & cheerful! Very inspiring!

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    1. Thank you so much! I love to try and make things that simple but have a good impact. I really appreciate your kind words!

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  8. Nice DIY! We'll have to try it!

    S&R
    Blog: http://www.CattailDown.com

    Sarah's new Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/therucksackrefinery

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    1. Thank you so much! I hope it turns out great!

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  9. Becca I just pinned about half of your DIY projects! So cute! I just started blogging around the same time as you, too--hope you're having a blast!

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    1. Aw, thank you! I'm totally having a blast. It's a great way to keep myself in fun projects. I hope you're having a blast, too!

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  10. Wow, that looks totally gorgie! I was at the thrift store earlier this week and picked up a set of 3 embroidery rings, then the queue was so long and I was in a rush, so I put them back - now I think I have to go back and hope they are still there, as I need to make a tea towel like this!!
    Em xx

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    1. Thank you! I hope those embroidery hoops are still there when you go back!

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  11. What a sweet idea! I love the color scheme you picked, and the hexagons make such a nice pattern.

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    1. Thanks, Stephanie! I'm on a big hexagon/honeycomb kick right now!

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  12. This is brilliant! it looks like it takes a while to embroider but the end product is totally worth it xx

    www.jessthetics.wordpress.com

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    1. Thank you! It definitely took some time, but it's pretty simple stitching so it's a great activity to do while you watch a movie.

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  13. Super cute, Becca!! I'm definitely saving this DIY for next weekend! :)

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    1. Thank you so much! I hope you have fun trying it out!

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  14. Great color and shape combo, very cute! How do you think these will hold up in the wash? Any special tricks aside from hand washing?

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    1. Thank you! Hand washing is probably your best bet. I tend to use tea towels decoratively and for drying dishes so mine don't see a lot of wear and tear. If you want to machine wash them, your best bet would probably be to pre-shrink/wash the tea towel on a warmer setting before you embroider it and then wash and dry on a cool setting after it's done.

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  15. It is very pretty, I'm having a little challenge on my blog and I discover that your creation corespond theme perfectly :-) would you agree to participate in my little challenge Sorry for my english
    Audrey
    www.patatipatatarte.wordpress.com

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    1. Hi Audrey! Thank you for letting me know about your challenge. I'll stop by and check it out soon!

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  16. Embroidery and hexagons...my two favorite things! I'm adding these to my Lovely Embroidery Pinterest board, but if you'd rather that I remove it, please let me know.

    So cute!

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    1. Thanks, Mollie. I'm glad you liked this project and am thrilled to have you pin it!

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  17. While the embroidery is impressive - the sorbet is making my mouth water and instantly bringing back childhood memories! Great photography. I am going to the store.

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    1. Haha, I love it! I pretty much went out and bought rainbow sherbet the second I started thinking about it!
      Thank you for the compliments!

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  18. this is the loveliest tea towel i've ever seen! i've never embroidered anything, but you make it look so easy that i might have to give it a try. also, that rainbow sherbet is raaather convincing and seems like the perfect reward for a DIY well done.

    xo nicole
    writeslikeagirlblog.com

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    1. Thanks Nicole! If you can sew on a button I bet you could do this embroidery. I hope you get a chance to try it and reward yourself with some rainbow sherbet!

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  19. i am *absolutely* gonna do pillowcases (pillowshams) like this for my bedroom. Awesome!

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    1. Fantastic! Pillowcases will be SO CUTE!

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  20. As I said on Facebook : very nice !

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  21. It looks beautiful and cute, Love it .

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  22. I am very impressed to read such a nice article, its contain very important and informative content that is highly appreciable. Good to visit here and I definitely visit here again in future.

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    1. Thank you so much! I really appreciate your kind words!

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  23. Your work is amazing, wow such great photography to.

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  24. it is treat to watch love your idea of embroidery and designing. thank you

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  25. Thanks so much! Welcome here :) It's such a blessing to have these keepsakes! I'm thinking I'll have to make a copy of the vintage patterns some day so they can keep being passed on!

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