Tea Towel Inspiration

Sometimes it”s finding beauty in the little things that can bring a bit of happiness to our homes. Take the simple dish towel for example. A brightly colored or embellished tea towel can really brighten up a kitchen.

What is a tea towel exactly? In 18th century England, a tea towel was a special linen drying cloth used by the mistress of the house to dry her precious and expensive china tea things {source}. Sounds so Downton Abbey-esque, no?

Let”s look at some inspiring ways to both design/decorate tea towels, and some ways to repurpose them.

Favorite Embellishments

Here are some sweet ways to take a towel from a boring piece of housecleaning equipment to something pretty to look at.


:: ruffles!


:: embroidery!

Source: indiefixx.com via Sash on Pinterest


:: stamped!

Which one is your favorite? I”m usually partial to embroidery, but the ruffled and stamp versions would be fun as well.

Repurposed Tea Towels

Sometimes a little towel is just the right size to be given new life outside of drying dishes. Here are some great projects for repurposing the humble towel.


First of all, these map towels are adorable, but secondly, repurposing stools with them is a very clever use for them.

Source: make-it-do.com via Keri on Pinterest


Make it into an apron!


There are also lots of ways to make the towels themselves into a little girl”s skirt (or you could piece together several for a bigger size). I just love this one though and how the vintage embroidery from a tea towel is preserved into a built-in apron.

Source: remodelista.com via Gina on Pinterest


Curtains can be made from tea towels in a variety of ways, too.

On Pinning…

You probably noticed that these inspiring finds were found via Pinterest. While we”re on the subject, I wanted to point your attention to using Pinterest responsibly, giving credit where credit is due.

Before you repin something, go ahead and check to make sure it links back to the original post, won”t ya? It just takes a few extra clicks to help protect someone”s intellectual property. You can read more about this here.

Have you repurposed any tea towels? Feeling inspired? Share in the comments your ideas or what you”ve done.

About Nicole

Nicole can be found blogging at her lifestyle blog GidgetGoesHome.com, and is the editor of Simple Homemade. She loves to read, sew, make ice cream, take pictures, watch baseball and go for walks by the beach with her hubby and three little kiddos. She loves anything handmade and is affectionately known as a bit of a hippie among family and friends.


  1. i love cute tea towels – last year i made them into aprons for my mom and sister as part of their hostess gifts for my bridal shower!

    brie´s latest post: lately.

  2. I love the stamped ones!
    Bernice @ The Stressed Mom´s latest post: Making exercise a habit

  3. Beautiful patterns! I actually have never heard of tea towels but I’ve seen similar patterns on stationery as well as the store Anthropologie.
    Sleeping Mama´s latest post: My toddler the bottomless pit

  4. Yes, the photo of the kitchen reminds me of my first little (old) house complete with homemade tea towel cafe curtains and farmhouse sink. I’ve wanted to use sweet tea towels in my current home above my table but the only towels I’ve found that i really like are from Anthropologie and that is way too expensive for what I need.
    Kika@embracingimperfection´s latest post: To Walk Humbly

  5. Okay, this is really just too cute. I love tea towels. I remember my grandmother and my mother both having the embroidered ones. And I am impressed with the “upcycling” idea with the stool and chair covers. Very creative.
    Laura Black´s latest post: Returning to the Earth, Naturally – A Green Burial

  6. Ooh.. Love the thought of turning them into those quaint half-curtains. Thanks!
    Prerna´s latest post: Nourish Your Skin Naturally with Le Petit Refuge {Review}

  7. Am I the only one here whose tea towels would never be suitable for repurposing into a garment or home decor? When my towels are done, they are raggedy and stained! I love fresh new ones, though. My favorite are the flour sack towels that have been lovingly embroidered.

  8. This is just the inspiration I needed. I need new towels and want them to be cute. But, not so cute that I won’t use them. I liked the stamped ones best for user friendliness.

  9. I love the map stools! <3

  10. Amy Ayers says:

    The school my mom attended has an auction every year for a fundraiser. It’s full of home made foods, crafts, and quilts. There are always sets of Embroidered Tea Towels and people fight over them (bidding wars)! I have had several sets over the years and given several sets away as gifts. Everyone always loves them :)
    And I would have to agree with “U” when I’m done with my towels they are in the scraps box. They are not in any condition to be pretty or decoratively re-purposed, but they make great rags for dusting with.


  1. [...] Tea Towel Inspiration @ Simple Organic [...]

Share Your Thoughts


CommentLuv badge