Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Custom Photo Tea Towel Tutorial

Are you looking for something new and creative to make for yourself or give as a gift?  Here is a great and fairly simple answer.  A photo tea towel.

Bethany over at Ivy Twines thought it would be a good idea to create and post a simple tutorial, and this being my first tutorial, I was happy for her request.

I came up with this idea after running out of creative ways to give my parents pictures of my kids.  Any event that came up whether it be Mother's Day, Christmas, my moms birthday, I got the same request from my mom.  "Pictures of the kids would be nice."  I have done everything from decorating a photo mat with the kids painted fingerprints in the shapes of caterpillars and ladybugs, to photobooks from Apple to just a simple framed picture.

Although this towel is made to be washed, trust me when I tell you that you will not want to wash it.  The picture could fade over time and for it to look and hang nicely, you would have to iron it after washing.  This is a decorative towel.  Hang it from your oven, from your fridge, wherever...and tell the men in your life that it is off limits for drying hands...like the pretty ones in your bathroom.  Poor guys!

Materials Needed:

  • Flour Sack Towel or Tea Towel  (Bed Bath and Beyond carries these or you can make your own)
  • Heat N Bond Lite Fusible Interfacing (Joann's or most other fabric stores carry this)
  • Ink Jet Printable Fabric (Joann's or most other fabric stores carry this)
  • Printer (make sure that your ink is the printer brands ink, not refilled cartridges off of ebay)
  • Sewing Machine and Thread
  • Ribbon

~Let's Get Started~

Step One - Wash, dry and iron your tea towel unless it indicates that it is preshrunk.  If that is the case, just iron it.  You can still go ahead and wash it if you don't like the idea of it being brought home from the store.

Step Two - Print a 5 x 7 photo onto your Ink Jet Printable Fabric.  I use the setting of photo printing on plain paper.  The specific brand of printable fabric should list their specifics.

Step Three - Iron the photo to heat set it.  Peel off the paper backing.

Step Four - Rinse under water.  Get it completely saturated and even scrunch it just a bit.

Step Five - Blot it with a paper towel to get the bulk of the water out then iron it again until it is completely dry.  This happens fairly quickly.

Step Six - Iron interfacing (cut just slightly larger than 5x7) to the back of the photo to cover the entire image.

Step Seven - Trim the edges of the picture so that you don't have any white showing.  I usually cut a tiny bit into the photo.

Step Eight - Lay your towel flat.  Fold your towel lengthwise, halfway to the middle once, then the other side to the middle.  Then, fold in half as if you were going to hang it.

Step Nine - Set up a "mock" finished product by seeing exactly where you want the picture to be placed.  You can lay the ribbon there as well to help you find a good place for your photo.  You will be attaching ribbon to the full length of the towel, so don't cut it while you are doing your "mock up".  It will have to be much longer.

Step Ten - Peel the interfacing paper backing off of your photo and iron it to the spot you chose on the towel.

Step Eleven - Open the towel up completely.  Place the ribbon across the entire length of the towel above the photo and cut at the ends.  Repeat with ribbon for below the photo.

Step Twelve - Using a lighter, seal the ends of the ribbon to keep them from fraying.  Don't actually touch the flame to the ribbon, just hold it close enough so that it will melt it.  You can also use Fray Check instead of a lighter.  I just find it a lot easier to use the lighter so I don't have to wait for it to dry, etc.

Step Thirteen - Pin the ribbons in place to the towel.

Step Fourteen - Straight stitch around the entire ribbon.  Bottom, side, top and last short side.  Don't forget to backstitch.  Trim edges.

Step Fifteen - With a zigzag stitch, stitch around the entire picture.  Once all sides are stitched, backstitch and then trim your edges.


Please feel free to use this tutorial to create your own custom photo tea towel for personal use or as a gift for friends and family.  Do not use this design for sale.  If you stumbled on this tutorial and don't sew but would like one, please contact me through my Etsy shop to create your own custom towel.  http://www.taglinedesigns.etsy.com  Thanks!

Copyright © 2009 - 2010 by TAG Line Designs - All rights reserved.
This product is copyright protected and may not be copied or reprinted without written consent of TAG Line Designs.


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