A Gift A Day

A Gift a Day: Day One: Embroidered Kitchen Towels

Flour Sack Initial Kitchen Towels The Prudent Homemaker

Here is a gift you can give as a housewarming gift or as part of a bridal shower gift. It’s simple and inexpensive. You can include a loaf of rosemary olive oil bread as well if you like.

 

Supplies:

 

Flour Sack Towels (You only need one for this project to cut into two towels)

Dritz Mark-B-Gone Marking Pen

White Thread

Embroidery Thread 

 

Tools:

Sewing Machine (optional)

Embroidery Needle

Scissors

Printer (optional)

Iron

Ruler

Embroidery hoop

 

Flour Sack Initial Kitchen Towels  A The Prudent Homemaker

 

I purchased the towels from Sam’s Club in a pack of 12 for $12.78. They are 30″ by 38″. If you only want to make a few towels, Target carries this four pack for $3.99 (they are 30″ by 30″), which you can buy in the store or online.

These are huge towels. I wash and dry them before doing the project to allow for any shrinkage to take place, as they are 100% cotton. 

I then fold them in half and iron them. I cut them in half along the fold line. I iron and hem the sides that I cut on my machine. The twoels already have a hem on two sides, so when I cut them, I cut them in that same direction, so that it will have a hem on both sides along the length.

I then fold the towels in half again lengthwise, and I use the Mark B Gone pen to mark the middle of the towels along the bottom edge (just a short line works fine).

To make the initial, I print a letter in a font I like. If you don’t have a printer, you can draw on an initial. If you don’t have a font that you like, you can try a site such as dafont.com to download some free fonts. (And if you don’t have a word processing program, you can download Open Office for free.) For these towels, I used the font “Edwardian Script” printed at size 150.

I used a light table to trace my letter, measuring the bottom of the letter 3 1/2 inches up from the mark I made on the center bottom of the towel. However, you can simply tape your printed paper to a sunny window and trace the letter with the washable marking pen.

I then place the towels in a embroidery hoop and get to work! You can use any stitches you prefer. I used a stem stitch to do the entire letter. Where the letter was thicker, I made several rows of stem stitch next to one another. 

When you are done with the embroidery work, remove the towel from the hoop and rinse the blue marker off with clear water. It is important that you do not use soap, as soap will set the marker. 

Hang towels to dry, and iron again before gifting.

 

Time:

About one hour per embroidered letter. To cut towel and sew each half, about 15 minutes. Total time for 2 towels: 2 hours and 20 minutes.

 

Cost:

$1.20 for two towels 

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26 Comments

  1. Lovely! I’ve been putting initials on ladies hankies and then either trimming in very fine lace I had in the cupboard or crocheting a lace edge on them for Christmas and next year’s birthday gifts. I’ve just put initials on men’s hankies – I’m sure they don’t want lace edges 🙂

  2. Have you been to the Costco business center in Las Vegas? They have 50# bags of onions and pototoes and many other large bag items of fruits and vegatables. Onions were 12.99 and I think pototoes were even less. They have lots of larger items than costo regular stores. I think they cater to the restuarants.

  3. I am going to do this…..I believe I have all the supplies on hand. Thanks again for the inspiration. Hope you are feeling better

  4. This is such a beautiful idea, Brandy. I LOVE it! It would also be lovely to give with a jar of homemade jam, preserves or any favourite baked goods as well.

  5. We received some embroidered kitchen towels as a wedding gift, and I love them. There is something so special about hand embroidery. I’ve been inspired by your posts to start embroidering again, especially for gift items. Thanks for all of your wonderful ideas, Brandy!

    And your presentation is absolutely stunning! It’s hard to believe that something so pretty cost a mere dollar or two.

  6. I have a set of embroidered towels from when I got married. They are the full size, and I have used them so much that they are full of holes and then enough to see thru, this post reminded me I need another set. I think I am going to buy the towels and set my girls to embroider them for me as a gift:D

  7. Brandy, those are lovely. Sometime, could you give some embroidery tips on how to make the backside look as nice as the front? My backside has always looked sloppy. (I just read that and that is too funny — I mean the backside of my embroidery.) What stitch do you use for lettering?

  8. Anna,

    That is a fantastic price! I appreciate you sharing that with me! I have not been there but I have heard about it. I did not know about that price for onions. I will have to see what I can do since I cannot go in a car yet; thank you so much!

  9. The hand sewing is beautiful! I have an embroidery sewing machine, so I do the same thing, but on the machine. I have done some with 1 large initial and others with the couple’s monogram. It is an easy and relatively inexpensive gift.

  10. My youngest is still looking for ideas for Christmas. I think I will show her this…she has not picked up the knitting bug as her sisters did. They would also make nice wedding anniversary presents. She likes small things she can put down and pick up an fit in her backpack…she often waits between classes at school as too far to go home.

  11. So happy for the idea, Brandy. I am making my children that are married an 8 x 10 framed initial of their last name done with black vinyl on glass. Unfortunately, my oldest daughter was just given the same thing by a friend so was not sure what to give her. The towel will be perfect— perhaps a set of three for the kitchen. Thank you!

  12. Embroidery is one of my favorite things to do because it’s easy to carry around to all the appointments my kids have and I love the look. In the past, I have purchased flour sack dish towels from Walmart, but haven’t tried there for quite a while because it is out of my way. Recently, when I wanted to get some done for a shower and I had a time crunch, I bought some at JoAnn’s. They are more expensive, but are thicker. I used a coupon to buy them, making them more reasonable. I used the Aunt Martha’s iron-on embroidery patterns to get my design. The paper stamps can be used several times. I tend to use the simpler patterns because they are a little faster to embroider.

    For a project I finished recently, I used a product called Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy. I followed the directions, but it basically involved printing the design onto this sheet of product, using the printer. This pattern was ironed onto the fabric. This gave me a very clear, sharp image to embroider. Then, I embroidered the design. To get the product off, I had to wash it in the sink and the product dissolved. The wall hanging I made was more complicated than a dish towel, but I could have transferred the design (which I got from a magazine) using the red transfer pen I have as well. I just thought it might be a little too detailed for that to work this time, so I did it the other way.

  13. Hi there–I was sent to your blog by Kimberly at Serendipity Refined…she and I are girlhood friends. I want to tell how absolutely gorgeous your photos are, and the design of your blog is fantastic…easy to read…lots of white space…great fonts…love all of it. I so appreciate all the time it takes to be a blogger…something that I can never seem to muster! LOL! I enjoy your work…thanks. Ann

  14. I will be buying more of the linen fabric I used last year to make my sister a table runner for her Sukkot feasts and making napkins to match the runner. I will be embroidering a Sabbath candle in the corners. I also made her a rustic centerpiece box last year and painted part of a verse “Be joyful at your feast” on the sides (sorry, I can’t remember off the top of my head which Psalm it is from) The table runner also has a verse referring to feasting. Both the box and runner can be used thru out the year for the different holidays they celebrate. I think the total cost was around $10 with coupons for the fabric and the wood was scraps we had leftover from other projects.

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