Family Recipe Card Tea Towel
We are probably the last generation to have recipe cards, and family recipe cards hold a lot of family memories. You can share those memories by gathering them into a book with family pictures, or try this fun tea towel project!
Spoonflower is an online fabric company with 650K+ custom-designed fabrics. As in, you can create an image or design, upload it, and make things from a yard of your design! They have great video instructions for the tea towel project with three easy steps, and one tea towel design will print four to a yard. They use Photoshop for the layout (don’t let it overwhelm you!), but you just need to be able to create a jpg that is 27x18 inches on any program. Canva, PicMonkey, Publisher, or another simple design program are all adequate for this project. Here is another set of instructions with a video link (I like to be prepared!) Did you know there is a free app that will remove a background from your picture with a push of a button? You might want to use it for other creations- it isn’t perfect, but works pretty well, and is based on figures and faces.
Obviously, tea towels are designed and hung vertically, so start your designing that way. Once complete, the tea towel image will need to be turned horizontally to be uploaded to the template on the Spoonflower site. Once you make the entire image a jpg, use the rotation arrow, like you would with a picture. I also gave some consideration in the design to the fact that tea towels are often folded hung with the center third showing.
Video versions are not nearly as complicated as mine - most work with a single recipe card scanned into jpg format. We have a family birthday cake recipe and I thought it would be fun to gather family birthday photos to illustrate it. My recipe card for this cake is barely readable at this point! I also wanted to test printing photos on fabric for quality. I am a designer, so complicated is kind of my thing, but not at all necessary.
If you are using a single 3x5 recipe, you probably want to choose 600dpi (dots per inch) on your scanner, so that when you enlarge it to tea towel size, it is still nice and clear. It is so fun to have the original hand writing! If you are designing a combination of images and text, be sure to also allow for hemming (I allowed for 1” all around. Save the file as a jpg.
Spoonflower is all set up for a simple upload of your project. You will want to set up an account for a designer discount (Yes! You are a designer now!) Choose a centered repeat on a yard of Linen Cotton Canvas Ultra ($27/yd before designer discount) which will give you four tea towels. If you are just doing just one, a “fat quarter” will work.
Your fabric will come in about 10 days. They suggest washing it - I hand washed it to get the sizing out and then put it in the dryer. I didn’t want it to unravel very much. Then I ironed it and cut it into the four towels (with the 1” border”). I ironed my first hem turn and sewed them up. I truly LOVE how they turned out. I will be ordering another three yards of fabric (12 more towels) to make them for the rest of the family. I already have an idea for my next one, with original handwriting and a more simple design.