Decorated Kitchen Towels

You know what is fun to design and give as a special gift? Something homemade! You know what is crappy about homemade gifts? Deciding what to make and then going through with it! Sometimes the idea of a DIY gift is more fun than the execution and final result of said gift, right? Well, here is a gift idea that is difficult to mess up and can be made (fairly) last minute. A gift you can give to anyone on your list, because it is something everyone can use. And that gift is decorated kitchen towels!

I know, it sounds kind of lame. But hear me out! This is actually something that I have given on three different occasions, and has always gone over well. Those times all had kids doing the decorating, but the towels are also nice when an adult makes them. The time and effort made in decorating them is what people appreciate, of course.

The supplies are pretty easy: flour sack towels and fabric markers are about all you need. Both are easy to buy through Amazon, but try finding them at your local grocery or general-type store first (some of you will understand how this is a project that screams Dueber’s).  Give a nice gift and help the local economy at the same time.

Markers ready, towel secured. Will move the mat around as I decorate each section.
Markers ready, towel secured. Will move the mat around as I decorate each section.

Launder your towels and read the directions on your fabric markers first so you know what you will be up against.  The towels are easier to decorate if secured to something flat, such as cardboard or a cutting mat.  This will also eliminate damaging surfaces because of marker bleed-through.  Pins, alligator clips and clothes pins all work to secure the towel to your board.

Sometimes simple decorations are the best
Sometimes simple decorations are the best

Now decorate away! Once finished, heat set the designs according to the marker directions. Or, use the towels to wrap another gift, furoshiki-style. Now you have created a nice gift for giving on multiple occasions that bring smiles every time it is used.

And the three different occasions I have created these? Well, the first time was for a silent auction item made by my preschool class. I divided the kids into groups, and each group decorated a towel; talk about a good way to guilt people into bidding on something! The second time was for a wedding gift for a teacher. Her students decorated some towels and signed their names. Those students felt great pride in making something for their teacher, and it was a useful keepsake. The third time the decorated kitchen towels were used for a gift was when I blatantly (and repeatedly) hinted that my husband should have our daughter make me some for Christmas. Because sometimes you have to push for the things you want…speaking from experience.

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