Making things with tea towels (Part 1 of a 3 part series!)

Tea towels are marvellous things that don’t have to be used for the dull job of drying dishes. Spurred on by an article in Ideal Home magazine, when I saw some brightly coloured tea towels in Wilko’s I had to try my hand at making some of the ideas.

Tea Cosy

Make your own tea cosy

This lovely apple patterned tea cosy was the first project I had a go at. We only use a teapot occasionally but when we do the second cuppa is never quite hot enough for my liking, so I thought I’d give making a tea cosy a go.

What you will need:

Fabric (two types- one for the outside and one for the inside), thin wadding, paper for the pattern, scissors, thread, pins, sewing machine.

  • First off draw your pattern. I measured up against the teapot, added extra then extra again for the seam! I drew the pattern freehand but I suppose a compass or dinner plate would come in handy to get a smart curve.
  • Cut out two pieces from the fabric for inside the cosy (I used an old sheet) and then two pieces from the tea towel. Remember that you want any pattern the right way up on both sides of the tea cosy….. I didn’t and have upside down apples on one side!
  • Sew together the straight edges of the outside and inside fabric (right sides in).
  • At this point I turned the fabric right way round and then placed the wadding sandwiched between and cut it to fit.
  • All you have to do now (again right side in) is sew through all the layers along the curved side. The layers should be in the following order: inside fabric, wadding, tea towel, tea towel, wadding, inside fabric.

Turn your tea cosy right side out and pop it on your teapot! Marvel at how the tea stays that extra bit warmer!

Heart Decorations for the Home

Heart decoration

I’ve been making a few of these recently using fabric I had left over from Christmas and some cheap tea towels. You can hang them from doors, lamps, or just pile them up on a mantel piece or table.

What you will need:

Fabric, paper to draw the heart pattern, pins, scissors, thread, sewing machine (not essential, can be hand sewn), needle, stuffing.

Check out craft stores such as Hobycraft, The Range etc. or many online shops, including eBay for materials.

Decide on the fabric you want to use, depending on the size of the hearts a smaller pattern or plain stripes or spots is probably best.

  • Draw a heart pattern on some paper, you can decide on the exact size you want. If you would like a perfectly symmetrical heart you can use a compass or something circular to draw round (e.g. a cup or glass). The example at the top of this post was just drawn freehand, so it doesn’t have to be perfect.
  • Now you have a template that you can use to make as many hearts as you like. Take your fabric and fold it in half, with the reverse side facing upwards. Trace the heart design onto the reverse side of the material. Pin the fabric to hold it in position.
  • Sew around the heart shape- this can be done on a sewing machine or by hand. Do not sew up the design completely, you need to leave a small gap (approximately 2 or 3cm) along one of the straight edges. This is so you can turn the design the right way around and put in the stuffing.
  • After you have sewn the heart (leaving the small gap) cut out the heart shape, but not exactly to the drawn line, leave a seam of material about half a centimetre wide.
  • Turn the heart the right way out. You may need to use something like a knitting needle or chopstick. When the right way around you can iron out any creases.
  • Stuff the heart until firm. You can buy stuffing from craft shops, but I’m currently using stuffing from an old cushion!
  • Sew up the gap and then sew a small metal hoop onto the heart, as shown above. Thread some ribbon through the hoop so the heart can be tied easily.

Hang the hearts from doorknobs, cupboards, coat hooks, chair backs- wherever takes your fancy!

Heart decoration in home

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