Hand Written Recipe Tea Towel

Amanda C, Hometalk Team
by Amanda C, Hometalk Team
3 Materials
1.5 Hours
So I have to admit, I love a good tea towel. I find myself wanting to buy cute towels for my kitchen all the time, so instead why not make one? This piece is super nostalgic and makes a great gift, as it uses a family hand-written recipe as the basis of the design. If you have a parent or grandparent's hand-written recipe, this is a fun way to preserve it, have it on hand, and display that great old cursive handwriting! All it takes is a cotton broadcloth tea towel and a fabric pen!
This would make a such a great housewarming gift or wedding present!

The cost I have posted includes the entire pack of 4 towels, which I nabbed for $3.99. That makes the price per towel around $1.65!

-Broadcloth Cotton Tea Towel


-Fabric Pen

-Hand-Written Recipe
STEP 1: Wash Your Towel

Pre-wash your tea towel and let it dry. This just helps get everything out of the way for the ink that we will be wanting to set into the towel later on.
STEP 2: Scan your recipe

Scan your recipe and load it into your computer. *If you don't have a scanner or computer don't worry...I will give you some ideas later on.
STEP 3: Measure the text space

Measure out how large you would like for your text to be on your tea towel. I decided I was gonna go with 18x15.
STEP 4: Fit the recipe to your desired size

Open your scanned image on your computer and enlarge it to fit the measurement taken in step 3. Then simply print out the image. I had to print my image in 4 sections, because my printer only has a standard letter size (8.5x11) paper.

*If you don't have a scanner or computer you can simply take your recipe to Staples or an office supply store, and have them blow up the image and print it for you!
STEP 5: Align the recipe

Since I had to print out my recipe on 4 separate sheets of paper, I needed to tape them together so the recipe was in one whole piece. So if you too have several sheets containing your precious recipe, you will need to tape it together as well.
STEP 6: Tape the recipe to a window

Tape the full recipe sheet to a window or a light box, so that light is shining behind it.
STEP 7: Line up your towel to the recipe

Tape your tea towel over top of the recipe in the window, so that you can see the writing through the towel. Be sure to line up the recipe where you want it to lie on the towel.
STEP 8: Trace over the recipe

Now is time for a steady hand! Take your fabric pen and simply trace over the words carefully. I went over it twice just, so that it had a bolder tone. The marker I used (which you can see in the supplies) does not need to be heat set. It simply needs to lay flat overnight before washing, and then it is good to go!

*If you don't want to trace, you can buy heat bond sheets and print out your recipe in reverse image on the sheets and iron them onto the towel. You can also use a sharpie for this part, but you will probably want to pre-treat the fabric so that it stays. I also didn't want a marker that could potentially bleed, so I went with one that was intended for this use.
Once you are done tracing - VOILA - You are done! Look how similar they are!
This is an old Lancaster county recipe. Trust me you will want to try it! It's delicious!
Suggested materials:
  • Tea Towel   (Target (Pack of 4))
  • Fabric Pen   (Michael's)
  • Tape   (Had on Hand)
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 7 questions
  • P auline miller P auline miller on Nov 09, 2016
    could you use a sharpie? And if so do you have to heat set it?
  • Jht7173893 Jht7173893 on Dec 28, 2017

    any ideas for using Christmas cards

  • Vicki Neal Vicki Neal on May 25, 2018

    How do you pretreat the fabric so it stays IF you are using heat bond sheets and heat press? So the towel could be washed?

Join the conversation
2 of 57 comments
  • Maude  LaFountain Maude LaFountain on Dec 04, 2022

    I absolutely love this !! I only have 1 sister and 1 brother left in my family of 12 kids and we all loved our mothers pumpkin bread I still have her written recipe I think I will make us all one of these towels… thank you so much for this tutorial….

  • Gayle Gayle on Jan 01, 2023

    Great idea! Thanks so much!