Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What should I do with these tea towels?





While garage saling this weekend, I found these fabulous vintage calendar tea towels, 1965, 1966, 1967, and 1968. Aren't they fabulous? Now, what do I do with them? I have the book Craft Challenge: Dozens of Ways to Repurpose a Tea Towel on hold at the library (surprised they even had it!), but it hasn't come in yet, so I need ideas. I'd like to use the whole towels, if possible. What did people use tea towels for anyway? They don't seem absorbent or practical for anything, but I am sure they served a purpose.

I saw these ideas on Pinterest:


Super cute, but I have no stools to recover.

So cool, but I have no upholstery skills or patience to learn.

These little dresses are adorable, but I have no girls...

What would you make out of them?

19 comments:

agent99 said...

What a find!! I always love vintage textiles as antablecovering-under a layer of clear vinyl. Or, make a market tote for groceries, vinyl covered.

Resweater said...

I've never worked with vinyl before. I'll have to look into that. Thanks!

Karen Meyers said...

scroll down this post to see a great idea for re-purposing a tea towel: http://blog.betzwhite.com/2012/05/reinvention-blog-tour.html
I just saw this yesterday and loved it!

Resweater said...

Karen, that's a cute organizer! I'll add it to the list of ideas.

Kim said...

I think you could stick with the kitchen theme and make a cute casserole cover, like the one in this tutorial--http://www.blessingsoverflowing.com/2010/12/fabric-casserole-carriers-and-tutorial/ using thick felt for insulation and adding a top layer using a tea towel. You could use a tea towel on the top and the bottom, or just on the top.

Lisha said...

Wow my local thrift store had so many of those this week. From 62 to 03! I wanted to buy them but couldn't think of anything to use them for too. I'll keep an eye on this post to see if anyone posts some awesome thing I haven't thought of yet :)

Amy - while wearing heels said...

I can volunteer Grace, if you need a girl to make a dress for :). Those tea towels look amazing. How wonderful they were kept all these years and found their way to someone that will give them a new life. I can't wait to see what you do with them.

Heidi said...

I have a bunch of these too. I always thought they were dish towels (for drying dishes)but I could be wrong. A friend of mine uses hers like 'posters" in her kitchen. I've been thinking about making something cool for birthday gifts--using the year the recipient was born.

stephi said...

I have that same bird one that is in your photo. Many of these calender towels were made from linen. I have some vintage ones with the original content label so that is how i know. They actually make great dish towels...the best in my opinion. I am pretty sure they were intended to be used as dish towels once the calender year was up(as i also recall seeing on one tag that is said "calender dish towel" They are somewhat stiff when found unused, but soften after a washing and just get softer and softer with use. But if you find them new and like the images fresh for making things, then i wouldn't recommend washing too many times as they do fade over time. I have one with my birth year that i hope to make something from when i find the right project.

stephi said...

by the way, last comment was from steph from ragsandrambles. I see that i haven't figured out how to leave a comment with my profile pic.

Resweater said...

Great ideas, everyone! Steph, thanks for all the info!

Antonia@Voodoo Molly Vintage said...

I love those tea towels, I WANT! How about making some floor cushions?

Resweater said...

Floor cushions would become dog beds in my house, lol.

Joanne said...

I remember seeing them on kitchen walls or the back of doors. Sometimes they did go into dish-towel service once the year was up.
I've thought they would make good bread-keepers for homemade loaves.
Market tote from the comments is a good idea too.

Dena and Adrianna said...

I use them for their original purpose. :) But, they'd make a great project bag/purse. Just line them. They'd also make cute bench cushions for a kitchen bench or chair pillow cushions for a kitchen table.

alicia said...

I've made purses out of mine! (I use tea towels with my year of birth).
Pictured here:
http://zerohaught.blogspot.com/2011/10/yupyet-another-bag.html
&
http://zerohaught.blogspot.com/2011/04/tuesday-round-up.html

Anonymous said...

Wondering what you decided to do with these. So cute! Have you considered an apron?

Anonymous said...

Wondering what you decided to do with these? So cute. Have you considered an apron?

Resweater said...

I'm embarrassed to admit that I actually haven't done anything with them yet, but I am leaning toward aprons.