Monday, March 21, 2011

Today I've decided to show you some clever and beautiful things that equally clever people have made from vintage tea towels...some pics to inspire you (and me!)

I'm not sure who came up with the idea to re-style and re-purpose tea towels in such stylish and creative ways originally...perhaps you know? But they've certainly come a long way from their humble origins, and are gaining new appreciation for their vibrant colours and original kitschy designs. They've come out of the linen closet and into our homes in ways that the holiday makers who first bought them would never have dreamed of!

The superb quality of the fabric vintage tea towels are made of is also worth mentioning here, usually the most beautiful linen found more often than not in op-shops etc in unused, pristine condition. Frequently I find them beautifully ironed too...carefully kept memento's of past holidays, too special to use and then over the years forgotten about as they lay languishing in a linen cupboard! 

In Australia two well known people who make amazing things from tea towels are Suzie Stanford and Penelope Durston.
Let's have a look at Suzie Stanford's incredible furniture first...

wouldn't you just love to curl up in this chair?

and what about these?

I spy a few of my tea towels here!

Have a look to see more of her amazing furniture.
p.s. I would LOVE to own one of these...any piece would be o.k.

Now have a look at some of the lovely things made by Penelope Durston...

I told you they were lovely didn't I!
These pics via (always inspiring by the way)
She also makes bunting from left-over scraps...
Penelope or Miss Pen Pen and she is also known, has a shop called Cottage Industry in Fitzroy, Victoria and you can catch her here too.
a pic of my very own P.D. cushion

Tea towels can also be made into groovy purses and bags just like these...

wallet purse made by Zyana Walker via Burda Style

sweet little purse nade by Loopi,available here

Made by Nic from using this easy tutorial from And when I say easy I mean easy! Even a very basic sewer like me could make one of these! I'll show you tomorrow, hopefully...
Why don't you have a go, just look under tutorials.
Now I'm worried that I may have bored you with all this talk of tea towels, let me know if I have...I am slightly obsessed! Sorry.
Please humour me once more and let me show you my tea towel of the day...


  1. wow - i am in awe of all those great makes - i would love to own one of those chairs - very inspiring! I however hardly ever seem to find tea-towels in my bargain visits, maybe ive not been looking in the right places - will keep my eyes peeled for them now Scarlett x

  2. I absolutely love re-purposing, it's just such a fabulous way to be green as well as crafty and those chairs, skirts and cushions are right up my street! Love the little tropical fish purse too - thank you for sharing!

    Jem xXx

  3. Just the kind of things that I like. It is wonderful what you can do with a bit of imagination with a teatowel! Great examples.
    Isabelle x

  4. love your blog, just stumbled across it! Funny, quirky, vintage, crafty, all of the above.

  5. You certainly have not bored me with those magnificent tea towel creations. They are to die for, especially the chairs. Do you ever make anything with yours or do you just gaze at them adoringly and stroke them from time to time like I would do??!

  6. See this as me officially inspired, I'm now on the hunt to track down some vintage tea towels. The chairs are amazing xx

  7. what a gorgeous post! love those chairs. your teatowel collection is awesome. ps. thank you for your lovely comments as of late.