Decor

Make Your Own Decorative Tea Towels with Vinyl

I love fancy tea towels from Anthropologie, but I don’t love the price! That seems like a crazy amount of money to pay for something that is used for grubby hands or to wipe up spills. Everything in my house gets used heavily, so there’s no such thing as “just for show” tea towels. Recently, I ran across some heavily clearance priced tea towels at my grocery store and I knew that I could make them just as special as the pricy Anthro ones. Making your own decorative tea towels with vinyl is a fun, fast way to add personality to your kitchen on a budget!

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For my designs, I wanted cute, but simple. There are a ton of cute sayings available online, so I wanted to do something different. To get your free cut files, scroll to the end of the post to get access to them. They are in .dxf which will open in both brands of die cut machines.

How to Make Your Own Decorative Tea Towels

Supplies

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How to Use Multiple Colors – Simple Design

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  1. Use your silhouette to cut the vinyl. You can download the cut files I used at the end of the post. They are already separated by color for easy cutting. Don’t forget to mirror any text and place the heat transfer vinyl shiny side down! For more through instructions for using a silhouette, check out this post.  For more information on using heat transfer vinyl, this post has more in-depth instructions.
  2. Cut apart each piece of vinyl into smaller pieces. decorative tea towels | heat transfer vinyl project | silhouette project | die cut machine project | DIY tea towels | dish towels | cute tea towels | free cut files | tea towel vinyl | HTV
  3. Designs without overlap are really easy. If they don’t touch at all, you can iron them at the same time. I wanted my leaves close, so I applied the different colors separately. Place the design shiny side up onto your tea towel. Cover with parchment paper and iron. These took around 15 seconds for the vinyl to stick. decorative tea towels | heat transfer vinyl project | silhouette project | die cut machine project | DIY tea towels | dish towels | cute tea towels | free cut files | tea towel vinyl | HTV
  4. Remove the clear plastic while it’s hot. decorative tea towels | heat transfer vinyl project | silhouette project | die cut machine project | DIY tea towels | dish towels | cute tea towels | free cut files | tea towel vinyl | HTV
  5. Apply the second color the same way!decorative tea towels | heat transfer vinyl project | silhouette project | die cut machine project | DIY tea towels | dish towels | cute tea towels | free cut files | tea towel vinyl | HTV

Layered Color Designs for Decorative Tea Towels

  1. Layered designs take a bit more thought. You have to think about it backwards. The bottom layer will be applied first.decorative tea towels | heat transfer vinyl project | silhouette project | die cut machine project | DIY tea towels | dish towels | cute tea towels | free cut files | tea towel vinyl | HTV
  2. For this cupcake, that meant that the cupcake wrapper needed to be applied first. decorative tea towels | heat transfer vinyl project | silhouette project | die cut machine project | DIY tea towels | dish towels | cute tea towels | free cut files | tea towel vinyl | HTV
  3. The pink cake part of the cupcake is next. I weeded each design as I went because vinyl seems to attract dog hair like crazy. While weeding the cupcake, I was left with my tiny flower “sprinkles,” so I decided to use them in the design. If your sprinkles curl up, you can use a piece of the clear plastic from other designs to hold it in place. decorative tea towels | heat transfer vinyl project | silhouette project | die cut machine project | DIY tea towels | dish towels | cute tea towels | free cut files | tea towel vinyl | HTV
  4. Place the pink cake part over the cupcake wrapper, cover with parchment paper and iron as usual. It’s amazing how it fuses together and doesn’t get bulky!decorative tea towels | heat transfer vinyl project | silhouette project | die cut machine project | DIY tea towels | dish towels | cute tea towels | free cut files | tea towel vinyl | HTV
  5. The cherry comes next. I applied the stem first, so that it would be under the cherry and leaf.decorative tea towels | heat transfer vinyl project | silhouette project | die cut machine project | DIY tea towels | dish towels | cute tea towels | free cut files | tea towel vinyl | HTV
  6. Then the cherry and leaf go on top of the stem. Apply them separately if they are too close together. decorative tea towels | heat transfer vinyl project | silhouette project | die cut machine project | DIY tea towels | dish towels | cute tea towels | free cut files | tea towel vinyl | HTV
  7. And with the leaf.decorative tea towels | heat transfer vinyl project | silhouette project | die cut machine project | DIY tea towels | dish towels | cute tea towels | free cut files | tea towel vinyl | HTV

Another layered design, but more complicated.

decorative tea towels | heat transfer vinyl project | silhouette project | die cut machine project | DIY tea towels | dish towels | cute tea towels | free cut files | tea towel vinyl | HTV

  1. For the flower vase, the vase goes first.decorative tea towels | heat transfer vinyl project | silhouette project | die cut machine project | DIY tea towels | dish towels | cute tea towels | free cut files | tea towel vinyl | HTV
  2. Then the leaves. Note: I messed up here and tried to take a shortcut that ruined some of my leaves. Oops. Luckily they are getting covered in flowers. decorative tea towels | heat transfer vinyl project | silhouette project | die cut machine project | DIY tea towels | dish towels | cute tea towels | free cut files | tea towel vinyl | HTV
  3. I started with some flowers to cover up the leaves, being very careful that the clear parts did not overlap anything. decorative tea towels | heat transfer vinyl project | silhouette project | die cut machine project | DIY tea towels | dish towels | cute tea towels | free cut files | tea towel vinyl | HTV
  4. I kept adding flowers and flower middles as I went. decorative tea towels | heat transfer vinyl project | silhouette project | die cut machine project | DIY tea towels | dish towels | cute tea towels | free cut files | tea towel vinyl | HTV
  5. Here’s the finished results.decorative tea towels | heat transfer vinyl project | silhouette project | die cut machine project | DIY tea towels | dish towels | cute tea towels | free cut files | tea towel vinyl | HTV

This project just fueled my obsession with my silhouette and heat transfer vinyl. It’s so much fun to work. I love how soft it feels. It reminds me of a printed t-shirt. I’ve used iron on decals (printer) and they feel so stiff. Heat transfer vinyl is lovely to work with!

decorative tea towels | heat transfer vinyl project | silhouette project | die cut machine project | DIY tea towels | dish towels | cute tea towels | free cut files | tea towel vinyl | HTV

The monstera leaf tea towel goes great in my sunroom!


decorative tea towels | heat transfer vinyl project | silhouette project | die cut machine project | DIY tea towels | dish towels | cute tea towels | free cut files | tea towel vinyl | HTV

Free Cut Files

To get access to your free cut files to make your own decorative tea towels, sign up for my newsletter. Signing up gives you access to my resource library, full of printables, cut files, and other design resources. You will receive a link to the library and the password in your email.

The cut files are in .dxf, which is readable by both types of machines. They are packaged in a zip file with a page of all of the designs, plus pages containing each color separately for ease of use.

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decorative tea towels | heat transfer vinyl project | silhouette project | die cut machine project | DIY tea towels | dish towels | cute tea towels | free cut files | tea towel vinyl | HTV

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