Make your own simple linen tea towels with endless options! Tea towels are a great beginner project and make wonderful gifts!

waffle linen fabric with baby hand

I love linen! Wearing linen, using linen, sewing with linen, name it! To me linen feels like such a luxury, the smell the feel everything. I’ve been sewing with linen the last couple years, making clothes for myself and my kids. I’ve considered making my own tea towels a few times but I had a hard time justifying the price for some reason it felt like a waste of material. This idea is kind of crazy, not wanting to waste the linen fabric I purchased I would instead spend the same money on commercially made cotton ones wishing they were linen. That doesn’t make any sense!

Finally as my tea towel stash dwindled and it was time to replace them I took the leap and made my own.

In this post I am going to talk about making them two ways. The first is making them from any linen, or really any fabric of your choosing as long it is absorbent. I am using a lovely natural waffle linen from Pure Linen Envy. The second is using designs made for tea towels from

linen waffle fabric and spoonflower tea towel fabric

How to make simple linen tea towels

corner of linen tea towel pinned with blue pin
Corner of linen pressed and pinned, ready to sew.
  1. Always wash and dry any new fabric before you cut and sew it.
  2. Iron your fabric.
  3. Measure out your rectangle, whatever size you want to make it you will need to add 1 inch to each side. I made each of mine 27″ by 18 “, making the finished product 25″x 16”
  4. Fold over all edges towards the back of the fabric a 1/2 inch and press.
  5. Fold over another 1/2 inch and press again.
  6. You can clip off some off the excess fabric from the corners to help with too much bulk.
  7. Pin the corners down to help keep its shape.
  8. Optional* if you want to add in a strap to hang the towel from cut a tie or ribbon 2 inches in length. Place it on the wrong side of the fabric going across one of the upper corners. Place the edges under the folded over seam and pin.
  9. Top stitch around the perimeter of the tea towel.
  10. Sew a second seam around the perimeter of the tea towel to keep the seams flat. This step is optional but highly recommended.
  11. Finished! So easy, the most time consuming part is the pressing.

Sewing a Spoonflower linen tea towel

The second way I want to talk about making a tea towel is ordering a tea towel design from spoonflower. Countless artists have created designs on spoonflower for custom tea towels. You can even create your own, Spoonflower has a great blog post Here if you are interested in that.

tea towel with canning season written on it with pictures of cherries. wrapped around jar lids

Choosing your fabric

Sewing a Spoonflower tea towel starts with ordering the fabric. Search tea towel with whatever you want to see on it. When you have found the one you like you can order 4 on a meter, or 1 on a fat quarter. Most designs will have instructions for how to order them in the description. Most if not all of them are intended to be printed of Spoonflowers Linen cotton canvas, a cotton linen blend that is sturdy and absorbent. Ordering a fat quarter in the linen cotton canvas will print 1 tea towel while ordering a meter will have 4. Some designers have sets designed for a meter with 4 different tea towels that all match. Take your time looking around there are some really great options!

linen waffle fabric and spoonflower tea towel fabric

The fabric I am using is from my own collection on Spoonflower. A full meter includes 4 different tea towels, one in my Canning peaches fabric, one in my cherry juice fabric and two that say canning season in the center one surrounded in cherries and one in peaches. You can buy each of these separate or together in one convenient print Here.

tea towel with canning jar lids and mason jar

Sewing your tea towels

When your order arrives wash and dry your fabric as always then trim away the excess fabric that will be around the printed area. If you ordered a meter there will be cut lines between each towel. Cut along those lines.

Sewing the tea towel is the same as the directions above. Although if there is a coloured edge for the hem then start by folding it over along that edge of colour and pressing it, then fold edge under and press again. This is the only difference and it is a simple one.

linen tea towels in a stack with canning rings

A lovely stack of tea towels to fill out my home supply.

More custom tea towels

There are other ways to customize your own tea towels without sewing them too. I regularly use simple flour sack towels as tea towels, to make them match the kitchen better as well as hide stains I dye them with fabric dye in a scrunched pattern. They make the perfect tea towel for drying and oiling cast iron pans.

Some of my favorite custom tea towels are ones with a crochet hanger added to them, they make for a cute addition to any kitchen adding a bit of a folksy vibe.

Anyway you go making a simple linen tea towel or customizing them some other way tea towels they can make great gifts. Or! Make them for yourself, this is the perfect way to find the tea towels you’ve always wanted, just make them!

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