Recipe Tea Towel Tutorial - Great Gifts for the Holidays (2024)

by Patti Estep 42 Comments

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Make this handwritten family recipe tea towel gift to preserve a loved one's memory and delight your family with a special gift.

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My mother was trained as a pediatric nurse, but after she married my father and started having children, she became a stay at home mom. It's been over 20 years since she passed, at the early age of 64, and I still miss her. Recently I pulled out her favorite recipe for Christmas cookies, handwritten on a piece of notepaper. Just looking at her familiar script made me smile. So I decided to make a family recipe tea towel gift for my siblings, in remembrance of her.

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How to Make a Family Recipe Tea Towel Gift


Recipe Tea Towel Tutorial - Great Gifts for the Holidays (4)

Everyone loves handwritten recipe gifts. To make one for yourself, or for your family, scan the paper copy of the recipe into your computer as an image. You could even just take a picture from your phone, and send it to yourself via email.

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Next, you have to reverse the image, so when you iron the paper onto the tea towel the letters will be in the correct direction. I added a festive border to mine. If you like it, there is a template below. All you have to do is insertyour recipe.

Printable Holiday Recipe Frame Template

Here's a template of the borders if you'd like to make your own family tea towel.

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Click on the image and you will save a Word file to your computer.
Then you caninsert the image of your recipe in the middle.

Be careful with the iron. On my first attempt, I kept the iron on too long, resulting in these burned areas.

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Make sure you follow the directions, and the image should transfer well. The color of the paper is a slightly darker shade of white but I still thinkit came out great.

Hang it as a kitchen towel decoration during the holidays or just keep it somewhere special to hand down to the next generation.

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Asthe middle child of five, I know that even if they never make the cookies, my brothers and sisterswill love seeing mom's handwriting, and remember how blessed we were to have her as our mother. Why not make some sentimental towels as gifts for your own family?

BTW It's a great recipe too!

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Recipe Tea Towel Tutorial - Great Gifts for the Holidays (10)

Recipe Tea Towel Tutorial - Great Gifts for the Holidays (11)


4 from 3 votes

Handwritten Recipe Tea Towel

Take one of your favorite family recipes and create a recipe towel on a flour sack tea towel for the perfect gift and special keepsake.

Prep Time5 minutes mins

Active Time20 minutes mins

Total Time25 minutes mins

Yield: 1

Author: Patti Estep

Cost: $15


  • Computer

  • Printer

  • Iron


  • White cotton tea towel flour sack towels
  • Fabric transfer paper


  • Wash dry and iron the tea towel.

  • Scan the handwritten family recipe into your computer as an image. If you don't have a scanner take a picture with a phone and email it to yourself.

  • Import the image into a Word document or other software and reverse the image. This way when you iron the paper onto thetea towelthe letters will be in the correct direction.

  • Use the template above for a festive border if desired and import your image inside.

  • Print out onto transfer paper.

  • Follow the directions on the transfer paper and iron the image onto the tea towel. Be careful not to let the iron sit in any one area too long or it may turn brown.


Be careful not to let the iron sit in any one area too long or it may turn brown.

Tried this project?Tag @hearthnvine on Instagram

About Patti Estep

Patti is the creator of Hearth and Vine, a home and garden blog filled with projects to inspire your creative side. She loves crafting, gardening, decorating and entertaining at her home in Pennsylvania. When she is not working on a project at home or searching for treasures at nurseries and thrift stores with her girlfriends, you’ll probably find her with family and friends, at a restaurant, or home party enjoying new and different food adventures.

Reader Interactions


    • Patti Estep

      Frances, not a dumb question at all. I usually just email the picture from my phone to myself. That way I can download it to my laptop from my email while I'm on the computer.


  1. Teresa

    I love this idea! One question though, how do I go about reversing the text?
    Thank you.


    • Patti Estep

      Teresa, you can flip the image in different software such as Microsoft word or MSPaint. I think you could probably flip it on your phone too. Look for something that says rotate image or flip horizontally.


  2. Brittany

    I love this idea. I've never transferred an image to fabric. How well do these hold up? Can they be washed? Thanks!


    • Patti Estep

      Brittany, technically they can be washed as the product is made for t-shirts so surely they get washed. However, I will be honest and say that I haven't washed mine. I use it for decorative purposes. Of course, I will need to eventually wash it and then I plan to wash it in cold water and let hang dry just to be safe. You can also check out the details on the transfer paper.


  3. Deena Hulen

    I love this. Can I ask how you got the notebook lines out of your final product?


    • Patti Estep

      Hi Deena,

      I used editing software to remove the lines. You should have something on your computer that you can use.

      Since my original paper was pink. I took all the color out and that helped. Then I played with the lighting, ie exposure, contrast, highlights... to get it as clean as I could. Some software also has erasers but you have to really get in close and that's hard to do.

      Good luck and I hope that helps.


  4. Kyleene Smith


    I LOVE this idea!!! I actually also live the tea towel that is scorched! I think it gives it an aged look to the recipe. 😍


  5. Ann Doe

    I love the "burned" area - looks like aged, vintage paper 🙂 I have my grandmother's brownie recipe written out by a dear friend of my mother's, and this may be just the thing to do with it!


    • Patti Estep

      Thanks Ann. I hope you love it as much as we did.


  6. Jenn

    Thank you for this idea! I love it. Trying to think of ways to share moms items so all can enjoy.


    • Patti Estep

      Thanks Jenn. I think everyone loves having something from mom.


  7. Richella Parham

    Love, love, LOVE this idea, Patti!! And you executed it beautifully. I need to get some transfer paper and try this out!


  8. Terry F.

    Thank you. Your calendar is so pretty.


  9. Theresa

    Lovely idea. Thanks for sharing at the Inspiration Spotlight party! Pinned & shared.


  10. Leanna

    This is a lovely thoughtful gift. Great idea


  11. Cristina at Ava's Alphabet

    This is lovely, Patti! I have my grandmother's recipe box full of recipe cards in her beautiful handwriting. I treasure them and this would make a lovely tribute to her memory. Pinned and sharing! Thank you for joining us at Family Joy Blog Link-Up Party.


  12. Beverly

    What a lovely gift this is! It's a wonderful way to honor your mother. Thanks for sharing at Snickerdoodle. Pinning.


  13. Charlotte Burkholder

    Also may I ask how you reverse the image?


    • Patti Estep

      Hi Charlotte,

      I reversed the image in Word but you can use any image software like Paint or even online in something like picmonkey. In word, click on your image, go to picture tools, choose rotate, then flip horizontal. In picmoney click on rotate and then the first set of arrows. (side by side)
      Hope this helps.


  14. Charlotte Burkholder

    This is a special and meaningful gift. I just got one of those handwritten recipes of my grandmother's. My aunt took a picture of it and sent it to me of the hard rock candy Granny used to make. Great idea! Thanks for sharing it at Family Joy Blog Linkup.


  15. Sue Wulff

    Did you enlarge the recipe onto the tea towels? My recipe is on a recipe card so it is small. Can I enlarge it?


    • Patti Estep

      Hi Sue,

      You should be able to stretch or enlarge the image in Word. Sometimes enlarging can distort the image a little though, so I suggest trying a little and see how it looks.

      Hope that helps,


  16. Rhonda

    Hi Patty. Stopping by from Sunday's Best. I love this idea not only for a Christmas gift, but a birthday or Mother's Days gift as well. Your mother's handwriting is beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing your idea with us.


    • Patti Estep

      Hi Rhonda,

      Yes! Birthdays and Mother's Day would be another great time to give this gift.
      Thanks for stopping by,


  17. Amanda Nel

    This is so special and a lovely gift to give to family!


  18. Cynthia Chilson Finger

    Such a great idea and thoughtful gift for your siblings. I love it, and hope to pay tribute to my own mother in this matter. Thanks so much for sharing. Merry Christmas, Cynthia


  19. Marie H

    Patti this is wonderful! I have several handwritten recipes from my mother in law. Some were my kids favorites. i was wondering how to give them to my children as a remembrance of their grandmother. This is such a great idea.....


    • Patti Estep

      Hi Marie,

      So glad you liked it. You mother in laws recipes would be such a nice gift to your kids!
      Let me know how it goes,


  20. Kathy Ziegenmier

    Can you tell me where you found your linen towels? I wanted to make several for family members but the least expensive I found were $20 for four of them from from Amazon.


    • Patti Estep

      Hi Kathy,

      I bought mine on Amazon and paid $21 for 7 towels. There's a link in the post. Another place I have purchased them before was at Joann Fabrics but I can't remember the price.

      Hope that helps,


  21. Pat Schwab

    Patti, I just love this idea. Your mom sounds like she was the best. I know your siblings will love this. Pat S


    • Patti Estep

      Thanks Pat!


  22. vicki d.

    This is such a beautiful way to remember your mother Patti and I am sure your family is just going to love the towels . I will be trying this with a poem my dad wrote for me and my sister . I'll have to see if she can find the only copy of it with his hand writing but if not I typed it out and saved it on my computer . Thank you for always sharing great things with us


    • Patti Estep

      HI Vicki,

      I'm so glad to know that you will be doing something similar with your family. Your father's poem is an excellent choice and I'm sure your sister will love it!

      Thanks for your kind comment!


  23. Bernie

    Love your ideas Patti. I'm going to try this myself. Can't believe it's been 20 years since your mom passed. So many great memories of holidays with the family. Miss both your mom and dad.


    • Patti Estep

      Hi Bernie,

      Thank you. I feel the same about your parents.
      We sure were blessed with some great parents.

      Thanks for the lovely comment,

      PS I think you'll love this sugar cookie recipe.


  24. Maureen

    What a beautiful tribute to your mom, you definitely inherited her creativity!


  25. Carole @ Garden Up Green

    LOVE LOVE THIS!!! Patti you are so creative and this is such a neat idea. You're siblings will love it. Enjoyed hearing more about your life and the blessings that have been shared with you. A stay at home mom is a value that I wish more kids could experience today. Enjoyed!!


    • Patti Estep

      Hi Carole,

      Thank you. This was an emotional one for me.


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Recipe Tea Towel Tutorial - Great Gifts for the Holidays (2024)


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