This project has been in the back of my mind for so long, I don’t even remember where I first read about it. I instantly fell in love with the idea and knew exactly how to make it my own.
Spoonflower is a company that helps you create custom fabric and wallpaper (and tons of other cool stuff) with your own designs or images. You simply upload the image, select the material you’d like it printed on, pick how much you want, and they send it to you! You can get anything from basic cotton canvas to linen to silk. You can use your custom fabric to make pillows, tapestries, dishtowels, whatever!
My mom loves having dishtowels in the kitchen, and she has different towels for every season and holiday. What I love most is that they’re not just for decoration – she uses them for everything from drying dishes to pulling stuff from the oven. I decided that for Christmas this year, I’d get my Baba and her Baba Lulu’s handwritten recipe cards printed on linen-cotton canvas and sew them into customized dishtowels. I know she’ll love the custom fabric and I hope she’ll love having her mom and grandma’s handwriting somewhere she can see it every day.
I started with basic photos of the recipe cards. As you can see, they’re pretty old and have some serious cooking stains on them. (and scribbles…. sorry mom)
I threw them into Photoshop and edited out some stains and discoloration so they would print better. This part took awhile but was well worth it once I saw the before and after comparisons. Spoonflower recommends 150dpi, but I maxed mine to 300dpi and minimized the file size to fit their guidelines so I could make sure the writing was clear.
I sized the images to fit in a grid of 4, within a 54×36″ square since that’s the size of one yard of the cotton-linen canvas I’m printing on. I left two inches around each card so I can hem each of the dishtowels once they’re cut out. This is what my final design looked like when I uploaded it.
The fabric was delivered about a week later, and I almost cried when I opened the box. It turned out perfectly. Not pixelated, not discolored, it looked exactly like the recipe cards.
In order to soften the fabric and get rid of the (very slight) chemically smell, I handwashed the fabric and let it air dry overnight. Once I ironed it out, I cut out each dishtowel, leaving a blank border around each edge for the hem. I ironed all the hems into place so they would be easy to sew down. I bought some twill tape at a cute little ribbon shop to sew into a corner of each towel so she can hang them on the fridge.
I am so so so happy with how these turned out! …did I mention this only cost me $24?! best. My mom loved them.