A while ago, I found a never-been-used touristy tea towel, a linen one printed with brightly coloured Australian wildflowers, in amongst other op-shop treasures. I bought it for a couple of dollars and tucked it away, sure that the bold, distinctive flowers could be made into a pretty feature on something new.
A tote bag made from a touristy tea towel.
That something new turned out to be a tote bag. Following along with this YouTube tutorial, I folded, cut and re-purposed this tea towel into a pretty tote bag in about an hour. A simple and inexpensive project which will now be a Christmas gift for my Mum. (She doesn't read my blog so my secret is safe with all of you!)
Each step is easy to follow and there's no difficult sewing involved. The most important thing is to begin with a large tea towel made from a fabric that will have some strength when you pack it up in its new life as a bag. The linen of my tea towel was closely woven so it has sewn up into a sturdy bag.
Begin with a tea towel.
(A large, linen tea towel is ideal.)
Handles cut from the tea towel.
(No waste of fabric at all!)
Hems at the top of the bag
& handles attached!
French seams for neatness & strength.
One important thing to realise, when choosing a tea towel from which to make this tote bag, is that the image on the back of your bag may be upside down if it is a directional print. I decided this didn't really matter with these flowers, they are just as pretty upside down!
The back of the tote bag.
The front of the tote bag.
I think totes like these are a lovely way to make something useful from a tea towel that may otherwise languish in a kitchen drawer or op-shop basket. I can imagine my Mum, her wildflower tote swung over her arm, on her way to borrow a book or two from her little local library in town. I may have to forgive her for thinking I have a thing for touristy tea towels though. I made her this touristy tea towel cushion cover for her birthday!