If you’re a vintage and thrift store lover like me, chances are you have a sizable stash of favorite items that rarely see the light of day. You’re either short on space to display them, or you’ve been holding out on using them for just the right occasion (like china settings) so they won’t be ruined. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from thrifting for nearly two decades, it’s that I can’t bring all the pretty things home, and if I do, I need to put it to use or pass it back along. So, to go along with my unofficial resolution of paring down my vintage stash this year, I’m putting one of my favorite vintage tea towels to good use by turning it into a tea towel DIY tote – perfect for a project bag or making a run to the farmers market!
This tea towel would have made a perfect wall hanging, but I just don’t have a good space for it in my house. I love the bold flower print, and it’s 100% linen with finished edges–and it’s from the year my husband was born, so I couldn’t not bring it home with me. But the thing is, I bought it like two years ago and I haven’t done anything with it! Time for a change!
To make your own tea towel tote you’ll need a gorgeous tea towel, scissors, pins, sewing machine, and something to use for the straps. I used 1 1/2 yards of this pretty yellow braiding, although webbing is perfect for a tote, too. Start by folding your tea towel in half with right sides facing each other.
I made my tote with boxed corners, and instead of measuring and sewing off triangles, you can simply take the folded bottom edge and push it up between the front and back of the fabric, creating a kind of pleat.
Then pin and stitch your handles into place. You can make them as wide or far apart as you like. If you’re using webbing I recommend sewing it on with a boxed “X” to provide more support, the braiding was a little thick and finicky, so I just zig zagged back and forth a few times.
Do you have any tea towels or vintage textiles that you’d love to turn into a tote? I’d love to see yours, just tag @makermama on Instagram to share! And be sure to stop by for more thrifty goodness over at Maker Mama!