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It is hard to find the perfect gift. Often, I wait until the last minute to scurry about, trying to find that perfect present! But, not this Mother’s Day!

My cousin Emily and I have had an idea for years (thanks to Pinterest) that we finally put it into motion. We knew that the two sisters would LOVE this gift. Our mothers had the most precious mother who passed away several years ago. When we saw an idea for custom-printed tea towels, printed with old handwritten recipe cards, we knew this would honor our grandmother and our mothers tremendously.

I love how these hand towels turned out! They are so vintage looking, and when I see them in my mother’s kitchen, I get so emotional.

If you have a family member that loves to cook, has lost a family member, or is just sentimental. You definitely need to make them these recipe tea towels!

If you are interested in other DIY posts, check out these reader favorites!

And one of my favorites posts ever about how to easily clean your kitchen in 10 minutes. Check it out for my favorite tips!

Want to know how to make tea towels from custom fabric? It’s the easiest process using a photo editor and the website Spoonflower! Just sign up here for your free template!


We collected several recipe cards and decided on two favorites. We wanted to print enough fabric for four hand towels – two towels of each card. We scanned the cards and saved them in jpeg form (using Adobe). With these jpegs, we uploaded them to Canva and did our magic!

The actual process is very painless if you are familiar with a few simple programs! You will need:

The instructions below are super basic! To get the more complete version with exact instructions for Canva, just sign up below and I’ll send over a handy printable and a free Canva template.

These recipe tea towels are the perfect gift for the person in your life that is sentimental and loves family history. Leave some ideas below of how you used these gifts!

How to create custom recipe tea towels.

Decide your pattern

  • Decide on the number of images you want
  • Limit your images to an even number

Scan your images

  • Scan your images with a high-res scanner
  • Save them in .jpg form using Adobe

Create your pattern for Spoonflower

  • Create a free Canva account
  • Open in Canva and click “Create Design”
  • Create photo collage at 36″x54″
  • [To get full instructions on how to set up your pattern AND a free template – sign up below!]

Upload to Spoonflower

  • Create a Spoonflower account for free
  • Click “Upload your design” and upload your 8100×5400 image
  • Use these settings:
  • Repeat: Basic
  • Design Size: at 150 dpi minimum
  • Fabric: Linen Cotton Canvas
  • Choose Size and Amount: 1 yard (54″ wide)
  • Order!
Spoonflower instructions for custom fabric


  • Cut along the image lines (4 towels per yard.) Hem and press!
  • Enjoy!

The fabric came beautifully in the mail (only about a week later) and took our breath away. We cut the fabric into four towels, and machine-sewed the colored border under, giving the back of each towels a pop of color. The results were beautiful and our mothers LOVED them.

I would love to hear if you used these instructions to make tea towels for your family! Please share your story in the comments and let me know if you have any questions about these instructions!

How to make tea towels from custom fabric
How to make custom recipe tea towels – including a free Spoonflower template!