The summer after my freshman year of college I went back home to work. Even though been out on my own for the first time was a hard adjustment, moving back home after a year of freedom was even harder. 🙂
It was like I knew I was officially an adult, I spent over a year having bills in my own name, coming and going as I pleased and making critical life decisions, like as to whether or not to go on weekend road trip with friends, without, get this, having to ask permission!
But it wasn’t that year on my own that made me feel like an adult, it was actually that summer back home. It was being under my parent’s roof again after having been out on my own, that reaffirmed my adulthood. Oh and the fact that my Mom’s friends and the neighbor ladies would stop by for an afternoon visit with my Mom or all go to lunch, and would want me to come along too. I guess when you start hanging out with your Mom, more importantly start hanging out with your Mom’s friends, you are officially an adult! (Smile!)
What sealed the deal was when one of my Mom’s friends generously gifted me a set of handmade 4th of July decorated tea towels. At the time I thought, “Tea towels?? Who gifts tea towels and what am I going to do with them??”. In that very moment I realized I was growing up!
All these years later I still have those adorable tea towels and now I eagerly set them out when I decorate for the summer. Not only do I love them because of how festive they are, they will always remind me of my Mom’s friend and that summer I officially grew up!
I now have to confess, that I have grown up even more since that summer all those years ago, and I LOVE gifting things like handmade gifts, tea towels and custom themed gift baskets to my friends and family!! In fact, several of my friends and I love crafting so much that we get together monthly for a crafting day and get overly excited when we are gifted a custom handmade gift.
This year for my crafting friends, I decided to make some easy stenciled holiday tea towels to package in a tea themed holiday gift basket for their Christmas gifts. I headed to Walmart to get everything I needed, from the basic white tea towels and paint, to the baskets and Bigelow Constant Comment tea and other holiday trinkets that I wanted to include in my gift baskets.
These hand painted holiday tea towels are the perfect personal touch to my tea themed gift baskets! I can’t wait for our monthly crafting night, so that I can gift these to my fellow crafting and tea loving friends, while we craft and sip on some hot tea!
Cotton tea towels
Plastic holiday stencils
Paint or masking tape (or spray adhesive)
Fabric or multi-purpose acrylic paint
Small paint brush
1. Pre-wash towels and iron out creases.
2. Place ironed towel on top of cardboard in a single layer. Using painters tape, secure stencil on towel in desired location.
3. Pour a small amount of paint onto a paper plate. Dab a foam pouncer into paint, dabbing off excess paint (pouncer should have just a thin layer of paint). Dab paint onto towel over the stencil covered area, with firm stamping movements. Try not to smear the paint around, as it will bleed paint under stencil and create a messy design.
4. Using a small paint brush, go over any small areas that the foam brush didn’t cover.
5. Allow paint to dry for about 15-20 minutes before peeling off tape and gently removing stencil.
6. Allow paint to fully dry (for at least 24 hours) then set paint (to make it machine washable) by gently ironing over painted area with iron set to medium-low heat for 1-2 minutes (do not use steam!).
Tips: Spray adhesive works better than tape to firmly hold down stencil and prevent paint from getting to undesirable areas. If reusing paint brush or foam pouncer, wash and dry thoroughly before using with next colored paint to prevent bleeding.
Holiday Tea Gift Baskets
By Heather of Kitchen Concoctions: www.kitchen-concoctions.com
Stenciled holiday tea towels
Bigelow Constant Comment or Salted Caramel tea
Disposable tea cups
Additional holiday décor (cinnamon sticks, pine cones, etc.)
Ribbon or bakers twine
Fold or roll up tea towels and tie with ribbon or twine. Arrange tea towels with other boxes of tea, tea cups, ornaments, and other holiday décor in basket.