Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tea Towel Art

A while back I discovered a fabulous Etsy shop, Fresh Pastry Stand. The shop owner/creator, Deva Mirel, makes amazing vintage-inspired housewares, from beeswax candles shaped like antique bottles and cake stands made of vintage plates to Pyrex tea towels!

Being a true Pyrex fanatic, I knew I had to snatch one up for myself. With some Christmas money I bought myself the Butterprint tea towel, which was at the time the only print available. Then I checked back into her shop months later, only to see that she'd added Pink Gooseberry, Friendship, and more! Even though my other tea towel was back in Kansas City, I decided to treat myself to two more towels and make them a trio.

I chose a pink Gooseberry towel and a red towel featuring two vintage milk bottles. And once they arrived I realized they were much too pretty to actually use, so I chose to frame them instead!

This project did confirm one thing for me: when shopping for frames, if at all possible, bring the art you plan to frame with you so that you can better visualize it inside its future home. Silly me--even though my tea towels are easy to travel with, I neglected to stick them in my purse when I went shopping the first time around. Thus I ended up with two gray faux-barnwood frames from Michael's, scooped up for $44 total during a half off frames sale.


They were quite large and had a great weathered look to them, but something about their blue-ish undertones just wasn't right to me. It kind of made the unbleached tea towels look dirty/yellowy because the two tones were competing, not complementing each other. Kinda like how red lipstick can make teeth look yellowed.

Enter this lovely natural wood frame from Target ($19.99). Originally I bought two to frame my Macklemore Challenge photos from Goodwill ($4.99 for both. Woot!)



The photos looked good in there, but then I realized the tea towels might look even better.

I used the true lazy man's way and just popped the new, lighter frame around the already-framed towels to see if the whole image would fit and how the colors looked. That way, if I decided to stick with the gray frames after all, I wouldn't have to re-frame the towels.



I loved the lighter wood frames right away. They matched the yellow undertones of the natural linen towels so nicely! Another bonus? I was going to have to attach a sawtooth picture hanger to the back of the gray frames, because when wrapped around the backing the tea towels covered the existing hanger:


But my lighter frames had the picture hangers on the actual wood, so the tea towels wouldn't cover them!



Oh, and I didn't cut the towels down to size or anything, in case I want to do something different with them in the future. I just used the backing of the frames and wrapped it like a present, making sure to center the design on the front. The fabric was light enough that I could fit the backing into the frame's grooves so that the glass is secure.


The tea towel art lives over my yellow table where my map previously stayed--as you could see in the living room tour, I relocated the map there.


I love how it looks with the wreath and table.


And the red in the milk bottle towel really looks great with all the red accents in my corner shelf.





Once we're back in KC in our new place, I plan on buying another identical frame to house the Butterprint tea towel I got for Christmas. And maybe I'll even buy another one to make a set of four? We'll see.

Anyone else framing items as art? Do share!

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  1. I've been meaning to buy one of those towels! Too cute! Love the idea of framing them, too. :)

  2. Girl!!! I love this! Totally going to post your tutorial to my FB page. This is very awesome. XOXOX

  3. My Grandparents lived in Philpsburg during my childhood! Just a hop skip and a jump from you!!

  4. Absolutely DARLING! I love this idea ... you need to get into old window frames and see what fun things you can do with those. They look adorable with your tables. I pinned it for small kitchen ideas!


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