For my mom’s birthday present this year, I had my 4-year old help design some kitchen towels. I don’t recall where I first saw this idea, but I always knew my mom would love it. I had my son draw his favorite foods and share a story about how they were made. I gave him some guidance to choose his favorite meal, favorite treat, and favorite fruit/vegetable. While he was drawing I asked him questions about how the foods were made. My son is pretty chatty, so before long he was narrating a whole story. I wrote down exactly what he was saying.
To transfer the drawings and stories to the towels, I first scanned the pictures into the computer. I cleaned up the images and typed out the stories exactly as he told them. I mirrored the image (flipped it backward) and then printed it on iron-on transfer paper. Following the transfer paper directions, I ironed each design onto a well-ironed flour sack dish towel.
The towels turned out so great, we made a second set for my mother in-law, who also recently had a birthday. If I do these again, I would probably design a cute frame to go around the pictures and text. The white areas between the colors on the image are translucent, but still noticeable if you look close. Having a frame around everything would make it less noticeable, than how I tried to cut closely around the text.
For my mom’s birthday gift we packed the towels up with some other kitchen accessories. We picked out some fun color utensils. We also found this great blue ceramic cookie jar with plastic lid at HomeGoods. My mom had been looking for a new cookie jar for a while. When she opened her gift, she commented she really liked the color and the snap on lid. I found this beautiful gift bag at Target. I love a gift bag that coordinates with the gift inside. It’s like foreshadowing of the goodness inside. This one had all the right colors.
My mom called today to tell me she plans to frame the towels for her kitchen. She found the stories so hilarious, she thought they deserved to be turned into art. I will leave you with my son’s take on apples, pizza, and cupcakes. If you have a young child, you can appreciate how sweet and silly they are.
They grow from a tree. You pull them off, then they put it in an apple truck and bring it to the store. Your break the apple with the apple cutter. It cuts the apple into little pieces, like a triangle piece. Then you eat it.
First you roll the dough. Next you spray the sauce. Then make the cheese. Put the pepperoni on, then the mushrooms. Mushrooms grow on trees. You can’t use the ground ones, because they are yucky from bugs. Then put it in the oven for like two minutes.
First you find the dough. You put it into the mixer, then it will mix it up and crush it. Then you put it in the overn and it will turn into a cupcake. Then you get the sprinkles and sprinkle your cupcake. I like a glass of milk with my cupcake.
Sharing this project here:
Tatertots and Jello
Keeping It Simple
I love this!! They turned out fantastic.
This is such a cute idea!
This is definitely one of my favorites of your projects. Personally gifts are the best!
How adorable! I bet your mother LOVED them!
this is so great. What a fantastic idea.
This is so cute! I might plan this for mother’s day.
Amanda - Small Home Big Start says
Hilarous descriptions of eat food – so sweet. I can see why your mother loved it.
Very, very cute idea!
awesome idea–so meaningful yet professional looking ;)
Sam G says
What a fantastic idea, I love the stories you son told about each item. Thanks for sharing!
I love this idea! I shared it on FB and Twitter. Just wanted to let you know that having kids tell their own story and writing it exactly the way they told it is what “we” encourage in the Early Childhood field, it allows them to see their story and their words in writing whether it’s “correct” or not. I absolutely adore these. Cutest towels I’ve ever seen. Lesley
Thanks Lesley. I am glad you got a little quiet time to read and comment today. I love reading your comments!
Shannah @ Just Us Four says
This is such a fantastic idea and a fabulous project. I would love it if you would come link this up at my Pinworthy Projects Link Party.
Love it! I plan on making these for my mom and mother-in-law for Mother’s Day- which is quite ironic b/c I am known for NOT using dish towels- prefer paper towels (I know, bad earth momma). If you have time to reply, I’d love to know where you got the flour sack dish towels. Also- I’m in the process of making the stair tread shelves for my kitchen- you are my new inspiration in many ways!
Hi Margaret. I curbed my tendency to use paper towels for everything by having a drawer full of floor sack dish towels in the kitchen. I just grab a clean one from the drawer instead of a paper towel. I put the dirty ones in the washer during the week and then run them through with other towels on the weekend. I get my towels from Target.
These are so cute!! How do you flip the image? Thanks!
Thanks Lisa. Flipping the text varies by program. I did mine in Adobe Illustrator and flipped the whole image horizontally. In most word processing programs there is a mirror text option. Sometimes, you can even set this option on the print screen.
Love this great idea. The best story’s always come’s from our children. Best part is i learned a new method. Thanks
Awesome idea! I think we’ll do some for Fathers Day for Papa!
Nicole Baker-Wagner says
These are so wonderful and personal! I don’t have kids, but I would love to get some as a gift from my friends’ kiddos. Really they are something to treasure.
Dear Jackie, i have been looking & looking for this type of art craft, & I absolutely love it & can’t wait to do it, I’ve already scanned my grandsons art work onto my computer now to transfer them onto some new flour sack towels to hang as a kitchen curtain, question….did you have to wash your new flour towels before transferring? ?? Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing such inspiration!!!
Ruth, Glad this project inspired you. Yes, I would wash the towels first.