Recipe Towel

Recipe Towel


On a scale of 1 – 10…..I would give this project a 4.25.

And it only gets the extra .25 if I almost close my eyes……

…..and squint.



I had such high hopes for this project.

High hopes for my hand-written recipe towel.


Doesn’t that sound like such an incredible idea?

And so easy?




I pictured stacks of these in my kitchen.

And when a visitor asked for a towel, I would casually reach over to my stack of well-written towels and hand them one.  And they would be all…“Hand-written recipe towels?  I love a hand-written recipe towel.  What are you going to think up next?”

And I would smile.

And look at my stack of hand-written recipe towels with an air of self-satisfaction.


Hand-written Recipe Towel


So I made them.

And I stacked them.

And looked at them …..and thought to myself….

…….some projects are better left on the pages of Pinterest.

For better hand-written recipe towel makers to make.


So in the vested interest of handing over the hand-written recipe towel directions to someone with much better handwriting… is my project.

Do as I say…..

…..not as I did.


A Hand-written Recipe Towel



Step 1:  Buy a stack of flour sack towels.

I bought mine at Wal-mart.

They came in a package of five for about $3.50.



Step 2:  Print off your favorite recipe on the computer.

Pick a much better font then the one I used.

Enlarge the lettering to 100.

Make sure to pick a recipe that looks cute.



Step 3: Place the towel over the lettering and trace with a sharpie or other non-water soluble marker.

Tape the towel down so it doesn’t move.



Step 4:  Take your hand-written recipe towel and style it and take a picture.

Try to make it look cuter by adding fruit.

Everything always looks better with fruit.


Step 5:  Stand back and sigh.

Wonder why your handwriting looks like you’re in first grade.

Decide to post the project in the hopes that someone much more creative than you with much better handwriting….will use the idea and make a much better hand-written recipe towel……

… you can pin it 🙂


PS  Bloggers are wonderful.  My friend, Suzanne, just sent me this fun idea!  Use the towels as an activity for a bridal shower.  Give each attendee a towel and a recipe to copy.  Seriously….what  a great idea!

PPS  Sharing this over at Between Naps On a Porch.




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  1. i don’t see why you’re so down on the results of your own towel. i think it looks great. probably biased because i love banana bread…

  2. I’m wondering why you used water soluble marker…. Won’t it just wash out… Or smear if used to dry something damp? I actually like the look of the font you used!.

  3. What the heck do you have against this towel? It is lovely and your handwriting is quite nice! I think you should make stacks of them and feel satisfied as you hand them to people. Just saying. . .

  4. Don’t beat yourself up. At least not till you’ve seen my handwritten lamp. Now THATS a disaster! LOL


  5. Only thing missing is a slice of banana bread ha You crack me up.

    I love the idea Kari and I thing your handwritten towel is cute as can be.

  6. handwritten recipe towel??? what will you think of next??
    i think it’s cute!

  7. First of all…I think the recipe towel is terrific!…A great idea for a gift…..You can make your famous cranberry bread and instead of wrapping it in a cute cello paper, you just wrap in plastic wrap and then wrap it with the towel.!!…Perfect, you have the recipe and the finished product at the same time!…CUTE RECIPE !!!…Have a wonderful weekend!

  8. Agreed, cute. I think they only way they could be cuter is perhaps if you tea stained them. Don’t know why but that’s the though that popped into my head when I saw it. Of course, you must factor in that it is only 4:31 a.m. here and I might be talking crazy talk.
    My girlfriend once painted cloth napkins for me. She did rosemary, basil, thyme, etc and she even painted little springs of each above the word. Super cute.
    I cannot draw and I have terrible handwriting so I’m wildly impressed with both yours and hers 🙂

  9. I can’t see what’s so wrong with that. Of course I’m approaching the elderly category and am wearing dollar store magnifiers that may need changing but aside from all that it looks just fine.

  10. How do you make the writing not smear or run when washing the towel ? I can’t imagine how to trace the lettering unto the towel since it’s thick and you can’t see thru it to the lettering. Maybe I need more coffee this morning but just not getting it:)

  11. I don’t think it looks bad at all, Karianne! Why don’t you like it? I love the idea and it really turned out cute. I haven’t used Sharpie’s on fabric yet myself. I wonder if there are “fabric” paint pens? Although, Sharpies come in all different colors now so as long as it stays put, I guess it doesn’t matter.

  12. Oh sweetie, you are not giving yourself any credit here. Your towels are sooo cute. I love everything about them. Please invite your friends for coffee and banana bread and hand them one of your towels. I promise you they will love it.

    I wish I had half the ideas you have, but since I don’t……I’m stealing this one.

    Thank you for sharing. Really, I love this idea.

  13. Me again. What type of font did you use?

  14. You are much too harsh a judge. Really, KariAnne! I think your towel looks great. If you think this was a 4.25, I’m never going to show you my projects. You would rate mine 1.75, and I would be crushed.

    Your project challenged fan,

  15. 4.25?! Luckily writing on towels is not an Olympic event!

    Keep on training so you can make the USA team proud!

  16. i’m partial to 1st grade writing. 😉

    AND i think it looks grand, muy bueno, fantastico!
    (sorry been up late the past few nights)

  17. I love how you come up with all these great ideas to share with us!

  18. Kari Anne … I think it is very cute. Wouldn’t you love to receive a banana bread wrapped in a tea towel with the recipe? I would.

  19. Regena Fickes :

    Now stop being so hard on yourself. I think they are wonderful. Even if you don’t think they are up to the mark, beautiful isn’t perfect. Your abilities are numerous and you are very resouseful. I really enjoy your blog.

  20. Looks great to me you silly willy.

  21. Aw!!!! I LOVE IT!!! You did a perfect job on it. I might try this one. NOT with my banana bread recipe though. lol People ask for it and I give them a different one. hehehe 🙂

  22. These are adorable! The imperfections just emphasize the fact that they’re made by hand. I really love this idea.

  23. I think they are adorable! ‘Course if you reeeaaalllyy don’t like them you could always send them to me. Yep, I”m nice like that..take em off your hands, no problem!! 🙂

  24. it a great concept! It does looks cute folded up, how does it look hanging /opened up? Maybe sewing a plain white on the back so you don’t see the sharpie coming through, or maybe using fabric paint…just an idea…

  25. Diane Allen Parks :

    I think it’s very cute and it gives me an idea of printing my chili recipe for my grandson……who has been bugging me for a framed version for months now! Thanks! 🙂

  26. Marnita Parry :

    Love it! Not sure, why you don’t think it is the bomb diggity!

  27. I think they look great. Like really great and omg I have a printer and a new brown sharpie. Thanks I think I have a little project for the weekend.

  28. ok so why did you give it a 4.25? It definitely needs to be rated much higher! I’m a woman of few words right now…. been up almost 2 hours, no caffeine, cloudy, stormed ALL night (or at least it felt like it!) and I just can’t focus. So… it looks great! I think I am going to make one. Maybe my mom’s chocolate chip recipe and pancakes and waffles… that way I won’t have to drag out the cookbook… and it’ll be easy access for the boys to make themselves. ha ha! like that’ll happen! Take care now!

  29. Aw c’mon, Kari – you’ve scored a 10 with this one. Didn’t you want it to be “yours”? There aren’t any rules when we put our own touch on projects. Just think of all the great towels that will be out there now. A whole bunch will fly from Florida to New England for the ladies in my family. Now which recipe would they like………

  30. That is a super fun idea and they look great! In fact I’d buy one if you had it in a shop near me! Your handwriting is great – you are just looking at it too close with too much judgement because it is your own!!! I love it!

  31. I think it is darling. I would never hand write it though. My handwriting is awful…LIKE a 2 year old awful. But you know me, I LOVE stencils! I have a ton of white napkins my Dad gave me, and I did some fancy things on them last year. This is cute and I actually have a recipe stencil:)

  32. Debbie Hein :

    My dear Karianne,
    Much too harshness on yourself. Now you know that we all love and adore you. You make everything look so great. We can’t wait to see what amazing new project you have come up with. 4.25…that is just nonsense. If this were the Olympics, and with one week away I am sure that we all have the Olympics on our brain, this would score much higher than that. Even the judge from France would give them at least a 7!My only problem right now is that you have me desiring some banana bread. But alas, I am out of bananas. And it is pouring out, And I am still not dressed. (Bathed and all, but not dressed) And my hair is wet. Not that it wouldn’t get wet in the rain, but still. And I think I may have left my umbrella in the car. I can perhaps go out with wet hair, but wet clothes no way. So unless someone comes knocking at my door and offers me some bananas because they are leaving on vacation and don’t want them to go to waste, I guesss I will have to get over my banana bread obsession. At least until it stops raining. Or I find my umbrella. Whichever somes frist.

  33. I love this idea and think the towel turned out super cute! But, more than that, I love the honest way you approached the entire project! It was as if you knew exactly how I work on projects!
    I really like the idea that others had of using this for wrapping homemade gifts and using stencils on the towels.

  34. I still say “what won’t you think of next?”…Great idea..Don’t trash it..

  35. I think it looks great too 🙂 Maybe it’s just hard to compete with your cute recipe wall..

  36. I’m laughing at your story, but not at your dish towels actually. They’re kind of cute, especially with the fruit beside them. You’re so right – everything IS better with fruit beside it. I actually keep an apple in my purse for that very reason.

  37. You’re being too hard on yourself! I love these towels and your handwriting looks great!

  38. You are way too hard on yourself! I think these towel are just daring! Your handwriting is lovely! I saw them too ( on pinterest) and thought how fun it would be to make a few! I just wondered how they would launder!
    Kariann, to answer your question about your white box, I can help you. I have one too… you have a milk box. Before big grocery stores people would get their milk delivered in the morning by the ‘MILK MAN” (hence the old saying… he looks like the milk man). And the milk man would put your glass containers of milk in your milk box that you had outside your front door. I bet your milk box has double walls, a form of insulation.
    And he would pick up your empty glass milk bottles that you would place in your milk box the night before. When I was just a wee girl I remember my grandmother had a milk box and I remember the milkman coming and delivering milk. My grandmother held on to milk being delivered to her for a very long time! I found a milk box at an auction years ago and bought it. I keep it on my potting bench and it is filled with garden tools and gloves!
    Hope this helps.

  39. Yeah, I have those same imaginary visits where people think my projects are amazing… never happens in real life!!! Why are there no bananas in the fruit bowl?? or a loaf of banana bread to show off the recipe? Love the fruit and the bowl and the idea. I think you did a good job of it and I like Shirley’s idea of making the recipe on the towel and then using the towel to giftwrap it. Sweet!!

    I’ve never heard of flour sack tea towels. Blogging is SUCH an educational experience for me, I never know what tidbit is coming next!! thanks for sharing your sweet project. I like it!!


  40. Are you kidding? I thought you printed that… great handwriting compared to mine! 🙂

  41. Karianne my “logophile” friend, What is wrong with your towels? I think they look just fine and you did a great job on the tutorial. I was thinking that these would make awesome gifts. YOU could make some banana bread loaves then wrap each loaf in one of your towels, tie them with bakery twine or lace trim and give them away as gifts. I’d love one! lol Joyous Wishes, Linda

  42. Gee Singh Newbanks :

    Hmmm… I like this idea. Yours turned out as cute as can be. I see gifts coming out of this tutorial 🙂 Yup.. yup. Thinking a basket, with the ingredients, and this sweet handwritten towel artfully tucked in the side. No?
    Heck, what am I saying, I’d just like to receive one of the towels as a gift! Cute lil flour sack towel with script on it. Sigh…. for me.

    Cheers!! have a wonderful Friday. Look at your towel and say, well done me.

  43. Don’t be so hard on yourself! I think the towels look beautiful and you can proudly say, “I made them myself!”

  44. Hello!!
    Just dropped from “The Southern Hospitality Blog” to swap Holland, Michigan Howdies with ya!
    Just adore your blog.
    Love the colors you chose for your home.
    Your blogsite is a keeper!!
    Take care!

  45. Whoops! It’s me again….
    Meant to say in my opening comments…..
    “Dropped IN from The Southern Hospitality Blog!”
    Need to slow down and proof read before I excitedly click
    that Post Comment button!!!

  46. Such a cute project, Karianne! The others are right, you don’t give yourself nearly enough credit!! These are super adorable!

    Thanks for the inspiration!


  47. What a great idea! Sorry it didn’t work out, but for what it’s worth I think it looks good!

  48. Kari, I just found your blog and viewed pictures of your stunning home through Rhoda at You have such a talent for home decorating. And I can hardly contain myself while reading through your posts! How inspirational! I am so excited to follow your blog 🙂

  49. P.S.- I just added you to my “Blogs to Follow” list – I want to share your amazing work with everyone!!!

  50. Whachoo talkin’ ’bout? They’re beautiful!

  51. Is it wrong that I like it just how it is?


  52. Just remember The Nester says, “It does have to be perfect to be beautiful.” I need to be reminded of that all the time.
    And, if you had not pointed out to me that you were unhappy with your project…I’d be none the wiser. I bet it will be just the thing to line a basket filled with banana bread!!

  53. Crazy girl, that towel is fabulous! I hate my handwriting also, so I know where you’re coming from. My very best friend told me something that I think of every time I criticize my handwriting- “Your loved ones would rather look at one page of your handwriting and remember YOU than look at a hundred perfectly lettered pages from someone else”… or something to that effect. She meant it in relation to scrapbooking (which I am too OC to enjoy), but it applies just as well here. Your work is charming because it has your flair, not because there are no blots or wavers. Which honestly I didn’t see in your recipe towel anyway. You know what would really be cool??? Write out a recipe, scan it, and transfer it onto the towel with that printable iron-on transfer junk! Then it would really be just your handwriting!

  54. I love this project, however I love the GAME, genius. (i am so competitive good gracious) anyhow this would be a super cute idea for wedding showers, give a recipe in a unique way. Love it! I came over via Perfectly Imperfect! You have a beautiful home!

  55. I had no idea that every picture looks better with fruit ….

    I think I’ll be posing my new portrait picture with me holding a piece of fruit up against my cheek … or perhaps under my chin … maybe balanced on my head …

    Love this project idea … and now I’m thinking of how I can steal and sell as a drop cloth recipe transfer towel for my Etsy …


  56. Girl, you are way too funny, and btw, I DO love me some Banana Bread! do you happen to have a recipe for that?…

  57. 57 comments!? Dang girl, what’s your secret!?!? Okay first of all I love you and I think you’re amazing. Secondly, your handwritten towels look amazing. I would be lucky to have mine look so good. With my luck I would misspell something even though I was TRACING!!! Thrirdly I am TOTALLY pinning this because this is a great idea and I think it would make a great gift, so there! Consider yourself pinned! 🙂


  58. I love this idea what a wonderful idea……………

  59. I think it’s very cute! Have your tried using citrisolv?

  60. Dear Karianne!!!
    If you are still reading (LOL), I LOVED your towels!!!
    I thought it was a GREAT IDEA!!! and I ate banana bread (LOL)!!!
    But I cna relate to you as I am, too, too hard on myself. I have tried a few things that did not turn out great!
    And yes, we can get better, I guess??? But also remember, the little imperfections is what makes our stuff unique!
    If it was printed by a machine it wouldn’t look so charming, would it?
    I LOVED it. I wish I had some cloths to make my own!
    I alwyas ask my mom to bring me dishcloths from Brazil, just plain white. She gets them “hemmed” with crochet.
    I bet I still have one or two unused in the bottom of my dishcloth drawer…
    And I love the idea to make it an activity at a Bridal Shower!

  61. OH Karianne,

    I made two of these yesterday! I just taped a towel to cardboard so the sharpie wouldn’t bleed onto the table and wrote out two of our favorite recipes. When I finished the 2nd one our youngest asked what I was going to do with it and said wash it so we can use it to dry dishes. His response was priceless!! “MOM, you CAN’T do that!! You have to stretch it out somehow and hang it!!! Its too cool to use to dry dishes.” Man does that boy ever do my heart good. His next comment was to tell me I should do up a whole bunch of them and sell them either online or at the Farmer’s market.

    Have a wonderful day and once again thank you for the inspiration!!

  62. I think these are really sweet, don’t be so hard on yourself. What a nice gift idea!!! I hope our Wal-Mart carries these dish-towels.

  63. What a great idea. I’m going to make one to use a wrapping paper for a kitchen themed gift I’m giving a friend this week. It will be like two gifts.

  64. I LOVE this idea. I would totally admire your napkin if you handed it to me while I was sitting in your kitchen. Extra bonus points if it came with the banana bread too! (And seriously, SUCH a great wedding shower idea!)

  65. This is such a cute idea! I’ve seen those flour sack towels at Walmart before. There are probably alot of ways you could jazz them up like that. I love the idea of using those at a wedding shower too. It would also make a cute gift if you included it with a dish you made to give to someone.

  66. Wel, I love this! I think it turned out beautifully, so there:) I just don’t understand HOW you trace it. I wish you had a picture of that aprt. Ca you just freehand it??? I suppose you could. Hope you get back to me, would love to try this. XO, Pinky

  67. What a creative,wonderful,inspirational idea!!!! I now have an idea for Christmas gifts. And I know just the recipe too! My mind is racing with other ideas too! Thank you!

  68. PERFECTION my friend! Now stop being hard on yourself.

  69. I just saw this and it’s wonderful! I honestly don’t understand why you are not pleased….great job, sweet lady.

    Thanks for sharing!

  70. This is my first time to your blog and I hope you take this in the best possible way, I’m snorting with laughter, nodding my head and aha ahaing through your posts. Love your way of writing, it’s just made my week.

  71. BTW I think your tea towels are pretty cute, if you could perminantly steep them with the smell of home baked banana bread they would be 10/10

  72. I love this project! And your handwriting is just fine – and so you! Those Walmart towels are so versatile!

  73. I think this looks great!! I am going to try this, even though you don’t like yours. I like it!

  74. I love these, even though u say ur handwriting is not like u want it. I thought that handing this down to our children would be excellent. then I thought Embroidery with a simple running stitch would make it beautiful and then who cares how u write. I would be so happy if I got my grandmothers chocolate cake recipe, or my grandpa’s Award winning BBQ sauce on them…to keep for a lifetime. u have great ideas and I think u are on to something here. some of my best ideas evolve into better ideas.Thanks for letting us see all ur hard work..but just know ur fans LOVE U!


    Try this but it takes a lot more time. Posted on another site where yours was also found first so hopefully you don’t get everyone sending this to you. Just felt sorry for your story. Yours looked good though and these are made for a different reason. Take care.