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DIY Christmas Tea Towel with Reindeer Embroidery Trim

I am so excited about today’s DIY project: an easy, DIY Christmas tea towel.  I have my Mummu to thank, because she found the pretty embroidered embellishment I used.  The aqua and gold is just the perfect color combination!

DIY Holiday Tea Towel with Reindeer Embroidery Trim

Where to Find Embroidered Embellishments

My Mummu loves a good yard sale.  She loves going to them, she loves having them – she’s even convinced my Mom and I to help schlep boxes of stuff to indoor community sales in the off season.  At our last yard sale, I noticed my Mummu was downsizing some craft supplies and I scooped up a ton of cute stuff: some beautiful doilies (I turned one into this cool pillow), an old purse I turned into a chic floral clutch, and the gold embroidered reindeer trim you see here, which I used to embellish a DIY linen tea towel for the holidays.  So keep your eyes peels at yard sales and thrift stores for pretty, inexpensive trims to use.  This might a vintage gold embroidered applique, as I couldn’t find the identical item online, BUT I did find a lot of similar, equally pretty, options:

Reindeer Embroidery Trim

Supplies for a DIY Holiday Tea Towel:

Notes on Supplies: Because our local Fabricland was moving, they had some great deals on fabric and I bought some pale turquoise linen for 50% off.  Using our own tutorial for how to sew a mitered corner, my Mom and I quickly hemmed a simple rectangle tea towel – but you can always buy a plain tea towel to embellish.  See?  I promised no sewing was required.  I didn’t even want to fuss with sewing on the embroidered reindeer, so I decided to try Liquid Stitch instead.  Read on for the how-to to make your own DIY holiday tea towel (no sewing required).

Liquid stitch

How to Make an Easy DIY Holiday Tea Towel:

  • Wash and dry the fabric before sewing to remove any sizing and prepare for the Liquid Stitch
  • Sew fabric into a tea towel using this tutorial (optional if embellishing pre-made tea towel)
  • Iron the fabric smooth (if required)
  • Hand stitch multiple lengths of embellishment together so they’re easier to manage
  • Place the fabric on a flat surface (I put a plastic cutting board underneath, to protect my kitchen counter from any glue, but this adhesive is water soluble until dry, so any drips washed off easily)
  • Shake the tube of Liquid Stitch well
  • Spread the glue on the back of the embellishment, being careful not to bring it too close to the edges so it doesn’t squish out
  • Gently and evenly press down on the trim with fingers
  • Examine any edges and add more Liquid Stitch with a toothpick where necessary
  • Let dry, undisturbed, for 30 minutes
  • Do not launder this fabric until the glue has dried for at least 24 hours.

How to Sew a Teak Towel

Does Liquid Stitch Hold Through Repeated Washings?

UPDATE 2020: the liquid stitch has held up so well, even through repeated washings! Only one or two spots I missed the first time, and didn’t glue down, started to look a bit loose but all I had to do was add a touch more liquid stitch with a toothpick, press down, and let dry for another 24 hours.  Because my trim was so detailed, it was easy to miss a spot or two!  If you were really worried, you could lightly hand stitch around the perimeter of the applique, but it’s totally not necessary, this liquid stitch works so well!

DIY Linen Tea Towel

P.S. Don’t Forget to Pin for Later!

I love how this turned DIY holiday tea towel out!  The gold, cream, and aqua is such a pretty color combo!  You know I’m not super festive over here, favoring “wintry” to “Christmassy” decor, but I do love the look of this glitzy tea towel in my turquoise kitchen.

Turquoise Linen Tea Towel

Looking for more Christmas craft ideas?  Find them all here!



  1. Susan
    November 21, 2019 / 7:59 am

    Also have a lake house and always looking for ideas! So much you find is for beach and ocean not lake. So nice to find this page. Also LOVE the tea towels. Now I have to start googling to find those appliqués! Lol

    • November 21, 2019 / 1:20 pm

      Thanks for your kind comment! And you are so right – a lot of coastal design is very seashell and beach inspired. Or navy/red nautical! I am so glad you found some ideas here!

      If you can’t find a cute applique at a local craft/fabric store (or Etsy), Amazon has some too, like these snowflakes.

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