Unless you have been hiding under a rock somewhere, chances are you have heard at least one side of the brouhaha surrounding new Common Core education standards. I am not going to get into a debate over its merits and faults here, but I am going to talk about one component that bums me out: 86ing handwriting. With that idea in mind, I used some of my family’s handwriting and turned t into handwritten recipe kitchen towels. If you have a printer at home, it is very easy to do.
Because of the increasing prevalence of digital media in our lives, handwriting may not be as important in the future as it once was, but that does not mean it is without use. I am not even referring to the cognitive benefits that are gained when children write with their hands ( and there are lots of them). I’m talking about the sentimental and historical losses we suffer when people stop writing things out by hand.
Which would you rather stumble upon: a thumb drive of emails that your grandparents sent to one another or a stack of handwritten love letters? Which has more historical significance: an early printed copy of a famous document or a handwritten draft? Which makes a better family heirloom: a website of family recipes or paper recipe cards written by family member themselves?
HANDWRITTEN RECIPE KITCHEN TOWELS
How Do You Make Handwritten Recipe Towels
1. Get yourself some inexpensive cotton flour sack towels. You can usually find a package for a few dollars at the grocery store.
2. Make sure the towel is ironed out completely flat and that the surface underneath is free of wrinkles too. Any unevenness in the surface of the fabric will affect the transfer.
3. Print the recipes out on heat transfer paper. REMEMBER TO REVERSE THE IMAGE!
4. Iron the image onto the towel according to the directions that come with your brand of transfer paper.
5. Carefully remove the paper backing to reveal the transferred recipe.
I still have the original copies of these recipes tucked safely away, but now I can display them in my kitchen as well. They coordinate nicely with the framed recipes already hanging on my walls.
What Should You Do With These Towels?
You can make a set of handwritten recipe towels for yourself or to give as part of a thoughtful wedding or housewarming present. For my towels, I chose to leave them fairly minimal, but you could add trim, embroidery, or fabric paint to make them even more special.
I want my kids to have the a little bit of my history in writing too, so I sat down and hand-wrote some of the recipes I am most known for. I also want my kids to have the sentimental and historical record of our family that is preserved in handwriting AND I want them to be able to pass their own written legacy on to their kids as well. And that means having my kids practice handwriting in school and at home.
You might like these other DIYs:
Amy Anderson says
I LOVE this project – we have tons of handwritten recipes in my family and my mom would love this as a gift!
Thanks! I know it's a gift I would like to get, but I'm probably biased. 🙂
I’m not sure what you mean by reversing this ? I don’t have a printer, so I’ll have to take this some place…do I buy the transfer paper at a craft store such as HOBBY LOBBY or MICHAEL’S . .? These will be gifts….what a great idea…..Thanks 🙂
You will need to use a photo editing program to create a mirror image of the recipe. When you iron the image onto the towel, it will reverse again — leaving you with the correct image on your towel. I hope that make more sense!
If you printer does not have a reverse print feature you can print to a transparency and then use the wrong side of the transparency to print to the fabric.
The cognitive research on the benefits of handwriting writing demonstrate that printing is as effective as cursive while notetaking for the retention of newly acquired information. Those that lament cursive should read 100 5 page essays in an evening. You might very well change your mind.
I don't think that the BIC campaign is limited to cursive, but instead wants to keep all handwriting in schools. I was a high school English teacher, so I feel your pain when it comes to correcting. I still feel that handwriting is an invaluable skill that I hope my children don't lose.
Saw some earlier comments about the transfer using computer ink would not be permanent after washing. I had the same question so did a quick google search and found this site. I’m not promoting their products at all. Just using their information about the heat transfer as reference only and wanted to share.
I love this idea and so agree it is important to preserve our heritage whenever we can. Thanks for sharing this project.
What would be a good photo editing program?
I just use PicMonkey, but anything with a reverse function would work.
Joy Kramer says
This is a great idea! I probably won’t motivate myself but my sisters would probably enjoy seeing my grandmother’s writing in a recipe on a towel. Her writing was awful (yes, yes, it was cursive, but…) but very distinguishable to all of us. I learned how to read any handwriting by reading her letters and cards–and recipes. Thanks for the clever idea. Who knows, I may do it.
I think this is a wonderful idea. Could you be more specific as to what type of heat transfer paper you used? Some of them are very heavy and leave the whole space on the fabric. Yours looks like it only transferred the writing, not the whole area.
I believe for this project I used the iron on transfers from OnlineLabels.com. It’s also a good idea to trim the transfer down to just the area you want to transfer onto the towel. Hope that helps!
Cheryl Hangsleben says
Does it matter whether it is ink jet or laser toner ink?
Check the directions on your brand of iron-on transfers. Mine worked just fine with an ink jet printer, but it’s better to check than be sorry!