How to Impress Your Friends (or Mother-In-Law): Tea Towels

Last year when my mother-in-law came to visit, I cleaned out my frig, organized my kids toys, and bought new tea towels and wash clothes. Those three things, I thought, would convince her that her grandchildren were being well taken care of. Since then, my frig has been neglected, the toys are thrown into random bins, and I'm back to using paper towels for every kitchen need.

Then two days ago, I stumbled upon this beautiful video from Studio Patro. It inspired me to dust off my tea towels and put them to the test yesterday at the park.

I usually bring a huge spread of food to the park because a.) we usually stay through dinner time and b.) I'm such a show off.  I lay out all the food so my kids (or whoever) can pick at in-between swinging on the monkey bars and chasing birds away. Last week I bought a glass jar of olives that ended up braking on the way home because I carelessly dropped my lunchbag on the sidewalk. Instead of trying to salvage everything, I threw the bag, broken glass, and olives in the trash. But not this week!

I wrapped the olives in a tea towel for protection, then used the tea towel as a place mat, then when everyone was done eating, I used the tea towel to wipe my kids faces. I'm sold!

Now I want more. Classic with a Red Stripe? Or Modern Bold Graphic? I'll take the classic. And this time it will be for me instead of to impress my mother-in-law!

Do you have an item that has multiple uses that your adore? Share! I love tips. 
Here's the spread I took to the park yesterday that inspired this post:

PS Thanks to Jill Vaughn, Erin Gianni, and Anonymous for donating to Fred's Team!


  1. I'm kind of an adorer of cloth napkins (we're into reusable), so I do these things with napkins rather than a tea towel. You may have just converted me, though, 'cause that 2n link is pretty adorable.

  2. OK, first I am going to hang with you at the park and eat your food! I love and use cloth tea towels, place mats and napkins for everything!! My kids haven't taken a paper napkin in their lunchbox in many, many years!

    and second, you're welcome!!


  3. Tea towels are my personal obsession. I use them for everything, and collect them whenever I travel. I have them from France, Italy, Japan, and the Ikea in Red Hook, Brooklyn (they had the cutest pink towels with cross stitching on them...very vintage. Who could resist?) And if you get a gift from me, it WILL come wrapped in a towel.

    BTW...did you know there is a bird migration in the park right now? I want to get a book and see how many I can spot. Here is a friends blog with great photos: http://thebethlenz.blogspot.com/

  4. Beach towels! Great for picnic blankets, cushions, pillows, table cloths on gross park tables, seat covers on dirty park benches, covers for prams and food, hang them in the car window for shade- seriously couldn't live without beach towels or cloth nappies!!!


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