How To Make A Holiday Gift Your Teachers Will Treasure

NOV 25, 2013


In today's tutorial guest blogger Emma Jeffery of Hello Beautiful shares a sentimental gift idea just in time for the holiday season.

What do you give that favorite teacher, dedicated youth leader, fun soccer coach or loved band leader this Christmas? Why, a personalized, heartfelt tea towel, made with love and group collaboration, of course!



This is a great way to celebrate a class, group or community and to ensure the memories of their time spent together will live on for years to come.

First, ask each person to draw a picture of themselves. I highly recommend they use markers or Sharpies to give a vibrant color to the finished fabric. Next, scan each image and upload to your computer. At this point, reduce each file size. If you keep them at the original size, the finished document will get too big to handle. I made my scanned images about 30% of their original size.

Open your drawing application. I used Apache OpenOffice, but there are others such as Paint, which will work just as well. Set your page dimensions to 27” x 18”, resolution to 150 dpi and the layout to landscape orientation.

Import your scanned images to your document and arrange on the page.


It is likely your scanned images will have a rectangular ‘box’ around them, which will be invisible until you try and put two images close together, and the invisible box cuts off part of the neighboring picture. You may need to make this box transparent, so that you can put the images together closely. In OpenOffice, select ‘Color Replacer’ under the Tools tab. Check the first box under ‘Source Color,’ select 'Transparent' from the drop down menu, and click ‘Replace.’


Add text or (as I preferred) handwritten and scanned information about the group/class and the date. I also asked my daughter to draw a picture of her teacher and I added it here.


I like to add a border line around the outside edge of the document. Not only does it make a nice finish, it also gives you a cutting reference line for when you come to cut the fabric and hem the edges.

Save the document, and export it. I usually export it as a .png file.

Upload your file to Spoonflower. Select basic repeat on 1 yard of linen-cotton canvas. This will make 4 tea towels. If the size of the images are not correct, see my note below.


When your fabric arrives, cut the 4 tea towels out, using the border line as a reference, and hem!


*Note: To make sure your design is sized correctly after exporting, and before uploading it onto the Spoonflower site, you can open your image in Preview (Mac's only). To display 4 tea towels one one yard, your page dimensions should be 27” x 18”. Resolution should be 150 dpi and the layout in landscape orientation.


About Our Guest Blogger

Emma Jeffery, Spoonflower guest bloggerHi! I'm Emma, and as well as working on the Fiskars Design Team, I blog over at

I'm an obsessive sewer, often leaping into projects with more enthusiasm than talent, more bravado than skill and more good luck than anything else. This technique has worked well for me so far and more often than not, I make things I love, even if they're not absolutely perfect. And though I'm no expert, I have a passion for fabric, color and design. I know what I like and what I like makes me smile.

Recommended Posts

Four models wearing handmade joggers

25 Unique Pairs of Joggers to Keep You Cozy


Two rows of small stockings hang on wooden dowels. The fabric of the stockings are a variation of terracotta, brown and cream colors, some are terracotta-and-cream plaid; some are white with small floral designs with red berries; some are brown with small white-and-orange wreaths, mugs and presents.

5 Easily Customizable Projects to Make This Holiday Season


Craft Friday

Mark Your Calendars! Announcing the 2021 Craft Friday Schedule



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Hi Debora, I don’t know the program you’re using but probably the simplest way is just to make the image a bit larger than you need. Once uploaded you can adjust by using the ‘Design size’ tab. Click on ‘Change DPI’ to change the image by increments of 1 until you see your whole image. This would obviously work for the yard as well as the FQ view.
    Hope this helps,

  • Debora Cadene

    Hi Emma…I’ve been trying for 3 days now, to get this figured out. I’ve scanned the pictures of the recipe cards, cropped and made a collage using Picasa, which I had downloaded for this, and tried to upload to spoon flower once I got the picture I was happy with, so I’d have one tea towel for the fat quarter. its not working. I get multiples and when I go to the center one.. I loose quite a few inches around the whole thing. So then I found this tutorial, and thought…HA…I got it now. I downloaded the program you suggested and found where to change the picture size, but absolutely cannot find where to change the resolution to make sure DPI is on 150. I am stumped. I’d be happy to turn this into 4 towels using the yardage over the fat quarter but could sure use a hand getting to that point.
    Please help,
    Debora Cadene.