How to decorate tea towels with crochet shell edging

Make household chores more enticing with Ayda Algin’s crochet shell edging. Add it to your tea towels for the ultimate upcycle.

How to decorate tea towels with crochet edging

Upgrade the humble tea towel to a display-worthy accessory with this trio of crochet shell edging tutorials. The scalloped edging adds a vintage feel to this cotton set – either crochet it onto similar shop-bought versions, upcycle some old tea towels or make your own to fit with your kitchen décor. Ayda Algin shows you how to make this pretty crochet shell edging and we love that it’s a truly sustainable craft. Use scrap fabrics and yarns to create your tea towels (what a great stash buster project) and reuse them over and over again. You could even match them to these upcycled jam jars and upcycled chair for a truly DIY kitchen!

You’ll need two pieces of fabric measuring 40 x 65cm (15¾ x 255/8 “), either matching or in contrasting patterns. With right sides together sew around the edge, leaving a gap for turning. Turn the tea towel right side out, sew the gap closed, and press. Add crochet edging in a complementary shade of yarn, and you’re ready to tackle those dishes.

If you need a little more help crocheting your shell edging then have a read and watch our crochet videos. We have a crochet for beginners guide and a crochet kits for beginners round up to help you learn all crochet’s basic techniques. We also have an in-depth crochet shell stitch tutorial as well as a how to crochet blanket stitch edging so you can become a crochet edging pro. 

How to decorate tea towels with crochet edging cropped

You will need:

• DMC Natura Just Cotton yarn, 100% cotton, 50g/155m per ball, one ball each in Geranium (N52) (Yarn A), Giroflee (N52) (Yarn B), Aquamarine (N25) (Yarn C)
• 2.5mm (UK 12, US C/2) crochet hook (find the best crochet hooks on the market in our round-up)
• Three tea towels approx. 40cm (15¾”) wide
• Tapestry needle

Tension

Tension isn’t too important, just aim for a neat finish

Abbreviations (UK)

st(s) stitch(es)
sp(s) space(s)
ch chain
ch-sp chain space
ss slip stitch
dc double crochet
tr treble
yrh yarn round hook
tr2tog treble 2 together (yrh, insert hook in next st, yrh and pull up loop, yrh and draw through 2 loops) twice, yrh and draw through all loops on hook
5ch picot ch5, ss in 5th ch from hook

You can find a full list of all abbreviations we use in our abbreviations and conversions guide. This pattern is written in UK terminology but you can easily convert it to US terms using this handy chart.

How to trim tea towels with crochet edging

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You Will Need

  • Tea Towel
  • Yarn
  • Crochet hook
  • Tapestry needle

Total time:

Pink crochet shell edging pattern

Step 1

How to decorate tea towels with crochet edging step 1

How to decorate tea towels with crochet edging step 2

Using Yarn A and the tapestry needle, sew blanket sts evenly along the short end of the tea towel. You’ll need 48 sts along the edge, so measure and sew carefully. Fasten off neatly.
Row 1 with right side facing, join yarn into first st, ch1 (does not count as st), work 2dc in each bar across, turn [96sts]
Row 2 ch1 (does not count as st), 1dc in each st along, turn
Row 3 *ch1, miss 3 sts, (tr2tog, ch3, tr2tog, ch3, tr2tog) all in next st, ch1, miss 3 sts, 1dc in next st; repeat from * to end of row.
Break yarn and fasten off.

Yellow crochet shell edging pattern

Step 1

How to decorate tea towels with crochet edging step 3

How to decorate tea towels with crochet edging step 4

How to decorate tea towels with crochet edging step 5

Using Yarn B and the tapestry needle, sew blanket sts evenly along the short end of the tea towel. You’ll need 46 sts along the edge, so measure and sew carefully. Fasten off neatly.
Row 1 with right side facing, join yarn into first st, ch1 (does not count as st), work 2dc in each bar across, turn [92sts]
Row 2 ch3 (counts as first tr), 1tr in each st along, turn
Row 3 ch1 (does not count as st), 1dc in first st, *ch6, 1dc between 5th and 6th st along; repeat from * to end of row, turn
Row 4 ch1 (does not count as st), (2dc, 3tr, 2dc) into the each 6ch-sp along. Break yarn and fasten off.

Blue crochet shell edging pattern

Step 1

How to decorate tea towels with crochet edging step 6

How to decorate tea towels with crochet edging step 7

How to decorate tea towels with crochet edging step 8

Using Yarn C and the tapestry needle, sew blanket sts evenly along the short end of the tea towel. You’ll need 48 sts along the edge, so measure and sew carefully. Fasten off neatly.

Row 1 with right side facing, join yarn into first bar, ch1 (does not count as st), work 2dc in each bar across, turn [96sts]

Row 2 ch3 (counts as first tr), 1tr into the next dc, *ch2, miss 2dcs, 1tr in each of next 2 sts; repeat from * to the last 2 sts, ch1, 1tr into the last st, turn.

Row 3 ch3 (counts as first tr), 1tr in 1ch-sp, *ch2, 2tr in next 2ch-sp; repeat from * to the last 2 sts, ch1, 1tr in last st, turn.

Row 4 ch1 (does not count as st), 1dc, *ch10, 1dc in 4th tr along; repeat from * to end of row, turn.

Row 5 ch1 (does not count as st), (5dc, 5ch picot, 5dc) into each 10ch-sp along. Break yarn and fasten off to finish.

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How to decorate tea towels with crochet edging

And you’re done! You’ve learned a new skill (crochet shell edging) and upcycled some old tea towels at the same time – winner. For more cute projects check out our free amigurumi crochet patterns and our free crochet poppy pattern

Meet the Maker

Ayda lives in Istanbul and has a passion for interior decoration, craft, food and art. Her blog, cafenohut, is where she shares her inspirations, adventures and ideas. She loves working with yarn and fabric, and sells her handmade items in her Etsy shop, deconoHut.

Crafting and a good cup of tea go hand-in-hand, so it seemed only natural for Tick Tock to team up with Mollie Makes on a series of craft projects for you to try. We encourage you to pop the kettle on, let your creativity flow freely, and make something that makes you happy! Tick Tock celebrates good craftsmanship and fun design, from its hand-harvested teas to iconic colourful packaging. Tick Tock’s naturally caffeine-free rooibos is the perfect cup for crafters to enjoy whenever inspiration hits – morning, noon and night.