Most of us remember calendar towels from our childhoods or have given or received one as a gift at Christmas. The idea is to hang the printed linen or cotton towel from the included dowel for the year, and then to take it down and use it as kitchen towel when the year is through.
Introduced in the 1950s they feature many different themes such as food, birds, lighthouses, covered bridges, patriotism, and flowers, and often have a homey, retro quality. They are collectible for their scenes, as well as in commemoration of a particular year. My interest was spurred when I was given one, and then I began to look for others.
Calendars repeat themselves, and the calendars for the years 2009, 1998, 1987, 1981, 1970, 1959, and 1953 are the same as the current year of 2015. Next year will be a leap year, and only a 1960 or 1988 calendar will have the same layout. I found this chart for recycling calendars which was inspired by a Simpsons episode.
I’ve been enjoying this 1970 apple themed calendar towel in my kitchen this year. Besides being charming and retro , it’s also an accurate calendar for 2015.
I love calendar towels with verses.
Often these towels end up forgotten and unused in a drawer. I have seen calendar towels made into cute tote bags and pillows, but the simplest thing to make is an apron. These are so quick and easy to make with a sewing machine or even by hand stitching, that you can whip one up in time for your holiday cooking. So search your linen closet, find an old towel, and let’s get started.
I folded in a wedge on both sides at the top and stitched it down. I chose not to cut off any part of the towel.
Then I sewed on a neck strap to the top, and finished by sewing on a strap on either side at waist level to tie in back.
My neck straps are about 20 to 22 inches. I originally cut them several inches longer to be sure I had enough room to fit them over my head and also to be able to turn under an inch on each end.
I cut two waist ties for each apron. The length of one apron’s ties is 32 inches, and the other I made a bit longer at 37 inches. Plan on adding an extra 2 inches for turning under the edges for a neat finish. I sewed the straps to the apron with a little rectangle.
I made the first apron with a quilt theme towel and a cotton measuring tape ribbon I bought at the dollar spot at Target. I also made and applied a dark red bias tape trim around the entire towel for a pretty finish.
For the second towel to apron conversion I paired my fruit themed towel with a strawberry print fabric to create the ties for the neck and waist.
I didn’t turn the straps. Instead, I folded the edges of the fabric strips over toward the center and then in half again lengthwise to envelop the raw edges. I then stitched them down.
I’ve never understood the point of half aprons; they don’t cover the most spilled upon region. These do the job, and are fun to wear.
Do you anticipate giving or receiving a calendar towel for 2016?