What is a Custom Heirloom Recipe Tea Towel?
Years ago, I began the process of teaching myself how to capture, restore, and print old handwritten recipes, notes, and letters onto a variety of items. I’m a very sentimental person and preserving family history means a lot to me — not just mine but yours as well! I had no idea the impact it would have on others (keep reading for the stories).
I took my skills and started making Heiroom Recipe Tea Towels where I removed stains, eliminated the background, and made the handwritten words clean and ledgible again. I designed a variety of embellishments and printed the customer’s choice of design with the recipe onto tea towels (read what a tea towel is and about my premium towels here). After several years and several hundred of these custom handwritten recipe towels I’ve made for people all over the country, here’s what I realize:
The stories are priceless — I LOVED hearing the stories behind each recipe! Here’s some examples of real stories I’ve heard:
- The whole family would gather on Sundays and Grandma would make this meal for us.
- Dad used to make this recipe all the time.
- Mom would have a plate of cookies waiting for us after school, the whole house would smell like cookies when we walked in.
OK, one more story but grab your tissues first!
Anne Kuczkowski asked me to make this special tea towel for her daughter’s best friend, Emily, as a bridal shower gift. She was very attached to her grandparents and lost them all in a fairly short period of time. When it came to her shower, she did not need the usual household things but I wanted to get her something personal/meaningful. With the help of her mother and my daughter we got ahold of a recipe written in one of her grandmother’s handwriting which was perfect for this. I noticed that the recipe says to put the batter into two wax paper lined ice cub trays without the dividers. It just so happeded that in clearing out my parents’ house (as they both just recently passed away) I found some of those old fashioned ice cube trays she was referring to in the recipe so I included them along with some wax paper. She was very touched and said that it was the most thoughtful gift she has ever received.
I’m not crying, you’re crying! Gosh, these stories just melt my heart. How sweet of Anne to send me these pictures and Emily for allowing me to share them!
Even after all that, I stopped talking about my Heirloom Recipe Tea Towels. Why? I stopped promoting it due to the amount of time I spent restoring each recipe. Can I be honest? I was feeling burned out because of the amount of work each individual custom towel took. I was literally rescuing and restoring these torn, stained, and tattered recipes — trying as hard as I could to preserve them for the next generation (read how to store recipes/paper and why it’s important to digitally restore them here). It took at least 1-2 or more hours of intense Photoshop work. Some of these recipes would put all my 30 years of Photoshop experience to the test. With all that time invested in each recipe, I would still only charge $29 ea. Sure, you could order a recipe tea towel from someone else for half the price but I can guarantee they won’t be restoring it to the depth that I do. Mostly, they say to send a “clean version” of the recipe. Well, not everyone has a clean version or even knows how to get one. After factoring in the cost of the premium Turkish cotton tea towel and the cost of the labor and printing, it really worked out to me earning a fraction of minimum wage — yes, I said a fraction. Clearly something had to change and I decided to just stop.
HOWEVER, I loved making them. I love what it does for the individual ordering it and for the people they give them to.
I miss it… It’s calling me back.
So, here’s some changes I’ve come up with. There’s 3 easy options to choose from:
- MOST ECONOMICAL: DIY, design it yourself! For just $16, YES just $16, use my easy to navigate software on my website here and upload your recipe. You can choose from my extensive clip art collection or add your own embellishments (as long as it’s copyright free).
- EXCLUSIVE INSPIRED BUFFALO DESIGNS: choose from my own illustrations that people love for $25 here. Yes, even with rising costs, it’s less! Please keep in mind that the recipe will not be retouched. How you send it is how it will be printed along with the design of your choice. You will receive a proof before printing for your approval.
- INSPIRED BUFFALO RESTORATION: Using my 30 years of experience in Photoshop, I will do my best to digitally remove the stains, fix smudged words, fold lines, repair torn paper, and even remove tape that seems to accompany so many old recipes! You will receive a beautiful, high resolution digital version of the recipe that you can pass along to those who would love to have a copy. That beautifully restored recipe gives you power to have it printed wherever you wish (though, I’d be happy to print it for you on my many products you can find here). Last but not least, you will also receive 1 printed tea towel. Choose from the Inspired Buffalo designs of your choice here. All this for only $199! Please see below the past recipes I’ve worked on and restored. These are real projects and the original photos of the recipes are exactly how I received them.
Open Houses are Back!
Have any questions? I’m happy to answer them! There will be 3 Open Houses before Thanksgiving where you can come meet me, see my products in person where you can touch and feel them. Bring your recipes or letters and I can start the process with you or you can simply order online from my store: https://www.inspiredbuffalo.com/
The first Open House is Sat. Sept 24th, 2022! Come shop my Heirloom Handwritten Gift Collection. They really make a most beautiful and meaningful gift. The other dates will be announced soon. I hope you can make it from 10a-2p at my shop at Inspired Buffalo LLC, 115 Hertel Avenure, Buffalo, NY 14207. There will be giveaways and a door prize. Best thing is everyone who is on my email list will receive 20% off of the items in this collection. The price will not go this low again — not even during Black Friday — so you’ll definitely want to come to the open house. If you’d like to receive this exclusive discount as well, you can sign up here.