6 gift ideas using a tea towel

It's that time of year. The mad panic for a gift for a housewarming, wedding, engagement or BBQ (apparently May is the best month for outdoor cooking!). This got me thinking about how that little work horse of the kitchen, the humble tea towel, could come into its own. Who doesn't love a tea towel - a quick and affordable way to refresh the kitchen; a nice way to display a loved pattern - but it can also offer so much more than that. Just by combining it thoughtfully with a few other items, your gift problems are solved. Here's a few ideas for starters:

1. Kitchen match made in heaven - wrap a rustic cookbook in a set of tea towels, double tie with string and pop in a few wooden spoons or kitchen implements of your choice under the string.

2. Breakfast tray of goodies - take a plain wooden tray, line with a tea towel and then fill the tray with a selection of lovely speciality tinned teas, pots of homemade jam or chutney and a couple of hand crafted mugs.

3. Sloe surprise - wrap a beautiful bottle of your home made sloe gin or elderflower champagne (depending on the season) with a tea towel instead of wrapping paper. Tie with rustic string and a luggage label.

4. Pocket surprise - take an oven glove and put two matching rolled up tea towels in the pocket and stuff with a number of small kitchen items. Cookie cutters in a range of fun themed shapes are ideal.

5. BBQ special - if you are bringing a dish or a pie to the BBQ, its always nice to hand it over wrapped in a tea towel as an extra little thank you. And its unlikely not to be handy with all that coleslaw and mustard flying about!

6. Guest bathroom - line a gift box with two tea towels which can double up as guest bathroom hand towels and fill the box with lovely hand made soap and bath salts.

What's your top tip for using a trusty tea towel as part of a gift?

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