How To Make Stamped Tea Towels

What You'll Need
Stamp supplies (fruit, cookie cutters, wood blocks, etc.)
Paintbrushes (including a sponge brush)
Newspaper or drop cloth
Mixing bowl

To start your stamped tea towel DIY, collect white or light-colored tea towels or flour sack towels. You can purchase these at a big-box store or a craft store in your area. Wash the cloth gently and be sure to let it dry completely before you stamp it. If you are going to dye your tea towel, learn how to dye a flour sack towel or tea towel here. If you decide to dye the towel, you must let it sit for a day or two after it has completely dried.

The Basics

You can stamp almost any shape on your towels, but you do need special supplies. You can use any all-surface paint, but you will also need to purchase a tintable fabric medium online or at a craft store. The bottle of fabric medium will have mixing instructions on the back, but all paint should be mixed with the medium at the suggested ratio. This will ensure that your stamped tea towels are washable and it will keep the colors adhered and strong.

You will also need stamp supplies, a few paintbrushes including a sponge brush, newspaper or drop cloth, and a bowl to mix your paint and medium in.

hands laying a printing stamp on intricately designed fabric

Stamping

Stamping is the best part of this project, and you can really let your creativity shine. You can use fruit as a stamp, cookie cutters, basic stamps, sponges and more. Potatoes can be shaped with knives and cookie cutters into numerous shapes and make a really great addition to your stamp collection.

A few of our favorite stamps include citrus fruit that’s been sliced in half, pears that have been sliced in half, a whimsical block print stamp, Christmas tree cookie cutters, and leaf-shaped stamps.

How To Stamp Tea Towels

Stamping tea towels requires a little patience, and that’s about it. Once you have selected your stamp, decide how many shapes you’d like stamped on your tea towel, how far apart the stamps will be, and if the stamps will be sporadic or in a neat row. You can place small dots on the flour sack towel to indicate where you want the stamp to go if that helps you plan. The long and short of it is this: the more you plan, the less likely you are to make a mistake that causes you to have to start over.

Take the stamp you have selected and use a paintbrush to coat it evenly in a thin layer of paint. Pay close attention to the amount of paint on the stamp because you will want to replicate it on every stamp you do. Take the paint-coated stamp and press it firmly and squarely on the tea towel. Hold the stamp there for ten to fifteen seconds and pull it straight off the material. If necessary, wipe gunky paint from the stamp with a cloth and continue stamping.

two hands pressing a patterned stamp down onto fabric

Once you are done stamping, let the design sit for at least twenty-four to forty-eight hours. You can then wash your towel according to the instructions on the back of your fabric medium bottle. You can also iron the towel and tie it with some string to add to your arsenal of great DIY gifts.

Mistakes

Sometimes paint gets splattered or designs get smudged. Since there is no way to wash the paint completely out once the stamp hits the fabric, you have three options when it comes to mistakes on your towels; you can ignore it, incorporate it, or start over. If the mistake is small and hardly noticeable, ignore it and move on. If the mistake involves a splatter or a smudge, see if you can incorporate it into the large design. And if all else fails, there is no DIY shame in starting over.

Now that you’ve mastered the art of stamping flour sack towels, dive right into more kitchen decor DIY projects or find more ways to use your tea towels as gifts.

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