Tuesday, February 5, 2013

DIY Tea Towel Gifts

Now that Christmas is over I can write about my Christmas craft.  I like to make a craft for my lady friends to either add to a traditional gift or as a little thank you to a good friend.  I believe that a hand made gift is the best kind of gift to give because it shows a little effort.

This year, like years in the past, we had a limited budget.  I decided to make hand stenciled tea towels for the kitchens of my friends and relatives.  I was careful to make the towels to match their kitchen decor or at least a color I knew they would like.

I made red (not shown), yellow, turquoise, and brown tea towels.

At first, I was thinking of using a stamp or two, but then I decided to go back to my tired and true technique of stenciling on fabric.  I already had many of the colors in fabric paint, all I needed was the stencil.

I'm really into bold graphic designs, but nothing too modern.  This damask pattern seemed just right.   

How to Make Stenciled Tea Towels


Tea Towels (I used flour sack towels from Wallmart)
Fabric Paint
Piece of wood or cardboard to protect surface
Stencil Brush


1. I like to get all my supplies together and set out before I start.  That way I know if I'm missing anything.

2. Unfold and lay out your tea towel on a protected surface.

3. Make one color at a time.  I like to mix different colors to make a custom color for my friends.  I think it is more creative and makes this handmade project a little more origional.  Mix your color on a pallet (or plastic plate like me).  Don't worry if you run out of a color and your next batch is a bit different, it is nice to have some natural variations.

4. Stamp the fabric paint onto the tea towel over the stencil.  Be careful not to have too much paint on your brush, otherwise it will bleed.  I used the stencil as a guide to gauge where to put the next design.  I also decided to only have the design on the bottom of the tea towels. 

5. Repeat pattern for all you tea towels.  Change the colors as you want.  I made a set of two for each friend.  Some of my friends got the same colors, and others got different ones depending on what I thought they would  like. 

6. Let dry.

7. Iron, wrap and give.

A lot of my friends liked this gift.  A couple of them said they were too nice to use as dish towels and decided to keep them for other purposes such as curtains and table cloths.

This was a fun project.  I made 26 tea towels in all.  It took two or three days but I got it done.  I have made a vow to start my Christmas craft-making early this year (July Christmas crafting anyone?).  It is not fun to add stress of crafting for a gift to the holidays.  I would rather have it out of the way.

Do you make crafts for Christmas presents, and if you do, when do you start them?  


  1. I know what you mean about leaving hand made gifts until December. Too much panic involved! That's a really thoughtful and pretty gift and I'm not surprised the recipients loved them.

  2. hey,
    I have check your Designs.Beautiful art you have shown to me.I like your work.Thanks for Posting.


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