DIY Tea Towels

There are multiple reasons why I craft. Sometimes I craft because I can get similar results for a small percentage of the retail price. Sometimes I craft just because I feel like it. Sometimes I craft because I want the ability to customize my things.  Then, there are times that I craft because of all of those reasons. I’ve been wanting some tea towels for a long time but have yet to buy any. As spring is fast approaching, I am preparing for spring decor and so I decided that this week would be the perfect time to customize some little tea towels to use all over the house.


diy tea towels

diy tea towels


This project is not very hard. With just a little bit of patience and practice, you  will have these little beauties in a jiffy.

Here’s what you will need to make these little beauties:

  •  Flour Sack Towels (Cheap at walmart)
  • Latext paint
  •  Sponge paint brush
  •  Water
  •  Painter’s Tape


Begin by ironing the towel to remove the wrinkles and creases. We want them to to be nice and smooth.



Next, use painter’s tape to tape off the area that you do not want to paint. This is how you create the size and spacing of your lines. You can do whatever design you want. You’re creative! You can do it. It is completely up to you. Make sure you start taping by first taping the surface that the towel is laying on. You can see this in the picture below. I taped the ironing board and continued to tape the towel and then i ended my taping on the other end of the ironing board. This helps to keep the tea towel steady while you work




The next step is to mix 1 part paint to 3 parts water. When I worked on this project, I did 1/4 cup of water and a plastic spoon full of paint. the mixture will be very watery and that is what you want. This will prevent the paint from becoming hard and brittle on the tea towel. If you do this correctly, the finished result will have a tiny little bit of a rough feelling but it will not be very noticeable. Your towel will feel very pliable.



Once you have your mixture you are ready to paint; but please read the next few sentences carefully ,as it is this technique as well as the dilution of the paint that will give you the best results. Dip your brush into the paint but then squeeze about 90% of the paint out of it. I, first, squeezed it along the sides of the cup which removed about 65% of the liquid and then I used a paper towel to help remove another 20% or so. You want your brush to feel damp. This is called a “dry brush.” The brush is not actually dry but it is as close to dry as possible to still be able to use it to paint anything. This ensures that there isn’t enough paint on the brush to penetrate the fabric but just enough to coat the first layer of fabric. This, in conjunction with the dilution, will in effect keep your towel nice and supple.


Once you have done that, you want to tug on the end of the towel closest to where you are working to make sure that no wrinkles develop. Wrinkles will result in a very uneven finish of your painted lines.



Use very light and quick, feathery brush strokes. Although your brush is not dripping, if you move too slowly and apply too much pressure, your results will be uneven. This is why you may need to practice. Once you get it, the sky is the limit as to what you can do. I made 16 drop cloth tablecloths last year for a conference using this very method. They were beautiful! Anyway, once you are done, remove your tape and voila-your own customized tea towels!



diy tea towels

diy tea towels

diy tea towels

diy tea towels

diy tea towels

diy tea towels

I plan to use tea towels in the bathrooms and in our kitchen. I choose to hand-wash my towels but you can wash them in the machine. If you do that, please note that the first time you wash them, a little bit of the paint will come off, but they will still be lovely. I recommend ironing the back side of it on low heat as the heat will burn the paint. My preferred method is to sun dry them on a clothes line.

What about you? Will you make your own little tea towels? Do you have a different method? I Love to hear from you. Happy crafting!

If you like it, pin it!

diy tea towels 5 pinterest

Many blessings,


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  1. Katrin

    Hi Vanessa,
    your tea towels are right my style! Love the colour you chose and how simple this is! So much fun and they are a great deco in any kitchen!

    1. Vanessa

      Katrin, I love them too. They really are so simple and easy to make that you kind of don’t want to stop making them. Thank you for stopping by!

  2. Diana

    I’m in love with your towels, Vanessa! I just painted a faux grainsack stripe on a drop cloth and used it to recover a stool, but hadn’t thought of towels. I know what my next project will be…Would love it if you’d link up at our Vintage Charm link party this Thursday (8 am) 🙂
    Adirondack Girl @ Heart

    1. Vanessa

      HI Diana, I have done the drop cloth grain sack as well. That’s a lot of fun and comes out so nice. I am glad that you like the project. I will put your party on my list and I will see you Thursday at 8 🙂

  3. Kati

    Love these! I want to make a ton to just drape around my kitchen looking all chic 🙂

    1. Vanessa

      Thanks Kati 🙂 Glad you think they are cute 🙂

  4. Amanda | Maple Alps

    Wow! These are gorgeous and look store bought! I didn’t know you could use paint to do this! I am definitely going to need to try this now!

    1. Vanessa

      Amanda, I feel like you can use paint for everything. Ok, Maybe not everything but pretty close 🙂


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