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Hand-Painted and Hand-Stamped Tea Towels

I don’t know about you, but I love the pop of color that a new dish towel or tea towel brings to my kitchen. Making your own tea towels is such a great craft project because it is  inexpensive to make and can get a really custom look. This is something even a beginning crafter can do with fantastic  results….This works best with  cotton tea or dish towels which are easily found at any big box home store. I used a white cotton towel, but even color cotton towels will work! it’s funny how far styles have come! I first created  a post about hand-stamping on flour sack tea towels with stamps in 2008, and you can see those images below. That’s when pears and trim was really, really the “thing” to do.  This time I wanted to create a simple tutorial for stamping on tea towels that felt pretty and delicate with a more custom and modern vintage feel. I pulled out my stamp carving kit,   and my vintage stamps to create this pretty rose tea towel ( you can also do this for napkins!). There is a sped up video of how to make hand-painted and hand-stamped tea towels process… you can check it out in the  Jennifer Rizzo TV video player.
Hand painted and hand tmaped cotton tea towel with vintage stamp and coffee and roses

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This was super easy to make, it’s really about repetition, and it’s totally OK if the stamp and pant aren’t perfect. You can find the supplies on Amazon here to make the project. You can use fabric paint , but I wanted a custom color so I used craft acrylic paint and textile medium. It washes just as well as fabric paint.

You can actually just use straight acrylic paint on fabric ( I mean, have you ever tried to wash paint out of clothing?), but it will be slightly “crunchy” and  may develop cracks with repeated washing. The fabric medium makes it so the paint stays soft and flexible.

Supplies for hand painted and handstamping on fabric

Supplies for making a custom painted tea towel: Cotton towels or flour sack towels, fabric paint (or craft paint and fabric medium) I used Celery and Blush Pink for my colors, foam brush, stamp carving kit, permanent stamp pad or fabric stamp pad,  iron for setting the paint, scissors

To create the layered look of the roses on the tea towel, you’ll first want to wash, dry and iron your towels to remove any sizing on the fabric that might make the paint not adhere as much as it should. Then you want to create the background. For the stamp to give it a more modern vintage look.

First create a stamp by stamping
I had a vintage rose stamp I decided to use. I stamped that onto a carving block with my ink pad for a stencil guide and then carved around it with my stamp carving kit to slice away the extra stamp material.
Carve around stamped image with stamp carving set
You’re basically creating a rubber stamp for the background of the DIY stamped tea towels. While you could paint these on individually, stamping them is the fasted and most uniform way to make it easy.
Dab fabric paint onto stamp


Once you have your rough stamp created, load it up with your paint of choice with a foam brush, and on a flat surface, so a test stamp to make sure you have enough paint and  it’s going to look the way you want it to. It also helps to get to know the stamps a little bit and how much you need to press to transfer the image. You can test it on another cotton towel, scrap paper or similar cotton fabric to the towel.

Make a test stamp first on paper

Once you are ready, take your plain towels and make sure they are flat. Load the stamp with paint and press it firmly to the towel.

Stamp with stamp onto towel to create a pattern

I decided to create a repeating pattern. As it went a long, it looked even better than I though it would! This would be so pretty as wrapping paper too.

Stamp with stamp and fabric paint onto towel over other paint to make Hand-painted and hand-stamped tea towels

Once I had stamped my entire towel and let the paint dry, I went back with black fabric paint and stamped with my rose stamp over the top. The trick to using a regular stamp is to make sure the paint stays wet, and the minute your are done stamping is to clean the stamp otherwise it will ruin it.

Iron fabric to heat set after stamping

After all of the paint completely dried, I followed the direction on the bottles to iron the towel on the highest setting to make sure the paint was set and wouldn’t wash out. Set properly the hand-painted and hand-stamped tea towels should be able to go in the washer and dryer.

Hand stamped and handpainted cototnt tea towel with roses

It ended up looking so pretty and fresh! this would make a great Mother’s Day or housewarming gift too!


For more DIY hand printing and stamping projects, check out:

DIY Silk Screening with a Cricut

DIY Paint stripe Tea Towel

Sponge Stamped Tote Bag

Stenciled Linen Pillow

Here is the old project below!

How to custoise your own stenciled and stamped tea towels



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