Stamped Tea Towels

January 9, 2012

Howdy y’all!  I hope you had a fine weekend.  Ours was spent organizing and planning, planning and organizing, but mostly tinkering around the house, cleaning up the remnants of Christmas and tucking it away in bins for next year.  Lots of neat things happened in the peace and quiet, we made plans to take a vacation this year and to make more changes to the house, it was both productive and relaxing.

Another project I worked in the midst of all that was these stamped tea towels. I’m a huge fan of block print fabric so I decided to mimic the look by using some old stamps in my collection and applying the pattern to tea towels to brighten up the kitchen.

diy stamped tea towels


To make your own, you’ll need the following:  tea towels, non porous flat surface, paint for fabric, fabric medium, sponge roller, rubber stamps, iron.

I used the Martha Stewart paints since they’re inexpensive, readily available (found mine at Michaels), designed for use on fabric, and they come in such nice colors. Be sure to buy the fabric medium, that’s what keeps your paint thin, soft, and washable.

fabric medium and paint



1.  If you want to make your own color, first mix it together, then 2. add the fabric medium after the color is mixed. I used about one part medium to one part paint.  

mix paint and medium steps

Next, roll your paint on a nonporous flat surface (I wrapped a piece of plywood in aluminum foil).  4. Use the sponge roller to apply it to the stamp.  I found the color came out more even this way instead of placing the stamp directly into the fabric paint.

roll paint on stamp

Next, apply your stamp in your pattern of choice.  Sponge roll a light coat of paint before every single stamp for even color distribution. 

begin stamping

Change colors and sizes to add interest!

continue with little stamp

I also made a second version with another old speckled stamp I had in my stash.

speckled stamp

The paints are water based, so cleanup is crazy easy, just a little water.

wash off stamp 2

Allow the paint to dry for 24 hours, then heat seal your paint with an iron. I placed a plain cotton sheet between the tea towel and the iron to prevent direct contact.

heat seal paint

Once you’re done, you have your own custom tea towels that are unique and completely washable.  I recommend a delicates setting on your washer, just to preserve all your hard work.

diy stamped tea towels cg

stamped tea towels

So pretty and so easy, and they make great gifts.  You can apply the same technique to simple cotton to make pillows or window panels too, have fun creating your own!


kate signature image



Pin It

132 Responses to “Stamped Tea Towels”

  1. tinajo says:

    SUPER pretty – love them! :-)

  2. Darcie says:

    So cute-love the colors! Looks like a fun project for a beginner like me :)

  3. Jill says:

    Where do you find plain tea towels? I guess I could sew some, but then again – I’d rather not. These are lovely.

  4. Terrie says:

    Love these! You are so creative! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Judy says:

    Those are beautiful. I have almost all of the materials in the house for this project. I love the idea and am definitely going to try it.

  6. those are so pretty and such a cheap gift!

  7. Tardevil says:

    Impressed, but even more impressed that you used an iron. ;o)

  8. Justine says:

    So cute! These would make such great gifts as well. Guess it’s time to break down and start buying all those pretty Martha paints, huh? ;)

  9. Simona says:

    You are wonderfully creative….. Kiss from Italy

  10. What a great idea. I’ll have to try it out. I love the idea of personalizing them as gifts!

  11. Jeannie says:

    Love them! Looks like I’ll be working on mothers day gifts early this year!


  12. Love those! There’s no limit to what you can do with this!

  13. Jane says:

    Hi Kate! I love these towels & am currently thinking of creative ways to repurpose some myself! :)
    Thank you for the inspiration!!!
    -Jane @

  14. val says:

    Kate-these are go gorgeous! I love this DIY.

  15. lisaW says:

    LOVE this idea!!!

  16. domestiCate says:

    Fabulous, Kate! I was so pleasantly surprised to see this post…I just picked up some white flour sack towels yesterday to do some block printing myself. I would love it if you’d check out our nursery…I think you’ll like it!

  17. Kim C says:

    What a great idea! You just Solved my “What to get for end of the year teachers gifts” dilemma!

  18. Wow, love it. Doesn’t look hard to do at all. Thanks for sharing.

  19. Love this idea! I’ve been looking for towels for my kitchen that have certain colors in them and have been totally unsuccessful. Now I can DIY my own using the colors I want. Thanks!!

  20. Kathleen says:

    These are great! What a fun idea. Did you get your stamps from Micheal’s as well?

  21. Ruth Crean says:

    Oh this looks like such fun! I’m def gonna give it a try!
    For the lady at the top asking to buy plain tea towels, I used to work as a waitress and we had to have plain towels for polishing cutlery and glasses(the most horrible part of the job, I hated it!) and I used to get my in either kitchen supplies stores, or kitchen uniform stores, they were pretty cheap too.

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      Yes Ruth, plain tea towels or flour sacks are inexpensive, I found mine at a local mom & pop hardware store in their kitchen section! Kitchen supply stores are the easiest place to find them in bulk, but check around at any place that sells kitchen or culinary goods.

  22. Catrin says:

    Gorgeous. I love those stamps you got.
    Greetings from Germany

  23. michele says:

    I love this! I am new to your blog and can’t get enough of your fabulous ideas. I made the lavender sea salt scrub yesterday. Easy peasy and smells great! I filled 5 small mason jars with one recipes and cannot wait to give out. Thank you.

  24. now there is going to be a north american wide rush on plain white tea towels.

  25. This is such a great idea and looks so simple! I love this!

  26. Daneilia says:

    The tea towels are very stylish. Super cute!

  27. So love these. I’m going to try doing monogramed dish towels. Thanks for your inspiration.


  28. D'Arcy M. says:

    Love this! I am thinking another homemade Christmas gift project to add for next Christmas! :) Can’t wait to make my own set, I love dish towels.

  29. Danielle says:

    Gorgeous! Love these. Thanks for sharing, Kate!

  30. This looks like so much fun and they turned out so pretty!

  31. Honestly, I was thinking of doing this myself over the weekend! Your’s turned out so pretty, I think I may need to give it a whirl too!

  32. How adorable! I have so many Martha Stewart paints, and had no idea about the fabric medium…guess what my next project is going to be!!! Tea towels for sure!

    Jessica @ Mom 4 Real

  33. Karen @ says:

    Very pretty! Think I will put this project on my to do list! Thanks for sharing.

  34. Amber says:

    Hello end-of-year teacher’s gifts…

  35. Oh my goodness! You just made my life a million times easier, ha ha! I can’t sew to save my life, but I’ve been wanting to do tea towels for christmas gifts :) Yay!!! Thank you so much for this idea. Pinning it!

  36. I love these! So pretty! The colors you picked are gorgeous!

    The Not So Functional Housewife

  37. sarah says:

    yes for cuteness. i love them.

  38. Kelly says:

    Love the stamped tea towel idea!

  39. Julie says:

    Those are really pretty & I love the colors you chose.

  40. Curtney says:

    Looks great, Kate! Thanks for mentioning the “one part medium to one part paint” thing. This has always mystified because I was never sure what the proportions should be — very helpful!

  41. Ashley says:

    These are so cute and pretty – and my fave colours. Maybe when all of my old tea towels are worn out I can justify it haha.

  42. Andrea says:

    LOVE these! They turned out so pretty. I know what my mom’s getting for Valentine’s Day! :)

  43. Paula Pierce says:

    I think the use of a sponge roller to apply the paint is an important point. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve “goobed” out paint because I tried to get away with just dabbing the stamp in the paint!

  44. Rhonda Morris says:

    I’m gonna use this idea for my curtain panels I am making for the dining room. Looks much easier than stenciling….

  45. They look lovely, Kate. I’ve seen the fabric medium at Michael’s, but I wasn’t sure how well it would stand up. Thanks for testing it out!

  46. Debbie says:

    Oh so pretty! I love the stamps and colors you used. But then, all of your things are beautiful…I noticed even your ironing board cover is gorgeous! Thanks for passing on a great idea so well thought out and clearly explained.

  47. Elaine says:

    Beautiful! I can totally see giving these as gifts as you mentioned. Such a personalized and pretty idea! Thanks :)

  48. Thank you for this! They are so beautiful! And it’s nice to have things in your house that are completley unique! I will be following this tutorial!

  49. tute-bot says:

    Thank you for another great tutorial! You always manage to make really stylish projects with simple materials. You are an inspiration for me.

  50. Gorgeous towels. A block prints fan here too. Great tip about the fabric medium. Now I know why my fabric paint was so thick and hard!

  51. laurie says:

    They are great looking. Love the color choices.

  52. These are so cute! I absolutely love them!

  53. Tiffany H. says:

    These are gorgeous! A couple of these tied with a beautiful ribbon would be a great gift. I’m off to find tea towels!

  54. Tiffany H. says:

    These are gorgeous! A couple of these tied with a beautiful ribbon would be a great gift. I’m off to find tea towels!

  55. Rasonda says:

    So lovely! I am so doing this!

  56. Gorgeous! The colours and stamp are the perfect combo. So clever!

  57. Angie says:

    Are these tea towels made from flour sacks? If not, where did you find them? Thanks!!

  58. Those are lovely, Kate! You took that speckled stamp and did something totally unexpected. Great project, and I loooove that they are washable!

  59. Allison A. says:

    These are lovely, Kate. Beautiful colors you’ve used and yes, they would make a lovely hand made gift. I made some home made jam today for a friend’s birthday. I might have to make a couple tea towels to go along with the jam. Thank you for sharing your tutorial!

  60. Ann Omabos says:

    so beautiful <3

  61. Those turned out great! Thanks for the tutorial. I’m going to try making a few of my own. So pretty!

  62. Jacqueline says:

    Kate – I love the towels. This seems like a great, inexpensive project and perfect for adding a personalized touch to a room. I think I might try this to stage our bathroom. Thanks for the idea!

  63. I’ve been having the hardest time finding fabric in colours that I like so I am SO DOING THIS! LOVE!

    Yours are so pretty!!!


  64. Emily says:

    These would be great for custom bar napkins of dinner napkins too!

  65. These came out great! I have been wanting to try the Martha Stewart products and this looks fun!

  66. Liz says:

    Really nice. Would love a few warm muffins tied up in one of those, a great gift idea.

  67. thrifteando says:

    Tha’s a great idea. I’ll try to Do It Myself! :)

  68. Serretta Barlow says:

    Oh my gosh!!!! Those came out awesome! What gorgeous colors! Could you stencil the design as well? Or is a stamp best! I love them!

  69. Really lovely. And what a great gift.

  70. Another great idea and tutorial. Those definitely would make great gifts. I am going to a housewarming party in the near future and rather than wrapping the gift with the usual wrapping paper, I am going to wrap the gift in a monogramed tea towel!

  71. rose c. says:

    Absolutely beautiful. Looks like you bought them in a high-end store. Love the colors and the pattern. I think I might have to try this – I have many large stamps for wall/fabric.

  72. Lana Waller says:

    The towels look great. I have to go get paint and a stamp today and try this.

  73. SheilaG says:

    These look great, love the colors and the pattern. Looks like they would be quicker than stencils. Is it hard to line up the pattern, any tricks to it?

  74. LOVE this idea! What’s the fabric content of your towels? (cotton, linen, polyester)

  75. Jennifer says:

    I love these! Thank you so much for this tutorial. I think I will try it on pillowcase edges.

  76. Linda Diombala says:

    If these are not the typical flour sack towels (which are very thin and low thread count), I was wondering where you found them. I am always on the lookout for heavier flat surface dishtowels for painting. Thanks

  77. Kassy says:

    I, too, love crafty projects! These are so cute that I MUST try! Thank you for sharing. I posted this tutorial on my facebook page “Rayne Lynne ~ It’s So You”!


  78. Tara says:

    those are gorgeous!!!! You are so creative.

  79. They look great! Thanks for the tutorial :)

  80. Nicole K says:

    Hi Kate, do you have any recommendations on the tea towels to buy? Type of fabric, sources? Thank you again for a nice great project!

  81. Nancy says:

    They are so pretty Kate..I am also thinking pillow cases would be nice..Thanks for another great project..

  82. Krista says:

    These towels are GORGEOUS! I would have never thought about stamping fabric. Great, affordable idea!

  83. Allie says:

    Thank you! What a great DIY project! Something to add to my 2012 project list!

  84. Joy says:

    So pretty! Thank you for sharing :)

  85. Jessica says:

    I love this! I will have to try this :)

  86. Ashley says:

    This is so cute! I might have to try it! Love the damask stamps too. Great job! =)

  87. anh says:

    what a fantastic way to change up your handtowels! i have a few white ones that i can do this to it. thanks for inspiring me as always!

  88. Saffron says:

    They’re beautiful! Such lovely colours too : )

  89. Rose says:

    Cute, but how expensive are all those paints, stamps, etc? Wouldn’t it be just quite expensive?

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      Hey Rose, the stamps I already had (they usually run $5 to $10 depending on size) and the paints are $2 each so if you find the one color you love you can stick with that. Tea towels are inexpensive usually no more than a few dollars for a pack, at least that’s what I paid for mine.

  90. Karelyn says:

    Hi Kate….Love them! Just finished our kitchen reno and my old tea towels are doing it for me anymore. Would love to give this a try….can you advise where you picked up the plain white tea towels for this project? Many thanks, Karelyn

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      Hi Karelyn, I picked them up at a local mom & pop hardware store, but you can find them anywhere them at restaurant supply stores, or anywhere that sells culinary or kitchen goods. Cheap too!

  91. Ali Manning says:

    This project makes me swoon! I love it :)

  92. Tania says:

    Awesome! I love they idea :)

  93. I love these!! Those colours are great! I would love some grey stamped ones!

  94. Lori says:

    Everything you do is beautiful. You even have a pretty ironing board cover. Sigh……

  95. PaintRobot says:

    It’s so beautiful!!

    I love stamping and do it a lot. Love this!

  96. Morgan says:

    I LOVE this! I tried something similar with stencils ( and really dug the results. This looks easier and I adore block print fabric.

  97. […] found this fun, easy DIY project at Centsational Girl. I have to try this one […]

  98. […] DIY Stamped Tea Towels by Centsational Girl […]

  99. jennie says:

    Such a lovely stamp design too… in teal – one of my favourite colours.
    Lovely tutorial, i cant wait to get started, Jennie. x

  100. These are the prettiest towels ever and love the colors. Love your blog!

  101. Dawn says:

    Looks great! I can’t wait to try this out! Thanks for the tutorial!

  102. […] 4 … fancy printing your own tea towels? If so, here’s a tutorial with pretty images at Centsational Girl. She makes it look so easy. […]

  103. So great….I will defintley do this :) I was searching for cute tea blue or yellow tea towels for ever :)

  104. Becky says:

    These look great. I love your color choice, so fun and bright!

  105. Melissa says:

    This is just amazing! I was wondering where you got your white tea towels from, though? I cannot seem to find them. My friend bought me a gorgeous set of stamps a few years ago, and I think making a set of these towels would be perfect!

  106. What beautiful work you do. I just love towles.

  107. Holly says:

    Where did you find your stamps?

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      Hi Holly, I’ve had them for years, one I found in a boutique in San Francisco – the large medallion is by Paper Source and the speckled version by All Night Media. Hope this helps!

  108. Kara says:

    This is such a great idea!! I am making these for the bathroom at my wedding reception!

  109. Kara says:

    Hi Kate! Where did you find the tea towels? I have looked all over and cannot find smooth towels that are not looped on both sides. Help!! Thanks!!

  110. Emily says:

    Just for those wanting those stamps– they are still available at paper source! I went there looking to find something similar to try these out myself.

  111. I’m a little behind on jumping on this bandwagon, but I can’t wait to try it! I’ll have to sew myself up some new muslin tea towels, and it’s perfect excuse to use on the hubby.

  112. Rosalyn Seipel says:

    Love the look of the towels. But I cannot find them in this area. Any ideas where I can find them?

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      Hi Rosalyn, I would check your local housewares or kitchen stores, or even a restaurant supply company!

  113. Emily says:

    Just bought a 5-pack of flour sack towels for 5 dollars at my local Walmart. Can’t wait to try this out!

  114. laura says:

    has anyone found the speckled stamp yet? I found the other 2 which Iam going to order now but can’t find the other one?

  115. katie says:

    This is beyond gorgeous! What a wonderful idea!!!

  116. Frances says:

    Uh oh! I didn’t know about the fabric medium… Will my painted tee shirt be ok in the wash??

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      Not sure Frances, I can’t guarantee it will, wash it by hand or on a gentle cycle when you’re ready and let us know how it held up!

  117. I’m in love with this idea and the possibilities are endless. Will be a great project to do with my girls on a rainy day! These will make wonderful Christmas gifts too! Thanks for sharing, pinned!

  118. Krissy says:

    Instead of heat setting with the iron, do you think it would be possible to do it in the dryer? I don’t have an iron and no space for the board lol

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      I doubt it Krissy, sorry! I think the iron’s heat is the key for heat set paint but I’m not 100% on that.

  119. Beckie says:

    These are SO perfect for my kitchen!!! Gorgeous!

  120. Elnora says:

    I’m wondering about what exactly the printed tea towels can be used for? I’m excited to try this project for some Christmas gifts for friends and family but can they be used as napkins, or dish drying towels? Not sure how “tea towels” are specifically used. Thanks!! :)

    • CentsationalGirl says:

      Hi Elnora, they can be use for anything in the kitchen, for drying dishes or for decorative use.

  121. Carissa says:

    I found your project on this site: which appears to be scraping your content. :-( Anyway, I just wanted to let you know in case you are interested in pursuing it.

  122. Traci says:

    Thanks for the awesome idea! These would be great to personalize with relevant colors and give as gifts.

  123. Karina says:

    I love your towels. This is how I design my own stamp.

Leave a Reply