Hand-Painted Tea Towels DIY – Free SVG Stencil Art

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Photo of rose tea towels folded on a wood tray on a marble counter.

Make pretty hand-painted tea towels for your kitchen and a few more to give as gifts!

Decorating these beautiful kitchen towels is easy. Just pick up brush-on fabric paint and purchase a stencil that you like or make one! I’m using a stencil that I cut out of removable vinyl on my Cricut Maker and you can download the same rose art from the supplies below.

Tips for Painting on Fabric

For this DIY I’m using FolkArt Brush On Fabric Paint which comes in a set of eight vibrant colors.

  • Iron fabric before stenciling so you have a nice flat surface to work with.
  • Place a foam core board or something underneath your towels that will protect your work surface. Paint may bleed through the other side.
  • Use a dabbing motion when painting.
  • Don’t paint with the fabric folded as fabric paint may bleed through.
  • Do not add water to fabric paint.
  • If you wash a brush, dry it well before stenciling. Water may cause the paint to seep underneath the stencil.
  • Be careful when removing stencils since there may be remnants of wet paint on them.
  • Have a different brush for each color.
  • Follow the instructions on the fabric paint bottle for care and washing.

Supplies

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How to Make Hand-Painted Tea Towels – 3 Easy Steps

Horizontal photo of three different pattern tea towels hanging from hooks. Dot pattern in the center and rose patterned on the left and right. All on a white background.

Prep: Prewash your towels if you like and iron them. Lay your towel on a flat surface that will protect your work surface. A posterboard or foam-core board works well.

STEP 1: Cut Your Stencil On Removable Vinyl

If you’re cutting a stencil out using stencil film or removable vinyl, I recommend using transfer tape to transfer the design to your tea towel.

Photo of Cricut design space with a rose SVG design (three different roses) ready to be cut out of stencil film or removable vinyl to use as a stencil to make hand-painted tea towels.
Cricut Design Space

Stick your stencil to a dishcloth or towel to lint up the back a little before placing it on the tea towel. I didn’t do this the first time around and my stencil film really stuck to the tea towel and I had to do a lot of extra pulling to remove it.

Photo of a rose stencil made with removable vinyl and cut on a Cricut Maker. Transfer tap over top and the backing removed. The stencil is being put on a linty dishcloth to lessen the sticky tape back so it sticks to the tea towel material but can be removed more easily.
Cut vinyl stencil being placed onto a linty towel before transferring it to the tea towel to make the back less sticky and easier to remove.

STEP 2:

Shake your paints well. You can also mix them on your paint palette to make new colors as I did. Here I mixed white with red and orange to make a peachy pink color.

Dip your paintbrush into the paint and dab any excess onto the side of your paint palette. I’m using paintbrushes for smaller areas and foam stencil brushes for larger areas.

Photo of a vinyl stencil on a tea towel with a palette of mixed paint to the side and a finish rose painted in pink, magenta and shades of peach with green or the leaves.
Fabric painted stenciling

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STEP 3: Remove the Stencil and let The Paint dry

Remove your stencil and let dry for 24 hours before setting them with an iron.

Follow the instructions for your particular paint. According to the directions on the FolkArt bottle, do not use a steam iron, dry heat only. Wait for 72 hours before hand or machine washing in cool water. Enjoy your new, pretty tea towels!

Newly painted tea towel with stencils removed, draped over a chair to dry. The pattern on the flour sack towel are roses in soft peach, magenta and pinks with green leaves.
A newly painted tea towel drying.

More Photos of My Finished Tea Towels

Overall rose pattern on a full tea towel shown to show the pattern with dots scattered between roses randomly.
Rose and dot pattern.
Dot pattern on a full tea towel shown as an option painting a tea towel without stenciling.
Dot pattern made with a foam stencil brush.
Photo of a tea towel with the rose pattern only on the top and bottom with dots in the middle portion. Just another pattern idea.
Roses top and bottom pattern.
Horizontal pinnable photo of three different pattern tea towels hanging from hooks. Dot pattern in the center and a rose pattern on the left and right. All on a white background. Please pin this image to your Pinterest craft boards to come back to later!

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