DIY | Tea Towel

DIY | Tea Towel

I am so excited to show this tutorial! I made these tea towels from scratch and hand painted the drawings on them. It was so much fun to do! 
I have been seeing a lot of new and fun tea towels over on Etsy, and just felt so inspired to make a series of my own! 
The fabric is unbleached cotton from Ikea, just because it’s very simple and a bit vintage looking:) And I guess I came up with the drawings because I have been so inspired by all the other fabulous tea towels that I’ve seen lately.
Here’s how:
Piece of unbleached cotton (or any other fabric that you like), Pen and paper, Fabric markers, Iron.
–  Cut the pieces of fabric in your desired size. And hem around the entire piece of fabric.
1. Draw or print out the shape that you want. ( silhouettes, will work best) Cut them out of the paper.
2. Place your stencil onto the fabric and trace the shapes.
3. Remove the stencil and color the shape in.
4. Iron over the painted fabric to secure the fabric paint.
All done!


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  • zdrop 9th November 2012 at 9:20 pm

    Cool! I also want to make my own tea towels. I was thinking of making it with geometric stamp! Yours look gorgeous Lana! well done

    • Lana Red 21st November 2012 at 12:25 pm

      Thank you! Let me know when you made your own designed towels! I’d love to see your interpretation of the tutorial! x

  • starfish 10th November 2012 at 6:19 am

    hi ~~~
    i like your tea towel~~~

    may i know which kind of paint you use ?


    • Lana Red 21st November 2012 at 12:27 pm

      Hi! I used fabric markers, just the regular cheapest ones I could find ;)

  • Mackenzie 10th November 2012 at 7:23 am

    these are adorable! you could totally sell them on etsy.


    • Lana Red 21st November 2012 at 12:28 pm

      Thank you! I have been thinking about starting an Etsy shop so your comment really means a lot!

  • cherished bliss 10th November 2012 at 5:09 pm

    These are so cute! Thanks fur the tutorial! Pinned and stumbled : )


    • Lana Red 21st November 2012 at 12:30 pm

      Thank you for sharing my tutorial! And your website looks really great!xx

  • Vicki Smith 11th November 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Great idea! Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Lana Red 21st November 2012 at 12:30 pm

      Thanx! And your welcome ;)

  • Ashley 12th November 2012 at 7:33 pm

    they look awesome! very chic :)

  • lazy explorers 23rd November 2012 at 4:32 am

    This is so lovely! I am sharing it on my blog tomorrow :)

    • Lana Red 25th November 2012 at 10:08 am

      Thank you! And thank you for sharing it on your pretty blog!

  • Anonymous 7th December 2012 at 10:25 am

    These are so lovely, and would make lovely christmas gifts!! do you know if they are washable?

    • Lana Red 9th December 2012 at 9:47 am

      I washed them, and they still look great! But it definitely depends on your fabric markers. And don’t forget to iron over the print when you are finished, because that protects it from the washing machine.

  • Netta 8th December 2012 at 11:20 pm

    These are so cute! Do you know where I could find those stencils you used?

    • Lana Red 9th December 2012 at 9:50 am

      Hi, I made the stencils myself :)

  • Anonymous 19th December 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Hi. I was just wondering, does the marker wash out of the towel?

    • Lana Red 22nd December 2012 at 11:05 am

      My markers don’t. I have washed them a couple of times now and they still look good. The marker didn’t wash out at all.

      But I do think that it depends on the markers that you use, and you should definitely fixate it by ironing over the painting before you wash them.

      If you want to be really sure, you can make a test painting on a small piece of fabric and wash it to see what happens.

      Happy crafting!

      • Patsy 20th November 2016 at 3:10 pm

        Where do you get the hangers

        • Lana Red Author 20th November 2016 at 4:20 pm

          Hi Patsy,
          The hanger is actually a vintage one. But I am sure that you will be able to find similar ones on I found this one: by searching: “clothes hanger” in the Etsy search bar.

  • Personalised Towel Provider 20th December 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Cheers to your fine skills! :) The tea towels are fabulous. Keep sharing your talent.

    • Lana Red 22nd December 2012 at 11:05 am

      Thank you! And I will ;)

  • Anonymous 1st February 2013 at 11:33 am

    Hi Lana, thanks for posting. Is the unbleached cotton available as a textile roll in ikea? Can you buy it per meter? I had a look on their catalogue online but can’t see it…Love your site and the tips, Ben

    • Lana Red 27th February 2013 at 5:51 pm

      I am so sorry for the late response! Here in Holland you can buy it on a textile roll, so per meter.

  • marthasavage 25th February 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Gorgeous! I just started making my own rubber stamps and I was looking for a project to use them on. This is perfect!

    • Lana Red 27th February 2013 at 5:52 pm

      How great! Please let me know how they turn out!

  • Inspire Me Heather 4th March 2013 at 3:49 pm

    Your tea towels are so pretty, just lovely. Thanks for posting your tutorial and I’ve got this linked to my tea towels post too today!

    • Lana Red 6th March 2013 at 8:30 pm

      Thank you! And thank you for re-blogging it, your blog looks great!

  • Cocalores 4th March 2013 at 7:57 pm

    Cute, these are so pretty! I just recently started using fabric markers and they are a dream to work with =)

    • Lana Red 6th March 2013 at 8:31 pm

      Thank you! And I also love fabric markers, they are so easy to use!

  • Journeys of The Zoo 9th March 2013 at 2:34 am

    A friend just designed a kitchen refresh for me that I’ll be starting in the Spring. One item she suggested was for new tea towels but the ones I found on Etsy were $35 each (I’m sure they’re well worth it). I’m going to try my hand at these.

    I hope it’s okay that I pinned a picture( If not, my apologizes and I’ll remove it immediately.

    Besos, Sarah
    Zookeeper at Journeys of The Zoo

    • Lana Red 13th March 2013 at 8:13 pm

      Hi! How great that you are going make them! And it’s definitely ok to pin them :)

  • Anonymous 24th March 2013 at 5:19 pm

    I’m going to make some kitchen towels myself & was wondering the size you used for yours.
    They hang up so cute.
    Did you use a vintage clothes hanger for them?

    • Lana Red 27th March 2013 at 6:21 pm


      Yes I used a vintage clothes hanger. And I think that the sizes are:

      35×80 cm.

  • Stephanie 25th March 2013 at 7:57 pm

    I’m wondering if Sharpies could be used for this?? I’m in love with Sharpies and have a million of them….what say you??

    • Lana Red 27th March 2013 at 6:38 pm

      Hi, I actually never worked with sharpies before, so I can’t really help you in that urea. But maybe just try them on a small piece of fabric?

      Good luck!x

  • monkeycocoa 18th April 2013 at 8:44 pm

    love it!!! what kind of ink/color pen you use?

    • Lana Red 26th April 2013 at 12:28 am

      Thank you!!

      I just used simple fabric markers

  • Pienkel 19th June 2013 at 8:19 am

    Cute as well! My towels are completely used up, so this will be another great summer project, thanx for the inspiration again!

  • Nunah Mikhail 15th July 2013 at 12:42 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Len Tina 29th July 2013 at 11:33 pm

    Hi! I’m curious if the cotton is absorbent? Thanks for sharing!

    • Lana Red 4th August 2013 at 12:31 pm

      Hi! The cotton is absorbent, but it’s a very thin fabric. So it won’t absorb a lot :)

  • Wholesale Towels 30th July 2013 at 9:19 am

    I read your post. That was amazing. Your thought processing is wonderful.

  • Nunah Mikhail 20th September 2013 at 6:55 am


  • Anonymous 24th September 2013 at 12:50 am

    I love the look of your towels. Wonderful job and thank you!

  • Anonymous 9th November 2013 at 8:34 am

    Hi, I absolutely love these and I want to make some to give as christmas gifts, where did you find the design for the birds in the trees tea towel? Its beautiful!

    • Lana Red 12th January 2014 at 11:43 am

      Hi! It’s been a while since I made these, but I think I googled ‘birds’ and made my own versions of the ones that I found.

  • Anonymous 12th November 2013 at 9:57 pm

    Hi Lana, thank you for the lovely idea. I’m thinking of following your instructions, but to make little personalised cushions instead to give as presents. I hope I can make something as pretty as your tree and bird design! – Maria

    • Lana Red 12th January 2014 at 11:45 am

      Hi Maria! Thank you for your comment! And what a great idea to make little cushions! xx

  • Anonymous 16th December 2013 at 10:36 pm

    I think these are great! I’m not much of a crafter, but I think I might be able to do this… I was just wondering what the other side of the towel looks like? Does the pattern bleed through? Thanks! And awesome stuff :)

    • Lana Red 12th January 2014 at 11:46 am

      Hi! Yes, the pattern bleeds trough a little. So you do have a front and back. If you want to avoid this, you can cut the fabric twice and stitch a second one on the back to hide it.

  • Susan 2nd April 2014 at 11:04 am

    I was wondering how you keep the stencil in place while your tracing? The tree with the birds looks intricate and delicate. I was wondering how you hold the pattern down to keep it from moving around? Very nice work and artistry. Thank you, Susan

  • nancymalida1 22nd April 2014 at 11:12 am

    I didn’t see before these type of tea towels it’s so beautiful. love to see these Tea towels and i have to purchase these designed tea towels. please prefer me for some one how sale that, i have a one who sale these type of products and with quality in UK.

  • Deepika Olive 19th August 2014 at 7:54 am

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Deepika Olive 21st August 2014 at 8:28 am

    Do you feel that all towels are same? Or, what difference a towel would make to you and to your bathing? Well, the answer to the first question is that Bath towels are not all the same; in fact, they vary a lot in quality and style.

  • Deepika Olive 10th September 2014 at 7:25 am

    Looking for highly sophisticated bathrobe for women? These bathrobes are available in a variety of popular styles – Kimono, Shawl, Hood and fabric

  • Anonymous 22nd November 2014 at 5:07 pm

    I love these! Do you know what the ikea name for this textile would be?

  • Albina 10th November 2015 at 7:17 pm

    That’s a lovely idea you had and the result is amazing!
    I’ve read the comments and see that several people asked you about the markers. I’ve also seen that you live in the Netherlands. I do, too. And I would be very grateful if you said the brand of these fabric markers and if you can find them in a shop like Pipoos.
    Best regards,

    • Lana Red Author 10th November 2015 at 10:56 pm

      Hi Albina!

      Thanks for the lovely words! I will continue this in English (even though we both speak Dutch) so other people might find the response helpful ;)
      For projects that will need good quality markers I usually go to Pipoos and buy my fabric markers there. I live in Utrecht and I also sometimes buy art supplies at Swaak.
      If I am working on a cheaper project, like a bachelorette shirt (which will only be worn once) I will use cheaper markers. You can find these at Action or Ikea.
      I hope this helps!
      xx Lana

      • Albina 11th November 2015 at 11:16 am

        Thank you so much for you reply!)))
        I live in Dronten, Flevoland ;)

  • Beverly Hayes 1st December 2015 at 5:25 pm

    Do you wash your fabric before using it? Lovely work!

    • Lana Red Author 4th December 2015 at 7:34 pm

      Yes, I definitely recommend washing the fabric before you start the DIY, thanks for mentioning this!xx

  • All Tea Towels 14th December 2015 at 1:33 am

    Hi, your tea towels are cool. They look so good that you would think they had been screen-printed. Al.

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