DIY Stenciled Tea Towels


Contact paper is my new best stencil friend. If you’re a regular around these parts, you probably know I usually use freezer paper to stencil paint onto fabric (exhibits 1, 2, and 3). But this time around I used contact paper, and it was crazy easy! No more ironing the freezer paper to get it to stick — this stuff is already sticky. I’m all about it.


  • plain flour sack towel
  • contact paper
  • pencil
  • X-Acto knife
  • craft or fabric paint
  • paintbrushes

Make Time: 30 Minutes

Cut a piece of fabric to the width of the towel. Make it tall enough to accommodate the design you have in mind. Sketch and cut a design out of the contact paper. I went with some simple triangles, just to test the waters.


Peel the contact paper away from the backing and apply it to the towel. Smooth the edges around each cut to ensure that no paint seeps through. Apply paint to the open areas. Use enough to fully cover the fabric, but not so much that it pools or seeps under the contact paper.



Pull contact paper away carefully and let paint dry.



Bam! This one was kind of an experiment but I really love it! It’s hanging in my kitchen as we speak. A few of these would make a really fab hostess gift or stocking stuffer for the holidays, too. Go make some! xoxo




46 thoughts on “DIY Stenciled Tea Towels”

    1. Hi Ceci! I just used craft paint, so the spots with the paint on them are a little firm. I’ve tried the fabric medium in the past, and I found that it was more trouble than it was worth for the results it produced (it was a large-scale project, though, so maybe that had something to do with it). I’ve had really good luck with actual fabric paint if you’re looking for something that’s less crunchy.

  1. Genius! I never thought of using contact paper for stencils instead of freezer paper. Makes so much sense! Seeing as freezer paper is so hard to find here in England, I know what I’ll be using for my next stencilling project. P.S. triangles are my fave!

  2. Great job! Love the colour combination!

    I’m always on the look out for plain tea-towels to get crafty with, but I can’t find them anywhere! Where did you get yours? If you don’t mind sharing?! 🙂

    1. These are extra large flour sack towels that I found a million years ago on Etsy — I think the shop is closed now, but you should be able to search and find some there. (FYI, these were so large that I had to cut them in half and then sew a hem on the cut side. So be sure to check the sizes when you’re searching!)

  3. Where do you get your fabric paint from? Which brand? I’ve only ever seen a spray version at Joann’s and it was a mess for what I was wanting to do. But this method I think would be great for what I want. Thank you!

    1. Hi Kairu! I didn’t mix the colors; they’re all various colors of craft paint. You should be able to find a wide array of color choices at your local craft store! Thanks so much — glad you like them 🙂

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