I picked up a few fabric markers a couple weeks ago and decided to spruce up some old white tea towels. Initially, I was disappointed with how the tea towels turned out. I disappointed with how the ink bled. I thought they looked like a messy DIY hack job and considered throwing in the towel (pun intended).
It is amazing what stepping back from a project can do. Since returning from Hawaii, I have changed my mind. Upon further inspection, I realized the imperfections were smaller than I initially thought. I actually like how the yellow dots are tainted with a little green and blue ink. I am also embracing the slight imperfections in the pink hexagons and reminding myself that no handmade project will ever be flawless.
The tea towels have a hand drawn look that I’m very happy with. My sister even asked me where I ordered the fancy and expensive looking tea towels from!
- Tea Towels
- Fabric Markers
Preparing Your Tea Towels
Completing any fabric related project requires good preparation. Start by washing the tea towels if they are new or dirty. Once your tea towels are clean and dry, fire up your iron and press the towels. You want a wrinkle free surface to stencil. This will make the project run much smother. (Why yes, that was another pun!)
Stencilling Your Tea Towels
I recommend that you find a scrap piece of fabric and practice. Test the fabric pens with your stencil. Get a feel for how hard you need to press and how much the markers bleed. These are permanent markers, and you don’t want to screw up your final product.
Line you stencil up with the edge of your tea towel. Since this is a small project, I held the stencil in place with one hand and coloured the stencil in with my other hand. Initially, I found colouring the fabric a bit awkward After a bit of experimentation I noticed that it is helpful to colour in the direction of the fabric’s grain.
Take your time with the stencil and don’t rush the process. Although this is a quick project, it can be a little tedious. Take breaks if you get annoyed. I completed my tea towels in 10 minute intervals over the course of an afternoon.
Once you are finished with the stencil, touch up any spots that need additional ink. Let the tea towels dry. I didn’t use mine for two days after finishing the project.