Hand Printed Tea Towel DIY

When I was in high school I became obsessed with a store called Peach Berserk on Queen West in Toronto. It was an outrageous store with very loud bright cloths that were all hand silkscreened. It was always out of my budget, but I had Peach Bekerk undies and scarves. At one point I inherited a skirt from my sister that made me unordinately happy.

So one year for my birthday my Mom had me go to a silkscreening workshop that the owner put on, and while my Mom even bought me the photoemulsion needed to silkscreen like a professional without a light table it was a hobby that fell by the wayside pretty quickly. Which is too bad because I love printed fabrics- I in fact have 3 beautiful handprinted tea towels framed on my walls.

I have accepted that my dreams of silkscreening are probably not going to happen in my 1 bedroom apartment but with all my free time in my new found unemployment I figured I could at least do some kind of fabric printing. And so I did.

If silkscreening as at the end of the spectrum that involves machinery and fancy chemicals than this is way on the other side. You make stamps out of cardboard and you could use nearly any fabric you have kicking around to make these. I used a soft canvas and though I’m thrilled with how it looks, but I think next time I’ll use something softer and more absorbent, like linen.


Soft and absorbent fabric cut to the size of a tea towel or an unprinted tea towel.

Fabric Paint



Hot Glue gun


Iron your fabric

First decide on your design. I made a chevron pattern first and then made the waves with the boat, the shapes were all very simple.

Draw them on the cardboard and then cut them out. 

Take a thin piece of cardboard, roll it up, and tape it shut.

Use the glue gun to attach it to the backs of your stamps to use as a handle.

On a palate put down lots of paint and make sure it is really spread into every corner of the shapes.

Start stamping!

Let the paint dry for at least an hour and then iron it once again to seal the paint. And there you have it, hand stamped tea towels.