Making Stenciled Tea Towels or Bags

Category Painting
Decorate simple, plain tea towels or cloth shopping bags by painting stenciled patterns on them. Learn how on this page.


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I had some free eco-friendly bags and a simple tea towel that I decided to decorate. I will use them to wrap gifts for the holidays and not only save on wrapping paper (which wastes money and our resources), but will also be a pretty and useful gift for my recipients!

Total Time: 10 minutes


  • tea towels or other cloth napkins or cloth bags
  • painter's or masking tape (not shown)
  • fabric markers
  • stencils (or just freehand designs, initials or favorite sayings!)
  • iron


  1. I used a piece of cardboard under the single piece of fabric just in case it bled through to the table. It didn't.
  2. Choose your design and lay in on your single thickness piece of fabric. Tape it in place.
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  4. Using your fabric pens fill in your design template.
  5. Add colors that complement your design.
  6. REMOVE the template and any masking tape.
  7. Iron your design from the BACK of the fabric piece for 4 minutes.
  8. It really shouldn't bleed through much, but use a cardboard under everything if you want to be super careful.
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  10. Simple, but pretty!
Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? 1


November 24, 20170 found this helpful

Very pretty and definitely great to give as gifts too!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Crafts PaintingJanuary 2, 2020
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