Saturday, March 17, 2012

Potato-Stamped Tea Towels

I’ve always been more fond of dish-drying than a dish-washing…which is probably why I’m so obsessed with kitchen towels.  I probably get too much enjoyment out of choosing a clean towel from the drawer in the kitchen.  (Kind of like a little kid picking out cereal in the grocery store! haha)   So when I saw this one pin on Pinterest for stamped linens using carved potatoes, I jumped at the chance to personalize my own tea towels that will fit right in with my current collection. 

The inspiration:

My version:

The hardest part of this project (for me) was finding plain white kitchen towels.  If you’re going to be stamping them, you don’t really want the terry-cloth loopy ones, but I could not (for the life of me!) find plain flour sack towels anywhere.  After about a month of shopping around, and juuuust as I was getting ready to cave in and order them online, they turned up at Target.  (Oh Target, you never let me down!)  $4 for four towels.    

I went to Michaels and picked up a couple of different paint colors from Martha Stewart’s product line.  These paints are designed for use on all different materials (including fabric), so even though they’re a bit more expensive than the other brands, I thought that it was better to be safe than sorry.  After all, I didn’t want all of my hard work coming off in the wash!  I already had some fabric medium from a previous project, but that’s also from Martha Stewart’s line and can be found at Michaels.  The fabric medium is supposed to help keep the fabric from getting stiff after you apply the paint.  The colors that I used were "yellow jacket", "gray wolf", and "wild blueberry".

When I was ready to start the project, my potato collection was looking…sad.  I think that I was down to 2 potatoes that were about the same size and shape, so instead of doing the feather pattern that is shown in my inspiration pic, I opted to carve out my own patterns. 

The sharpie didn’t work exceptionally well to sketch out my design on the ‘tater, but it did give me a rough idea of where to cut.  Make sure that you cut away enough potato so that when you press down your stamp, you don’t get an imprint of the outline of the potato!  I found out that big simple shapes make better stamps than intricate carvings.  (Yeah, I tried to get all fancy schmancy but it didn’t work too well!)

Add some paint and fabric medium together and mix it around.  The back of the bottle says 2 parts paint: 1 part fabric medium.  The fabric medium is quite runny, so if you add too much, your paint will thin out and probably bleed a bit on your fabric when you go to stamp it. 

Dipping the stamp right in the paint and then dabbing it on the plate to get the excess off worked pretty well.  I also used my finger to help smooth out some of the paint on the stamp if there was too much.  You could also use a small paintbrush. 

I laid down a piece of cardboard under than towels as I stamped them because the paint went through a bit. 

This is the first one that I did...hearts!  I'll show you the stamps and designs that I did on the other three towels too.  

The second one had a paisley-shaped curve as well as a small circle stamp.  


The third towel had a petal-shaped stamp and a circle cluster stamp:

The last towel that I did is probably my favorite!  I made a bigger paisley-curved stamp with a potato cut in half the long way:

After the paint dried for 24 hours, I ironed them to set the paint.  Then I washed everything so that they were squeaky clean for their big debut!

They were stiff before I washed them, but after they came out of the dryer, they were much softer, and the colors were still intact (whew!).  I put one out in the kitchen for drying dishes, and stuck another in the bathroom for drying our hands.  They look so cute!  

1 comment:

  1. Super adorable. I love the pattern on the last towel. :)