Hello Skip to My Lou readers! I’m Heather from The Lovely Cupboard, and I’ve got a little tea towel tutorial to share with you today.

It’s funny how much a colorful tea towel can brighten up my mood, but for some reason I rarely stray away from buying the basic white flour sack towels. I’ve always loved how thin and soft they are but often wished they had a little color to them. Enter fabric markers! I picked up these guys for $1.99 at my local Hobby Lobby, but I’m sure you could find them at most any craft store.
After allowing 24 hours dry time, the “art” you create with fabric markers is completely machine washable. This is one of those craft items I had never purchased before, but I’m so glad I finally did. For about $2.50 each, I have colorful, unique towels to greet me after washing my hands. I bought my usual pack of 5 tea towels for $6 and then paid $1.99 for each of the pens, which I’ll be able to use on many more projects. (I keep eyeing plain fabrics in my house thinking,”What could I draw on that?!”)

The possibilities are truly endless. You could draw anything from geometric shapes to seasonal pictures, monograms, or your favorite quotes.
For the circles, I just used a template I had in my scrapbook stash.
Writing the words was a bit trickier. I tried to stretch the towel over a book to make it taut. If you can, I would suggest stretching the towel and clamping it to a table or desk to make for easier drawing.
If I had known about fabric markers sooner, I would have been using them all over the place. How cute would it be provide plain onesies or bibs at a baby shower for guests to create unique gifts for the mama-to-be? There are so many other ways you could use these handy guys too. I’m thinking place mats, kids’ clothing, lamp shades, napkins…and the list grows on. I’m afraid I might be turning into a fabric marker graffiti artist. What would you like to add a little color to in your house?

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  1. Another great idea is to use using fabric markers is on plain white handkerchief’s. We bought a box of them at Sears and then I had the kids decorate them for Father’s day. Great gift for Dad and Grandad’s. My Dad loves his and it is a fun keepsake.

  2. what kind of pens did you use (brand, etc) that i could look them up online, and did they turn out ‘bubbly’ like fabric paint does when you write with it, or does it basically soak into the paper like a real ink pen would? please let me know! I have TEN towels–just waiting to find out! I was going to embroider them, but the pens would be so much faster, and I wouldn’t have to buy a lot of patterns! jill dot shoemaker at gmail dot com

  3. Very cute. Next time, try ironing freezer paper to the wrong side of the towel before you write on the towel. It will give you a nice smooth surface.
    Robin, so. IN

  4. My kids colored plain dishtowels for Mother’s Day gifts for grandmas one year – see my pin for a crappy picture! http://pinterest.com/pin/160722280421408517/ I used freezer paper to create the stripes, and then let them scribble (the 2 year old) or design (the 8 year old) to their hearts’ content. I bet ironing freezer paper on to the back side of your towel would keep it nice & flat for writing words.

  5. Great idea! If it works as expected, this will be the beginning of the end of using fabric paint for me! Thanks for sharing.

  6. My kids decorated some plain white boxer shorts for my husband with fabric markers. He wears them all the time and the marker has held up through repeated washing. The towels are a wonderful idea.

  7. Well, now I know what to do with my tea towels that I’ve had for, oh, a year or so, just waiting for the perfect “pin-speration”!

  8. That would be super easy for kids do them,they have a special towel.Great idea….Thank’s

  9. Those turned out so cute! I am wondering if an embroidery hoop would work to keep the towel taut to write the words on the towel? I think I will be attempting this fun idea soon! Thanks!

  10. I love these! What a great idea. The kids and I have started Zendoodling. Might have to try it on a tea towel!

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