The Everyday Occasions Store:
our new kitchen details
tour of our home
browse my recipes
Shop the store
the everyday occasions store
slate wreath block print
wheat wreath block print
oak leaf block print IMG5
grocery list tablet, $8
classic tablet + lepens, $14
dinner planning tablet, $14
weekly planning tablet, $14
baking sheets & parchment
velvet pillow collection
IMG3091 IMG3073
wood block print napkins acorn print napkins
kitchen essentials
clean bottles collection
platter collection, $150
baking supplies
item28 item29
baking supplies bread board collection

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hand Painted Linen Kitchen Towels & Napkins - Easy DIY Project

In my kitchen, each season I change out accents to make the otherwise neutral room feel more like that particular time of year.  Little touches like adding fresh colored kitchen towels and a stack of linen napkins can make a big difference in making the entire room feel like Spring, for example.  To be able to keep up with my seasonally evolving kitchen, I have made a variety of custom kitchen linens that boast my favorite color combinations and hand-stitched monograms.   Best of all, this project can be done by the most un-gifted artist.

UPDATE : I've started stocking my own collection of linens in my Everyday Occasions store - some inspired by these hand-painted towels.  My collection for this season has a selection of warm, muted tones for fall.  Some even come with coordinating cocktail napkins and dinner napkins - perfect for making your kitchen and family dinners cozy and warm this season.  Visit the store here.

The Entire Linen Collection (in order of photo) :

hand painted
linen kitchen towels & napkins

    fabric paint
    painter’s tape
    drop cloth or craft paper
    linen fabric
    sewing machine
    pair of scissors   

Directions :

Begin by cutting the linen into the size of the item you’d like to make.  For a napkin, a 20-inch square is a standard size, and 24 by 30-inches works great for kitchen towels.  Allow 1-inch extra around the perimeter for the seam.  Place a piece of craft paper on your surface before beginning.  Place the linen down and use painter’s tape to create stripes.  For a ‘plaid’ effect you’ll need to do the perpendicular stripes in separate phases.

To make the paint, mix the color you’d like to use, then dilute it with 2 parts water.  Dip your paint brush in the paint, then dab off until almost all of the liquid is off of the brush, leaving only a small amount coating the bristles.  This is called a dry brush method.  Lightly begin to brush the liquid on with even strokes.  Continue until all of the stripes are a homogeneous color and intensity.

Remove the tape and repeat to complete your selected pattern. 

Let the paint dry for several hours. 

Hem the edges of the linens with a 1/2 seam.  Wash in cool water and press.

I put an "H" monogram on our napkins with embroidery floss using a simple running stitch.  

Here's the in-one-image snapshot for pinterest!


  1. I'm a not about kitchen towels. How fun is this? Just a quick question...linen. Does it absorb well for drying dishes? And how does it launder?

    1. Anonymous7:49 PM

      Diane, linen absorbs wonderfully and it is tough as nails. You can launder it repeatedly and it just makes it softer. Will last for years.

  2. Simple & lovely as always! I should have known those linens had your creative touch. Thanks for sharing! I'm going to try this for sure. Carrie

  3. hi jenny ~ i love this! i have so many linen scraps of fabric that are just sitting in a closet. I especially love the idea of using them for napkins! can i asked how many times you pre-washed the linen before painting it? thanks, tessa

  4. I have a serious affinity for kitchen towels. They're a little treat I can almost always justify for myself. I've recently been exploring the idea of making some of my own with fabrics i have been finding. This idea, however, is too cute! I may have to give sponge stamping a try for a floral motif.

  5. What a fun project and even for those of us with less DIY in our gene pool than some, it looks doable. Thanks.

  6. Anonymous8:37 AM

    What fun!!

  7. Anonymous4:01 PM

    I have a WHOLE BOX of "flour sack" cotton dish towels. Will this work on them? I would guess it would be fine. Thanks for a great idea!

  8. wow very creative!

  9. Being the master of short cuts (in my own mind), I understand Wal Mart has plain flour sack towels and I'll try your idea out on those!

  10. Oh wow... these are so lovely! I would love to link to your project if you didn't mind. These are right up my reader's alley!

  11. Your towels look lovely! How well does the fabric paint last through repeated washing and drying? My kitchen towels get a real workout!

    Do you recommend a particular brand of paint?


  12. thankssssssss

  13. What a fun project and what a great gift to give away! I'm adding this to my "things-to-do-on-my-vacation"-list. Thanks for the inspiration! Sandra from Sweden

  14. Great work! Thanks for sharing that- I'd love to own some country style linens without spending a fortune!

  15. wow, nice project. very interesting...

  16. Anonymous5:38 PM

    they kind of look cheap.

    1. why would you not keep that to yourself?

    2. Anonymous10:32 PM

      You obviously have NO taste, as these are remarkably similar to those found in San Francisco specialty stores (Heath, March Pantry, etc) for close to $50 a piece.

  17. Gorgeous! I am inspired to make a pile of linen napkins for outdoor summer entertaining. Thank you!

  18. These towels are amazing Jenny! Such a great idea :)

  19. Thanks--I will make Turkish towels--by adding fun fringe.

  20. Anonymous5:40 PM

    What brand of Fabric Paint do you recommend?

  21. This is a great idea. And looks simple enough that even I could try (I'm not very good at DIY!!)

  22. I LOVE this idea! great for Christmas presents!

  23. These are beautiful - a must-make for Christmas! I would love if you'd link to my "Do Your Thing" link party!

  24. This is really cool. Thanks for sharing. I have an additional question. Without handpainting each one, do you know how I can get my art printed on kitchen towels -- a source of have this done. I do birds and flowers -- very colorful and springlike -- that I'd like to get printed on towels. My original art, that is. Thanks!

  25. For sure, you have gained more readers who are greatly pleased with your article. Two thumbs up for these DIY handpainting tips on personalised towels and napkins for kitchens. More of these please.

  26. This comment has been removed by the author.

  27. nice work

  28. I absolutely adore these towels. Such a great staple in the home. And you can take pride in them every time you use them. I was wondering, did you use a 100% linen fabric or a linen blend fabric?

  29. These are just the cutest! I have to try this soon!


  30. I think these look great, fun project that can be done with kids as well.

  31. Great idea! I want to try this!

  32. Its a outstanding idea. This is one of the best idea to add some home made kitchen towels to your kitchen linens. I'll try some to make some home made kitchen towels.
    Thanks for the wonderful share!!!

  33. You are not the regular blog writer, man. You certainly have something important to add to the net. Such a wonderful blog. I will return for more.

  34. Hi, this is a very nice blog with lots of information. We also manufacture and offer Home Textile Products and Garments.
    Thanks for sharing.

  35. Great stuff from you, man. I’ve read your stuff before and your just too awesome. I love what you’ve got here, love what you’re saying and the way you say it. You make it entertaining and you still manage to keep it smart. I can’t wait to read more from you.
    Kids Bathrobes

  36. Hi, this is a very nice blog.. We are manufacturer and exporter of fine Home Linen & Decor.

    Thanks for sharing with us.

  37. You can use acrylic paint and water it down. I prefer to use artist quality or good quality paints. You get a better result than with the 50 cent paint. You can also mix the acrylic paint with fabric medium. The fabric medium helps bind the paint while allowing the fabric to keep its hand (not get stiff). Also Color Box now makes a Crafters Ink that comes in a stamp pad. I love this new product. Once the paint is dry, heat set with a dry iron. Use a pressing cloth or plain piece of white paper to protect your iron. Once heat set, your project will launder well. Sorry. I'm really into the paint on fabric thing right now.

  38. I really like your ideas and I use very similar ones in some of my projects. You should check out the flour sack towels I just finished. Check them out at my Etsy store:

  39. great idea and i think that is good if you introduce new design. we are also recently working with some projects of Cheap Tea Towels ,Wholesale Kitchen Towels and many other towels. and we really have a serious affinity for kitchen towels. They're a little treat I can almost always justify for myself. I've recently been exploring the idea of making some of my own with fabrics i have been finding. This idea, however, is too cute! I may have to give sponge stamping a try for a floral motif.

  40. hmmmm I like your ideas Such a great staple in the home. And you can take pride in them every time you use them. one thing i want to know about that How well does the fabric paint last through repeated washing and drying on a towel. and am i try this fabric paint in Bed Sheets also?

  41. Once you end up buying bath towels, you keep using them without knowing exactly how to wash them. So, here are few tips for you to wash the bath towels at household textile.

  42. Hey very nice blog. I must say these are excellent collection of photos of Kitchen Linen Products since the style and designs are very unique. Thanks for posting.

  43. Love to use kitchen hand towels many people like kitchen towels in linen and many more but i like simple kitchen hand towels. thanks for sharing this article.

  44. Nice Blog. yours Kitchen Towels are simply superb. Thanks for sharing. We also manufacturers of Kitchen Linen Kitchen Linen Sets

  45. Fastidious blog you’ve got here. I’ve ever been seeing you just about many blogs recently.
    click here

  46. I find this awesome : creating a custom group to provide support for your organization’s technology partnership program creates a direct support path between you and your technology partners.
    siliconen beha

  47. try to buy towels from a reputed manufacturer so that you get Modern terry towels that last long and their thread remain stick to their usual places.

  48. One more thing... just did a quick search and found this site where you can purchase vintage tea towel embroidery patterns so that you could make your own :)

  49. Great blog you people have made here on this blog site, I will absolutely appreciate your work. interior decorator


home entertaining and ifestyle expert
join the
The Everyday Occasions Store: IMG10 oak leaf block print acorn block print IMG5 m46 m45 janblog home m59 m57 recipe m65 m63 how we designed our classic IMG1660