(crafting on a dime) diy towels with freezer paper stencils

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Hey guys! I’d like to welcome Lizzie of LizzieJane Baby to my blog for another fabulous Crafting On A Dime guest blogger post. She’s a fellow Arizonian and is super sweet, I know you’ll love her! I just love this project, these towels would make great housewarming or hostess gifts.

Today I’m going to share with you how to make custom kitchen towels with freezer paper stencils.  Lately I’ve become bored with my decor in my family room and kitchen (which open up to each other).  I have a red statement wall that I love, but nothing else really exciting.  I told my husband I needed a change and he rolled his eyes.  Knowing that there’s not a ton of money to spend on any new decor, I decided to fancy up some kitchen towels to bring in some color!  (Plus I love to make t-shirts for my kids for holidays and trips and usually use iron on transfers which can be pricey.  So I’ve been wanting to try this technique!)


Blue Fabric Paint ($1.07) I used a 40% off coupon at JoAnns

Yellow Fabric Paint ($1.07) I used a 40% Michaels coupon at JoAnns (in the same transaction!)

Paint Brushes .25/ea ($.50) craft store

Freezer Paper ($4.29) from local grocery store

Towels .80/ea ($2.40) from IKEA

Scissors/exacto knife/cricut/silhouette – free

Iron – free

Total Project Cost: $9.33  For 3 Towels

If you don’t like the towels from Ikea, check your local dollar stores, Target or Walmart has a bundle of 5 for just under $5.00.


Step 1: First you need to decide on a design and get it onto the freezer paper.

I used 3 different techniques for this step.

(on the left) I made up a design in photoshop and printed it directly onto the dull side of the freezer paper by cutting out a 8 1/2 x 11 inch piece of freezer paper and taping it to a regular sheet of paper to go through my printer.  (in the middle) I made a different design in photoshop and printed it onto regular paper, laid a piece of freezer paper on top of the design, dull side up, and used a pencil to trace it onto the freezer paper.  (on the right) I used my cricut to cut out a shape.  The only thing that was an issue was that if the cutting pressure and speed were too high, the freezer paper would tear.

Step 2: Cut out your stencil.

Using an exacto knife ( or you could use scissors if you don’t use a cutting machine), I laid my stencils on a piece of cardboard to cut them out.

Remember when cutting out your stencils to keep any little pieces that are a part of your design.  So that  when it is painted, anything that has freezer paper on it will not be painted and remain the color of the towel.

I didn’t worry too much about exact cutting of the stencil and in the final product you can’t really tell.

Step 3: Iron the stencil onto the towel

Make sure that when you go to iron on your stencil, the shiny side is on the towel, other wise, your stencil will stick to your iron.  You need to warm up your iron for a few minutes before this step, so that when you get to this point, the iron is warm enough to keep those edges down.  Or you will have paint leak under your stencil.

Step 4: Paint your towel

I laid my towel flat onto a piece of cardboard so my paint wouldn’t get onto my table.  Then Using a foam brush and a little fabric paint, paint the towel in the stenciled area.  Apply 2 coats of paint, making sure to let the first coat dry before the second.  Here are a few tips:

try not to get too carried with the paint and keep it in the “lines”

speed up the drying process with a blow dryer

make sure every bit inside the stencil is covered with paint

After the second coat of paint has had a chance to dry, peel off the stencil.

Step 5:Iron it one last time

Once the stencil has been removed and the paint is dry, take it back to the ironing board.  Cover the painted area with another cloth, I used a pillow case, and iron over the entire stenciled area to set the paint.  These can be washed in the washing machine, but you need to wait 72 hours before tossing them in there.  I washed mine and they washed up just fine.

Step 6: Enjoy your labors!

I hung up the towels in the kitchen to enjoy their brightness. This turned out to be such a fun little project.  Being that it was “on a dime” made it even better.  I think these would make for a cute bridal shower/wedding gift with a monogram or last name.  Now I’m excited to try it on other “materials”, like t-shirts and pillows!

Thanks again Vanessa for allowing me to participate in this fun series!

I’d love for you all to stop by and visit some time and check out my other crafts, kid crafts and recipes.

Hello all you See Vanessa Craft readers!  My name is Liz and I’m the blogger behind Lizzie Jane Baby.  Like Vanessa I live in AZ, and someday I’m sure we will meet in person! I am a stay at home mom with 2 kids, soon to be ages 4 and 2.  I love doing crafts that involve my kids, it makes crafting so much more fun.  I also like crafting for myself, for my home and for my friends and family.  I’m also a big fan of a good deal. Put the two together and I’m one happy lady!  So I am honored to be here for Vanessa’s Crafting on a Dime Series.

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Hi, I'm Vanessa!

Welcome to See Vanessa Craft! I’m Vanessa, an MSSW and mom of two in Arizona, and I’m happy you’re here to get inspired with me. It’s my mission in life to spread creativity through crafts, recipes, travel and more in order to live a life well lived.