Tomorrow is the first day of fall. YAY!! When Casey and I were brainstorming for our 30 Fun Ideas for Fall series, this great little project was one of the ideas I was pretty excited about. It’s really simple and easy to do and the final product is a super cute way to brighten up your kitchen in an Autumnal way! Casey designed two silhouette guides for you to choose from, so you can pick your favorite or even do one of each!
DIY Fall Themed Kitchen Towels
- flour sack towels (ours came from Walmart in a set of four)
- fabric markers (we found a pastel set of Tulip brand fabric markers that included a nice brown and lovely orange)
- clear tape
- light pad (a window on a sunny day will do!)
Tape your printout to the light pad. We used Sarah’s sliding glass door for our example, since we assumed most people don’t have a light pad in their home. If you are using a window, place the guide at shoulder height or a little below. You don’t want to be reaching too high up to do your tracing.
Determine what placement you want on the towel. Centered and an inch or three above the bottom hem is best. Use your judgment. You can measure and mark using a piece of chalk to be sure (we skipped this part, cause we’re daring like that). Tape the towel in place. This can be a little bit of a pain, so extra hands can be a big help but you can do this by yourself if you need to. Be sure that the towel is taut but not stretched when you tape it down, as this can cause your image to become distorted.
Holding the towel firmly with your non-dominant hand, lightly trace the image with the fabric marker of your choice. We went with brown and orange but the colors are completely up to you! I recommend starting on the upper corner of the design opposite your drawing hand (top left corner if you are right-handed, top right if you are left-handed); I also suggest tracing the outline of each element and filling it in before you move on. This way you will not need to go back and forth over wet dye. Casey added veins to the leaves in design 1, since she chose orange for those elements, but you can leave them as dark silhouettes if you choose.
- Don’t press too hard as you are tracing. Since the material is very thin, it will want to shift all over when you add pressure. As you are working, continuously check that the cloth hasn’t gotten pulled in one direction or another by checking that your lines still match up with the silhouette in the areas you have finished before making your next mark. Our design in the images is fairly small (read difficult!), but we enlarged it in the downloadable to make the item easier to trace and to create a nice, full image on your towel.
- Take your time! Rushing will only make it easier to make a mistake.
- Trace INSIDE of each shape. Remember that the marker will bleed a bit and if you trace right on top of the outline your image can become fuzzy.
- Allow the towel to cure for at least 24 hours before washing! It does not need to be heat set but if it makes you feel better, toss it in the dryer for a hot cycle.
- If you want to be really super double sure that the colors will not fade, follow these instructions:
Fill your washing machine halfway with water, and add 1 cup of both salt and vinegar. Mix well, and add the towels. Let the fabric soak for one hour. If there is dye in the water (this is very unlikely, considering the very small amount of dye we are using in this project), repeat the process until the water is clean when the fabric is taken out.
The chloride in salt helps seal the color into the fibers and keep it looking fresher for longer. The vinegar not only softens the fabric, but it also prevents detergent build-up, which leeches color. This technique works on a wide variety of textiles. Do not use hot water unless washing out any excess dye.
- for regular care: wash in a cold cycle and hang to dry or tumble dry on low.
We hope you enjoy your lovely and unique kitchen towel!!
Check back soon for another fun craft, recipe or download.