Silhouette Dish Towels

Monday, March 22, 2010

I loved this project and am so excited to share it with you!!  As you know, sometimes we have an idea, uncertain how it will turn out, and go in with great expectations.  I'll be the first to admit that some of my ideas end up in the garbage can and I don't even share them with you. This was not one of them.

I wasn't sure how this would go, but am happy to say that the results are better than I had hoped.

I love kitchen towels and wanted to add a towel or two with a little more personality.   Many ideas have been going through my mind now that I have started this project, so you may be seeing more on this in the future.  Here is what I did.


  • plain dish towel
  • fabric paint
  • freezer paper *
  • exacto
  • self healing mat OR magazine
  • sponge applicator
  • small paint brush (for touch-ups)
  • iron

1.  The images that I used are from various sources.  The dog silhouette was taken from a photo of the co-editor, the bird silhouette I found online, and the letter t, well I typed it.  Find your image and play with it on the computer until you have the actual size that you will need.  I played with the towels to determine exactly where I wanted my image and the size it needed to be.

2.  Next, take a piece of freezer paper* and place it over you computer screen to trace the image.

3.  Take an exacto and cut out the image leaving behind a stencil of your image.  I envy you crafters who have a self-healing mat.  I use a magazine instead.  Simply place the freezer paper on top of the magazine to protect your surface.  When you do this step, make sure that you keep any little pieces that are important.  For example the bird towel has the extra pieces in between the bird's legs the branch.

4.  OK, this is why I love freezer paper.  Once you have your stencil, place it shiny side down on the towel and iron it.  The heat from the iron will help the stencil to adhere to the fabric and prevent bleeding.

5. Before you begin this step, be sure to place the item that you are painting on top of something absorbent.  I used a newspaper.  Dampen the sponge applicator with water (be sure to remove the excess moisture or the paint will bleed).  Dip applicator into paint and blot off on a paper towel to remove excess paint.  With the applicator, apply paint to the towel.

6.  Once paint is dry, remove stencil from towel.  I am impatient, so I didn't wait.  Everything turned out OK.

7.  Allow towel to dry for one hour.

* Freezer paper can be found in the food storage aisle of grocery stores along with aluminum foil, wax paper, etc.


  1. OMGoodness Rene!
    Can't believe you created those adorable tea towels! That is perfection!
    And I just love the colors you used!
    And loving those crisp WHITE tea towels!
    Oh...and also love your NEW look!
    Clean and crisp!

  2. Rene, I love those towels. You did a great job stenciling those. Very cute.

  3. Great job! I've been doing a lot of dish towels myself lately. I'm working on a bird one too and of course your bird one is my favorite!

  4. You did a great job. Those are great little towels.

  5. Thanks y'all!! They were super easy and you could use any color and image. The sky is the limit.

  6. Those are so stinkin' cute! Thanks so much for the tutorial. I have wanted to try this, but wasn't sure how. I thought the freezer paper meant that you actually had to freeze something! ha!

  7. What a fun idea! I'm in need of some new towels ~ thanks for the helpful hints.


  8. I love how all three of the towels look together. So fun and springy!

  9. This is a fantastic idea. I'm moving soon and can't wait to have a "guest" bath to make some towels for!

  10. Your towels turned out fantastic!

  11. Those turned out adorable!!! I love the idea. You might want to link it up to my "Best DIY Projects of March" party. Hope to see you there! :)

  12. I LOVE this idea!! so simple even I could do it!

  13. LOVE this idea! Can't wait to make a few Easter ones for family and friends.

    Thanks for sharing.

  14. These are just darling! I used to do a lot of stencilling, but haven't done any in awhile. . . I think I need to get back to it! And I love the idea of making your own stencil from freezer paper--that's a great tip.

  15. Love this project and can't wait to try it.

  16. Wow! Those are so adorable!! Thanks so much for sharing how you did it, I would LOVE to try this. These would make such great personalized gifts! :)

  17. that is so cute and yet so simple!!! would make a lovely gift for a bride with her new initials on them!!! thanks for sharing.

  18. Those are adorable! :) Good Job! :)

  19. VERY CUTE!!:) THanks for sharing I am putting this on my to do list!!

  20. Those are cute! I bought some freezer paper and really need to make me some cute towels or something!

  21. These turned out so cute! Great idea...

  22. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  23. These are so cute. Thanks!

    I'm featuring a necklace tutorial and giveaway. I'd love it if you stopped by my blog!

  24. I love it Renee. I need to make some of those!

    Thanks for linking up!


  25. Thank you for posting these easy-to-follow instructions.

    I admire your approach to crafting; you don't wait to own a self-healing mat and instead you make do with something you already have and you get on with the project! That's a push I need to get on with my own projects. Thank you again.

  26. I think those are adorable! I'm going to add this to my fave projects!

  27. Thanks for a wonderful tutorial, the freezer paper is a great tip! I really need to try this! Theresa

  28. Hi Rene! I included your adorable towels in my post today and linked back. Hope that's okay. Hope you're having a good week.

  29. I love, love, love these. I'm going to try them. Can they be used, though, or are they just to be pretty?

  30. Tori, these are the towels that I reach for every day. They are my favorite and I have washed them countless times and they still look great.

  31. Thanks for the great idea. I made one today and love it and plan on making a bunch more. It was so easy! My only problem is that there are about a million different silhouettes that I want to paint now.

  32. Tori, I don't have a way to get in touch with you. Could you send pictures of your towels? I would love to see them.



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