{DIY Vintage Kitchen Towels} How To Paint on Fabric

You’re going to love this tutorial! I’m going to show you how to paint on fabric with regular acrylic paint! I have been wanting to try painting on simple cotton kitchen towels for a while and I didn’t realize that I could use regular acrylic paint on fabric. I was thrilled to find out I could! I made the cutest farm style kitchen flour sack towels that will also make the best gifts!   These were very very simple after a trial and error. how to paint on fabric

Fabric Painting Tutorial

My directions are pretty simple.

1. Items needed:

  •  painters tape
  •  regular brush’s (not foam, I’ll show you why in a bit)
  •  cotton towels
  •  craft acrylic paint

2. Spread out your cotton towels on a flat surface and mark your design with your tape. I did stripes on each end and a couple on each side. (line your surface with something just in case the paint bleeds through.  I’ve used an old vinyl plastic table cloth or just kraft paper. You can also use that clingy seal plastic wrap.)

fabric painting tutorial

3. Water down your paint slightly.  Not too runny.

  • Prepare your brush for a DRY BRUSH technique by wiping excess paint off your brush onto paper.

4.  Brush lightly without pressing too hard several times until desired color appears.

fabric painting tutorial

5. Peel your tape off as soon as you’re done painting and repeat the other side of the towel.

6. Enjoy! I used a simple alphabet stencil for the “EAT”.

fabric painting tutorial

Wash on cold and dry on normal. They may fade a bit, but you’ll be ok, it only makes them more vintage. :)  This project didn’t take a lot of time. The taping is the time consuming part.  I whipped up 6 or 7 towels in about 30 min.

The dry brush technique doesn’t give a solid painted look…….I love the worn vintage look.  Didn’t I tell you these would make the perfect gift?

painting on fabric

This looks like I should have an apple pie on the counter!

Painted kitchen dish towels

Had I googled first on how to paint on fabric with regular acrylic paint, I may have come across this tutorial. Very very pretty and she’s using linen.  Pretty much the same instructions. Way prettier.

how to paint on fabricAnd had I googled before and used her tutorial, I may not have had this CRAFT FAIL! But you know………I kinda like it.  It’s not the vintage look I was going for, but it’s still pretty cool.


  • Craft Paint
  • Brushes
  • Cotton Towels
  • Painters tape
  • Alphabet Stencil




Owner/Founder at Today's Creative Blog
Since 2007, Kim has been sharing tips and tutorials on how to live a creative life. Owner/Founder of Today's Creative Blog and InspirationDIY.com where inspiration happens everyday! From the Pacific Northwest, Kim is a busy mom who adores her teen son, her middle aged husband and is constantly wiping the muddy paws of her adorable Labradoodle Maybelline. In her spare time, she teaches fitness classes and loves to decorate with thrift store bargains. You can also find Kim once a month on Portland's AMNW Morning show as their "creative expert". Life is more fun when it's creative!





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    • Kim says

      Only the Craft Fail one is crunchy…..I haven’t washed it yet. The others are all soft because the paint isn’t over saturated and it remained soft after laundering. I’ve also read that running a hot iron over them before washing may also help preserve the color.

  1. jet says

    I have seen more of this not online, but i didn’t think of it anymore, i love the more floading paint lines as well.
    thank you for reminding me of it, and the sharing of this greate tute;-D