I have been on the hunt for pretty fall hand towels to decorate my kitchen but everything that I was finding at my local stores had cheesy quotes on them. You know what I’m talking about right? “It’s Fall Y’all!” and “Hello, Fall”. If I’m being totally transparent, I actually used to love these fall phrases but it’s 2021 and I’m officially over it.
I found some pretty fall towels online but they were higher priced than I was willing to pay so I set out to create my own. Today I’m sharing my process and a completely free download of the image file that you can print to make your own DIY fall tea towels.
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DIY Pumpkin Fall Tea Towels
To make these towels, I used flour sack towels/tea towels that I bought from Walmart but here are similar ones on amazon. Flour sack towels are perfect for iron on transfers because they are 100% cotton and provide a nice smooth surface for the image to stick to. The only other item that I had to purchase for this project was iron on transfer paper. When it was all said and done, each towel cost me $1.78 in materials! These towels are very absorbent and perfect for the kitchen and the bathroom.
How to Make DIY Fall Tea Towels
Before you get started on this project I would recommend washing, drying and ironing your towels.
Step 1 – Print your image on Transfer Paper
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This design is for personal use only. You can print as many as you want to give to your loved ones but under no circumstances should you resell or distribute the file as your own design.
Use an inkjet printer and follow the instructions on the transfer paper to print the image that you desire. The transfer paper will not work with laser printers so an inkjet printer is a must for this project. If you want to print the pumpkin image that I used, follow the instructions below to download the file. They will print 6 pumpkins to a single 8 1/2″ x 11″ sheet of fabric transfer paper.
I designed these towels to have 3 pumpkins vertically each but you could rearrange my watercolor pumpkins as you’d like. I think they would look great with one pumpkin per towel or even shrink them down and do a bunch scattered all over the place.
Step 2 – Cut out the Image
Use scissors to cut out the image that will be transferred to the towels. Cut as close to the border/edge of the image as you can. The paper leaves a little film in the areas where there is no color so you’ll want to avoid that. It also isn’t absorbent where the image is so excess transfer paper on the towel will make more of the towel not absorbent.
Step 3 – Iron the design to the towel
Position the image where you would like it on the towel.
Next you’ll want to turn the image(s) over and then iron them on to the towel.
Use the iron directly on the transfer paper to transfer the image from the paper to the towel. Push town on the iron but try not to move it too much from side to side so that you don’t shift the image. Follow the directions on the transfer paper package to ensure best results.
Step 4 – Peel off the paper backing
Let the towel cool for about 2 minutes and then peel off the paper backing on the image(s). Peel it slowly and if there are any areas where the image did not transfer, iron those again as needed.
And you’re all done! It’s so easy to customize tea towels with transfer paper. You can use the towels immediately just be sure to wait at least 24 hours before you wash them.
Last year I made some spring/summer tea towels with pretty floral designs and they have held up so well. I’ve probably washed each of them 15-20 times and I’ve had no issues with the images peeling or fading.
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