Hello Skip to My Lou readers! I’m Heather from The Lovely Cupboard, and I’ve got a little tea towel tutorial to share with you today.

It’s funny how much a colorful tea towel can brighten up my mood, but for some reason I rarely stray away from buying the basic white flour sack towels. I’ve always loved how thin and soft they are but often wished they had a little color to them. Enter fabric markers! I picked up these guys for $1.99 at my local Hobby Lobby, but I’m sure you could find them at most any craft store.
After allowing 24 hours dry time, the “art” you create with fabric markers is completely machine washable. This is one of those craft items I had never purchased before, but I’m so glad I finally did. For about $2.50 each, I have colorful, unique towels to greet me after washing my hands. I bought my usual pack of 5 tea towels for $6 and then paid $1.99 for each of the pens, which I’ll be able to use on many more projects. (I keep eyeing plain fabrics in my house thinking,”What could I draw on that?!”)

The possibilities are truly endless. You could draw anything from geometric shapes to seasonal pictures, monograms, or your favorite quotes.
For the circles, I just used a template I had in my scrapbook stash.
Writing the words was a bit trickier. I tried to stretch the towel over a book to make it taut. If you can, I would suggest stretching the towel and clamping it to a table or desk to make for easier drawing.
If I had known about fabric markers sooner, I would have been using them all over the place. How cute would it be provide plain onesies or bibs at a baby shower for guests to create unique gifts for the mama-to-be? There are so many other ways you could use these handy guys too. I’m thinking place mats, kids’ clothing, lamp shades, napkins…and the list grows on. I’m afraid I might be turning into a fabric marker graffiti artist. What would you like to add a little color to in your house?

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  1. How do you wash and care for the towels? I made one and when I washed it some of the ink ran. Any insight on how you get it to set and not bleed? Thanks!

  2. I am also having the same problem as Mona Erickson has. I also washed the 100%cotton T towels first in cold water and no soap or softener and dried them in drier. I even ironed them to straighten them. I did use sharpie permanent markers. They faded also. I did not use soap or softener either at this point just wanted to see if the color stayed as I was giving them for gifts. What a let down. I will be looking into different T towel fabric. I purchased mine at Walmart and found some at Hobby Lobby and the fabric is better quality and more expensive. I will try them and let you know. I also had bleeding on edges so I backed off with a lighter touch. Worked in someplaces,so i figured it’s the material. You have any good luck let me know sruff62@comcast.net

  3. Made a set of dishtowels with fabric markers, washed them 24 hours later and dried them in dryer, opened the door, took the out and they faded. Anyone have any ideas what to do now.

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  5. Love this idea! Thanks so much for sharing – awesome ideas in the comments for my daughter’s end of the year school party – class sign pillows…my daughter will love this keepsake!

  6. these towels are cute! I have used fabric markers to decorate a pillow cases for my daughters sleep over birthday parties. Just use a plain white pillow case and have each child write a sentiment on the pillow case commemorating the birthday. It’s a wonderful keepsake that my daughter used for years and laughs every time reading the messages.

  7. Fantastic! We gave up using paper towels a few years ago in favor of cloth everything. So I’m always looking for inexpensive, cute dishtowels. I can’t wait to try this out! BTW, the link back to your blog at the top isn’t working, but I’m going to figure it out and head to your site anyway 🙂

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