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Crafts & DIY Projects · Create Your Own Graphic Vintage Tea Towels
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Create Your Own Graphic Vintage Tea Towels

Happy Tuesday everyone! I am genuinely thrilled to be introducing my guest blogger for today. I met Karen – The Graphics Fairy back in August of 2012 when I was fortunate to be invited to Milwaukee to learn to ride a Harley! That was definitely a bonding experience for all of us. 🙂  I have since had the pleasure to get to know Karen even better at subsequent blogger conferences, etc and she’s one of the nicest people you’ll ever run into. She’s also got a website just BURSTING with cool stuff! You could literally spend hours poking around all the cool graphics that she has curated. Anytime you are in need of an image for a craft or DIY project, Karen is your girl! I personally can’t wait to make some of these adorable tea towels!

Take it away Karen……………

Hello everyone, I’m Karen and I blog at The Graphics Fairy. I’m so excited that my friend Jill invited me to share one of my favorite posts with you guys today!

This is a project that I did a little while back, using a fun transfer technique that’s done with a household cleaning product! I wanted to recreate the look of European Grain Sacks, but with out the huge price tag! I created the printable for this project, but I have loads of other printables on my blog that you can choose from, if you don’t care for this one.

This is a very easy project to make and it’s so fun that I think you’ll find yourself wanting to transfer onto nearly every fabric surface in your home, including napkins, towels, place mats, lampshades etc!

Here’s What You Will Need:

  • A premade Kitchen Towel (Tighter weave fabric is best to get a good transfer)
  • Citra-Solv Natural Cleaner and Degreaser
  • A Toner Based Photocopy of the Printable
  • Paintbrush or Cotton Ball
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Metal Spoon
  • A thick Newspaper
  • Grain Sack Printable Reversed

After printing out the Printable (remember you want a reverse, or mirror, image for this project) take it to a copy place and have a toner based copy made. This is probably the most difficult step of the whole process. Don’t go to the big chain copy stores as they use laser machines and that won’t work! You want to find an older machine that uses toner … think Mom and Pop print shops, perhaps your local library… I found one at my local grocery store.

Flip the photocopy over so that the ink is facing the front of your towel and tape it into place, so that it’s secure, using the painter’s tape. Place the thick newspaper underneath (I wrapped mine in a plastic bag so that the newsprint wouldn’t rub off onto the towel). You want something with a little give to it, you could also use a sheet of styrofoam in place of the newspaper if you have it.

Using either a paintbrush or a cotton ball, apply the Citra Solv to the copy. Try not to over saturate it or, the ink will smear.

Using the metal spoon, burnish the design firmly to transfer the print onto the fabric. Once thoroughly burnished, peel of the paper and discard.


After the towel has air dried, you can use a hot iron to evaporate the excess Citra Solv. (Make sure you place an old towel under it, or your ironing board cover will smell like Citra Solv!)


That’s all there is to it! You can wash your towel and the ink will stay in place. I ended up making a set of place mats to match! You can find more Free Printables that are perfect for this project on my blog Here.

Or check out my other favorite transfer methods Here.

I hope you enjoyed this simple project! Thank you for allowing me to share it with you all!


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    Hi, I’m Jillee!

    I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I’ve been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!

    Every day I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

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