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How to Easily Make Leaf Stamp Tea Towels for Fall

Using leaves from the yard and a little paint, you can bring fall into your home with these easy to make leaf stamp tea towels!

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This was originally published September 24, 2020. Updated tips and photos July, 2022.

view of leaf stamped tea towel with leaf side plates and pumpkins

Here in Connecticut I recently noticed some yellow leaves falling in my back yard. Before we know it, the leaves will begin to change color and carpet my yard.

As I was I started pick some up a few leaves, I began to think back to my childhood and how I loved to do leaf rubbings. Then, I had an idea of how I could use some of these leaves.

I used the leaf as a stamp. I made tea towels, but this could also be done on a pillow cover, napkins, or tablecloth.

These leaf stamp tea towels have quickly become one of my favorite fall decorations. They are so simple, inexpensive, and fun to make!  I am excited to share this craft with you today!

What You Need to Make a Leaf Stamp Tea Towel:

process of leaf stamp. Collage of painting leaves and stamping on tea towels

How to Easily Make Leaf Stamp Tea Towels

I followed a process similar to my Stenciled Fabric Pillow Cover.

  1. First, wash the fabric tea towel and iron it.
  2. Next, mix your fabric medium with paint. Follow the instructions on the label. For the textile medium I used, I mixed two parts medium to one part paint. Decide where you would like to place your leaf.
  3. Prepare your tea towel for painting by inserting a piece of cardboard above a piece of waxed paper. This will ensure the paint will not bleed through.
  4. Turn the leaf over so the side with the veins is facing up.
  5. Using a sponge brush, brush the paint across the leaves.
  6. Turn the leaf over and position it on your towel.
  7. Press the leaf down to stamp the design onto your towel.
  8. Gently and carefully, peel the leaf from your towel to reveal the design.
  9. Let it dry completely. When your design has completely air dried for at least 24 hours, seal your painted design with heat.

How do you seal acrylic paint with heat?

There are a couple different ways you can do this. Once your project is completely dry, you can seal acrylic paint with heat by putting your piece into your dryer (by itself to ensure the paint doesn’t bleed at all), or with an iron. If you choose to use an iron, set the iron on medium heat with no steam. Turn the pillow cover inside out. Place a press cloth inside, between the front and back of the cover and iron the reverse side of your stenciled design. Iron for about 3 minutes, moving the iron back and forth. Be careful as the fabric will be hot.

view of leaf stamped tea towel with leaf side plates and pumpkins

Can you use acrylic craft paint on fabric?

Acrylic paint can be used on fabric. To help ensure it will stay and wash well, you should wash and dry your fabric first. Then, you can use acrylic paint, but you will need to mix your paint with a fabric medium.

view of leaf stamped tea towel with leaf side plates and pumpkins

Can these leaf stamp towels be washed?

Yes! Be sure to heat seal them before washing.

These leaf stamped tea towels are so much fun to make!  I am planning to make a few more. These tea towels are so versatile. They would make a great hostess gift or teacher gift. Use these at home as seasonal towels in the kitchen, or large napkins in the dining room. So many possibilities!

view of leaf stamped tea towel with leaf side plates and pumpkins

If you have any questions about this project, please don’t hesitate to ask. Please let me know if you make some leaf stamp art this fall. If you post it, please tag me. I would love to see and hear about your projects!

Thank you so much for visiting today! I would love to connect with you on FacebookInstagramPinterest, or here on the blog! 

Lynne's signature

How to Easily Make Leaf Stamp Tea Towels for Fall

Using leaves from the yard and a little paint, you can bring fall into your home with these easy to make leaf stamp tea towels!
Prep Time1 hr
Active Time5 mins
Seal the acrylic paint with heat20 mins

Equipment

  • 1 iron
  • 1 foam brush
  • 1 paper bowl or tray to mix paint with fabric medium
  • 1 piece of cardboard or cardstock

Materials

Instructions

  • First, wash the fabric tea towel and iron it.
  • Next, mix your fabric medium with paint. Follow the instructions on the label. For the textile medium I used, I mixed two parts medium to one part paint.
  • Decide where you would like to place your leaf.Prepare your tea towel for painting by inserting a piece of card board and waxed paper. This will ensure the paint will not bleed through.
  • Turn the leaf over so the side with the veins is facing up. Using a sponge brush, brush the paint across the leaves.
  • Turn the leaf over and position it on your towel. Press the leaf down to stamp the design onto your towel.
  • Gently and carefully, peel the leaf from your towel to reveal the design.
  • Let it dry completely. When your design has completely air dried for at least 24 hours, seal your painted design with heat.

Notes

Once your project is completely dry, you can seal acrylic paint with heat by putting your piece into your dryer (by itself to ensure the paint doesn’t bleed at all), or with an iron. If you choose to use an iron, set the iron on medium heat with no steam. Turn the pillow cover inside out. Place a press cloth inside, between the front and back of the cover and iron the reverse side of your stenciled design. Iron for about 3 minutes, moving the iron back and forth. Be careful as the fabric will be hot.

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23 Comments

  1. What a cute idea! I can see my daughter really enjoying doing this since she loves art and loves to paint. Thank you!

    Liberty

  2. This sure does bring me back to my childhood. Isn’t it wonderful to rediscover simple pleasures like this. I think these are so beautiful Lynne! You’ve inspired me to try this too.

  3. Another perfect craft for fall, Lynne! I do love tea towels because they absorb water so well. I would like to make some of these as gifts and for myself 😉 I’m thinking wrapping some homemade jam with the tea towel or using on as a liner a basket with other fall like items inside.
    Hugs,
    RR

  4. I have always wanted to try this, and yours look amazing! Wonderful crafting with you and thanks for sharing!

  5. A lovely and simple project for fall. Would make lovely gifts.

  6. These would make such a lovely gift! They are so simple and elegant. Thanks for taking part in the hop.

  7. Lynne, this is beautiful! I think this would be a great way for me to make custom napkins for a Thanksgiving tablescape! Did you need to do something to “set” the paint so it won’t wash away?

  8. Lynne, your tea towels are so festive and pretty! I love the gold leaves. These would make perfect hostess gifts or napkins. The imperfections only add to their charm and make each one unique. Thanks for sharing! It was fun crafting with you, my friend 🙂

  9. Such a creative and fun idea Lynne! I love this idea for linen napkins too! Happy to be crafting with you again ♥

  10. I love this idea because you can customize the “look and style” of the towel to the person whom you are gifting this to. (At least I want to use this idea to create a gift for someone else). Thanks for the inspiration. Great photos. Pinned.

  11. How beautiful! I love how organic and natural the leaves look on the towel. I’m featuring it tomorrow at the Wonderful Wednesday blog hop. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Pam! I am so appreciative of your kind words and the feature! Wishing you a wonderful week!

  12. I love how simple this project is Lynne and it’s absolutely perfect for fall.
    Thank you for sharing your DIY stamped leaf tea towels project at Create, Bake Grow & Gather this week. I’m delighted to be featuring it at the party tonight and pinning too.
    Hugs,
    Kerryanne

    1. Thank you so much, Kerryanne! I appreciate your kind words and am thankful for the feature! Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

  13. I love this idea and plan on doing this. I’m thinking of the people I can gift these to. One question I had and I don’t know if it makes a difference or not, but would you put the wax paper under the cardboard or over it? I’m thinking under but wanted to make sure.
    Thank you for your ideas!

    1. Yay! I am so glad to hear that you’re going to make these, Pat! I used the cardboard and wax paper as a barrier to ensure the paint didn’t bleed through. The wax paper may not even be necessary, but I did put it under the cardboard. I will update the directions. Please let me how they turn out. I would love to see them!

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