Use a fun fruit stamping technique to decorate some plain tea towels. These make great gifts and they are so easy – even a kid can make them!
Skills Required: Beginner. Stamping with fruit is pretty easy, though it’s going to take a few tries to make sure you get the right amount of ink on your “stamp” and that you like the finished effect. Having said that, kids can do this and you don’t have to be that precise to get a cool effect.
I love taking plain tea towels and dressing them up. You can never have enough kitchen towels! I decided to experiment with some fruit stamping, and had a lot of fun with it. They are easy enough that the kids can make them too. Hello to Mother’s Day, Grandparents Day, or housewarming gifts! I made these ones using some pears, oranges, and lemons. Apples would work well too, and I’m sure the kids would love to experiment with other things.
Before you get started with fruit stamping, there are a few tips I wanted to give you based on what I learned while doing this project.
Tips for Fruit Stamps
Use fruits with distinct shapes. For fruit stamping I’d stay away from bananas, grapes, etc. and go with fruits that have a noticeable shape (like a pear) or pattern (like citrus). You can really use anything you like, but you’ll get better results with shapes that are more recognizable.
Use fruits that are less ripe vs. those that are overly ripe. Fruits that are less ripe are less juicy so you won’t make as much of a mess. Plus they will be more firm and that will make them easier to stamp. If you go with a fruit that is overly ripe, it’ll be very juicy and may squish in your hands (or your child’s hands) as you stamp.
Cut cross sections. You can get more stamps out of one piece of fruit if you cut the fruit into cross sections. For example, cut an apple in half and stamp it – but then cut it further into sections so you can have more stamps. You can get about eight stamps out of one round fruit (and you can use both sides of the slice!).
Apply your paint in an even and thin-ish layer. Definitely do a practice run first. Try dipping the paint in the fruit as well as painting it on to see which effect you like more. Citrus fruit patterns show up way better when your fruit stamps are painted with a thin layer.
Fruit Stamping on Tea Towels
Gather These Supplies
- blank tea towels
- acrylic paint and fabric medium OR fabric paint
- black fine tip permanent or fabric marker
- paper towels
- wax or parchment paper
Cut your fruit in half and then cut one of the halves again. Dab the cut sides on some paper towel to get rid of some of the excess juice.
Put a piece of wax or parchment paper in the middle of your tea towel to keep the paint from leaking through.
Follow the instructions on your bottle of fabric medium and mix it with your acrylic paint on a paper plate.
Note: I tried to use paint labeled as fabric paint for this, and it didn’t work well – which is why the lemon one looks a little different. I recommend acrylic mixed with the medium. Having said that, every fabric paint is different, so if you have fabric paint already on hand or are just doing something fun with the kids and it doesn’t need to look amazing, just use that.
Dip your fruit into the paint. Dab it around a bit on the plate to get off some of the excess paint.
Press the fruit onto the tea towel, just like a regular stamp. Be careful when you are using juicy fruit like the lemon and orange. You want to press firm enough to get an impression, but not so hard that juice starts squishing out the sides.
Repeat with the other piece of the fruit to make one that looks like a slice.
Allow the paint to dry completely and outline with a permanent or fabric marker. Write what the fruit is at the bottom for an extra touch.
Once all of your fruit stamps are dry, be sure to heat set it. Do this by placing a cloth over the design and ironing it on a high setting (no steam). Do it for about 30 seconds.
Another way to heat set fabric is to put it in your dryer on the highest setting for 30 minutes. You’ll want to heat set your fruit stamping so that it’s safe to wash and won’t wear away!
I love the pop of color that these fruit stamps on tea towels bring to my kitchen!
For more fun crafts like these fruit stamps, visit my blog, Cutesy Crafts.
Now that you love decorating tea towels, try this coloring book DIY tea towel project: