How to Stencil on Fabric

It's so easy to create your own home decor and accessories by stenciling on fabric. When you use the right paint you don't even have to heat set it. We show you some of our favorite projects, below. 

Stenciled Flour Sack Towels 

We've been having fun creating sample towels for our tea towel DIY Craft Kits. It's a super easy project and leaves you with something cute for your kitchen. We have three different designs available -- succulents, milagro hearts and feathers.

Feathers tea towels made with Backyard Art DIY Craft Kit

succulent theme tea towel

feather theme stenciled tea towel

Supplies (all provided in each kit):

  • Flour sack tea towels
  • Stencil 
  • SoSoft Fabric Paint in multiple colors
  • Stencil Brushes 
  • Paint Palette 

Other supplies: 

  • Paper towels, wax paper or freezer paper, a glass or paper cup for brushes, painter's tape/washi

Prepare your work surface by laying out a few paper towels and having a few extra folded on the side for dabbing extra paint off of your brush (if you use wax or freezer paper under your project put the shiny side up; it's great and any paint that seeps through will wipe right off). Arrange your palette, cup, paint and brushes on the paper towels and lay out your tea towel next to it. 

stencil flour sack project kit overview

You might want to give your tea towels a quick ironing so you have a nice flat surface to work on. Then pick a spot for your stencil (we chose the bottom right hand corner), and secure your stencil to the towel with some painter's tape or washi. Tape is optional but some of us like the extra assurance (are you klutzy too?). You might put a paper towel beneath the area you are going to stencil to protect the surface below. 

Squeeze a little bit of paint of each color into a palette well, and dab a small amount onto one of your stencil brushes. Take off any extra paint by dabbing it on a paper towel. Less paint = more. Trust us on this one.  

Now you're ready to put some color on your actual tea towel. Start with a really light coat and use an up and down pouncing motion -- your goal is to not saturate it too much, as you want to minimize seepage under the stencil lines. Don't worry because the result is supposed to look organic, so a little imperfection is just fine.

The SoSoft fabric paint will be dry to the touch in 15-20 minutes, but it will need to air dry for 2-3 days to be permanent and washable. Don't get it wet right away; set it aside and admire it for a few days before using. This paint is amazing -- most fabric paints require heat curing and often leave a kind of crunchy "hand" on the fabric. SoSoft doesn't. You can feel it but it is really soft, and you just need to air dry for 48-72 hours for permanence.

Watch the feather and heart stenciled towels in process & see how easy it is to make your own: 

We'd love to see your designs. Please share them on Instagram and tag them with  #gbicraft and #globalbackyard. 

Three stenciled tea towels made with Backyard Art DIY Craft Kits



Other Stenciled Fabric Projects


A Fabric & Tile Coaster stencil project: 

stenciled coaster project


A Round-Up of 10 fun stencil projects from around the web: 

fabric stencil project round-up





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