Fern Printed Tea Towels – Great Gifts to Make at the Holidays

Fern printed tea towels make great gifts at the holidays and you can use this technique with just about any pretty foliage.

I love using flour sack towels to wipe down the counters and dry pots and pans. They are very absorbent and really get the job done. Here’s a project that will turn the ordinary flour sack tea towel into a pretty decorative fern printed tea towels that you can proudly hang in the kitchen using craft paint and plants from your garden.

Fern Printed Tea Towels

Fern printed tea towels make great gifts at the holidays and you can use this technique with just about any pretty foliage.



Fern printed tea towels make great gifts at the holidays and you can use this technique with just about any pretty foliage.

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  • Wash, dry and iron the tea towels.
  • Spread out newspaper over the work area.
  • Lay the tea towel right side up on the newspaper and mark the area you want to print. For example; I wanted to print the area that shows when the tea towel is folded in half and then into thirds.
  • Choose your plant material. I used Japanese painted ferns, Autumn ferns and some Boston ferns.
  • Gently wipe the leaves with a damp paper towel to remove any debris.
  • Practice laying out the ferns on the tea towels to see what looks good to you.
  • Mix the fabric medium and the craft paint together on a paper plate.
  • Place the fern face down on a separate piece of newspaper and dab the paint generously on the back side.
  • Carefully pick up the fern, turn it over and lay it down onto the tea towel.
  • Use your fingers to gently press it onto the towel.
  • Then take a folded paper towel and press down on the fern.
  • The paper towel will pick up some paint so be sure to turn it over or use a new piece before pressing down the rest of the fern.
  • Then carefully lift up the fern and view your masterpiece.
  • Allow the print to dry for 24-48 hours.
  • Heat set the print by placing a thin scrap of material on top and ironing it for 20 seconds.

Note: It takes a few times to get it right so be sure to cut extra plant material and practice on paper first.

Fern printed tea towels make great gifts at the holidays and you can use this technique with just about any pretty foliage.

You May Also Like:

        Leaf Print Pillow                         Family Recipe Tea Towel            Pressed Flower Jewelry Dish

About Patti Estep

Patti is the creator of Hearth and Vine, a home and garden blog filled with projects to inspire your creative side. She loves crafting, gardening, decorating and entertaining at her home in Pennsylvania. When she is not working on a project at home or searching for treasures at nurseries and thrift stores with her girlfriends, you’ll probably find her with family and friends, at a restaurant, or home party enjoying new and different food adventures.

Affiliate Account Hearth and Vine/Patti Estep is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.


  1. Love ferns–these are beautiful!

  2. These are really lovely. I actually bought a 6 pack of flower sack cotton napkins awhile back and now I know what to do with them. Flower sack cotton is really hard to find here, do you know of a ready source? Thanks ~ Lynne

    • Hi Lynne,

      I’m so glad you like them. I bought mine tea towels at Joann Fabrics. They used to sell them at Kmart from Martha Stewart but it don’t think they make them anymore. Also Amazon sells them, at least they sell the tea towels not sure about napkins. Have a great one!

  3. Turned out really cute! Pinning to the Monday Funday board!

  4. Oh these are lovely Patti, this would be such a fun thing to do with my daughter for Christmas gifts.

    • Thanks Alice,

      I love that you want to make them with your daughter. I have a lot of projects that can be made with kids but also interesting for adults.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Those are beautiful! What a creative idea. They would make such a great gift, especially for hostesses with all these holiday events coming up!

  6. Those are beautiful! I love nature-inspired everything. Thanks for sharing.

    Found your blog while #SITSBlogging, glad that I did. Your blog is wonderful! 😉

  7. Hi
    I love these. What color paint did you use for the picture? It looks like a very dark green or maybe black?

    • Hi Sue,

      The actual color I used is an olive tone called Avacado from Americana paints though a dark green or even black would look really nice too. There are so many colors out there. You can also mix them and test them on newsprint or paper towels first to see how you like it. Thanks for stopping by.


  1. […] Zacharia Estep from the Garden Matter blog gives a step-by-step guide on how to make hand printed tea towels using ferns while Barb Rosen from Our Fairfield Home and Garden blog has put together a post with some lovely […]

  2. […] DIY fern printed towels @ Garden Matter […]

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