Hand Stamped Dish Towels {31 Days: Day 21}

The project I want to show you today is what I like to call an "experiment." I was itching to do something creative when we got back from the wedding yesterday, but didn't have a whole lot of time or daylight left to do it! I remembered seeing this awesome post on embellishing dish towels, but didn't have any fabric paint, so I decided to try something else - stamping dish towels with ink pads! I'm not totally sold on how it turned out, but let's go through the project anyway, shall we? Then you can advise me on some different or creative ways to make something like this in the future :).

Supplies needed: 

  • Flour sack dish towel (or any other cotton dish towel)
  • Ink pad for stamping

I have about 20 flour sack dish towels hanging around under the kitchen sink, so I figured I could sacrifice one for my little experiment. I have several ink pads in my craft drawer, so I pulled a few out and tried stamping them on some newspaper to see what it would look like. The multi-colored "tower" ones worked best, so I chose the hot pink color to stamp onto the dish towel.

I also love the tear drop shape of these. I thought that would make for a nice pattern, so I alternated directions with the ink pad as I stamped it down the edge of the dish towel.

{I have no idea why my hand looks brown on top! Strange colors going on here...}

I found the best method for getting good coverage with the ink pad was to press down pretty hard once, and then dab a couple of times again right on top. That made for a nice hand-stamped look.

About 5 minutes later, I was done!

I liked the fact that it wasn't perfect, but I can't help but think it looks a little sponge-painted (which brings back memories of early '90s sponge painted walls - yikes!). What do y'all think? Is this a keeper or should it be relegated to activities like bathtub scrubbing? ;) I think I'd like to try embellishing with actual fabric paint next time.

As you can see, not every project that happens around here is a wildly successful DIY! Just keepin' it real! I'm definitely not blown away by this guy. 

I realized there's a nice lesson to be learned here on using what you have. Sometimes, what you have on hand might not be the perfect material for a project. That being said, "making it work" can definitely be the right thing to do (be creative!), but sometimes you just need to go out and spend a few bucks to get what you need. So I'd say, start by taking inventory on what you have, and if you really don't have something that will work well for your project, it's time to go shopping!

Have you ever tried a project like this only to find you didn't quite have the right materials? How did you move forward after that?

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