Monday, February 24, 2014

Grain Sack Tea Towels

I've been in a "make it" mood.  I have a few things cooking and a few on the back burner.  I haven't forgotten about the glass canisters.  I'm happy to say I've made a decision what I'm going to do with them.  It's a firm, I'm not going to change my mind...again, decision.  I'm currently working on them and hope to share them this week. I think you will be surprised...I hope.

Back to these grain sack tea towels.  I made them from a canvas drop cloth.  Yes, the kind that covers the floor (and furniture) when you paint.  I've seen French Grain Sack Tea Towels on some of the websites I visit but after checking the prices for these, I decide to make them myself...50.00 for 2 is just too rich for my purse.

In the process of searching info on these towels I found a blog that offers a tutorial for them.  You can find it HERE

But, before you make your way there I have a few tid-bits to share on making these towels. I won't be repeating Dee's instructions, just adding what I've learned in the process.  

I found the 9 x 12 canvas drop cloth at Walmart for 9.99

When I first picked the package up from the shelf I thought, this can't be the right one it has too much texture.  But washing it and putting it through the dryer tightened the canvas weave and softened it.

After I washed it, dried it and began cutting it into the 27 x 19 pieces that was recommended, I quickly discovered the drop cloth wasn't squared. I had to take care of that problem before cutting.  You can find a tutorial on how to square fabric HERE

Dee's directions for sewing and adding the painter's tape grid are simple to follow. 

I didn't have the colors Dee recommended so I used what I have in my stash of paints which was a mixture of Wedgewood Blue and Sapphire by Americana.

I discovered the most important thing in painting these lines was less paint on my brush.  After the first line you will know if you need to pick up more paint on your brush or add less. I tapped out most of the paint as you would do if you were stencilling.

At first I wanted to pounce the brush as if stencilling but soon discovered I should use more of a sweeping motion with a light hand.

One thing I struggled with most was the fear of painting this!  Surprising huh?  Especially with all the painting I do.  I think it was because I knew there was no covering it up if I goofed it, no second chance, the fabric was going to be unforgiving.  I'm happy to report there was no bleeding under the tape and the paint went on easily.  I breathed a big sigh of relief when I pulled the tape off.

A few years ago, I painted on fabric with acrylic paint and found that if I allowed it to dry for 24 hours and then ironed it, the paint didn't wash out.  Be sure to cover the painted area with another cloth before you iron it, toasted paint is not good and is quite smelly.

I'm so happy with how these turned out and would love to make some blue floral ones to go with these.  Another idea on the back burner. 



Kathleen Grace said...

These are beautiful! I thought they were the real thing:>)

Raggedy Creations said...

They are sooooo pretty. I had seen that tut before and wanted to make them because we handwash our dishes.

So let me ask....does the canvas absorb water really well, do you know?


~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I always say...I don't paint! I just don't! But this is so tempting. I think I'll at least get a drop cloth and wash it and cut it up. I sure love the look of these. And my kitchen is blue! Thanks for sharing your tips! Hugs!

Carolyn said...

Hi Willa! These towels are GORGEOUS! No one would ever know that they were not the real thing. I love the look of old feed/grain sacks. I hope to try this soon, as well as a gorgeous shower curtain made in a similar fashion.

Enjoy your week!

Sandi @ The Primitive Skate said...

Love these Willa!
Thanks for sharing!


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