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How to Paint Flour Sack Napkins

Here is an easy idea for painting Flour Sack Napkins when you can’t the find napkins that you need or that are affordable.

I often use plain flour sack towels for napkins because they are inexpensive and I love the texture of the flour sack fabric.

When I was planning my Italian Tablescape for our Supper Club, I wanted a special napkin to compliment the table setting. The ones I found were beautiful but had a hefty price to go with them.

Then I remembered seeing how to paint a dish towel by Leslie from My 100 Year Old Home and decided this might be a good solution to my Italian napkin dilemma. So here’s what I did.

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Supplies To Paint Flour Sack Napkins

First, the napkins that I couldn’t afford had a beautiful tile pattern that I really liked. So after doing some research I found a Greek Art Paint Roller which was close to the tile pattern I liked.

I already had a bundle or two of 100% Cotton Flour Sack Towels so that was easy.

Next, I purchased a sample size of Annie Sloan Napolenic Blue. The amount would be perfect for the project and Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is pliable on fabric. There is no need to add fabric medium to create your design.

In addition to the decorative roller, I used a brayer roller to smooth the paint.

I had plenty of wax paper which is my go-to for protecting my table from paint seeping through. I also used wax paper for my paint pallet.

You will also need an iron or heat press for preparing your fabric and setting your paint.

Preparation before painting

Begin by washing the towels to remove any starches or additives. This will assure the paint adheres to the fabric fibers.

Then the fabric should be as smooth as possible for this technique so you will need to press any wrinkles or rolling around the edges with a hot iron or heat press.

Finally, I taped several sheets of wax paper on the table to cover the size of the soon to be napkins (flour sack towels)!

Ready for Painted Napkins

You will also need a flat surface to spread your paint. I simply used a few layers of wax paper for this.

Be aware that you may need several layers to prevent the paint from seeping through because you are going to roll over the paper several times.

In hindsight, I would attach the wax paper to some card board or a plastic cutting board.

Begin by adding paint to your flat surface or wax paper and use the brayer roller to flatten the paint.

If you don’t have a roller, use a knife or spatula to flatten your paint. Be aware that if the paint isn’t flattened, it will adhere to areas of the decorative roller other than the desired pattern which will result an undesirable design.

Next, roll the decorative roller in the paint to cover the raised areas, being sure that all raised areas are completely covered.

Begin at one edge of the flour sack towel and roll the paint without lifting the roller from one end to the other.

In order to create a pleasing pattern, I alternated the direction I was rolling.

I started on the bottom and rolled up to the other end. The pattern became lighter as I reached the end. So after reloading the roller with paint, I started at the top of the napkin and rolled down to the bottom.

I love the faded vintage tile look of the fabric. I’ve included a video tutorial at the end of this post as well.

Heat Set Painted Napkins

Finally, spread your napkins out to allow the paint to dry. In order to assure the paint is set to the fabric, you will want to heat press the pattern.

To heat set, be sure to use a barrier fabric between the paint and the iron or heat press. I used another flour sack towel as a barrier, however a towel or any light weight fabric will work.

Now you can safely wash the napkins, without fear of the paint pattern washing or fading away.

Clean Supplies

Be sure to wash the rollers throughly to remove all paint from the pattern and you will be able to use them for many other projects. I’m already planning my next idea! LOL

Beautiful Painted Flour Sack Napkins

The blue vintage tile pattern is going to look great on my Italian table setting. I’ll be sharing the full table reveal tomorrow but in the meantime, here are some ways to use these affordable napkins.

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Yield: 6

How to Paint Flour Sack Napkins

How to Paint Flour Sack Napkins

Here is an easy idea for painting Flour Sack Napkins when you can't the find napkins that you need or that are affordable. Simple tutorial. Unique one of a kind napkins by painting on inexpensive flour sacks.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Active Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Difficulty Easy



  1. Wash, dry and press your flour sack towels
  2. Prepare a surface with wax paper or other protective barrier as large as the towel size.
  3. Lay the flour sack towel flat onto the prepared surface.
  4. Add Paint to a flat surface such as a plastic cutting board, etc.
  5. Use Brayer Roller to flatten paint
  6. Add your decorative roller to flattened paint and cover the entire roller with paint.
  7. Begin at one side and roll the paint print onto the flour sack from bottom to top without lifting the roller.
  8. Reload paint onto roller
  9. Make a second row by starting at the top and rolling downward allowing the pattern to touch.
  10. Continue alternating the rolling until the entire towel is covered with the pattern.
  11. Allow to dry by laying flat.
  12. Once dry, heat set the pattern to the fabric with a hot iron. Use a protective layer of fabric between the iron and the paint.


There are a variety of rollers to create different patterns and colors.

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

I was able to paint and heat set 6 napkins in approximately 20 minutes. This is such an easy way to create unique and one of a kind crafts or home decor.

I’m so glad for Leslie’s inspiration, which saved me from spending way to much money on napkins. I can’t wait to make more. The possibilities are endless.

I hope you enjoyed this simple tutorial on How to Paint Flour Sack Napkins.

See How to Fold a Napkin into a Bow Tie here.

Thanks so much for stopping by today!


Mary from Life at Bella Terra

Sunday 27th of February 2022

Rachel, what a great tutorial. I’ve never done this and now I’m inspired to try! They really look fabulous.


Monday 28th of February 2022

Mary, I really appreciate your encouragement.

Bricks 'n Blooms Weekly 69 - Stacy Ling

Sunday 27th of February 2022

[…] good friend Rachel from the Ponds Farmhouse shared this super cool DIY for our dinner club this […]

Kim | Shiplap and Shells

Saturday 26th of February 2022

I am LOVING this idea Rachel. You always come up with the best DIYs. I can't wait to feature this on my weekly wrap-up on Sunday.


Saturday 26th of February 2022

Kim, You are so sweet. I really appreciate this.


Friday 25th of February 2022

So pretty!!! That's such a simple hack for creating beautiful napkins!! I love the color you chose and how well the pattern goes with your dishes.


Saturday 26th of February 2022

I really appreciate this compliment. Thanks so much for stopping by.


Wednesday 23rd of February 2022

Such a great idea. I love this. Congratulations on your feature on our link party. Hugs to you.


Thursday 24th of February 2022

Renae, Thanks so much sweetie.

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