Here is an easy idea for painting Flour Sack Napkins when you can’t 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 planning my Italian Tablescape for our Supper Club, I wanted a unique 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 an excellent 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 I couldn’t afford had a beautiful tile pattern that I liked. So after doing some research, I found a Greek Art Paint Roller 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. You don’t 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, 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
You should begin by washing the towels to remove any starches or additives. This will ensure 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 used a few layers of wax paper for this.
Just to let you know, you may need several layers to prevent the paint from seeping through because you will 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, resulting in an undesirable design.
Next, roll the decorative roller in the paint to cover the raised areas, ensuring 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 also included a video tutorial at the end of this post.
Heat Set Painted Napkins
Finally, spread your napkins out to allow the paint to dry. In order to ensure the paint is set to the fabric, you will want to heat press the pattern.
To heat set, 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 lightweight fabric will work.
Now you can safely wash the napkins without fear of the paint pattern washing or fading away.
Be sure to wash the rollers thoroughly to remove all paint from the pattern, and you can use them for many other projects. I’m already planning my next idea! LOL
Beautiful Painted Flour Sack Napkins
The blue vintage tile pattern looks great on the Italian table setting.
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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. Simple tutorial. Unique one of a kind napkins by painting on inexpensive flour sacks.
- Flour Sack Towels
- Chalk Paint
- Wash, dry and press your flour sack towels
- Prepare a surface with wax paper or other protective barrier as large as the towel size.
- Lay the flour sack towel flat onto the prepared surface.
- Add Paint to a flat surface such as a plastic cutting board, etc.
- Use Brayer Roller to flatten paint
- Add your decorative roller to flattened paint and cover the entire roller with paint.
- Begin at one side and roll the paint print onto the flour sack from bottom to top without lifting the roller.
- Reload paint onto roller
- Make a second row by starting at the top and rolling downward allowing the pattern to touch.
- Continue alternating the rolling until the entire towel is covered with the pattern.
- Allow to dry by laying flat.
- 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.
I was able to paint and heat-set six napkins in approximately 20 minutes. This is 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 too 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. And don’t miss How To Fold A Tulip Napkin.
How To Set A Creative Italian Dinner Table
Be sure to see the full Italian Dinner Table that inspired me to create these fun napkins.
Here are a few other projects you may enjoy.
- DIY Custom Tablecloth and Napkins
- Painted Table Runner from Drop Cloth
- How To Paint Flour Sack Napkins
- Hand-painted Tablecloth Runner
- How to Make a Craft Paper Tablecloth
- How To Make A DIY Painted Rug
Thanks so much for stopping by today!
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Monday 13th of February 2023
Hi Rachel! Love the napkins. Love the whole table setting. So pretty.
Thursday 16th of February 2023
Cheryl, I really appreciate this.
Monday 6th of February 2023
I keep telling myself to do this because yours are especially cute. Maybe if I go ahead and order the roller, I'd actually do it?! Your table gets me extra excited about the upcoming season too. Everything looks so happy!
Wednesday 8th of February 2023
Cindy, I'm so glad you like this idea. Thanks for stopping by.
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.