Go Ahead, Play With Your Food

May 1, 2015 | DIY, Life

[title subtitle=”words: [title subtitle=”words & images: Catherine Frederick

inspired by:Pintrest”][/title]

Add a splash of color to your kitchen with this DIY custom tea towel. No expert painting skills required – just some paint, tea towels, and fruits and vegetables! Even the kiddos can get in on this one. Great for gifting or for use in your own kitchen. Enjoy!


Flour sack tea towels (Hobby Lobby or Walmart)
Acrylic or fabric paint
Textile medium (only if using acrylic paint)
Paint brush
Paper towels
Scrap paper
Fruits and vegetables

Prep Work

Protect your work surface with newspaper or an old towel. Pre-wash tea towels to remove sizing, then dry. Do not use fabric softeners! Decide the direction to cut the fruits and vegetables to obtain the desired shape (lengthwise or through the center). Using a sharp knife, cut in a swift motion to avoid uneven edges (you want the cut side (flesh) to be as even and flat as possible). Place cut side down onto a paper towel to absorb any liquid. Allow to air dry for 5 to 10 minutes. While fruits and vegetables are drying, press tea towels, if needed, to remove wrinkles.


If using acrylic paint, you must mix the paint with textile medium so the paint does not come off when washing. Follow the instructions on the textile medium for ratio of medium to paint. If using fabric paint, make sure you apply a thin coat as it tends to raise up a bit when drying. Don’t go too heavy on the paint, brush on just enough to cover the cut portion’s surface. If you brush on too much you’ll just end up with a large blob.


Test out a few stamps on scrap paper to get the right amount of paint. You may find that you want to stamp first onto paper before applying to the tea towel each time, or vary the amount of paint each time for shades of light and dark.
Press (stamp) fruit onto tea towel in desired pattern. I created one towel with a cut onion stamped over the entire towel, one with a cut pear lining only one edge, and another using a cut orange, stamping only the corners.

Try this:

Experiment with different fruits and vegetables as well as painting and stamping the outside skin of the fruit or vegetable to obtain a different pattern, like seeds on strawberries. I especially love the pattern a painted cob of corn makes. If you can sew, try adding a strip of fabric, to the edge or even the across the center of the tea towel for added customization!



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