Arts & Crafts | Sewing

How to Make Simple Flour Sack Dish Towels

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How would you like to achieve a high-end Williams Sonoma or Pottery Barn look for a fraction of the price? Try making these easy flour sack dish towels for a touch of DIY farmhouse decor in your home.

Flour sack dish towels on rustic farmhouse park bench

This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. For more information, please see my disclosures.

Special thanks to DecoArt for providing the Fabric Painting Medium used in this project!

DIY Farmhouse Flour Sack Towels

Fall table decorations with grain sack towel and copper accents
Fall outdoor table decor

Have you seen those striped flour sack towels (also called “grain sack” towels) in home decor stores or the popular Fixer Upper series?

Don’t you think it’s time you owned some of those French country towels in the color of your choosing?

DIY flour sack kitchen towels on fall outdoor table

Instead of buying them and spending several dollars per towel, try this quick and easy DIY project.

You’ll only need a handful of supplies and a sewing machine (if you plan to hem the edges).

Note: You can totally buy plain flour sacks and just skip to the painting! (I won’t tell anyone.)

I now have a complete video tutorial on my YouTube channel with more details.

Supplies for Flour Sack Tea Towels

Why I Love Drop Cloth

If you’ve followed me on Instagram, you know I’m a BIG fan of drop cloth.

Click HERE to follow on Instagram!

One package of this cotton duck canvas fabric makes a TON of projects!

Here are just a few items I’ve made with drop cloth:

And I’m still not done, folks! Let’s start with this easy tutorial and see if you become a fan, too!

How to Make DIY Flour Sack Towels

If you’re using pre-made dish towels (no shame), skip to Step 2. Otherwise, begin at Step 1.

Fall outdoor table decor with grain sack towel and rustic fall centerpiece

Step 1: Prepare & Cut Fabric

  • First, make sure you pre-wash your fabric before applying paint.
  • Then, cut your towels into 15.5 x 26-inch rectangles.
  • Tape the edges of the towels to your work surface so the fabric won’t shift as you paint.

The finished flour sack towels will have dimensions of 14.5 x 25 inches, so I’m factoring in 1 inch for the hem.

Step 2: Mark Stripe Borders with Tape

I decided to make my center stripe 1.5-inches wide, then left a gap of 3/4-inches above/below, followed by two more 1/4-inch stripes.

You can create as many stripes as you like, in any width you like. Three stripes were enough to make me happy. I’m a simple girl.

3/4-inch painter's tape

Tip: I found that 3/4-inch painter’s tape makes the perfect gap from the center stripe.

Step 3: Paint Stripes

Painting navy stripes on DIY flour sack dish towels made of drop cloth

Paint the exposed areas with either fabric paint or acrylic paint mixed with DecoArt Fabric Painting Medium. (Mix 2:1 paint to medium.)

This medium answered my prayers because I own a LOT of acrylic paint.

So what exactly does fabric painting medium do?

  • Creates washable, permanent finish
  • Makes paint adhere better to fabric
  • Softens finished design and prevents cracking, peeling and flaking

After painting, wait 24-48 hours for the paint to dry. Then “heat set” the paint with an iron for 30 seconds before washing.

Get more tips on how to effectively paint on drop cloth in my farmhouse table runner post.

Step 4: Hemming Your Flour Sack Kitchen Towels (Optional)

With drop cloth, you really can’t skip the hem. The fibers will unravel without some type of simple hem.

Finished striped flour sack kitchen towels before hemming edges with sewing machine

Two Hemming Options

I strongly recommend a mitered corner for this thick cotton fabric. It’s easy to do and well worth the professional look it gives your project.

Flour sack dish towels hanging on farmhouse style bench

In my YouTube video, I shared footage of how my mitered corners turned out. Not bad for a first-timer! If I can do it…so can you!

Decorative Flour Sack Towels: The Finished Product

So what do you think of these flour sack tea towels? Leave a comment for me below!

I had a vision of making these for my recent fall outdoor table decor post, and I couldn’t be happier with the result. I hope you enjoy making them, too.

Pin it for later!

Farmhouse style flour sack dish towels using drop cloth and acrylic paints
Flour sack dish towels on rustic park bench

How to Make DIY Farmhouse Flour Sack Towels

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: $15

Make DIY flour sack dish towels for French country or farmhouse style decor.

These striped kitchen towels make a great home decor accent, and you can give them away as gifts for birthdays and holidays!

Materials

  • Drop cloth or store-bought flour sack towels
  • Acrylic paint
  • DecoArt Fabric Painting Medium
  • Painter’s tape (3/4-inch preferred)

Tools

  • Bristle paint brushes
  • Sewing machine (optional)

Instructions

  1. If using store-bought flour sack towels, skip to step 3.
  2. Pre-wash fabric, then cut to dimensions of 15.5 x 26-inches.
  3. Mark the borders of your stripes with painter's tape.
  4. Paint the exposed fabric with a 2:1 mix of acrylic paint and DecoArt fabric painting medium.Painting navy stripes on DIY flour sack dish towels made of drop cloth
  5. After painting, wait 24-48 hours for the paint to dry. Then “heat set” the paint with an iron for 30 seconds before washing.Finished striped flour sack kitchen towels before hemming edges with sewing machine
  6. If sewing, finish the towel with a double-fold hem on all sides. Mitered corners work best.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

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8 Comments

    1. Hi Kim! Thank you so much! Thanks also for letting me know about the subscriber form. I fixed the error. I made some updates, so it probably threw things off. I really appreciate you telling me! I also tried sharing one of your garden post on Facebook but couldn’t tag your page. I’ll try again today. It’s really beautiful!

    1. Thank you, Jeanie! I’m having a little video premiere on YouTube in the morning with the video tutorial. I’m glad to meet someone else who loves to paint, too! Thanks for stopping by!

  1. Love these farmhouse flour sack dish towels… and that medium from Deco-Art is such a great help! Def will use on future projects! Pinned!

    1. Thank you, my dear! I’m a big fan of this medium now. I always wondered if my acrylic paints would work on fabric, and now I have some peace of mind. Thanks for pinning!