{Christmas DIY} Holiday Hand Towels

We talked about Hostess Gifts yesterday and I mentioned we aren’t hosting a party at Sugarplum Casa this year. But we still have friends, neighbors and family that drop by to say ‘Merry Christmas’ (and hopefully bring cookies!) So I like to make sure the Guest Bathroom is festive and inviting in case it’s needed.

after 7

Fortunately, I gave the Guest Bath a makeover this summer, so all it required was some Christmas cheer! I took this as an opportunity to get my craft on….Stenciled Hand Towels!


I’ve never actually stenciled anything successfully before, so I figured I’d better keep it simple. I chose a really flat, tightly-woven fabric, and an adhesive stencil. These napkins from Target seemed like a good size, and at $3, I wasn’t taking too big of a risk.


I’ve been going to town with hem-tape lately (here and here), so I thought I’d use Fabri-Tac this time. Wowza was that easy!

Picnik collage

1) Measure and cut 2 pieces of ribbon and decide how you want them positioned. I found it easier to apply the glue directly to the ribbon instead of the towel.

2) Fold the excess around to the back and glue in place.

3) When applying ribbon to the second towel, lay the first one next to it so you get consistent spacing.

For the stencil I needed fabric paint. And while I don’t own any fabric paint, I own quite a bit of acrylic paint (which will stick to fabric, but dries really hard and cracks easily). Thanks to the wonders of Google, I found Textile Medium, which transforms acrylic paint into washable fabric paint. It’s about $6 at Michaels or Hobby Lobby, but now I’m able to use any of my acrylic paints on fabric!

Picnik collage

You mix 1 part Medium to 2 parts paint. We decided to test it out on an old bed sheet first (especially since I only had two towels for the project!)


It went on easily and dried smooth and pliable. So it was time to apply our tree to the hand towels.

Picnik collage

1) Position the stencil carefully, then press down all the edges insuring no paint will seep through.

2) I used a flat, angled brush to fill in the paint.

3) I figured painting stripes looks better when you pull the painters tape off immediately, so I went with the same philosophy in stenciling.

The kids then used Q-Tips to dab on paint for the ornaments. Following the directions on the Fabric Medium, I used an iron (once the paint was dry) to heat set.

Everyone was pretty happy with how they turned out….and you can’t beat a 30-minute project!

Picnik collage

Sure you can buy Holiday hand towels just about anywhere, but isn’t it always more fun to make your own stuff?! We have five of these mini-trees around the house, and each follows the theme of our Christmas tree this year, with a snowflake topper.


And speaking of Hostess Gifts, these would be pretty cute to give. Or you could stencil a monogram (a la Martha) for a personalized gift.

Happy Weekend, Sugarplums! I hope it’s full of Christmas Cheer!

Leave a Comment


  1. OMG – I love these! They look store-bought! The ric rac ribbon adds the perfect whimsical touch! Nice job (as always!) 🙂

    Posted 12.3.10 Reply
  2. Those are too cute! I love textile medium because fabric paint is so expensive! I've never seen those adhesive stencils before…pretty cool! 🙂 Have a happy day!

    Posted 12.3.10 Reply
  3. Those are adorable, I'm going to
    Target today!

    Have a great day!


    Posted 12.3.10 Reply
  4. Perfect…just adorable! Janell

    Posted 12.3.10 Reply
  5. Cute towels! I love the previous hostess post. I ordered business cards from pixelimpress and they turned out perfect!

    Have a great weekend!


    Posted 12.3.10 Reply
  6. Aubrey wrote:

    I love that you got the kiddies involved in it! (c: And the are cheap and easy, the classic combo! I'm going to come live at your house for Christmas to join in all the fun…What?!? I need to stay at my own house??? Fine. But I'm coming back for all your other Christmas ideas (c;


    Posted 12.3.10 Reply
  7. Those are so cute and I love that your kids helped. That means I may be able to do it too! 😉


    Posted 12.3.10 Reply
  8. So cute, I love that you do crafts that the kids can be involved with. Kills two birdies with one stone 😉

    Posted 12.3.10 Reply
  9. those are adorable! and i really love that the kiddos were involved- that makes them all the better!

    Posted 12.3.10 Reply
  10. Cassie, i love them. It reminded me I haven't really decked the halls in the guest bathroom. Such a great tutorial, too. Another fantastic project, my friend.

    Posted 12.3.10 Reply
  11. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog:) I'm your newest follower and love your DIY Christmas towels-you're very crafty!!! xo

    Posted 12.3.10 Reply
  12. You're so crafty! I love the idea of monogramming them too.

    Posted 12.3.10 Reply
  13. Hey Cassie, we must be by each other. I'm just outside of Dallas, how about you?

    Posted 12.3.10 Reply
  14. adorable! thanks for sharing!!

    Posted 12.3.10 Reply
  15. Michaela wrote:

    How sweet! I love how you let the kiddos help! You're always so creative. And it's fun how just the small touches like cute hand towels can make a room feel so much more festive!

    Posted 12.3.10 Reply
  16. What a great DIY. I could never do that. Fantastic job and great little helpers!!

    Posted 12.3.10 Reply
  17. the stripes in your guest bath are amazing! your kids are adorable..

    just linked to you through another blog. i'm your newest follower!

    Posted 12.3.10 Reply
  18. Simply LKJ wrote:

    Cassie those are awesome! So much better than store bought. I am not liking the ones in the stores!!

    Posted 12.3.10 Reply
  19. Averill wrote:

    Super cute — and I love that the kiddos could participate! I absolutely adored crafting with my mom as a little girl. Happy weekend, Cassie!

    Posted 12.3.10 Reply
  20. That is the coolest thing! I love your little artist- so cute. That bathroom is my fave, the stripes came out perfect. The monogrammed towel idea is great. We have the "His" and "Hers" handtowels in our master bath from PB, but now I see they could've been made for much less money and would be so cute!

    Posted 12.3.10 Reply
  21. Morgan wrote:

    So cute and such a great idea!

    Posted 12.3.10 Reply
  22. you've done it again, friend! this is adorable! can i borrow your brain for a day??

    my family and friends are so lucky that i read so many amazing blogs… they will all have some fabulous diy christmas presents this year!! 🙂

    Posted 12.3.10 Reply
  23. Allison wrote:

    Your guest bath is beautiful. You did a gorgeous job. Another fun hostess gift! How cute that your kids had fun with it and they turned out so festive. I like your mini trees. I have to go search for a couple of those. Have a good weeekend, Cassie.

    Posted 12.3.10 Reply
  24. woah somehow posted 3 times. sorry about that! just excited about christmas, i guess! ha ha.

    Posted 12.3.10 Reply
  25. Leah wrote:

    Those towels are so cute!!! And I adore your bathroom!


    Posted 12.4.10 Reply
  26. Natalie wrote:

    I am so impressed! Those towels look great! I will def be trying this project! Also adore the stripes in your bathroom, they look great! Awesome blog!


    Posted 12.4.10 Reply
  27. Such a wonderful idea!
    I love this so fun!

    Posted 12.4.10 Reply
  28. emily wrote:

    Those look like you bought them from the store! So cute! And I love the idea of doing monogrammed ones — that would be a wonderful Christmas present for several people on my list! Have a great weekend friend!

    Posted 12.4.10 Reply
  29. AmericKim wrote:

    Love how it turned out! I will have to find some of that medium; how clever! I recently posted how I made a lot of white napkins using a bed sheet. Maybe a cost effective way to make a lot of holiday hand towels too…hmmmmm

    Posted 12.5.10 Reply
  30. Shelia wrote:

    Very very cute! You did a great job on these little towels and your bathroom looks beautiful.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia 😉

    Posted 12.7.10 Reply
  31. What a great idea – and they turned out great! I love your whole bathroom and especially the little tree. Is it real or fake? did you make it or buy it? I of course want to copy it!

    Posted 12.10.10 Reply