Silhouette Tea Towels for Grandparents' Day

I wanted to do something fun and unique for Grandparents' Day.  I know silhouettes  are becoming extremely popular, and I LOVE IT! 
I went with the freezer paper stencil.  I have actually never done them before, but I have a big ol' roll of freezer paper that has been sitting for months. 

Supplies Needed:

  • Iron
  • Linen or Linen look alike fabric (I bought 2 1/2 yards and it made 8 towels.  You can also buy them pre-made in the needle point section.)
  • Freezer paper (I found mine on the bottom shelf at Wal-Mart in the aisle with the foil and baggies)
  • Fabric paints (I used the Tulip soft fabric paint in a variety of matte colors)
  • paint brush
  • cardboard to put under the parts being painted
I didn't take many pictures, but they are really simple to make.

Step 1:  First Cut the Tea Towels out...
I cut the material into 20''x 23''.  I got this number because that is what I got when I folded the material in half the long way and then folded it twice in the opposite direction.  (I like to keep the cutting simple, so I just used all of them material I had to make the number that I needed, 8.)

Step 2:  Cut Stencil out...
Find or take a picture of  your child from the side.  My daughter is 8 months, so this was not easy fun!!! I ended up searching through pictures and used one where she wouldn't look at the camera!  I cropped the picture down to make it mostly of her from the neck up. I then made it into a 5x7 and printed it from my home computer.  I cut out the silhouette from the picture and put it behind the freezer paper, traced and cut it out again.  Repeat the cutting out of freezer paper for the number of towels you are making.
***I ended up cutting 4 stencils out and used the positive and negative for a stencil, which you can see in the final picture.

Step 3:  Iron the stencil on...
Almost done!  Iron the stencil onto the towel where you want it.  I put mine in the middle of the towel when it is folded in half.  Iron it shiny side down.  Make sure to get all of the facial details attached to the material or your face will look distorted.

Step 4:  Paint the stencil..
Slip cardboard under the stencil and PAINT THAT FACE!  The material may stretch when it gets wet from the paint.  (Mine did and when it dried it shrunk back down.)  If you are mass producing, this makes it go a little quicker.  For the negative image I ironed on the freezer paper of the face and then taped a square around it. (I used scotch tape and electric tape when it ran out, and both worked perfectly.) 

Step 5:  FINAL STEP... the REVEAL!!!
This is my favorite step, and most would say to wait until the paint dries.  Well, I don't work that way.  I have no patience when I have to wait to see the end result.  I wait until the paint is not shiny anymore and I pull off the paper and tape.  TADA!!!!

If you ironed well and finger pressed the tape well, you will have a perfect sihlouette!

You can use a 1/4'' seam on all four sides of the towel and be done.  You can also dress them up a little as well with a ribbon or strip of fabric.  Here are how mine turned out!! 

I know the grandparents are going to love getting these in the mail!!

Grandparents' Day is today, September 12, 2010!!!


  1. These are beautiful! Love them. The color combos are fantastic. I think any grandparent would love one. Great idea!

  2. Beautiful! Adding this to my to-do list...thank you for sharing the tutorial :-)

  3. those are adorable! ADORABLE!!! I want to make some right away!

    I shared this cute project on my TT&J FB page and linked to you :)


  4. This is so much better and easier than trying to get someone to sit still with a light casting a shadow. Finally! I can do a silhouette with this technique. Thanks so much

  5. LOVE this because it is on-trend but it's a new/innovative take on silhouettes, plus it's useful and it's a grandparent gift. Win-win-win.

    I hope you get to be a contestant on Crafting with the Stars! You have my endorsement.

  6. Shared with my Dollar Store Crafts facebook page, too!!/pages/Dollar-Store-Crafts/161233564682

  7. This is such a cute idea!! I saw the link over on Dollar Store Crafts and had to post about it over at Craft Gossip Sewing:


  8. These are so pretty. A friend shared your link and I will be using this tute to make some of my own.