Hello!I've been wanting to try my hand at hand printing fabric since quite a long time now. I really wanted to start very simple, making a quick and fun weekend project. I went to my local craft store and bought a set of fabric paint and brushes! It's the only I had to buy, so, apart from easy, this project turned out very affordable too!

We are taco lovers at home, specially if they are fish tacos! taco Tuesdays became a tradition in California and we are keeping it here in Norway as well, which is a must because we find really good fish here. We can't find tomatillo though, so no more tomatillo sauce! :( instead we prepare a lime sauce now which is super delicious too! Why I talk about all this? well, because I made a couple of hand printed fabric place mats for our taco Tuesday nights! I thought that hand printing "limes" on them would be really cool!

I'm using them as place mats, but they could be used also as tea towels or napkins!

Wanna know how I did it? I'll explain it in a second, but first let me also tell you that this is the perfect project for doing with kids! It's so fun!

Ok, what we need?


- water-based fabric paint. I used green, yellow and white!
- bowl or plate to mix the paint 
- fabric 
- scissors (or rotary cutter and mat)
- carrot (oh yes, a carrot!)
- knife
- brushes 
- water to clean the brushes 
- iron
- Basic sewing supplies

As always, let's first see a quick overview of the whole process. Detailed instructions below!

1. First off, get your fabric ready! I used white cotton. Wash and dry your fabric before painting. Then, iron it and cut it to the desired size. I cut two fabric pieces of 21" x 19", but you may want another size. If you go for another size, just remember to add two extra inches on each side for the hems. 

2. Cover with plastic or newspapers the surface where you're gonna work and put all the materials on it before starting the project (you might prefer to leave the carrot and the knife in the kitchen). This is very important if you don't want to create a huge mess! I worked on the floor and covered it with a big plastic I had on hand.

3. Prepare the paint. I was looking for a lime color, so I mixed green, white and yellow until I got what I expected. I can't tell the exact quantities because it was a really random process. I even picked up some limes to see well the color! I can't say I achieved the same exact color but just one I liked enough! 

4. Now it's time to shape our carrot stamp! (I did this step in the kitchen). Cut your carrot in segments of about 1 1/2 - 2 " long and shape as shown above (it's supposed to be a lime wedge cut in half). Shape all the carrot segments in order to have different stamp sizes, this will add variability to your pattern. You can use other vegetables and fruits here, potatoes, apples, etc. (It's better not use the juicy ones like limes for example, believe me I tried!).

5. Now comes the fun part! With the help of a brush, paint your carrot stamp! It just needs to be slightly covered, so don't put to much paint on it. Press it down onto your fabric and remove.

I stamped "half limes" all around the borders of my piece of fabric, leaving the center unpainted. In some of them, I used just yellow paint to add more variability. As you can tell from the pictures, I didn't push enough in some of them and I think it would have worked better with less paint, but I really don't' care! I didn't want to be perfectionist, it's a project to have fun and at the end I love all its imperfections! 

6. Once you're happy with your design, let the fabric dry for at least 24 hours.

7. Iron 5 minutes without steam to set the paint.

6. Finish your place mats with 1/2 " hems. To make a hem, fold 1/2" of the fabric over and 1/2" over again. Iron, pin in place and stitch it! I used yellow thread to make mines.

I really loved making this fun project and I can't wait to hand print fabric again using other methods. Hope you give it a try! There's endless possibilities to make! Have fun! :)

Happy Wednesday!



  1. Very cute and creative!! I'm stopping by from Think Tank Thursday. Thanks for sharing. :)

  2. I agree with Candy, very cute and creative! Looks like a fun project to do. :-)

  3. I love this! Great tutorial! I'm for sure going to do this with the kids for a rainy day activity!!

  4. These HAND PRINTED PLACE MATS are looking just fabulous. Your handicraft and art work is praise deserving. They way you made them is just awesome. I hope that one day i can make them too at my own.