10 Minute Sewing Tutorial: Reusable Paint Brush Unpaper Towels

Watercoloring can be a messy art form. You’re working with colored paints and water. Often, you’ll need to blot off excess paint from your brush, wipe off a wet brush, or do a little damage control on your painting if you add too much water. This is when having a little towel can be useful.

In this quick tutorial, I’ll be showing you how to make these adorable, sustainable towels that you can use while watercoloring. They are an eco-friendly alternative for paper towels. They also make great last minute stocking stuffers, and they take under 10 minutes to sew up!

I embroidered this towel with sweet little hearts


Here’s what you’ll need:

  • An absorbent fabric like linen or cotton. This project is a great way to use leftover fabric scraps from sewing projects.
  • Matching thread

Step 1:

Cut your fabric into a rectangle. I cut my towel into a rectangle that was 6″ by 8.5″. You can make yours larger or smaller, depending on what size you’d like.

Step 2:

Finish the edges of your watercolor towel. I used a serger, but you can also use pinking shears, do a rolled edge hem, or do a turn and stitch hem.


Now, the next step is optional, but I find it’s fun to add a little embroidery to my watercolor towels for a touch of whimsy.

I decided to embroider the word “create” on mine. I basted the embroidery stabilizer Solvy on the spot where I planned to stitch “create.” First, I practiced on a scrap of fabric to get it right. Then, I embroidered the towel.

Three different hem finishes: (clockwise) a rolled hem, pinking shears, and a regular (4 thread overlock) serged edge.

Now you’re ready to start watercoloring with your sustainable towels!

My favorite part of a simple project like this are the details you can add to your towel. Take a look at the sweet little “J” and delicate leaves I embroidered on this darling scrap of lemon-printed linen.

Happy watercoloring!

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