Thanksgiving Napkin Transfer Tutorial


A napkin on the table that says Grateful tied with twine.

When I was in France I noticed that the vintage style napkins (or serviettes) that they used were ginormous. Like the size of a tea towel. At first I thought this was odd. I’m not that messy, how rude. But then I thought well, actually, I can be messy at times so maybe this is a great idea.

Using tea towels, I’ve made them into vintage style napkins that guests could take home as gifts!

I’m Canadian so we already had our Thanksgiving last month but I really wanted to share this DIY project with you as it’s still fall and I love seeing how everyone decorates their tables around this time of year.

Thank you so much for inviting me to this fabulous blogging group tour, Kelly from Live, Laugh, Rowe and Jenn from My Fabuless Life. Be sure to check out the other fabulous tours to get lovely inspiration and ideas for your Thanksgiving this year.

The table set for Thanksgiving with a napkin on a white plate and white pumpkins and leaves on the table.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

To begin you’ll need,


White flour sack towels in the package.


1. Iron the tea towels. (Lazy tip:  I just ironed the area of tea towel where the transfer will be placed)

2. Download my printable near bottom of this post onto your computer.

3. Print off on wax paper, freezer paper or an Avery label sheet (the part of the label sheet that you normally throw away). I got that lovely tip plus a great video tutorial from Angela at Unexpected Elegance with Sincerely Sarah D. I tried the wax paper and Avery sheet not but the freezer label. The wax paper I cut into a 9×11 sheet and feed it into my printer. I liked the Avery sheet more because it was sturdier. There was a bit of wrinkling with the wax paper.

4. Cut the wax paper into the four sections.

5. Place one section down on a tea towel, printed side down. Be careful to not smudge the ink on the sheet itself or move the label on the fabric. Holding the sheet down with one hand, take the edge of a table knife (or other flat, hard object) and press and move up and down FIRMLY over the sheet. I can’t emphasize FIRMLY enough. The only way this really works is by applying a lot of pressure to burnish the ink off the sheet and onto the fabric.

 A wax paper transfer by Avery.
The transfer saying Blessed onto the towel.

6. Once the image has been transferred, set it with a hot iron. Iron over the image a number of times on high heat.

 The word grateful transferred onto the flour sack towel.

What you have is a very subdued image transferred onto your beautiful white tea towels/napkins.

Loved and grateful word transfer.

I do have a research and development team at So Much Better With Age (that would be me) and so I wanted to see if these held up with washing. I’ve seen transfer tutorials like this on fabric but most say don’t wash or they haven’t risked washing the item.

So I washed them all in hot water after and only heat set one of them.

One image came completely off in the wash, two were very light and the heat set one was fine!


 The napkins washed after the word transfer.

These flour sack white tea towels are so light and soft. I love that they look like linen.

The napkin that says Grateful on the back of a dining room chair.

Add some pretty twine and a sprig of seeded eucalyptus for a simple and natural napkin holder.

 Thanksgiving napkin transfer tutorial / white pumpkins, seeded eucalyptus.
Tied seeded eucalyptus onto the napkins.
The word blessed onto the tea towel.
Thankful imprint on the white towel.

 Now be sure to see my fabulous blogger friends’ fall tablescapes below!


To download these printables, subscribe to my newsletter. 

If you are already a subscriber, you’ll have access to the printable in your inbox.

Make sure to pin it for later!

Free Printables for Thanksgiving napkins.

click in case you missed:

Pressed Leaves Printables

Pressed Leaves Printables graphic.

Apple & Eucalyptus Fall Printable

Apple and Eucalyptus printable poster.

Live Laugh Rowe | My Fabuless Life | Nina Hendrick | So Much Better With Age | Shades of Blue Interiors 


Anderson + Grant | Cherished Bliss | Design Dining & Diapers | Little Glass Jar | Twelve On Main



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  1. I love those flour sack towels from Walmart. They are lint free and perfect for drying glassware and after they are stained and not pretty anymore, I use them to dust and clean. I am definitely trying them as napkins and using your lovely printables to do it.

  2. love the tea towels such a cool idea! One reader said she use them to dust with ,such a smart idea, I had not even thought of that… I know why use tea towels because they don’t leave lint on the glass’s.

    1. Yes!! Those towels are perfect for that! I use old ones around the house for cleaning too. I just have to be careful which ones are napkins and which ones are cleaning rags lol.
      Hugs, Jamie

          1. that is a good chuckle. Oh my I just looked at the time. Need to put this person to bed.
            talk later. Nite. Sweet Dreams.

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