DIY: Ombre Wedding Napkins

Ombre Napkin Ombre Napkins

You can totally do this! We just found stacks of simple white linen napkins and dipped them in little bowls of fabric dye to give them a watercolor effect. To keep with the minimal feel of this week’s board we laid out white paper on our table and chose flowers with hints of pink and white in them.

Check out the comment section to learn more about the dyes and technique Jessica used to get the ombre effect!

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49 Responses to “DIY: Ombre Wedding Napkins”

  1. Michaela @ bliss!

    Oh, i love these!

    Been looking for a perfect napkin design for a wedding i’m styling this summer and this might just be it. thank you so much!

    i guess i’ll be going for bright red and white, or even bright red on yellow napkins.

    cheers
    Michaela @ bliss!

    Reply
  2. Andrea

    Beautiful! Do you mind sharing which dyes you used and whether or not the linens were dry or wet when you dipped them?
    Thank you for the idea!

    Reply
  3. Marta

    was there a technique used to get the lovely faded effect (you know, so that it didn’t look like a hard line from color to white)?

    Reply
  4. Chantal

    I really love this idea. I’ve been looking for a simple alternative to the white wedding napkin. Where did you purchase the napkins?

    Reply
    • emily

      Luckily, dyeing fabric is super easy!

      You can pick up RIT fabric dye at your local Michael’s/JoAnn’s/ACMoore. You won’t need a lot, so buy the boxes of dye (as opposed to the bottle size). Choose whatever colors look pretty to you, I usually like to get a range of similar colors so I can mix shades.

      Other supplies you will need are:
      -white fabric napkins (it’s nice to have a few extra for testing)
      -several glass cups/jars (tall enough to dip the napkins in, one for each color)
      -wooden paint stirrers or pencils
      -cheap paintbrushes
      -scrap papers strips (if you have scrap white fabric, that’s even better)
      -clothespins
      -rubber gloves
      -LOTS of paper towels.

      Fold your napkin into the shape you want it to be in when it’s finished. Clip the top with two clothespins (so you can pick it up later without getting any stray dye on it) then put it aside.

      Make sure your kitchen counter is lined with paper towels or other protective gear. Fabric dye will stain things like wood and hands, so put on your gloves!

      Fill a jar with hot water (roughly to the height you want it on the napkin), then add a pinch of fabric dye. This stuff is potent, so i’m talking just a few crumbs! Stir it until the dye is well mixed, and then dip in a piece of scrap paper to test how dark the dye is. Keep mixing dyes until you get a shade you like, and test with paper as you go.

      I like to dip the napkin quickly several times, first with the lightest shade, then mixing the dye darker and dipping again, a little lower on the napkin each time. Just rest the napkin on paper towels in your sink in between dye sessions. Also, you can dip the paintbrush in the dye and paint on the napkin to get extra emphasis. The dye is really forgiving, so have fun experimenting!

      When they’re done, they can air dry, flat on the counter.

      Reply
  5. Asiya

    I had just logged in to ask for directions, but I see they are already here.

    The soft shades look exactly like watercolors.

    Reply
  6. Sharon

    Would you use this on larger pieces of fabric – maybe a shawl or skirt? My screen does not show the variations of color clearly. Did you dip from both sides in different colors, or only from one side. I love it and want to do so many things with it!

    Reply
  7. joy thigpen

    lark + linen,
    we are in the midst of re-doing emily’s house and these napkins were sent home for emily’s dining room table! :)

    Reply
  8. joy thigpen

    sharon,
    we only dipped from one side (and left one side white) but yes! you could definitely use this technique on larger pieces of fabric…that’s getting my mind going, in fact!

    Reply
  9. Alison

    Gosh! I am getting married in October and I plan to have an ombre died wedding dress, this will complement it perfectly, thankyou!

    Reply
  10. Maria

    this is such a beautful little touch! Great idea – I also like the idea of dipping larger pieces of material too!! x

    Reply
  11. britpopbaby

    I did this tonight!! Dyed nearly 50 napkins 4 different shades and it was quite straightforward! I absolutely love the end result.

    I managed to find dye that was powdered so I just had to sprinkle a small bit in my water. I also recommend using a clothes drier to hang the napkins on.

    Reply
  12. Shelle

    I just bought 60 vintage napkins for cheap! This will make them even more pretty. May I ask what colours were used?

    Reply
  13. Cathryn

    Just a question: is the dye bleed-proof? I worry about color coming off onto a guest’s garment from a damp napkin.

    Reply

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