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!


Comments (50)

Elizabeth | Reply

So lovely, and so simple! Loving it!

Erica OBrien | Reply

Now that I know what ombre is (thanks to you), I love it! These napkins are great! Very creative project.

adrienne | Reply

Absolutely loving this idea! Might just do this with mustard and grey for our fall wedding :)

Tiffanyt | Reply

Love the simply but pretty look!



nata | Reply

I am totally stealing this for my brunch! LOVE IT!!

Michaela @ bliss! | Reply

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.

Michaela @ bliss!

Naomi | Reply

This is darling!

Andrea | Reply

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!

Marta | Reply

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)?

postcards and pretties | Reply

ombre is my newest obsession. love these napkins

Katherine {flower & honey} | Reply

seems very easy :) and the results are stunning!

Glamour and Grace | Reply

Love this! Such a simple and chic detail!

Chantal | Reply

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

emily | Reply

Hey Chantal

We bought them from thrift stores, washed them, and then dyed them :)



cevd | Reply

so very, very pretty.

emily | Reply

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)
-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.

lydia {ever ours} | Reply

so simple, but yet so pretty!

Juliana | Reply

I love these, it could be so cute for a rustic wedding! I’ll definitely be saving these for my wedding!


McKenzie Powell Designs | Reply

I just love creative simplicity!

Redmush | Reply

These are awesome! Wish I saw this before my wedding…

Asiya | Reply

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

The soft shades look exactly like watercolors.

lark + linen | Reply

these are simply beautiful! I would absolutely do this for every day use.

Sharon | Reply

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!

joy thigpen | Reply

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! :)

joy thigpen | Reply

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!

Katie Kingman | Brilliant Event Planning | Reply

oooooooooooh pretty! what a lovely touch to this table setting!

Kristi | Reply

I am OVER THE MOON about this!!! Just fabulous ~ easy and gorgeous perfection.


Alison | Reply

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

Maria | Reply

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

Sabina | Reply

didn’t know about it but I love this style.

Jen | Reply

Wow.. you are so creative! :) Love it!

Lacey @ Lacey Wagner Events | Reply

Brilliant! This is just the thing I have been looking for. Thanks Ladies!

Amanda - Ojoli | Reply

These are so simple and sweet. I am definitely going to attempt to do this myself. Thanks for the inspiration.

Whitney @ Sandiegoweddings.com | Reply

I am in love with these! I have been trying to think of a fun way to make curtains for my room… this is perfect!

Madelene | Reply

I adore this idea!!! and just included it in a recent inspiration board: http://www.beau-coup.com/blog/themes/ombre-inspired-wedding. Amazing work ladies!

britpopbaby | Reply

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.

amrita | Reply

very pretty. love this

Tara | Reply

These napkins are SO soft and pretty. I love how they dress up the table.

Shelle | Reply

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

Amy Jones | Reply

Oh Wow, I loved the soft blend of colors used for tables..

Jess Farris | Reply

Hi there!

I LOVE this tutorial! Ombre is one of my favorite looks for summer. I wanted to let you know that I featured your project in FaveCraftsBlog’s Link Love post on Thursday. You can find the post here: http://www.favecraftsblog.com/link-love-diy-ombre-crafts/

Have a happy day! :)

Jess Farris

Grace | Reply

Love the DIY Napkins! Just a little dye will do the trick. For more ombre wedding details take a look at – http://bit.ly/IETTsr.

Cathryn | Reply

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

Occasions In Print | Reply

Such a simple, but beautiful idea! thanks for sharing!

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