DIY Dyed Napkins

6:38 PM

Happy Sunday! Today I want to share a really fun DIY with you. At least, I had a lot of fun with it! The other day, I found some powdered dye packets at the craft store and realized that the last time I dyed anything was when I made tie-dye shirts as a kid, so I decided to buy some dye and experiment. I tried folding the napkins a lot of different ways and it was such an exciting surprise every time I unfolded the napkin to see the resulting design! In this post, I am going to share my favorite ones. I dyed ten napkins in total, but in my opinion these were the best five. 

 I used Rit teal powdered dye (less than $3 at Joann's!). I mixed 3 1/2 quarts of hot water (1 quart = 2 pints in case you're wondering) with 1 tablespoon of salt in an old plastic container. The dye ended up giving the container a faint blue tint, so chose your container wisely. Then, I poured in approximately 3/4 of the powdered dye packet. (Depending on how dark you want the color to be, pour in more or less. Keep in mind that the color of the dyebath will be much darker than the color that it will make the napkins. I found that the more dye, the better because it makes the design on the napkins really stand out.) Stir until the powder and salt are dissolved.

*Throughout the rest of this post, I approximated the amount of time that I let the napkins sit in the dyebath, but remember that this time will vary according to the material of your napkins and the amount of dye you use in your dyebath. I recommend watching to see how the dye spreads through your napkins and adjusting the time accordingly.

The day that I did this was really sunny, so I let the napkins sit in the sun (on the grass) for a few minutes, then transferred them to this makeshift clothesline that actually proved to be very useful. I cut a length of yarn and tied it up between two branches. I used some clips from the kitchen to hang the napkins.

Design #1: Ombre

This one is really simple. Fold your napkin in half. Dip the short end into the dye. Drape over the edge of the container and let it sit for 20+ minutes. The dye will travel through the napkin and fade the farther it gets from the dyebath, creating an ombre effect.

Design #2: Small Diamonds

This design was my most favorite. Fold your napkin into quarters, then into quarters again. Dip one corner into the dye for just a few seconds, then dip the opposite corner into the dye, again for just a few seconds. The dye will continue to spread as it dries, so don't let it sit in the dye for two long, or it will ruin the effect.

Design #3: Stripes

Fold your napkin accordion-style. How many folds to make is up to you. I recommend 4-5 folds. Clip one long side in place and dip the other long side into the dye. If you want narrower white stripes (like mine, see below) leave the napkin in for about five seconds or so. If you want narrower blue stripes, dip the napkin in briefly. Basically, the longer you leave the napkin in the dye, the wider the blue stripes will be.

Design #4: X's

For this design, fold the napkin into thirds length-wise, then into thirds width-wise so that you end up with a small square. Dip each side of the square into the dye for no more than two seconds or so.

Design #5: Large Diamond

Start by folding the corners into the center to create a square.

Fold this square in half to create a triangle.

Fold in half again to create a right triangle.

Clip the shorter legs of the triangle to hold the napkin in place.

Dip the long side (or the hypotenuse) into the dye. (For a different design, try dipping the two short sides in!)

Tip the triangle to one side after dying to let the excess dye run out of the fold.

That's it! Feel free to try out other folds yourself. I thought this was really fun to experiment with. Now I want to dye more things!

Don't forget to check out my Instagram account for more good stuff! 'Til next week!

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