Freshen up your table with colorful DIY dip dyed napkins. They’re easy to make using plain cotton dinner napkins and fabric dye.
Hi, all! Heather here. Many of you know that my main gig is running my baking blog, Sprinkle Bakes. I’m constantly on the lookout for beautiful table linens to style beside my desserts and baked goods. Especially dinner napkins. The right linens can enrich a table setting add a much needed pop of color. I also really love to have big family dinners, and create pretty table settings. I hope we will get to commence those dinners again in the very near future.
After shopping for some spring hued napkins and not really finding much, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I made these dip-dyed napkins in about 45 minutes, not counting drying time. And it was fun!
Choose a color!
You’ll need a bottle of your favorite color fabric dye. I used coral from Rit (is there any other fabric dye brand, really?). A bottle of dye fixative, too. It’s an extra step but doesn’t take long, and because dinner napkins get washed repeatedly, it’s a good idea for longevity.
Roll your napkins up jelly roll style. Tightly wrap and tie kitchen twine around 2/3 of the napkins. You could also use rubber bands.
Add about 1/2 the bottle of dye to a large container of hot water. Stir in some salt, which helps increase color intensity. Dip the tied end of the napkins into the dye, swirling gently, about 3 minutes or until the color is vivid.
Rinse the napkins under running water until the water runs clear. Prepare the fixative according to the directions. Let the napkins stand in the fixative for about 20 minutes.
Again, rinse the napkins and untie to reveal the design. Wet, the napkin colors will be extremely bright! At first I was worried they’d be too intense, but after a tumble in the dryer the color was perfect.
I’m so happy with how these turned out! I can’t wait to make more in different colors.
Dip Dyed Dinner Napkins
- Plastic painter’s drop cloth
- Kitchen twine or rubber bands
- 1 gallon container
- Rubber gloves
- 4 white cotton napkins
- 1 gallon hot water
- 1/3 cup salt
- 1/2 bottle Rit fabric dye, in your color choice
- 1/2 bottle Rit dye color fixative
- Lay down a plastic cover or paint drop cloth over your work surface.
- For best results, prewash napkins. I don’t always do this, but if your napkins are very stiff, have chemical odor, or otherwise questionable with manufacturer’s sizing, give them a wash. They can be wet or dry for this project.
- Fold the napkins twice and roll up jelly roll style. Tightly wind the kitchen twine around 2/3 of the napkin, or use rubber bands.
- Fill the gallon container with the hot water. Put on rubber gloves. Add about 1/2 the bottle of dye to the water and stir in salt, which helps increase color intensity. Dip the tied end of the napkins into the dye, swirling gently, about 3 minutes or until the color is vivid.
- Rinse the napkins under running water until the water runs clear. Pour out dye and rinse the container. Fill with hot tap water and add fixative. Let only the bound/dyed portion of the napkins stand in the fixative for about 20 minutes. If you dip the entire napkin in the fixative, the colors may bleed onto the white part of the fabric (unless that's what you're going for).
- Rinse the napkins under cool water and untie to reveal the design. Wet, the napkin colors will be extremely bright. Tumble or air-dry the napkins. The color will lighten slightly.