DIY Ombré Napkins

ombrenapkinDIY_4 Photoshoots and events always provide the perfect excuse to dream up new DIY projects, and with an inspiration board full of beautiful images and a colour palette reminiscent of end-of-summer sunsets, our Endless Summer Dinner Party called for a few extra special touches to bring our vision to life.

A coat of purple paint on a few vintage chairs from the studio added a splash of colour to offset the natural wood surfaces, and we also wanted to infuse the tablescape with some of the bright pastels that we had picked out, so we decided to paint our own ombré napkins and table runner.

Simple to make and easy to customize depending on your theme and colour palette, the ombré napkins added the perfect handmade touch to our table with their watercolour effect and raw edges.


Materials //

Plain white cotton napkins (we bought 100% cotton fabric from Michaels and cut it to size to achieve the raw edge look, but you could also use regular white cotton napkins)

Fabric paint (or acrylic paint mixed with a fabric paint medium)

Paint brush



Instructions //

Wet the napkins in a bowl of water so they're damp but not soaking wet. Lay flat on a protected surface.

Mix your paint with water, using about four parts water to one part paint. If you're using acrylic paint mixed with fabric paint medium instead of fabric paint (that's what we did, as we found there were better colour options of acrylic paint), follow the directions on the bottle for proportions. Experiment with the ratio depending on how saturated you want the colour to be.


Use a soft paintbrush to apply the paint in washes, starting from the edge of the fabric and blending each colour into the next to achieve the faded ombré effect.

Hang to dry. (If your fabric is quite wet, note that the colour may run downwards slightly). Once the napkin is completely dry, use an iron or a steamer to set the paint and even out any creases.

Et voila! You're ready to set your table with your new ombré napkins. For the table runner, we followed the same instructions, starting with a thicker wash of colour down the centre, and adding a complementary colour on each side, blending together.