HOW TO MAKE… MARBLE DYED NAPKINS
White 100% cotton napkins, approx. 40 x 40cm (15 x 15 ") 250g Dylon handwash fabric dye in Bahama Blue and Pure Black Fixing salt Rubber gloves Measuring jug Large aluminium roasting tray Four cans of shaving foam Squeegee Plastic tablecloth Wooden skewer Stylists and faffers, we know you’re out there – this one’s for you. Get your seasonal styling on and create a beautiful summer tablescape with handmade marbled napkins, just because.
Shaving foam, dye and a roasting tray may sound like a recipe for disaster, but this DIY is a fun and simple way to get swirling colour onto fabric. The pattern on each napkin will be totally unique.
Rinse the napkins in warm water. While waiting for them to dry, prepare a workspace with a plastic table cloth making sure to cover any areas you don’t want to get stained. Once the napkins are dry, give them a quick iron.
In the measuring jug, mix 1 tbsp of Dylon Bahama Blue dye with 1 tbsp of salt. Add 200ml of warm water and stir thoroughly until all the salt has dissolved.
Squirt shaving foam into the aluminium tray until the bottom is completely covered, as shown.
Put rubber gloves on. Using the pipette, add streaks of dye on top of the foam. Be careful not to add too much or you’ll lose the desired marbling effect.
Using a wooden skewer, swirl the dye gently into the foam until you’re happy with the look.
Lay the first napkin right side (RS) down into the tray, starting with the corner. Gently press the fabric down onto the foam until you see the dye coming through. Leave for 30 seconds then peel the napkin away. Add some more smaller spots of shaving foam and a little more dye, swirl the foam and dye again in the same way. Lay the napkin onto the foam again until all four corners have been pressed in the tray.
Carefully lay the napkin out with the foamy side facing up. Take a squeegee or palette knife and scrape off the foam to reveal the marble effect, as shown.
Be sure to rinse the squeegee in warm water and wipe dry between scrapes – it’s really important to keep the fabric as dry as possible to stop the marbling from bleeding into the fabric.
Repeat Steps 3-8 with all of the napkins, then leave them to dry overnight. Alternatively, you can dry them in a tumble dryer on a quick-dry setting.
Once the napkins are completely dry, rinse them off under cold water until the water runs away clear.
Dry the napkins again, this time as quickly as possible. If you can pop them in the dryer this is the best option, then give them a quick iron. Alternatively, squeeze out as much excess water as possible, then iron them dry on an old towel.
Now you’ve created the base blue effect, repeat Steps 2-11 with Pure Black Dylon dye to add the second colour. Make sure to wash out all the utensils before you start.
Emily Ashbourn Self-confessed make-aholic Emily loves creating modern makes for her family and home. Outside of craft, she’s into road trips, lakes, mountains, and adventures with her girls and husband. www.makeeshop.com