Meg’s Makes: Week 6 - Watercolour Napkins

This week I decided to create some fancy tableware, in preparation for all of those sunny dinner parties I’ll be hosting this spring / summer. I’ve been eyeing up lots of glorious watercolour fabric napkins on Pinterest recently so thought I would have a go at replicating them.

Let me talk you through making your own…



  • Wide, flat paintbrush
  • Fabric paint
  • Water
  • Cotton / linen napkins (mine were cheap polyester ones - I think they’d be much nicer on a better quality fabric)

TIME: 10 minsCOST: £7 (£5 - napkins, £2 - fabric paint)


1. Lay the napkin out flat on a waterproof surface (I used recycling bags) and use your paintbrush to paint clean water onto all the areas you want to colour. Don’t soak it too much, just give it a light wash of water.

2. Squirt some of your fabric paint into a pot or jar. You’ll need a blob about the size of a 10p coin. Mix with a few drops of water to begin with, to create your most intense colour at the bottom of the napkin.

3. Take your brush and paint on the colour - probably about twice the width of the brush - I went for both pink and blue. The colour should spread quite far since you’ve already dampened the material.

4. Once you’ve done the bottom section, add a few more drops of water to the mix and repeat, painting another 2 brushes width.

5. Add a little more water (and a tad more dye if you need), making a very weak colour for the top section, which will fade your colour into the white napkin.

6. Hang your napkin up to dry, over the radiator or on the washing line. Just be careful to put some plastic bags / waterproof material below where they’re hanging, as they’ll drip quite a lot and you don’t want to dye the carpet!

7. Leave them to dry overnight, iron in the morning, and you’re done! You should be able to wash them in 72 hours time without worrying about losing the colour.


How easy was it? 4/5
The paint is a bit frustrating to mix, as the consistency is a bit like icing and it can remain a bit ‘blobby’! You might be able to see on the photo above (one from the right) that there are some really concentrated dots of colour where it didn’t mix in. Otherwise its super simple and you can’t really go wrong - the messier the better!

How much fun did I have? 4/5
This one was great actually. I was in a bit of a tired (grumpy…) mood and as soon as I started making them I perked up - funnily enough! I’m going to buy another pack and add peach and yellow. Can’t wait!

How useful will the skill be in future? 3/5
There are a few things I can see this working on - cushions in particular. I’ll definitely have a go at that soon. I’m glad I’ve tested it out on my own napkins, as I’m helping a friend with her wedding this summer and now that I’ve done the trial run I will be able to make her napkins (x100 by the way!) without the worry of getting them wrong.

Does Pinterest lie?
It does not! My photos aren’t as lovely, and the quality of my napkins is definitely questionable, but if I fixed those 2 things for next time then I think they would look glorious. I would definitely recommend having a go at this - the results are great.