How to: DIY Geometric Patterned Napkins...with Bleach!

Summer is the perfect time to host a backyard get together or party, and the warm weather pairs perfectly with bright colorful patterns to bring on the fun.  I love cloth napkins.  When you set the table for guests and add a fun napkin,  the meal instantly feels like a special occasion.

How to: DIY Geometric Patterned Napkins...with Bleach!

I've been itching to play with bleach pens for a while now. I love dip dying and tie dying looks, so this seemed like a project that was right up my alley. These very easy to make napkins cost under $10 to make a set of 4.  They have a fun handmade look to them without the mess of dying.                 


photo: Jeran McConnel
photo: Jeran McConnel

Here's what you'll need:

  • a bleach pen or 2 (depending on how intricate your designs are)
  • 100% cotton napkins (I found these are Target)

Start by laying the napkins flat on a hard surface, that won't be damaged by bleach. Decide on your patterns.  I chose to keep mine very simple and just repeat the same shape all over the surface of the napkin.  I didn't worry about being perfect with my shapes.  Imperfections are what make these look handmade!

Allow the bleach to sit on the fabric for at least 20 mins.  I found that the lighter colors bleached out faster then the darker colors.  If you turn over the napkin, you can get an idea of how much the fabric has bleached.  

When the napkin patterns are as light as you want, rinse them well in cool water.  Work quickly to remove the excess bleach, so that it doesn't bleach other areas on the napkin.  Then run the napkins through a normal washing and drying cycle. 

photo: Jeran McConnel

This would be a great way DIY to have kids help with.  I'm ready to get my hands on some more cotton napkins and add to this fun, colorful set. 

photo: Jeran McConnel

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Céline on Jul 08, 2015:

Wonderful! Thank you <3

Can you tell me where to find the flatware? Love it and it´s hard to find in Germany :/

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