DIY: Watercolor Cloth Napkins

By Sara Albers and Melissa Fenlon of Alice & Lois

Looking for a simple way to add a handmade touch to your next party? These hand-painted watercolor cloth napkins are an easy DIY project and will add a pretty splash of color to your next brunch or bridal shower. Bonus: The napkins can also double as take-home favors. All you need are a few supplies and you’re all set; I tied on sweet little “love” cards to use as napkin rings.

Click through for the full tutorial

• Plain white cloth napkins (100% cotton)
• Fabric paint
• Paintbrush
• Freezer paper
• Water


1. Soak the napkins in a bowl of water; you’ll want the cloth to be damp but not soaking wet. Lay flat on a large piece of freezer paper (to protect your working surface).

2. Add water and paint to a shallow bowl; I used four to five parts water to one part paint; experiment with the ratio according to how saturated you want the color to be (the more water you use, the lighter the color). Once you’re ready, use a soft paintbrush and apply the paint.

3. Add a second color above the first wash or color using a smaller brush.

4. Hang to dry. Once the napkin is completely dry, use an iron (on the “cotton” setting) to “set” the fabric paint.

Photos: Sara Albers

More Summer Entertaining Ideas:
• How To: Pack a Picnic Basket Like a Pro