How to Make Modern DIY Dyed Napkins

If you love crafts but desire a more elevated, modern look in your home, these sophisticated hand-dyed bar napkins are just for you. Think tie-dye but for grown-ups.

Join HGTV’s Design Star: Next Gen winner Carmeon Hamilton as she transforms her bar with modern DIYs that look store-bought but are so simple that you'll be done in the time it takes to drink one delicious cocktail.

CCWC Dyed Napkins + Salty Chihuahua EP3

CCWC Dyed Napkins + Salty Chihuahua EP3

CH shaking mixer

Photo by: Kimberly Thomas

Kimberly Thomas

Start by mixing up a tasty sip. Carmeon chose the salty Chihuahua. To make, pour 2 ounces mezcal, 3 ounces grapefruit juice and a splash of seltzer in a cocktail shaker. Shake to combine. Salt the rim of your glass before adding your drink. Top with more seltzer if desired, and garnish with candied grapefruit.

Materials Needed

  • white cloth napkins
  • black fabric dye kit
  • mixing bowl
  • scraps of wood or plastic
  • binder clips
  • jumbo craft sticks
  • rubber bands
  • gloves

Fold Napkins

CCWC Dyed Napkins + Salty Chihuahua EP3

CCWC Dyed Napkins + Salty Chihuahua EP3

CH adding binder clips to napkin

Photo by: Kimberly Thomas

Kimberly Thomas

To start, fold your napkins in your desired shape. Because Carmeon is going for modern, geometric shapes, she's folded her napkins in triangles and squares. Once you've achieved your desired shape, use binder clips to hold it in place. "Remember, we’re being very intentional about where we’re putting this color," says Carmeon. "I have some plexi plates, but you can use coasters, glass, anything that’s not cloth to help you on this little craft." Instead of using plexi plates like Carmeon does in the video below, try using scrap wood or plastic to keep the dye from running. Rubber bands and jumbo craft sticks are great for adding pressure and holding the shape in place.

Dye Napkin Edges

Mix your dye according to your package's instructions, and wear gloves to protect your hands. “We’re going for something modern, so I’m not going to be dunking the whole napkin," says Carmeon. "I want to leave a ton of white space to have some contrast, so we’re just going to dip the edges." Remember the dye will likely soak up the napkin, so start with just the very edge to see how the dye spreads (Images 1 & 2). Then dunk more if needed. Wait until the napkins have dried complelety before unfolding to keep your lines clean (Image 3).

Unfold and Style

Once dry, unfold your napkins and set the dye according to the package's instructions. “This took the same amount of time it took to drink one cocktail," says Carmeon. "These are going to look so good when I style them on my bar!”

Modern DIY Dyed Napkins 05:11

Carmeon Hamilton, winner of Design Star: Next Gen, shows how to hand-dye elegant bar napkins while she sips on a salty Chihuahua cocktail.

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