DIY Watercolor Napkins

DIY Watercolor Napkins

Hello Inspired Room readers! Michaela here. I’m excited to be back today showing you a little DIY project you can do to spice up an end-of-summer-bash. {And if you don’t have one planned now, you will by the end of this post :) }

When thinking of fun ways to bring in color to tablescapes and party decor, it dawned on me. DIY watercolor napkins. They’re simple, quick and make a big impact. Bonus? You really can’t mess this DIY project up!

Materials: Rit fabric dye (or your choice brand fabric dye), paint brushes, water, white or off-white napkins, bowls for separate dye colors.

DIY Watercolor Napkins

Step 1: Pour a little dye into each bowl and add water. I mixed up teal, blue and purple.

DIY Watercolor Napkins
DIY Watercolor Napkins

Step 2: For my first napkin, I spread it out on the table and began by doing large stripes of color across the span of the napkin. I repeated this all the way down the fabric, alternating colors. In some areas I would put more water on the fabric on top of the dye, in order to dilute the color a bit and give it more of a “watercolor” feel. You’ll see the finished look below!

DIY Watercolor Napkins
Step 3: For my second napkin, I did a really thin stripe of teal, followed by an even thinner stroke of blue to give it extra color.

DIY Watercolor Napkins

DIY Watercolor Napkins

Step 4: To make it appear even more watercolor-looking, I dipped a small brush into the blue dye and tapped the water off onto the fabric, creating little drops of water.

DIY Watercolor Napkins

Step 5: Wait for them to dry! Note that the colors will dry lighter than when you first put it on.

DIY Watercolor Napkins

If you were throwing a big party, you could easily do a whole stack of these napkins in a short amount of time. These two only took me five minutes– promise!

It’s party time! As an end of summer bash, I set up an ice cream bar for some girlfriends. These colorful napkins were the perfect touch. And each guest gets their own unique napkin, which I think is a special touch.

DIY Watercolor Napkins

DIY Watercolor Napkins

DIY Watercolor Napkins

DIY Watercolor Napkins

DIY Watercolor Napkins

Details | Napkins, Heart Bowl, Turquoise Bowls

Hopefully this project inspires some colorful {and delicious} entertaining!


DIY Watercolor Napkins




DIY Watercolor Napkins


  1. Lovely! Easy and inspiring.

  2. Really nice! You have to love a fast easy project!
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  3. Love these, Ladies! Fun and a great DIY project that kids could do!
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  4. I was for sure READY for summer to be over until I see this adorable project calling my name. Or maybe it was the Ice cream. Not too sure so I will do both!
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  5. Love these! Can you tell me more about the fabric of the napkins? Probably wouldn’t work with perm press, would it? I’m thinking this would be a great project for my granddaughter to do for her mom.

  6. So easy! You could do all sorts of fun designs too. Love this!
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  7. Melissa,
    I loved this idea. It is a personal touch, fun and a great, quick idea for a party. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Love these! I was just thinking yesterday as I was folding our napkins that they are looking a little sad. Actually a lot sad. Great idea, thanks!
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  9. Kimberly Timms says:

    ok this is weird because as my son and I were painting outside a few days ago, I thought how neat it would be to have the curtains in my Dining Room done in watercolors….so you used plain cotton? My wheels are turning like Martin Short on Father of The Bride Part II…

  10. Kimberly Timms says:

    and pillows!!! Have you seen how expensive those watercolor pillows can be? I’m thinking coral pink with turquoise blue, mint with a little lemon yellow. My DR walls are Mint Chocolate Chip by BM. WOW!!! I’m excited!! now to find cotton curtains…..

  11. What a fun and creative way to spend an afternoon!
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  12. These are darling! And I love that they are a five minute project. I need more of those :)

  13. Great idea! I wish I’d seen it in time for my ice cream party this past Tuesday! Oh well, the napkins were bought but the ice cream was homemade (4 different kinds)!
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  14. What is your fabric/napkin source for absorbent napkins? Most now are ridiculously NOT absorbent.

  15. How do you “set” the color? I’d imagine once you wash them, there’d be a little fading; but I wouldn’t want them to fade TOO much. Thanks.

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