I have decided that I am grown-up enough to own and use cloth napkins.  With this in mind and inspired by linens with neon piping spotted at ABC Home (which were priced at $35 per napkin…PER napkin), I went on an endless search for hot pink patterned table linens.  Unfortunately, the only patterns I discovered were all a little too “themey”, lots of Christmas trees and turkey prints…add a cat sweater and you’ve hit the trifecta.

Therefore, I decided to make my own patterned linens by using materials I already had around the house.


I bought a set of inexpensive white cloth napkins from my local Home Good store and washed them before painting.  I used fabric paint from my DIY graffiti dress project and an Indian block print I picked up at a thrift store about a year ago to create a vibrant pattern.  You don’t need a block print to do this project, a rubber stamp of your favorite image or a patterned paint roller are other great sources.


I knew a clean and completely symmetrical pattern would be too ambitious so I wanted to intentionally make the pattern abstract and organic.  First, apply paint directly to the block using a sponge brush and press the block firmly onto the cloth napkin.  Do this twice and then reload with paint.  I started in the middle and worked my way to the edges evenly dispersing the more defined impressions (the first press) with more faded ones (the second press).  Let it dry overnight and wash again before use.


I was really pleased with the outcome, an electric pink accented napkin!  This technique is not limited to linens, try this with craft paper to create custom gift wrapping or on a pillow case to give your home decor an extra kick.  It’s a fun way to decorate without being limited to what’s available in stores.

3 thoughts on “Easy DIY: Make Your Own Pattern

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