Cheap Party Decorations! How To Ombre-Dye Napkins and Table Runners
Turn inexpensive white napkins or a table runner into ombre-dyed decor with our simple steps. It's easier than you think!
Dip-dyeing cloth napkins gives them a beautiful ombre look for just pennies. Plus, it's easy and fun. Here's how you do it. You will need fabric dye in liquid or powder form, warm water, salt, a large glass or stainless steel bowl for mixing the dye, a measuring cup, three deep bowls for dyeing, and a set of 100 percent cotton napkins. First, prepare the dye by mixing warm water, salt, and dye The directions on the package will tell you how much of each you need. We used four cups of warm water, 1/2 a cup of salt, and 1/4 cup of liquid dye. Now, add two cups of warm water to each of the three bowls. Add 1/4 cup of dye to the first bowl, half a cup to the second bowl, and a cup of dye to the third bowl. Then, mix them up. Fold the napkins in half, then roll them up. Dip the hemmed edge of the napkin into the first bowl, which is the weakest dye solution. Submerge it about 2/3 of the way, and hold for 30 seconds. Squeeze out the excess dye. Do the same thing with the second bowl, submerging the napkin only half as far as you did the last time. Hold for 30 seconds, then squeeze out the excess dye. Finally, dip the napkin into the third bowl, the strongest dye solution. Again, submerge it only half as far as you did the last time. Hold for 30 seconds, then squeeze out the excess dye for the last time. Unroll the napkin and check for even dyeing. Then rinse, wash, and dry the napkins according to the instructions on the dye package. The same technique works to dip-dye a cotton table runner. But mix the three different dye baths in pitchers instead of bowls. Roll the runner loosely. Dip one end into each of the three dye baths, holding for 30 seconds each time and squeezing out the excess dye. Repeat the process on the other end of the runner. Again, rinse, wash, and dry the runner according to the instructions on the dye package. The result is a set of table linens with a beautiful ombre look, plus the fun and satisfaction of having made them yourself.