How to Make Leaf-Print Napkins for Your Holiday Table

comments (6) November 14th, 2013     

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kaytet kayte terry, contributor
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Dress up your holiday table with these harvest-colored napkins.
If youre new to this, you might want to practice on some test scraps first.
I chose autumnal colors for my leaves, but shades of green would be pretty, too!
Dress up your holiday table with these harvest-colored napkins.

Dress up your holiday table with these harvest-colored napkins.

Photo: Kayte Terry
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Nothing says autumn more than the harvest colors of fallen leaves. Make these simple napkins to dress up your holiday table and capture the fleeting beauty of fall.

If you don't want to make the napkins, skip the "Making the Napkins" instructions and print leaves on solid napkins you already have.

What you'll need (makes four napkins):

  • A selection of leaves in different shapes (make sure they aren't too brittle)
  • 1 yard solid cotton or linen
  • Waxed paper or newsprint
  • Sponge brush
  • Fabric paint 
  • Brayer
  • Iron
  • Rotary cutter and mat 
  • Sewing machine and thread

Printing the Leaves
1. Lay your fabric out on a large, flat surface. Make sure your surface is protected with waxed paper or newsprint.

  I chose autumnal colors for my leaves, but shades of green would be pretty, too!

2. Lay out another small sheet of waxed paper, and lay one leaf front side down on it.

  Daub, rather than brush, fabric paint on the leaves to coat. Don't forget to get a little paint on the stem!

3. Put a small amount of fabric paint on a sponge brush and daub the back of the leaf to coat.

  Place the leaf on your fabric, then roll over the entire leaf with a brayer to print it. Don't roll too hard!

4. Flip the leaf over, and lay it on fabric as desired. Roll a brayer over the leaf to print it. If you have never done this before, you might want to practice on a few scraps of test fabric first.

5. Continue with the design as desired. Let the paint dry, then iron on the wrong side of the fabric to set the paint.

Making the Napkins
1. With a rotarty cutter and mat, cut fabric into four 17 x 17-inch pieces.

2. On one side of one napkin, fold over the edge 1/4 inch, press, and fold over 1/2 inch. Press again. Repeat on the other side. Sew down both sides close to the seam. Backstitch at each end.

  This is what your hems should look like at the corners.

3. Repeat on the other two sides.

4. Repeat with the other napkins. Clip all threads.



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Comments (6)

PureHOMEandBODY writes: These are pretty! I'm going to try this with darker colored napkins and brighter colors so they won't show stains so much.
Posted: 6:13 pm on November 14th
fahmsana writes: amazing
Posted: 2:36 pm on July 30th
Nodan writes: It's great ideas. But it's too easy to soil the clean napkin.
Posted: 4:37 am on February 5th
BeadyLittleEyes writes: I am going to have to give this a try. Thanksgiving is really the only holiday that I use my dining room table.
Posted: 5:32 pm on August 31st
Grandmagwen writes: I have used metallic gold and copper on deep red and on burgandy materials. Love it too.
Posted: 8:37 pm on November 19th
BrickHouseFabrics writes: I had some similar, done with metallic gold paint for the fall... I loved them!
Posted: 2:47 pm on August 3rd
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