When you’re planning a party, think about some of the dinnerware items you already own that can give a unique and personalized experience for your guests. It may just be that you don’t have to go out and buy new items. Look around your house to see if you have any partyware that can be upcycled for your event. For starters, creating simple, hand-painted napkins can be one of the quick projects you undertake before an event. They can be personalized in any way you like- from colors, to brush stroke types and patterns that speak to your party’s style.
In order to make these napkins, you will need some paint, particularly fabric paint, a paintbrush, cardboard or foil, and cloth napkins. I am using Martha Stewart’s multi-surface paint and basic white napkins purchased from my local bargain store.
Wash and dry your napkins. Give them a quick run with the iron to remove any wrinkles and lay them on a clean surface. Pour a little fabric paint onto a disposable plate. To protect your surface, use a piece of foil or cardboard underneath the napkin as you paint. The paint will soak through the napkin, so be careful not to ruin your surface. Pick up just a small amount of paint on your brush and apply light strokes. A small dab of paint is all you need in order not to overly saturate the napkin.
Be sure not to overthink it or try to make them perfect or consistent. The charm comes in the free form and abstract strokes. Start with one color and paint a few strokes, then switch it up, choosing colors that reflect your style.
Allow the paint to air dry overnight before use. Once the paint has dried completely, lay another piece of cloth on top of it and run the iron over it on low. This will seal in the paints into the fabric. But make sure the paint is fully dry first!
The setting of the table is one of my favorite things to do when gearing up for a dinner party. Even if I have to raid my recycle bin, I try to find items that can use a makeover. And if I have to buy new, I find items that can easily be personalized to suit my style. These cloth napkins make it easy to add a personalized look to my tablescape in a few minutes. When painting, the key is to have fun with it, and so I kept these napkins very simple and literal. The best part: they’re reusable! Be sure to hand wash them for future use. They also make great hostess gifts, as it’s something that they usually wouldn’t buy for themselves. Get creative, and now you can enjoy what’s beside your plate as much as the food that’s on top of your plate!