Are you ready for summer? I. AM. SO. READY!
In my part of Canada the weather in April fluctuated from snow and freezing rain to a balmy 25° C (77° F) – so we really haven’t had Spring at all. More like Win-ummer and the sudden change has left me pining for patio time.
With my flamingos.
Last summer I found the cutest little appetizer plates with flamingos on them and they went perfectly with my patio makeover. This year, I decided to up my patio decor game and bring in some easy and inexpensive (but really fun) DIY napkins in, you guessed it… flamingo style!
- inexpensive polyester napkins
- textile medium
- inexpensive paint
- paint brush
- stencil (optional)
I found these 17″ x 17″ polyester napkins on Amazon for $12 Cdn – roughly a dollar each – and they come in a wide array of colours. (affiliate links below)
I washed my napkins first, just to be sure there was no chemical residue from the factory and that there was no shrinkage (polyester rarely shrinks), and then I ironed them to how I would normally lay them out on my table. Hubby says “Hey, don’t knock shrinkage!” lol
I cut a piece of cardboard to size and then wrapped it with a piece of waxed paper before inserting it between the layers of the napkin.
I have very little artistic skill, so I opted to use a flamingo pattern I found online and cut from some adhesive vinyl. You could hand-paint your napkins, use a stamp or even painter’s tape to create stripes etc on your napkins.
I mixed one part dollar store paint with 2 parts textile medium and gently dabbed the paint onto my DIY napkins. Polyester has the added benefit of not absorbing too much paint, so as long as you keep your paintbrush relatively dry, you should have very little bleeding.
I tried to match the colours in my flamingo appetizer plates as much as possible.
Once I had my base colour done, I went back over my flamingos (lightly) with a second pink to give it some shading, and then with the black for the beak.
I didn’t want to paint the entire surface of my DIY napkins – so I kept my stencil and painting to within the confines of the front section.
I let my flamingo napkins dry overnight and then pressed them again with a hot iron before running them through the wash.
The paint stayed! Perfectly in fact!
Look how it coördinates with my melamine dinnerware and my cutie-patootie flamingo plate!
I made two stencils for my DIY napkins and used them twice each, alternating colours on each – so that I have a set of four flamingo napkins that are coordinated, but still unique (so I don’t get stuck with someone’s rib-sauce napkin down the road lol).
This is a GREAT idea for summer dinner sets that are more neutral – keep your dinnerware year after year, but bring in new DIY napkins with a different theme each season!
Think coral, tropical fish, pineapples or cactus prints. Create a monogram, or palm fronds or watermelon slices!
Go less “kitschy” and paint stripes, polka dots or swirls – the options are endless really. These DIY napkins can be created for any event and for any season (I’m totally making snowflake ones for Winter!)
Traditionally we have been a paper-towel family when it comes to patio eating and entertaining – but my flamingo napkins are so inexpensive they are actually cheaper (and better for the environment) than 6 rolls of Bounty – which we’d easily go through in a month.
I’ll attach the Amazon links (affiliate) to the items I purchased so that you can try to make your own:
(The DecoArt paint and paintbrushes were cheaper at the dollar store)
Love this project! Love my cutie flamingos!
It’s patio time!! (Mom-twerking commencing).
Have a great one!