The nights are turning brisk, and the warmth of the day is a little slower, but to me, this is perfection. Sleeping with a window open while wrapping up in a cozy blanket is the recipe to good sleep. An ever so slight breeze on my face while my feet are so toasty, is just heavenly to me. And, it’s when I wake up feeling refreshed, that’s when my creative juices start flowing. Perfect temperature, slight breeze, and my brain starts rolling in with the ideas. This time, napkins come into play. How about a fun fall craft, jazzing up some cloth napkins using a collected leaf from the ground and some acrylic paint. Why yes, yes. That is a dandy idea. A DIY fall craft that would remain beautiful until Thanksgiving. Bring. It. On!
I went to the store the other day trying to find some fall inspired napkins that I could incorporate in our dining room fall scheme. Seems I’m in good company as there weren’t any. Not a one. At one time when the cloth napkin selection was grand, is now dwindled down to a mere couple.
Whatevs, I tell myself. I’ll just make some of my own.
I’ll look for some napkins that are “fall-ish” colored; non-patterned, solid, something that could easily be stamped. Like, with a leaf. Yes. That sounds pretty.
So, I started my research, trying to figure out the best leaf. Maple? Elm? Oak? Why am I fooling myself, there are no rules in this decision. Pick what you like. In this case, I chose elm.
Elms are easy to come by for me. Though we don’t have any elm trees on our property, there are plenty of others where elm trees call home. That’s just a car ride and a quick snip away from the 1820. All I need is a few minutes of time and a pair of clippers. If that. My theory: one always makes time for what one wants to do. I preach this.
It took me three stores to find just one pack of solid napkins. Such is life right now. And, in defining the word serendipitous, the one pack of cloth napkins I found, were of a lovely flax color. Perfect for this fall craft idea. A few small bottles of thoughtfully chosen acrylic paint colors and I was in business.
Let’s get started and collect everything we need, starting with a brayer roller. This is a necessary tool to roll out the paint and keep the stamping surface even. A must-have craft tool that you can use over and over again. Get it here. Trust me on this. You’ll also need your desired acrylic paint colors, a roll of paper towels, a bowl of sudsy water, a small paint brush, acrylic paint medium and of course, cloth napkins.
A devout reader told me about acrylic paint medium. She told me how one small drop of this medium preserved the paint, keeps it from fading, or bleeding, and keeps its color wash after wash, iron after iron. You can get that here.
Done. And, done.
On a piece of glass, or plexiglass, or any solid surface really, squirt a quarter-sized amount of paint. If you are using three colors like me. squirt colors right next to each other. Then, with the acrylic paint medium, squirt just one drop over each color. With a small paint brush, mix in.
Using the brayer, roll over the paint until the paint is an even layer, and is ready to place the leaf on top of, with an even cover. Remember, we’re not going for perfection here, but rather effect. Press on the leaf, ensuring that the paint adheres completely to the surface, then press the leaf on the napkin at the desired area. Gently rub the leaf on the backside, making sure to rub the paint onto the napkin’s surface. Carefully remove the leaf.
Repeat as many times with as many leaves as you want. With my napkins, I chose two.
And I chose two different color combinations for each leaf.
Lay each napkin flat until the paint dries, then you’re good to go. The medium mixed in the acrylic paint will do its job and the color will keep. It won’t bleed, nor streak, nor fade. Money well spent.
And don’t just limit this craft to leaves and napkins. the possibilities are endless with pines, and branches, and rubber stamps, and even free hand. Just know that working on a craft, in the height of the afternoon is so rewarding, and makes for a really pretty table setting.
It’s timeless because you created it. A lovely fall craft that you can enjoy just by yourself, or can get your kids involved. It’s fun for everyone.
This craft can take as long or as short as you’d like. It’s really up to you, and the napkin vision you dream up. But whatever the design, just do it!
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