These diy polka dot napkins are a sweet and simple addition to a table setting. I love the neon pink and gold dots but they would be equally gorgeous in pastels or black and white.

You could also use this method to make pretty table runners, place mats or coasters.


All you need is:

–  A4 piece of thick cardboard

– Scissors

– Single hole punch (from craft stores such as Spotlight)

– Newsprint or other paper to protect your work surface

– Plain napkins in white or pale colours

– Fabric paint (if you can’t find fabric paint in colours that you like, you can buy acrylic paints and add a fabric fixative – from art and craft stores)

– Paint palette or disposable plastic containers

– Small paint brush

– Chux cloth or clean rag

– Iron and clean tea towel


1. Cut the cardboard into three strips. Use the hole punch to punch holes randomly in the cardboard strips to create stencils.

2. Lay newsprint down over your work surface. Spread the napkins out flat. Don’t worry about ironing them at this stage.

3. Squeeze the paint into the palette. I recommend doing just one colour at a time or the brush and stencil can become a bit messy.


4. Place a stencil over a napkin and use a small amount of paint to fill in some of the holes. Change stencils and repeat in sections. Wipe any paint off the back of the stencil in between with a clean cloth. It doesn’t matter how random your pattern is, the more random the better I think! Allow napkins to dry completely on a flat surface.


5.  Heat an iron on the cotton setting. Place the tea towel over a napkin and iron for around 3 minutes to ‘set’ the paint. Repeat with remaining napkins. This step will ensure that the napkins can now be washed without ruining the pretty pattern.


Images and tutorial by emerald + ella

Ms Gingham says: Love, love, love!

I’m Jane Howard, the girl behind emerald + ella – an online shop and blog which encompass a world of beautiful, eclectic things. I’m also a recipe writer, food stylist, vintage collector, New Zealander, married to an Aussie boy, aspirational crafter, wine drinker, pulled pork sandwich lover and basically just a girl who likes pretty bits and pieces.