Tag Archives: illustration

DIY Stenciled Napkins

With apartment decorating on my mind, I did a fun and simple DIY project last weekend – stenciled napkins! I have been thinking about how I can bring my own personality into my new space and one of the things I came up with was my very own set of cotton napkins. I had bought a pack of four from Michaels a couple of weeks ago and hadn’t done anything with them yet. So last weekend, I decided to turn them into a “new apartment” project. I came up with four different designs, one for each napkin because I wanted to have a set of four individual pieces, and got to work stenciling.

Here is a tutorial just for you, so you can try stenciling your own! (Remember, this doesn’t only apply to napkins. You can stencil anything you want, from napkins to pillowcases to t-shirts!)

What you’ll need:

–        a design (keep in mind that this is a stencil, so fine lines can be tricky!)

–        transparency paper (this is what I used as a stencil)

–        permanent marker

–        x-acto knife/razor blade

–        scrap fabric

–        napkins

–        fabric ink

–        stencil brush

–        masking tape

–        hard surface and some cardboard or newspaper to keep things clean

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1. Pre-wash and iron your napkins. You will also need some test fabric, so it’s helpful if you have this ironed and ready to go as well.

2. Create your design – either draw or print your design onto paper (the black areas in my design are what will be cut out and made into a stencil) *Note: if you’re confident enough and don’t feel the need to pre-draw a design, then just draw it directly onto the transparency and skip to Step 4!

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my 4 designs all on one sheet of paper

3. Place a sheet of transparency paper over your design and trace it with a permanent marker.

Step1 Step2 Step2b

as you can see, I did two designs on each sheet of transparency, just to save paper

as you can see, I traced two designs on each sheet of transparency, just to save paper

4. Once you have traced your design, cut out the shapes using an x-acto knife. (don’t forget, you’re going to cut out all of the areas that were black)

Step3

5. Now that you have your stencils made, you’re ready to print. I suggest doing some test runs on scrap fabric before you stencil on your actual napkins. Unforeseen accidents are always possible, but it’s easier to avoid them if you do some tests prints first.

Step4 Step4a Step4b

first test run of all four designs

first test run of all four designs

I didn’t like the way the blue looked, so I decided to try the circles in yellow. I like the yellow better!

I didn’t like the way the blue looked, so I decided to try the circles in yellow. I like the yellow better!

6. If you’re happy with the way your test prints turned out, then you’re ready to print on your napkins. Take your napkin and lay it flat on your table. Make sure it is smooth and tape the sides down with some masking tape so that it doesn’t shift.

Step5

7. Then line your stencil up along the bottom of the napkin, tape down the sides, dip your stencil brush into ink, and stipple the ink onto the fabric.

Step5a

my stencil was not as wide as my napkin, so once I stenciled the first half, I just lifted the stencil, being careful not to smudge anything, and moved it over so I could stencil the remaining section.

my stencil was not as wide as my napkin, so once I stenciled the first half, I just lifted the stencil, being careful not to smudge anything, and moved it over so I could stencil the remaining section.

I decided I wanted to have my designs on the bottom and top of my napkin, so once I finished one edge, I just moved the stencil to the opposite end and repeated the process.

I decided I wanted to have my designs on the bottom and top of my napkin, so once I finished one edge, I just moved the stencil to the opposite end and repeated the process.

Yellow Yellow2

8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 on the remaining napkins with your other designs.

Green Magenta Purple

9. When all of your napkins are stenciled, let them dry thoroughly and then iron them to heat-set the ink. (*Fabric ink must always be heat-set)

Once they are ironed, they are ready to use however you please! You can place them around your table…

Napkins2

Arrange them in a basket for display…

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Or even hang them over a towel bar on your refrigerator or in your bathroom – they are decorative, yet useful!

now you can see why I printed both ends

now you can see why I printed both ends

Here are a few more shots…

Napkins3 Napkins7 Napkins5

I really love the way they look. I love the simple geometric designs and the colors I chose and I think they are going to be great for my new apartment!

I hope this post inspires you to go do a stencil project! If you have any questions about the process, please feel free to drop me a note 🙂

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If you liked this post, you may want to check out my DIY Heart T-Shirt and my DIY Pillowcase
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Society6 – Free Shipping & New Products!

Free Shipping now through Sunday on my Society6 products!

And just in time, I’ve added two new products to my shop! You may recognize them from my “Playing with Text and Images” post.

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Now’s the time to add something curiously chic to your life! So get yourself a new iPhone case, iPad skin or even a throw pillow and take advantage of free shipping!

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Elephant Tote

Last night, I photographed the elephant tote I printed on Sunday. I absolutely love the way it came out! I made this bag for a friend, but I think I’m going to have to print myself one because he makes me so happy!

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P.S. This is my 50th post! I’m feeling quite accomplished today! Thank you to all of my family, friends, readers and fellow bloggers who have supported me for the last two months. I’m so glad you’ve decided to join me on this journey!

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Playing with Text and Images

I have been working with my bamboo stylus a lot the past couple days. Maybe you noticed in my last post, I created a signature for my blog posts.

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I’ve also been playing around with my iFontMaker app (see the first couple of fonts I made here) and I really like the latest one I’ve created. It’s simple, but I love the way it looks.

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I’ve wanted to add text to my photographs for a while now, and I finally worked on some ideas last night. Each of my photographs gives me a specific feeling. Most of the time, when I view a photo, I am reminded of a favorite song lyric or a quote from favorite movies or books. So, I’ve decided to take some of those feelings and add them to my photographs with this new font.

One of my favorite bands right now is Bon Iver. I had the opportunity to see them in concert back in September and they absolutely blew me away. They are insanely talented, their music and lyrics are beautiful and I can listen to them on repeat all day long. One of my favorite songs is Holocene (listen on youtube here) and I knew I wanted to pair the lyrics with a photograph I took two years ago in Anna Maria Island, FL of the sun setting over the ocean. The lyrics I chose to use (“And at once I knew, I was not magnificent”) are about realizing that there is something greater out there and I thought this photograph was the perfect match to those lyrics because of the beauty of the colors in the clouds and the reflections in the ocean. In my opinion, this photograph proves that there is a much higher and much stronger power and we, as human beings, are “not magnificent” in comparison.

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I had two other photographs from Anna Maria that I added the same text too.

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I can’t decide which of the three I like best, but I think I’m leaning towards the vertical. I’ve already posted the vertical photograph for sale on Society6 (you can view it here), but if you have a favorite out of the three, please let me know! I would love to hear your feedback 🙂

Here are a couple more pieces I created:

I took the following photograph this past spring and decided to add “Dream a little dream” to it because of the small flowers and dream-like quality created by the depth of field.

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This next image I shot last summer in NYC. I was playing with shutter speeds that day and walked away with several images containing movement. What I love most about this photograph is how the white sneakers are quite visible, but as you move up, the rest of the man’s body disappears. I paired this photograph with a quote from one of my favorite movies Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it” – because this photograph is all about movement and the rush of NYC. The very nature of the city is fast-paced and I feel as though city-goers (myself included) forget to slow down once in a while and take it all in.

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The last image I worked with I took with my iPhone last summer while waiting in line at the Shake Shack in Madison Square Park. I took a popular quote from one of my favorite books and added it to this image – “And in that moment, I swear we were infinite” from The Perks of Being a Wallflower by, Stephen Chbosky. I love the position in which I captured this girl  – it’s as if she’s about to take flight, as if she’s feeling “infinite” just like Charlie felt in the book.

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And I added text to my yellow elephant design. He is so optimistic with his trunk in the air, holding onto his balloon that I decided to go with a basic positive quote – “Tomorrow is a new day.” No matter what you’re going through today, tomorrow will always be a new day and a fresh start.

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I will be posting some of these on Society6 tonight, but I would really love to know what you think. This is my first time adding text to my photographs, so any and all feedback is much appreciated!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Wednesday!

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