I have a certifiable obsession with pretty linens. You’ve probably heard me preach before about how my go-to way to dress a table is to use basic everyday white dinnerware and layer in linens, flowers and pretty glassware to change up the look to suit your occasion. So today I’m going to help you practice what I preach by showing you basically the easiest way ever to make your own custom patterned cloth napkins. As it were, this tutorial also certifies my newly found obsession with fabric markers. They’re amazing. I want to use them on everything. Beware ! Soon you’re going to want to wield fabric markers on every piece of fabric that crosses your path, too. But first, let’s make napkins, shall we?
- Plain cloth napkins (100% cotton is best)
- Permanent fabric markers (I used Marvy markers)
This is such a sweet and simple project, there’s really only a few basic steps! First up, you’re going to want to test your markers to make sure your fabric and your markers get along in a friendly fashion. I used basic white 100% cotton napkins. Make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions for your particular markers to see how they should be used. While testing the markers to make sure they mark nicely on your napkins, play around and doodle to determine what colors and patterns you like best. I did quite a bit of testing and doodling and it helped me to determine how I wanted to lay out my napkins.
For my napkins I went with three easy, graphic patterns. The first was a bold triangle pattern. I just laid out the triangles in a grid, alternating the direction of the triangles as I went along the row. As with all of the patterns I just freehanded it as I went along. The second napkin was a pattern of little cross hatches and polka dots scattered across the expanse of the napkins. This was the quickest and easiest one to make! The third napkin actually is my favorite. I just made five short hash marks and then did five more at 90 degrees next to the first set of marks. Just keep on going with it until your napkin is covered. It’s that easy!
Some markers require washing or ironing to set them and make them permanent so, again, be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions. Otherwise, you’re all done! I love these napkins. Seriously. I’m so hooked on making my own. I love the idea of creating a pattern you love and bundling together four or more of them and presenting them as a gift with a box of your favorite muffins and a little posy of flowers. You know, because Mother’s Day is coming up this weekend and moms love this kind of stuff. (At least I know mine does!)
Stay tuned because later this week I’ll be sharing another pretty and easy cloth napkin tutorial so you’ll be fully prepared to whip up the cloth napkins of your dreams for any party or celebration or, heck, even just for a weekday dinner. Cloth napkins for the win!
[Design + styling by Cyd Converse for The Sweetest Occasion. | Photos by Alice G. Patterson.]
Cloth napkins from Bed, Bath + Beyond
Fabric markers by Marvy from Michaels
Dinnerware, mug + vase by Heath Ceramics
Silver tray from West Elm
The fine print: Please link with love! As with all of our posts, DIY projects featured on The Sweetest Occasion may not be copied, distributed or reproduced without express written permission. Love and links are always appreciated! If you’d like to share this post, please link to this post directly for the DIY tutorial and do not include the instructions in your own post. Thanks so much! xoxo
I always give my mom flowers for Mother’s Day. She and I both love flowers so it’s really perfect for her. But this year, I’m just totally in love with the notion of crafting up gorgeous paper flowers for Mom that she can keep and cherish for years to come. So over at Babble, I’ve rounded up 10 DIY paper flower tutorials that are honestly just perfect for moms on this special day that’s all about them. And it appears Kelly and I are both on the same wavelength! She just posted a tutorial for these magnificently giant crepe paper flowers for Mother’s Day that are honestly just stunning. Pop over and check out the tutorial and see 10 more DIY paper flower ideas at Babble!
[Photo + DIY by Studio DIY.]
This post was sponsored by Keep, my favorite new site for all things shopping and inspiration. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that so generously help keep The Sweetest Occasion rockin’!
Things have been moving right along here in our adventures in unpacking, decorating and organizing our new place. I know I haven’t shared any updates in a while, but that’s largely because we’re at the part in the process where things slow down as we finalize decisions regarding what paint colors to use to gussy up old furniture and enact little DIY touches that will really make the place a home. No worries, I’ve been taking tons of photos and as we complete projects along the way there will be loads of posts coming your way! In the meantime, I wanted to talk about the color palette and give you a few tips on how you can create a cohesive color palette in your own home. Particularly if you’re working with a small space or a rental, take note! You don’t need to be a card carrying interior designer to create a palette you’ll love and that has fabulous flow from room to room.
My best piece of advice when choosing a color palette for a smaller home? Pick one fabulous neutral and paint all the walls the same color. Our walls were already painted Parisian Taupe by Behr so we stuck with that color, but other favorites are Stonington Gray and Edgecomb Gray, both by Benjamin Moore. Going with one wall color makes all the rooms flow, instead of creating visual choppiness as you move from room to room. It’s a simple trick but it really works! Next, choose one main accent color that appears somewhere in each room. In our case it’s a rich deep navy. Our rug in the living room, the bedding in the boys’ bedroom, a striped shower curtain in the bathroom, a pair of bold glass lamps in the master bedroom. Make sure this color is one that you love and use a little or a lot in each room. Then in each room, layer on the other pops of color! Throughout our home those colors will appear in the form of coral, mint, bits of turquoise and even a deep orange hue. Just choose colors that look fabulous together, that complement your paint color and your main accent color and you really can’t go wrong. Stay tuned – so many more updates and tips to come as we continue our nesting adventures!
p.s. There’s just two days left to enter our amazing giveaway with Keep.com where you can win $250 toward making your own home a little sweeter. Oh, and one runner up is going to win a prize valued up to $100, too. So run (don’t walk) and be sure to enter!
[Shop: Paint color | striped bedding | rug | coral and navy pillow | gold lacquer tray | lamp | turquoise pillow | pear art print | gold leaf tray | mountain art print | striped shower curtain.]
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I thought I’d switch things up a bit this week and share a quick little recipe to kick off your Monday. Yesterday being Cinco de Mayo, we decided we needed to whip up a batch of roasted tomatillo salsa. It’s so easy to make but, man, does it jazz up just about everything from fajitas to chips to burgers. I first started making this recipe a few years ago when a whole boatload of tomatillos showed up in my CSA basket. I had never used them before and, frankly, had about no idea what to do with them. A bit of playing around and I landed on this go-to roasted salsa verde recipe that I now look forward to just about every time I spy tomatillos at a farmer’s market or in a bin at the grocery store. It’s just plain ol’ yummy!
- 6 tomatillos
- 2 jalapenos
- 1 medium onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 lime
Start by removing the paper skins from the outside of the tomatillos and then rinse them under cool water to remove the stickiness on the outside of the fruit. Chop the onion into chunks and slice each jalapeno in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and ribs from the inside of the pepper. If you want some heat, leave the seeds in one half of one pepper. (Which is what I do!) Fire up your grill and grill all the ingredients until they’re soft, slightly blackened and juicy. Transfer directly from the grill to a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. Squeeze in the juice of one lime and mix to combine. Be sure not to burn yourself as the mixture will still be very hot! Pour into a bowl and serve warm for topping burgers or burritos. Or chill to serve alongside chips. Enjoy!
This green goodness is so easy to make, even if you just want to whip up a big batch before friends pop over to hang out on the back deck sipping on icy cold cocktails. Last night we used ours to top veggie burgers on crusty rolls with homemade potato salad and roasted veggies on the side. It was the perfect Cinco de Mayo dinner, but more importantly it was easy and crazy delicious. Cinco de Mayo may be over, but this recipe is one of my favorites all summer long. I hope you’ll give this one a try!
p.s. If you want the scoop on the pretty patterned napkin in the first photo, pop by tomorrow when I’ll be sharing all the DIY details!
[Photo + recipe by Cyd Converse for The Sweetest Occasion.]
We’ve had the most amazing weather here this week – sunny skies, temps in the high 70s, and not a rain drop in the sky in at least 48 hours. Incredible! So with Cinco de Mayo coming up this weekend and more sunshine in the forecast I’ve got fiestas on the brain today. Specifically the sip on a margarita and stuff the ol’ face full of guacamole and chips kind of fiesta. Maybe throw some shrimp on the grill for tacos? Yeah, that kind of party, too.
Whether you’re planning a Cinco de Mayo shindig or just feel like celebrating with a party of one or a few, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite recipes for the occasion. Think loads of lime, cilantro, fresh mango and avocado. Basically, all the good stuff. Ready to get your Cinco de Mayo on? Click through for 10 great recipe ideas for Cinco de Mayo!