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June 20, 2012

Painted Sailor Stripe Napkins Tutorial

I need to start off by saying that this year has marked the year of my obsession with stripes.  I am not sure why I love them as much as I do but anything remotely nautical or preppy has me over the moon in love.  So I have been dreaming of doing a Nautical 4th of July series for this year.  
And I am kicking it off today. Hooray!
I really wanted to use striped napkins this year but could not find any.  And so they kind of turned into an unexpected DIY project.  I could not find any fabric anywhere with the stripes I wanted and the ones I found retailed at $14 each.  Gah! So I figured a little fabric paint and inexpensive white napkins would do the trick. So a tutorial was born!
What you need: White napkins, red and blue fabric paint, masking tape (or painters tape), paint brush, number stencils, cardboard or poster board.

1. Iron your napkin and lay it flat on top of cardboard or poster board. 
2. Carefully place one strip of tape the length of the top of the napkin.  Do the same thing right underneath it with another line of tape.
3.  I wanted the first stripe to be painted red so I removed the top strip of tape and placed it directly under the second one. Then I placed another strip of tape underneath that and removed the one above it again.
This is how you create your stripes all the way down. 
It also helps that the tape stabilizes the napkin onto your poster board.
 Now start painting the exposed white lines your red color.  Once dry, peel your tape strip to reveal your fun, striped napkin! 
My goal was to make the napkins look like a sailboat sail so I stenciled 0704 (July 4th) onto each corner of the napkin with a midnight blue color.
They ended up really cute!  Or like a preppy prisoners uniform.  Awesome! :)
The monkey fist knots are not really the best knots I could have done. They are supposed to be tighter and much more ball like. I just learned how to make them (my husband knew how and after researching for days I finally asked him if he knew how to make one and he said YES!  Who knew??) I am still practicing and getting better at it and it is a good idea to put a styrofoam ball inside one to help shape it into a ball.  But I figured these still look super cute and nautical like.  Right?  RIGHT???!!!

A photo tutorial would have been close to impossible so here's a great link at animated knots for making a monkey's fist knot with great step by step photos.

I have more ideas to share with you over the next few weeks until July 4th.  
Stay tuned my beautiful friends!


  1. Super cute idea. O love it. Maybe I can give it a try.
    TFS. Ana

  2. You are amazing and these are darling!

  3. Are you kidding me?! Those are so cute and fabulous for the 4th, I can't stand it!

  4. i am a sucker for anything nautical!!! Have you seen the CUTE anchor short at Gap kids! I NEED it :) We used to spend every fourth on Kelly's family houseboat so the fourth IS nautical in my mind! Boat broken :( Oh well they are into the horses now :)

    ANYWAY!!! I can't even believe you did those stripes because they are perfect!!!!! I really love the rope too! Makes them PERFECT!!! Thanks for inspiring me!!!

  5. Love your striped napkins and your knots.

  6. Oh, that looks so cute! Have you tried washing the napkins yet? Would love to know if that cute design survived! =) xo Anja

  7. Love this nautic decoration! Your blog is inspiring


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