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2/21/12Linens that are just to dye for

To have both expensive taste and a thrifty mindset can be a blessing and a curse. My favorite linens at the rental warehouse cost close to three bucks a pop to rent and since I need 200 of them, I was looking at around $600 just to rent napkins. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. So I spent one afternoon last week hopping around some of my favorite thrift shops and amassed 200+ vintage linens–all different.  Yesterday I had my girls over and we had a little cake tasting and craft night. One of the things we worked on was dying, washing and folding all 200 napkins.  The whole thing cost me about $55 for the napkins and $5 for the dye–saving me a good $540 on napkin costs–and I am giddy with the results. They are all so friggen pretty and I know they will add a personal touch to the reception that, even the very pretty rental linens, would not have added. I can’t wait to show you what other little thrifty things I’ve got up my sleeves!

Justina Blakeney Justina Blakeney

Designer, artist, stylist & mama. Founder and CCO at The Jungalow. Crazy for color, pattern and plants!

20 responses to “Linens that are just to dye for”

  1. This is a DIY project I would have never thought of! Super creative and I love the play of words in your title:-)

  2. Lovely those napkins… the one with color flowers were in my house when a child… I think they were chinese….


  3. Rad! Rad! Did you pick a cake? And OMG, the wedding is like 4 weeks away! Eeeeeeee!!! P.s. Love new blog layout. Gangster. XO, s

  4. Oh wow! Thats a brilliant idea!

  5. This is SO timely as I’m thinking of doing this for a dinner party at mine this weekend! :)

  6. Eleni says:

    That’s a great idea and the result looks quite amazing! One can do lots of stuff when imagination is involved!

  7. The Belvedere -AlyssA says:

    Wow! I was just looking into nouns for my wedding too, what’s with the crazy napkin expense? I was thinking about sewing some, but this is just so much better. I’m starting collecting now! When’s your wedding, how long do you have to prep?

  8. these are beautiful! My favorite natural dye is onion skins — you can get them usually for free from a grocery store (they’re always falling off and making a mess in the onion displays). You boil the oinion skins in water for maybe 30 min, and then add your fabric, and keep it all on a low simmer for a couple hours. Your fabric will be a beautiful golden color, and will smell like onion soup… but luckily that smell washes out :)

    looks great – can’t wait to see more of what you’re making and planning!

  9. Charissa says:

    Great job! I can’t believe how many cloth napkins you found in a week, and what a lovely idea to work together with friends to dye them. Gorgeous – can’t wait to see these as part of your celebration!

  10. Hannah says:

    I love these! Such a great idea.

  11. mika says:

    AMAZED that you found linens for 200 in such a short period of time!! any tips for how to find good ones or recs for where to look in LA? feeling very inspired for my own wedding :)

  12. Erica says:

    They turned out beautifully! Great idea to get your crafty friends involved in making them. :)

  13. Ellen says:

    I realize this was posted a year ago, but I’m in love with the color dye you used for your napkins. Any chance you would share the brand and color name/number?

  14. Caitlin says:

    hi! i’ve loved this idea ever since seeing the blog post a year ago! I want to do something similar for my wedding, but am having a hard time envisioning these fitting in for some venues i’m looking at. ideally, i would love a warehouse type of venue, but they’re expensive and filling up fast. what type of venue did you have that made these work so well?

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