How to Dye Napkins with Sunshine!

I had been dye-ing to try the amazing sun-print dye from Inkodye for awhile, and when I started planning my Napa Harvest inspired dinner party; I knew it was the perfect occasion! Inkodye is this amazing paint that goes on clear and "develops" in sunlight like a photograph. It's kind of like making those sun-print paper projects as a kid. I decided to go with purple, burgundy, and deep blue color palette, as inspired by the colors of grapes. This ended up being a super easy project and I am thinking about making more with this amazing material. 


  • linen napkins
  • inkodye
  • herbs, greenery, and/or flowers 
  • painter's tape
  • foam brush
  • drop cloth
  • cardboard
  • paper bowls for paint
  • laundry detergent
  • sunshine!

Start by taping your napkin to a hard, paint-proof surface like cardboard or white foam core board. Then take it into a darkened room (hence my blurry photos!) and paint on the colors that you want. You can mix colors, and even layer them on top of each other to create an ombre effect. To stretch the paint, you can mix the Inkodye with water at a ratio of 1:1. Place herbs, greenery, flowers, etc. in patterns onto the napkin and carry outside. 

Let it develop outside until the desired color is achieved; the longer you leave it out in the sun, the darker it gets. I left each of mine out for about 12 minutes. Then, remove the greenery and tape, and immediately throw it in the washing machine (warm water setting) to keep it from continuing to develop. Once you wash it, the dye is permanent. You don't have to worry about it bleeding or rubbing off.

And that's it! Now you are ready to host a fabulous dinner party with napkins you hand-dyed yourself. How many hostesses can say that? 

I'm thinking these would look really adorable as tea towels as well. Future gift idea? I think so.

See how adorable they looked at our party? 

I just love how each one came out a little different and unique.

To check out the other posts from this dinner party, see how to make artichoke candle holders and the olive branch garland!