DIY Watermelon Dip-Dye Napkins

Hey Giggles Galore readers! I’m Cathy from WellKeptChaos, a blog about party planning, DIY’s, and girl talk. I’m here to show you how to make something seriously cute for your summer BBQs, DIY Watermelon Dip-Dye Napkins!

The warm weather of summer is the perfect excuse to get outside and enjoy some sun. Whether you’ve got warm weather year round, or only seasonally, it seems like the summer brings everyone together to grab some drinks, BBQ some food, and enjoy some laughs around the table. How about adding a pop of color to your table, paying homage to everyone’s favorite summer fruit- the watermelon! This is a really fun and easy summer craft sure to bring smiles and the age old question, where did you get these?! They also make a perfect hostess gift! So grab your supplies and roll up your sleeves- it’s about to get messy and oh-so fun!

You will need:
White cotton napkins 
Rit Dye Powdered Fabric Dye (I used Kelly Green and Scarlet Red)
Plastic gloves
Binder clips
Black fabric marker


Pre-wash your napkins. Then, take your napkin and fold it into a triangle. Be sure to fold so that all the stitched edges are along the same side. This will be your green watermelon rind. Take your binder clips and clip the ends so that your napkin doesn’t unfold.


Mix the box of red dye according to directions. I reduced the quantity and followed this formula- 1 cup hot water, 1/4 c salt, 1/8 c dye. This is only an estimation, which worked well for me. If you’re unsure, refer to your box for directions.  Dip the part of the napkin that you want to dye into warm water, then dip into the red dye bath. Make sure you work while the dye is still really hot so that you get the best absorption.

Rinse the napkin in warm water and add a little more cold water slowly until it runs clear.

Pop your napkins in the dryer, then get the green dye ready. Repeat the steps above for each napkin.

Wash with mild detergent and pop into the dryer.

Add seeds to your napkin using a black fabric marker. I recommend playing around with the size you want by cutting out a few seed samples from black paper and seeing which size you prefer. Then, draw them on your napkins using the marker.

You’ll notice that my napkins have a faded, sort of watercolor look. If you want yours to be more vibrant, soak them for longer to get a deeper color.

I learned a few things through my research and trial and error. Here are some tips for using Rit Dye:

  • Be sure to add the salt. It seems like a lot of salt, but it makes a difference. It resulted in a much brighter dye than the ones without it! I had to re-do those.
  • Dip your items instead of running them under hot water, which causes the whole thing to get wet and absorb the color. Don’t skip the water dip before dying. Same as the salt, it makes a difference.
  • The color you see in the dye is different than when you rinse and after you wash. It seems dark but it’ll fade- a lot. You can see the difference between a newly dyed napkin and a rinsed one in the third collage photo.
  • Let your item soak in the dye instead of just dipping it in. You want to be sure the fabric takes the dye and won’t fade after the first wash.
  • It gets messy. Put a plastic trash bag or other item on your workspace to prevent staining. Wear dark clothes, and always clean your sink right after you use it to prevent it getting dyed too.

To keep your napkin looking fresh and vibrant, be sure to wash items separately in cold water with mild detergent to minimize color fading.



Mariah Leeson is the creative mind behind With a passion for celebrating, Mariah created Giggles Galore to inspire families to celebrate life’s little moments with creative, budget friendly ideas. She loves cooking, reading, crafting, hosting parties and most of all spending time giggling with her family.

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