Yesterday, we gave you our festive Easter tabletop, and today we’re showing you how we made those beautiful marbleized napkins (and eggs!) that added just the right touch of color to the lilac and yellow setting…
What you’ll need:
- White cotton material or pre-made napkins (we used these!)
- Methyl cellulose (found at most craft stores)
- A shallow bin as large as your fabric (we used a baking sheet)
- Acrylic paints
- Small bowls for paints
- Droppers or small spoons for paints
Step 1: Start by adding two tablespoons of methyl cellulose to every 4 cups of warm water. To fill the tin about one inch deep, we needed about 12 cups of water. Whisk in the methyl cellulose vigorously every 15 minutes until the mixture has reached a consistency similar to hair gel.
Step 2: In the small bowls, add a few drops of water to dilute your chosen acrylic paint colors until they have a slightly runnier quality.
Step 3: Using the dropper (or spoons), drop small dots of various colored paints on top of the methyl cellulose gel.
Step 4: Use the toothpick to pull and drag the paints all around the top of the gel, swirling them until they are in a pattern desired for your fabric. I find diluting the paints more, dropping them on top of each other and then combing through, them makes an incredible design without having to use too many different paints.
Step 5: Once you reach a design you like, lay your fabric directly on top of the paint/gel and pat very lightly – just enough to make sure all parts of the fabric are touched by the paints.
Step 6: Lift gently from two corners of the fabric to peel back the napkin from the mixture. Your acrylic paints will have stuck to the fabric the way it appeared on the methyl cellulose mixture. Let extra gel drip off back into the tin. The fabric will remain slightly shiny until completely dry. If there is still an excess of gel a few hours later, simply wipe down the fabric – the paint will stick even if the gel is wiped off.
It may take a few tries to get the paint just right so don’t be afraid to experiment (maybe with some scrap fabrics) to start out. Once you get the technique down, it’s quite easy! On a side note, if you are attempting to make marbled fabric that can be washed repeatedly, use a watered down fabric paint in the same way as the acrylics. After the fabric is dry, set the paints with an iron on low heat.
As for those easter eggs? yep, we did them the same way, but with egg dye. Rolling them around in the gel gave them a subtle marbled quality. Once they were dry, we added bits of gold leaf in random placement all over the eggs, simply using a small paint brush to dab the gold leaf on.
*photography by cassandra lavalle for coco+kelley