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Napkin Art

Napkin Art now available - order your copy now

How to create a unique washable fabric projects from paper napkins with Susan Filer

Materials Required:
100% cotton or other fabric
Clear Gel Medium
Assorted paper napkins, 3ply are best
Flat paint brush

Useful materials
Rotary Cutter, ruler and cutting mat
Fabric pencil and ruler

Gel Mediums
I use Rico Napkin Glue for most of my projects. Many manufacturers produce a clear artist gel and most are suitable for this technique. They need to dry clear and retain a certain amount of flexibility when applied to the fabric. The product should also be acid free and non-toxic and check that your finished fabric project can be washed.

This technique will work on all fabrics but when I intend to combine liquid Patchwork with other techniques I prefer to use 100% cotton. The gel mediums may cause some fabrics to darken where it has been applied.

Begin by removing the back two plain, unprinted layers of tissue from the napkin. Cut or tear out the motifs from the napkin. You may want to combine images from several different napkins. Lay out your design on top of the fabric base. Begin gluing down with the gel medium working on the motifs that are in the background first. Apply the gel medium over the top of the paper napkin allowing it to soak through to the fabric underneath, this will ensure a good bond between the napkin and the base fabric. Be generous with the gel when working but remove any surplus once the napkin motif has been ‘glued’ in place.

Apply Accents
You can use the same gel medium to apply, metal leaf flakes, lace, yarns, ribbon and many other embellishments. If the accent you are applying is thicker and/or non-porous, brush some gel medium onto the surface first then apply the object over the gel and brush another layer of gel over the objects surface.

Cleaning up and Care
Read the instructions on the product you are using. Most will clean up in warm soapy water. Never allow the gel mediums to dry on your brush as once dry the gels are permanent and can-not be removed.
Your finished fabric does not require any setting. Once the gel mediums are dry they create a permanent bond with the fabric. Do not iron over the surface of your created fabric. If it requires pressing you may apply an iron the reverse using a pressing sheet on both the front and back to protect your iron and ironing surface. Use a low temperature with NO steam. Your fabric maybe washed by hand in cold or just warm water. Do not soak as the gel may go cloudy and soften. If this should occur place the fabric right side up on a flat surface and let it dry, it should dry clear as before. Happy Crafting.

Watch for Susan's new book,  Liquid Patchwork. A complete guide to the possibilities of napkin art  currently being worked on.


© Susan Filer, The Pattern Place, 2014. All Rights Reserved.  This information is intended for your personal use and may not be copied or shared in any form