Customize Cloth Napkins With Stencils

diy custom stenciled napkins

There are endless possibilities when it comes to customized details for entertaining. I always choose diy projects that aren’t too “fussy,” complicated, or time consuming because honestly, I’m impatient and don’t want to wait too long to see the results! One such project that fits the bill are these stenciled cocktail napkins I did several years ago.

The idea was to dress up some cotton cocktail napkins I already had, to give them some extra pizzazz  Not only are these fun to create for yourself, they make great hostess gifts too!  I love how they turned out, and here’s how you do it…

diy custom stenciled napkins diy custom stenciled napkins



  • Cloth napkins
  • Gold fabric paint {or your color of choice}
  • Small stencil from the craft store
  • Stippling brush

Place your stencil on top of the fabric at one corner. Press down securely with your fingers to hold it in place.

Pour some of the fabric paint onto a paper plate, and dip the stippling brush into it. Use a paper towel to dab your brush on so the paint isn’t too thick as you use it on the napkin.

Dab the paint onto the fabric within the stencil, using straight up and down motion until the shape is fully formed.

Allow to dry according to fabric paint instructions.

NOTE:  You may want to practice on a scrap of fabric first, to get the feel for it.

diy custom stenciled napkins diy custom stenciled napkins


More Tips & Options:

  • As you can see above, I did several “themes” using stars, Fleur de lis, and leaves. This gives me seasonal choices as well as year round choices. For the leaf napkins I used 2 different stencil shapes and placed them in a nice pattern. 
  • Another great option is to use monogram stencils & give these as gifts.
  • You can do this project using cocktail napkins like I did, fabric coasters, or dinner napkins.
  • Another idea for dressing up your napkins? Using iron-on rhinestone embellishments like I did in this Pink Princess party.

Resources:  Napkins – Crate & Barrel  /  Tray – A Blissful Nest Home Accessories  /  Craft Supplies – Michael’s Stores


For more inspiration, follow me on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook. Cheers!


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  1. says

    Very creative idea, Chris. The shapes you used are so lovely. And do you have some ideas on the stencils. I checked the craft store but didn’t find my favor styles. So I wonder if you have some suggestions on making the stencils.

    • Chris says

      Thanks! I don’t have any recs on making stencils, however I would check around different stores, or do a search online for specific themes or images. There seems to be a lot more to choose from via e-commerce than local retailers, in my experience.