DIY Napkin Tutorial from Pearl & Godiva and Silk & Willow

Jan 20, 2015 | Inspiration

We love a great DIY Tutorial and today we're excited to bring you two from the best in the industry! The lovely Pearl from our favourite Pearl & Godiva got together with Pia from Peaches & Mint to style and photograph this perfectly organic DIY process of dyeing your own fabric napkins for your big day. Bespoke colour matched tableware is often something thought of late down the line of planning but why not get together with your mum or bridesmaids in these cold Winter months and spend time together creating DIY pretty for your wedding? This morning's recipe from Silk & Willow (we love them!) is created using onions - cost efficient and safe to use, you can even get the little ones involved...

From Silk & Willow: "Red onions are the perfect introduction to natural dyeing at home. Onions are food safe and high in natural tannins so they do not require the addition of a mordant to “fix” the color. You can also feel good about making use of materials not otherwise used. Visit your local market or farm, they are always happy to share their removed onion skins!"

TheOnionDye0016_small Peaches & Mint TheOnionDye0015_small Peaches & Mint TheOnionDye0033_small Peaches & Mint


2 Medium-Large Stainless steel pots

Red Onion Skins (the larger the project, the more skins you will need)

Silk material (cotton or wool can be used too)

TheOnionDye0057_small Peaches & Mint TheOnionDye0068_small Peaches & Mint

1. Start by preparing your material. I have used two 10 yard skeins of 100% silk sari ribbon. Add fiber material to your pot and cover with water so that your materials can move freely in the pot. Gradually heat to just before boiling (180 degrees Fahrenheit) then turn off heat and let set. (This will open the fibers and allow deeper penetration of dye color)

2. In another pot add your onion skins and fill with water to cover. I used the skins of about 6 medium onions. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Cook on a high simmer-boil for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. {to create a more concentrated color you can do this step the night before. Cook for 1 hour and cool in pot over night}. 

3. Use a colander to strain out your onion skins {or keep them in the pot to add texture and markings to your fabric material}. Add your warm & wet fabric to the dye pot. Heat to 180 degrees Fahrenheit (just before boiling) for 1 hour. You can leave your fabric in the pot over night, or for days to increase the saturation.

4. Remove from dye pot and rinse throughly until water runs clear. Hang to dry.

You can continue to add material to the dye pot until all of the color has been exhausted. Each additional batch of material will create a lighter shade. I have dyed two skeins of 10 yards of Silk Sari Ribbon for this recipe as an example. I will be offering a 10 yard skin of un-dyed Silk Sari Ribbon with 1 large antique style spool as a DIY kit for just $15.00 and it will include the "red onion skin dye recipe".

TheOnionDye0042_small Peaches & Mint TheOnionDye0059_small Peaches & Mint

We LOVE how easy this looks! Definitely something we could all try at home. Be sure to stop by Wedding Sparrow later today for part two in this DIY series where Shellie from Silk & Willow shows us how you can also dye with walnuts...

Wonderful photographer Peaches & Mint is an approved vendor with Wedding Sparrow - See more of her stunning work here...

Vendor details

Photography: Peaches & Mint | Styling and Design: Pearl & Godiva | Silk materials and ribbons: Silk & Willow


1 Comment
Aimee Aimee - 12 October 2017

Thank you for a great explanation. I was looking online for a similar idea and really appreciate it

Submit a comment
* Required fields