MAKE IT / 50

i have been searching for the perfect placemats for our dining room table ever since i hosted thanksgiving at my house and realized i didn’t have any! today we will be making some dip dyed linen placemats that i just LOVE. this would be a great DIY project for a wedding reception or your next outdoor event. the texture of the linen looks really great, and each placemat has it’s own unique look.

what you’ll need:

• Heavy weight linen fabric (one placemat = 13×18”)
• Fabric dye (we used Fiber Reactive Procion dye in Bubble Gum and Elephant Grey from Dharma Trading Co.)
• Soda Ash and salt (for Procion dye; for Rit Dye follow instructions on packaging)
• Plastic tub
• Two plastic cups
• Two wood craft sticks
• Plastic spoon
• Measuring spoon (do not use utensils also used for cooking with dye)

how to make them:

• To start, rip your pre-washed linen into 13 x 18 inch pieces, leaving a raw edge. To rip linen, make a small 1/4-inch cut on the edge of the fabric with a scissors and then tear so that the linen rips along the grain of the weave.

• Combine 2 teaspoons of dye and a small amount of water in plastic cup. Stir with wood stick to create a paste and completely dissolve dye (this step prevents “freckles” of undissolved dye on finished piece.)

• Combine dye mix with about 8 cups of water, ½ cup salt, and 2 tablespoons of soda ash in the plastic tub.  (Or follow more precise dyeing instructions on the Dharma site.)  Stir with plastic spoon until everything is completely dissolved.

• Hold placemat above plastic tray and lower one end into dye bath, keeping as straight as possible. Submerge about 2-3 inches and let dye penetrate for a minute.

• Remove fabric and set on a piece of plastic to dry. The dye will continue creeping up the fabric a bit while drying.

• Repeat previous steps with second dye color and dip dye opposite edge of placemat.

• Rinse each end in cold water and then wash the whole placemat in warm water with detergent. Hang to dry.

So, will you be trying these out? Experiment with a bunch of colors and send me pics!

project by: bramble workshop for designlovefest
styled by: bri emery
photos by: brittany wood
more DIY projects here 



Add your own

  • 1. novella @ 9lla.it  |  February 18th, 2014 at 4:14 am

    Love the shades you’ve chosen!
    It’s very pretty the idea of placing cutlery on the dipped parts, so that they are divided with colors too ;)

    A fashion & DIY blog…

  • 2. lolo  |  February 18th, 2014 at 4:24 am

    What a cute idea, and such a fun gift too.
    Love the cutlery!!

  • 3. chelsea  |  February 18th, 2014 at 4:45 am

    So gorgeous!

  • 4. Vicky  |  February 18th, 2014 at 4:50 am

    cute! I love it for a gift! the palette so nice :)

  • 5. Rebecca Lately  |  February 18th, 2014 at 4:56 am

    We don’t have any place mats, either. I was just thinking about this the other day. I will try this!!

  • 6. xfallenmoon  |  February 18th, 2014 at 5:11 am

    Gorgeous color choice. I really need to try some dye. I keep finding so many cute tutorials I want to try…

  • 7. Kim  |  February 18th, 2014 at 5:19 am

    Beautiful! And we share a plant :) I also have a pink veined beauty though mine is huge at this point. I’ve had it for a few years. I love it because it tells me when it’s out of water by dramatically drooping. Water it and it perks back up! I’ve yet to kill it (cross your fingers!).

  • 8. Bodil Loïs  |  February 18th, 2014 at 5:22 am

    Such a cool idea, they look great!

  • 9. Lauren S  |  February 18th, 2014 at 5:50 am

    Fantastic DIY post! The results look high end :- ) I’m curious to use lighter weight linen and try out some napkins!

  • 10. Shirsha | The Everyday & Beyond  |  February 18th, 2014 at 6:03 am

    Oooh… these look lovely. We are moving houses soon and this is definitely something that I would love to try!

  • 11. angela  |  February 18th, 2014 at 6:06 am

    Fantastic tutorial & project! I love these and think it would also make a super fun runner for my dining room table. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Angela @ Number Fifty-Three

  • 12. Silvia | missblank  |  February 18th, 2014 at 6:21 am

    A fantastic and easy idea! Thank you to share it!

  • 13. Molly {Dreams in HD}  |  February 18th, 2014 at 6:24 am

    these are beautiful, what a fantastic idea!

  • 14. Diana  |  February 18th, 2014 at 7:20 am

    Such a gorgeous project! I just love the natural look of the dip-dye — definitely going to try this out!

  • 15. Sally  |  February 18th, 2014 at 7:31 am

    This is such a great idea, nice placemats are so hard to find. I’m going to have to give this a go!

  • 16. Victoria | Oh So Pretty  |  February 18th, 2014 at 8:27 am

    This is sooo perfect! love it!

  • 17. In a Trendy Town  |  February 18th, 2014 at 8:56 am

    How much imagination and creativity! Beautiful!


  • 18. Casey  |  February 18th, 2014 at 9:40 am

    Love these place mats, this looks like a DIY that I can actually do! Thanks for the idea!

  • 19. maggie  |  February 18th, 2014 at 9:50 am

    These are stunning! And I agree with Casey – looks like a DIY I could actually do!

  • 20. Tori  |  February 18th, 2014 at 10:45 am

    You have no idea how excited I am for this DIY! I’ve benen wanting to make my own placemats but I don’t know how to sew yet so this is perfect. And they’re gorgeous! Thank you!

    Much love, http://www.myomlife.com/

  • 21. Jennifer Squires  |  February 18th, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    I can’t wait until the weather gets warmer, I’ve got loads of dip dying projects and this one is at the top of my list! Beautiful!

  • 22. stephanie@babasouk  |  February 18th, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    eeeek! The table setting is perfection.

  • 23. Stormie  |  February 18th, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    Can’t wait to try this! At last a craft basic enough I actually think I could handle it! haha. So cute.

  • 24. Kate  |  February 18th, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    Want. Now. Please.

  • 25. Jacqueline  |  February 19th, 2014 at 2:31 am

    So pretty; such a clever idea! Thanks for sharing! :)

  • 26. Aga @ Passion shake  |  February 19th, 2014 at 4:34 am

    So simple and so awesome!!!

  • 27. Amy  |  February 19th, 2014 at 10:40 am

    Also what a cool bottle opener! Where is it from?

  • 28. Alicia  |  February 19th, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    I love the placemats idea…but am even more in love with your gold colored flatware. Where is it from??

  • 29. Kelly  |  February 19th, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    Great idea! I am in LOVE with that cutlery where is it from?

  • 30. Laura (Tutti Dolci)  |  February 21st, 2014 at 9:01 am

    These placemats are so pretty! I want to dye linens to use as photography props so I can’t wait to try this technique.

  • 31. Caro  |  February 23rd, 2014 at 6:08 am

    Looks so lovely… Such a great idea, simple but with a huge Effect ;)

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  • 33. Sasha  |  March 4th, 2014 at 10:38 pm

    Great and simple idea Bri!! Thank you! I recently got inspired by RealLiving( Australian home & lifestyle magazine) for DIY bed sheets dye project and it was great fun!! Looks amazing I must say and personal achievement and satisfaction is wonderful!
    One question though. I did a 4-stage dyeing leaving 1/4 original white (same I can see in your project) how did you achieve the white to not color during wash? Mine colored still after I washed under cold water, dryed overnight and only then washed in machine without detergent (as per instructions).

  • 34. Michelle  |  March 22nd, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    Yes! Thank you for this, I haven’t been able to find the perfect fit with my grandmother’s old dining room table and our plates! I think we will try this! Also, where did this gold flatware come from??

  • 35. Carly Hodgkinson  |  March 26th, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    I was going to buy place mats for my new house but I think I will try this on the weekend instead!

    Thank you!

  • 36. Bryn  |  March 27th, 2014 at 11:21 am

    Flatware is from West Elm, rose gold. I have it and it’s just as amazing in person :)

  • 37. Amber Renee  |  April 3rd, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    GORGEOUS. I’m featuring this and linking you on my links page. Happy I found your blog. I need to explore other blogs more because this is excellent. Thank you. I’m actually planning to dip dye my vintage bed spread (white). xx

  • 38. Micha  |  April 24th, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    Hi Bri,
    I just made four placemats from nettle cloth that I’ve still leftovers of from my sample wedding dress. I used red and black color which I happened to have at home. I dissolved the colors in water, and, funnily, they turned out to look just like yours! Makes me very happy :-) Thanks for sharing this inspiring project. Love the placemats. Adorable!! And they remember me of the fun I had sewing my wedding dress. Next project with the nettle cloth will be a cloud mobile with white clay rain drops.. Can’t wait!

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  • 40. john godman  |  July 27th, 2014 at 11:26 pm

    Great and fantastic! Thank you to share it!

  • 41. Movers Washington DC  |  July 29th, 2014 at 10:23 am

    it looks so simple but it is so awesome!!!

  • 42. Star  |  July 30th, 2014 at 11:58 am

    These are lovely! I think you might get a smoother fade (without the “water line”) if you pre-dampen your place mats and then dip them in the dye. :)

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