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

    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…

    lolo says:

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

    Vicky says:

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

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

    xfallenmoon says:

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

    Kim says:

    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!).

    Bodil Loïs says:

    Such a cool idea, they look great!

    Lauren S says:

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

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

    angela says:

    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

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

    these are beautiful, what a fantastic idea!

    Diana says:

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

    Sally says:

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

    This is sooo perfect! love it!

    How much imagination and creativity! Beautiful!


    Casey says:

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

    maggie says:

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

    Tori says:

    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/

    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!

    eeeek! The table setting is perfection.

    Stormie says:

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

    Kate says:

    Want. Now. Please.

    Jacqueline says:

    So pretty; such a clever idea! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    So simple and so awesome!!!

    Amy says:

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

    Alicia says:

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

    Kelly says:

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

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

    Caro says:

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

    Sasha says:

    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).

    Michelle says:

    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??

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

    Thank you!

    Bryn says:

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

    Amber Renee says:

    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

    Micha says:

    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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    john godman says:

    Great and fantastic! Thank you to share it!

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

    Star says:

    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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    I am so in love with these! Those colors are so beautiful! Making these next weekend!

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    Zoe says:

    This is an awesome post! Where did you find the linen fabric? I would love to try this out!

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    Just wonder if the color is fasten, if not it might stain a marble table.

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