Make Heart-Patterned Napkins With a Bleach Pen

Bleach Pen Valentine's NapkinsSometimes, the stars align and you happen to have all of the materials needed on hand when an inspiration strikes you. This is one of those times. I was cleaning up the kitchen yesterday and was thinking I could use some Valentine’s themed kitchen towels. I knew I had a couple of mismatched cotton napkins in red and pink on hand, so I decided to try to come up with a free way to conjure up some hearts. And then my eyes rested on the bleach pen I’d been using to freshen up some grout. Bing! Materials for Bleach Pen Valentine's Napkins

I totally went into this winging it. I’m sure there are ways I could have gotten cleaner lines or more contrast for the bleached areas, but for a completely free DIY project that took five minutes, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

First, I tried doing a straightforward pattern of hearts, alternating rows of filled-in hearts with outlined hearts. DIY Valentine's Heart Napkins using a bleach pen

The bleach pen made it super simple to draw on the bleach like ink or paint. I let the bleach sit for a few minutes before washing it off with warm water.

Then I decided to do a tic tac toe pattern, as a play on the “hugs and kisses” of the x’s and o’s. DIY Valentine's Napkins

Again, I let the bleach sit for a few minutes, then rinsed with warm water. At this point, I threw both of the napkins in the wash for a quick cycle, then into the dryer. The result was a muted, but clear, color difference. Though I initially envisioned that the bleach would remove all of the color, I actually really like the tone-on-tone difference. Here’s the finished product, clean and dry:

DIY Valentine's Napkins

DIY Valentine's NapkinsAfter the fact, I wondered if maybe the bleach would have pulled more color if I had wet the napkins first. But when all is said and done, sometimes you have to let go of the pursuit of perfection to instead enjoy a finished product, even if it isn’t exactly what you expected.

So, what do you think — is this a DIY win or a DIY fail? It was free and fast, so no harm, no foul. But does it live up to my high DIY standards? Maybe with a little more refinement … I’ll keep you posted!

Find more easy DIY projects and profiles here on Made + Remade. And how cute are these love bugs below?

2 Responses

  1. Sandy says:

    Wow! these napkins are looking super cute…..i am gonna try it on this weekend….
    Hand Wipes

  2. Aaron Cummings, SLC says:

    I like this! I am going to try it myself.


About Ellen Foord 


A tight budget has never stopped Ellen Foord from creating a beautiful, modern, creative home and treating every day as one of life's smaller celebrations. A freelance writer and ...

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