Monday, July 12, 2010

Napkin Art - Pt. I - Basic Napkin Collage Card

As promised, today I'm going begin sharing techniques relating to Napkin Art!

There are so many decorative napkins on the market today ~ it's hard to buy just one. So I'm here to give you lots of ideas on how to incorporate those napkins into your art work.

Napkin Art

Part I

Basic Napkin Collage Card




Liquid Adhesive (I'm using PPA by USArtquest)*

Bristle Paint Brush**

Ink Blending Tool & Foam (optional)

Distress Ink (optional)


*You'll need a good liquid adhesive. I prefer to use PPA or something similar as it is a thin glue that dries quickly and clear in both a matte or glossy finish. I find that thin glues work much better for this technique as it is less likely to tear the damp/wet napkin as opposed to thicker varieties of liquid glue. I do not recommend Mod Podge since there is usually a sticky residue even after it has dried.

**Bristle type paint brushes work better for this technique as it does not produce tiny bubbles that tend to form when foam brushes are used.


1. Choose the desired napkin and remove the extra white layers from the top "design" layer. To do so, carefully bend one corner back until you can see the seperate layers. There are usually one or two layers of white napkin pressed to the top design layer. Don't discard the white napkins as they are great for clean up!

Napkin Collage - Simple Card 001

Napkin Collage - Simple Card 003

2. Remove the desired image from the rest of the napkin. There are two basic ways to do so ~

A) Outline the desired portion using a paint brush and water or a waterbrush. Gently pull away the excess areas you don't want. I like to hold my thumb or finger along the edge I wish to keep so I cannot pull away any of the desired design.

Napkin Collage - Simple Card 004

Napkin Collage - Simple Card 005

B) The second method is to carefully trim away the desired design with sharp scissors. If your scissors aren't sharp it tends to tear the napkin material.

Napkin Collage - Simple Card 006

3. Now that you have your desired images at hand, determine placement on your card panel.

Napkin Collage - Simple Card 007

4. (Optional) I like to add a bit of color by using my Ink Blending Tool and Distress Inks. This is totally optional but it really adds to the overall finished design. When working with certain images I try not to ink where lighter colored areas will be ~ faces in particular.

Napkin Collage - Simple Card 008

5. Add a dollop of glue to your card base. I like to work with one image at a time because the glue dries quickly. Spread the glue in a thin layer over the area your initial image will be placed.

Napkin Collage - Simple Card 010

6. Place the napkin design into the wet glue. Add an additional bit of glue over the napkin. Gently spread and smooth out the napkin. By adding the second layer of glue over the top of the napkin it will help to prevent tearing during this process. If you feel you are running out of glue feel free to add more. I like to work from the center out towards the edges.

Napkin Collage - Simple Card 012

7. Repeat step 5 & 6 until all images have been added.

8. Apply a final layer of glue to the entire card panel for a uniform, finished look. Let the card dry completely.

I will be back later this afternoon to finish up the card.


  1. I just picked up a few packs of beautiful retro cocktail napkins (for $.50/pk) so I will definately be trying that. Thanks!

  2. WHERE oh where did you get those amazing vintage themed napkins?!! Oh my gosh...!

  3. Hi Roni
    thanks for your wonderful tutorial!
    I was at a local Aussie craft show yesterday and got to try this! I am sooo hooked!
    just wondering if you can use normal acid free glue for this technique. I bought the actual napkin glue they used yest for the demo! Just a little expensive!
    thanks for your wonderful blog!

    kerri, victoria. australia! x

  4. Kerri ~ you don't have to buy the "special" glue. I have used a multitude of different glues on this technique. The main thing to keep in mind is if your glue dries clear, beyond that it's totally up to you.

  5. Awesome girl!
    Thanks for sharing!



Thanks for your thoughts and comments!