Hey – im back with a quick blog post about how im getting all those cute floral prints on my furniture and on wood! Ive been posting ton of pics on FB lately about these fun florals and lots were asking for a tutorial – so here goes!
I saw and bought a piece of scrapbook paper at Hobby Lobby months ago when i was working on another project and the print was some faded florals on barnwood and i loved it. Then i bought some photography backdrops a few months back and it was also the same type of image – and i knew i wanted to recreate it. While looking at something online maybe about a year ago or so, i had come across someone using napkins to cover a shelf or something and that had always been stored in the back of my brain somewhere – so when i put the two together, napkins and barnwood i knew i could make it look awesome! Obviously there are 1000’s of tutorials online for mod podge projects, but this is how i do mine :)
Since then, i have been using napkins on lots of projects and i love it! I love the look it gives and i especially love it over the barn wood – my fav.
For this piece – i made some crates out of cedar fencing posts and covered them with napkins….
Same concept on this one, napkins on fence posts and then i put it on the back of my new (half finished) hutch….one day soon i will have an entire wall done like this (plan for my daughters room, cant wait!!).
On this piece, i used the napkins in a classic way – just mod podged them right on the furniture.
Ok – this is a super simple process but it looks amazing! Im obsessed with finding fun napkins – the best place i have found them so far is just on Amazon – they have a good selection and shipping is super fast.
These pics are awful – so sorry!! I was working in the dark garage and didnt want to open up the door for sunlight – to chilly outside!
For the napkins on wood, i just start with some stained fencing slats. I stained these using my vinegar stain that i talked about here.
To apply the napkins you will need good old Mod Podge and a paint brush. I happened to be out of mod podge, so i used our SafeCoat thats available in our online shop – it works the same. I actually liked the SafeCoat better because it didnt dry out so fast.
And of course you are going to need napkins – i like the larger ones rather than the cocktail ones. You could also use tissue paper and then you wouldnt have to peel off the plys – i havent been able to find any tissue paper i like though.
This is the most important step. Your napkins will be 3 ply – its super important if you want a distressed look that you remove the 2 white sheets behind the printed one. On most of the napkins, the one sheet will come off really easy, but you really need to get your fingernails under the 2nd sheet to peel it back. Throw away the 2 white sheets and your just going to use the printed one.
After you have peeled your napkin, apply the mod podge to the board. I tend to apply it a little heavy so the napkin will really get into all the wood groves and so that the napkin is really soaked up and almost looks transparent. This will make it look more like its printed or painted directly onto the wood rather than just laying on top of it.
After i brush on the mod podge, just lay the napkin on the wood. The napkin is thin, but its really not going to tear or break on you and if it does, then dont worry about it because you will be distressing it in the end. I dont do anything special to apply the napkin – just push down and smooth it out with my hand. I just make sure to press it into the wood, the napkin will start looking transparent so you will know when its done. And dont worry if you have wrinkles or creases – they will look fine in the end. IMPORTANT – DO NOT mod podge over the top!! If you do – you will not be able to distress them very easily. Now – you may not want them distressed for your project and then your fine to go over the top, but in my case, i never mod podge over the top.
In this pic below, notice all the wood grain showing through? That gives you an idea of how transparent the napkins become.
To cut the napkins where they hang over, the easiest way for me is just to use a sanding block. I just move it up and down real quick over the edge and then just pull off the excess.
Normally i will end up with a seam somewhere. If im doing the napkins on wood slats, then im not going to worry about how the seams line up since they are going to be pretty distressed. But on furniture, i would take my time and line up the seams so the pattern matches up. Ive also been asked if i use the napkin part that has the little nubbies on it, normally around the edges – and yes i do, they pretty much disappear so i dont worry about cutting those off.
After the napkins have dried, they look good and could be used like this, but i prefer to distress them, i think that makes all the difference!
To distress, i use my trusty orbital sander :) I just make sure its set on low and then use a fine grit paper. You can also use a sanding block – but this goes so much quicker! Whatever you use, just sand until you like the look.
And after its distressed, it looks like this!!! Isnt it amazing?! I want to cover the world in napkins!
Again – use it over wood or cover anything your little heart desires!! If using it on furniture, i do it basically the same way, except that i do apply some type of protective finish after i have distressed it.
You can also glaze or dark wax over it to tone down the paper a bit – i did that on this EAT sign…
And i couldnt help putting them over this cute lunch box that i painted!
Just one more….this one i made for my soon to be collage wall in my entry way – i love this one! For this one, i painted the wood yellow 1st rather than staining it – i love how the color showed through.
And thats it!! Super simple way to add some amazingness to anything!!
**Edited to add**
A Couple more recent projects done with this technique