Potato Mashers and Paint - My Evening with Martha

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My copy of Martha Stewart Living came in the mail today.

I've saved them all. From the very first issue. In a time back before "the scandal" and her time in "yale", but that's not the point. The point is that I was quickly flipping through it like I usually do, ready to put it in the pile of "magazines to read when I have time" (right, like THAT's gonna happen). I almost made it.  But then I turned to Page 111.
Image Credit: Martha Stewart Living - July, 2012
Image Credit: Martha Stewart Living - July, 2012

Image Credit: Martha Stewart Living - July, 2012
And I said to myself (not out loud because it scares the dog and makes the men in my house look at me funny), "Those wash cloths that we've been using as napkins are looking pretty gross.  I should probably buy make some new ones. I mean, after all, I have several potato mashers and some paint and I can run to Hobby Lobby for fabric. Why not just print some napkins before dinner tonight!? (Is it unusual that I think this way?..I'm told that it might be.)






  • 20x20 inch squares of 100% cotton broadcloth torn into squares, laundered (to remove the sizing) and ironed (you could also use pre-made napkins, just make sure that they are 100% cotton to ensure that the ink or paint will best adhere to the fibers).
  • Silk screen ink or fabric paint.
  • Objects to print with: rubber stamps, potato mashers, wicker coasters, the bottom of a 2 liter bottle or water bottle, rope, mesh bags...the sky's the limit! 
  • Paper towel and waxed paper to protect your work surface.
  • Small paint brush or foam brush.


  • Place waxed paper on work surface,  place 3-4 sheets of folded paper towel on top and lay fabric over it.
  • Apply ink to stamp or object
  • Press firmly into cloth and lift straight up to remove
  • Allow to dry for 24 hours
  • Heat set ink with a warm iron. (follow directions for your print medium).
 I tore these napkins and didn't hem or stitch them. They are meant for everyday use in our home.  I've found that the less "formal" (and more closely resembling a shirt sleeve) the napkins are, the more likely they are to use them.  It also helps if I leave a stack of them on the counter, next to the silverware. I've found that little "visual aids" like these seem to work on even the most tired of adolescent males.

I also found that 20x20 is a good size for my family. It's large enough to cover a lap, use for a lobster bib, or to fashion into any number of different types of head and neck wear for spontaneous dinnertime re-enactments of such classics as: Fiddler on the Roof, Pirates of the Caribbean, Showdown at the OK Corral  and even (when I'm in the mood), The Sound of Music!

So, if you plan on joining us for dinner this summer, bring you appetite, your imagination, and your best falsetto!  Have some fun! You  Only Live Once!



Linking to:
Chic on a Shoestring
Days of Chalk and Chocolate
Freckled Laundry
Funky Junk
House of Hepworths
My Repurposed Life
Tatertots and Jello
The Shabby Creek Cottage
Vintage Wanna Be