Glass Gem Corn Napkins

November 9 2023

Inspired by the colors of glass gem corn, we created these hand dyed napkins to add the perfect pop of color to everyone’s harvest tablescape this fall.



  • White Cotton Square Napkin
  • Rit All-Purpose Liquid Dye: Tangerine, Marigold, Petal Pink, Purple, Indigo, Aquamarine, Coral, Wine, Lemon Yellow
  • Rit ColorStay Dye Fixative
  • Small Containers for Dyeing
  • Medium Container for Dyeing
  • Small Flat Paintbrush
  • Measuring Cup and Spoon
  • Paper Towels
  • Dish Detergent
  • Salt
  • Plastic Table Cover
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  1. Cover your work area and gather supplies.
  2. For best results, prewash napkins, rinse and dry. This will help to remove any finishes that may interfere with dye absorption. Set aside.
  3. Fill 4-5 small containers with 4 cups of very hot tap water (140F). If the water is not hot enough, heat water on the stove or in a microwave and add to the dyebath.
  4. Wearing rubber gloves, add All-Purpose Dye to water; stir well. We used Petal Pink, Coral, Marigold, Apple Green, Aquamarine and Indigo.
  5. Add 2 tsp salt to each dyebath; stir well. Salt helps to intensify the color.
  6. Test dye color by dipping a paper towel into the dyebath. If color is too light, add more dye; if it is too dark, add more water.
  7. Place napkin angled and flat on covered surface. Place a layer of paper towels behind the top half.
  8. Using a small flat paint brush, apply dyes onto fabric alternating between colors to create the glass gem corn kernels. Layer colors together to create purples and oranges. Continue until the top 1/3 of the corner is covered.  Let dry.
  9. Once dry, set dyed area with an iron. This is important as the heat will help to set the dye.
  10. Fill a medium container with a gallon of hot tap water (140F). If the water is not hot enough, heat water on the stove or in a microwave and add to the dyebath.
  11. Add 1/8 cup of Lemon Yellow or Kelly Green, this will be the color of the corn ears.
  12. Add 1 tbsp of salt and 1 tbsp of dish detergent.
  13. Wearing rubber gloves, dip the opposite end of the napkin into dyebath until you reach the painted kernels. Move the napkin slowly up and down and back and forth. Continue dipping napkin until you are satisfied with the color. This may take 5 – 10 minutes. Color will look darker when wet and prior to washing.
  14. When satisfied with the color, remove napkin from the dyebath.
  15. To enhance the color and reduce color bleeding, immerse the dyed parts of the napkins into Rit ColorStay Dye Fixative for 20 minutes, following these directions.
  16. Rinse dip dyed area of napkins under cold running water until water runs clear.
  17. Then wash entire napkin in cold water with mild detergent, rinse and hang dry.
  18. Once dry, fold and tie to create desired corn shape.
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