My son and I used this lovely pine needle punch from Martha Stewart to make some pretty napkins that will be a Solstice gift for my mother. It was a bit of an experiment and I'm really pleased that they came out so well.
You will need:
*Martha Stewart pine needle paper strip punch (or any other design) *100% white cotton handkerchiefs (I bought mine, a package of 12, at the dime store.) *freezer paper *spray bottle that holds ~2 cups *Rit Dye in Royal Blue *1 tsp. salt *hot water *iron *2 clothespins
My dye mix was an experiment that worked. I mixed about 2 cups of hot water with about 1/8 cup of dye and a teaspoon of salt in a spray bottle and shook it up.
Punch your paper strips from freezer paper that is long enough to cover the length of one edge of your handkerchief. Iron the waxy/shiny side of the punched freezer paper strip to your handkerchief.
Hang the handkerchief from something so you can spray it with the dye. We used a tree branch outside. The paper strip should be on the bottom. Spray heavily where the paper strip is and lightly everywhere else to get a bit of an ombre look.
Let the handkerchief dry. In our case, we had to watch for that fine line between the handkerchief drying and freezing so we brought ours in a little sooner and ironed with a hot iron to finish the job. Once they are dry you can pull up the stencil - the best part!
Repeat for each handkerchief. We were able to use one stencil strip twice before we needed to punch a new one. Just make sure that the stencil is completely adhered to the handkerchief before spraying it.
Since I was doing this as an experiment, I thought I would play it safe and let the handkerchiefs sit overnight before washing on cold and drying in a hot dryer, so, I don't know if it was necessary or not but it worked ;) They came out beautifully with no fading of detail!
And that's it! Really simple and a nice project to do along with a younger child or with very little guidance for an older child.
*Note: We only used a small portion of the dye mix so there will be plenty left over for other projects or you can reduce the amounts to get a smaller quantity of dye mix.