How to Emboss Napkins for Your Wedding

When I was planning my wedding with Mr. T, I couldn't get over some of the prices of things. The amount of money we could have spent was pretty insane. And when I started looking at the prices of those cute little napkins to have with cake, I was mortified. I seriously had no idea that something you wiped your mouth with could cost so much merely because our names and wedding date were on it. I started to wonder what we could cut back on. I mean, not everyone needs a table and a plate when they have this pretty napkin, right? It was crazy. I felt like we were (literally) throwing tons of money away. So I set out to find options to make it cheaper. I realized that I have an embosser and live near an IKEA (that sells really cheap, but somewhat nice cocktail size napkins) so maybe there is something there.

We went to IKEA (we had to get a few other things there as well), purchased enough napkins for our wedding guests (we figured we would use them at home if it didn't work and wouldn't be out that much). Then we went home that night and tried it and it worked fantastically. Just like that we had napkins that were inexpensive, fit us as a couple, and went with all of the other things we were doing with our wedding. OK, maybe not just like that. This was one of the more time consuming projects we did for the wedding. However, it was totally worth it in the long run. We ended up doing napkins for cake and for cocktails and received a ton of compliments.

But enough with my babbling. Here's how to emboss napkins for your wedding. (you might remember this from one of my 12 Days of Christmas DIY)

What you'll need:

  • Napkins(We figured one per person and wanted them for cake and cocktails so we doubled it. I recommend buying a few extra in case you mess up. We used the basic white from IKEA, but you can use any color or purchase them at another store. I would recommend using a light color so you have more options and so it will match your colors. If you do use a darker color you will want to emboss in a light color.)
  • Embossing powder in the color of your choice(I chose blue, purple, and silver. All purchased at the Paper Source.)
  • Embossing heating tool(Also purchased at the Paper Source)
  • Embossing stamp pad(Also purchased at the Paper Source)
  • Stamp in shape of your choice(I chose to use our bride & groom and happily ever after that I purchased from the Paper Source and the heart stamp with our initials and love is sweet stamp that I purchased on Etsy. 

What you'll do:

1. Pick a large workspace and place a few napkins out, flat on the table.

When you do this you will be able to create a little assembly line and it will go much, much faster.

2. Stamp each napkin with the stamp.

I recommend practicing on one first so you know where to get the placement of the stamp and know how everything will go down. I chose the corner because I like how it looked. But you could stamp anywhere on the napkin so you want to see what fits your taste.

3. Pour embossing powder onto the shape you stamped on the paper.

I wanted ours to be all different so I had some fun with the embossing powder. I made some of the happily ever afters all different colors and the bride and groom different colors. You can get really creative. The stamp stays wet for a while so don't worry if it takes you a little time. Just word to the wise, if you do this make sure you do each color individually. I accidentally dumped three different colors onto on napkin and when I shook off the excess it became an ugly mixture and I had to throw it out.

4. Shake off excess embossing powder.

I usually shake the excess of onto a piece of paper or card stock. It's much easier than putting it back into the container. And again, make sure you are only shaking off one color at a time. If you find that some of the powder sticks to the napkin, just use a paint brush to brush it off. You can also gently shake the napkin.

5. Use the heating tool to go over the shape/powder.

Basically you use it similarly to the way you'd use a hair dryer. Keep it a couple of inches away from the embossing powder and kind of go back and forth. You will see it all kind of melt as you do it. Just be sure that you don't overdo it because if you do then you will start to burn off the awesome shape you just made.

Then just keep repeating the steps until you're finished. It can be great for a little assembly line if you want to assist the help of others. One person can stamp, another can follow with embossing powder, and then another follows with the tool.

It's super easy, fun, and you're left with some awesome and unique napkins that aren't like everyone else's. And everyone can have a seat, a plate, and a napkin at your wedding (you could also do this for any other occasion as well).