Nice Saves!

Saturday was one of those days.  You know … one of THOSE days where everything I did either didn’t work, had to be done over, or took waaaaaay longer than expected.  Good thing the time change gave me an extra hour!  I actually accomplished a lot — just not as much as I’d hoped …

Anyway, I’m still managing share with you TWO projects that did work.

Project #1: Dying napkins
I recently found these napkins and placemats at Goodwill.  There were 4 sets of each color; same design on the fabric.  I’m a pushover for heavy jacquard fabric … but (though it’s a little hard to tell in this picture) this fabric was very faded.  No holes or stains, though.  Hmmm …  I wonder if I could dye them.


Four sets @ $1.16/set = $4.64 … The price was right.  And a bottle of dye doesn’t cost much.  What color dye would I use?

I decided to buy the linens and dye them a dark brown.  Of course, because they started out two different colors, they would end up two different colors, but I hoped one of them would be a really dark chocolate brown — and that the other would just be pretty! 

When I got home it hit me:  the last time I dyed something I didn’t have a front-loading washer.  How do you put the dye in FIRST with a front loader?  There had to be a way … so I did what we all tend to do these days.  I Googled “dye front load washer” — and found this link. Whew!  The Internet came through for me again!

This weekend I decided it was time to tackle the project.  I wet the fabric and loaded it into the washer …

Added the dye according to the directions at the link above …

And prepared the supplies I’d need to clean my washer immediately following the dye process.

And then I waited …  How would they look?  What color would they be?  Did I honestly think with the kind of day I was having I could do this project without getting dye on something and ruining it?

Finally, the buzzer on the washer sounded, and I peeked inside. Four dark chocolate brown placemats and napkins — and another set of lovely sienna brown ones.  I’m afraid my pics aren’t as dark as these are in person, so imagine them a few luxurious shades darker.  What do you think?

I’m going to use the dark brown ones in a tablescape … maybe this week.  I hope you’ll stop back by to see it.

Project #2:  Getting linens ready for the holidays

A friend recently came over and looked through the white damask tablecloths in my “stash.”  She wanted to pick up a few more things before the holidays.  One tablecloth she chose features a beautiful fern pattern and has 12 matching napkins.  We both fell in love with it, and I’m so glad it fits her table!

BUT (there’s always a “but” isn’t there?) … the tablecloth and napkins were in my “stash” of yet-to-be-laundered linens.  Translation:  they still had stains.  Ugly-looking stains.  She went home, trusting me to work my magic.  I pulled out my “magic” all-time-favorite linen cleaner, Restoration, and started soaking the linens …

What do you think?


Guess what?  The really rusty-looking stains disappeared the second I put them into the soak.  Seriously …  I had planned to take some pics, and there wasn’t even time to turn on my camera!  The yellow storage stain soaked out overnight.

If you’ve dreamed of using some of your heirloom linens for the upcoming holidays — but they’re stained and you don’t know how to clean them — NOW YOU DO!  I sell Restoration right HERE in my Etsy shop.  If your linens are NOT silk or wool, this cleaner is for you!  (If you’re still nervous, email me or send me a picture of your linens, and I’ll give you some suggestions.)

What?  You don’t have any heirloom linens, but you’ve always wanted some for your holiday table?  No problem!  Just email me with your table dimensions and tell me what you have in mind.  I’ll see what I have that you might like — then if I have something you want, I’ll reserve it for you in my Etsy shop.  Please know that, while I’ll do everything I can to get something to you quickly, I may still have to launder it … so please contact me ASAP!



Thank you for stopping by today!
You may also want to follow me to these parties …
Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch
Mosaic Monday at Little Red House


  1. I think you did a great job on these linens! And this is a very good idea, Susan. I had something receently that I was thinking might need dying, and I might just tackle it some time. Thanks!


    Sheila 🙂

  2. P.S. Where did you find the restoration? I really need to find some of that!

  3. Sheila, I sell the Restoration in my Etsy shop:

    The link is also in the second paragraph under the pic. The stuff really works — that’s why I sell it!

  4. Wonderful dye job! Getting the linens ready for the holiday … another task for the list!!!!

  5. The napkins look lovely! Great idea and tips. Also, am a restoration user….I need to use it on a couple of lace tablecloths with stains….thanks for the reminder. Nice photos of all…even the washer!

  6. The napkins turned out beautifully! I’d be so afraid of ending up with dye all over everything in my house… 🙂

  7. They turned out great! Very pretty! Thanks for the link, I have a front load, too, and wondered how to dye in it!

  8. Excellent job–and brave to do so. I should try that. We love using cloth napkins.

  9. Your napkins turned out beautifully. How brave you were to give it a try.

  10. Love it! I have put this post in my favorites to come back to get some of that restoration!

  11. Wow!! This post was full of great information!! I’ve stayed away from dyeing because I also have a front loader – so thanks for the link. And I’ve never heard of restoration but I have several pieces that need it! Thanks for a great post. 🙂

  12. Hi Susan, I had never heard of this product, good to know there’s some magic available to save us once in a while!
    I loved the idea about dying the napkins! In Brazil we do it in a large cooking pot, on top of the stove with the water boiling. It works very well for small projects like this.

  13. Fabulous job with both the dye job and the restoration. I just love old linens. You have given me the inspiration to look beyod the stains and fading and do something creative when I find them.

    Great post!