Die Cutting Napkins

by Dave Brethauer

The absorbent properties of napkins add delightful dimension to die cuts.


  • White paper napkin (thin, cheap napkins work best)
  • Dies (Memory Box 94306 Silverdale Branch die used here)
  • Cardstock
  • Die cutting machine
  • Watercolor paints (Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolors and Starry Color metallic watercolor paints used here)
  • Watercolor brush (No.2 round brush used here)
  • Other supplies as needed to complete the project (used here: Memory Box CL5245 Tidings Wreath clear stamp set, white embossing powder, embossing heat tool)


  1. Step 1

    Begin by unfolding a napkin.

  2. Refold the napkin so that it will have eight layers when the die cuts through it.

  3. Step 2

    Cut a piece of plain white cardstock slightly larger than the die to be used.

  4. Place the folded napkin on top of the white cardstock.

  5. Step 3

    Place the cutting die on top of the napkin and onto your die cut machine. Cut according to your machine’s instructions.

  6. Step 4

    After cutting, remove the cut shape as you normally would and begin painting.

  7. Use plenty of liquid, so that the layers of the napkin soak up the liquid and puff up a bit.

  8. Step 5

    While the napkin die cut is still wet, brush over the surface lightly with metallic paint to provide a sparkly accent. Allow to dry before using on project.

  9. Step 6

    Use the die cut embellishment to complete a card or other project.


Your Turn

You've seen the tutorial, now you try it! We've got a section of the gallery set aside for Die Cutting Napkins. Try this technique, then upload your artwork to the gallery. Show us your creations!

***Please note - Internet Explorer/Edge is not a supported browser, and will not allow you to see the videos. Please use Chrome, Firefox or Safari to view our tutorial videos.

Questions and Comments

We'd love to get your feedback or questions. Leave your comment below.

Love this !!! Thanks for sharing x
happyscraps  |  Wed Nov 6, 2019 at 5:29 PM
I am trying this technique for Falliday Fest 2019 but the napkin layers separate from the white cardstock. What can I do to make this work?
gl1253  |  Wed Nov 6, 2019 at 5:45 PM
Love this technique....definitely going to try it--thanks for sharing!
Susanne527  |  Wed Nov 6, 2019 at 6:29 PM
Will definitely be trying this over the weekend!!!! TFS
nwilliams6  |  Thu Nov 7, 2019 at 5:33 AM
The best tutorial I've seen in a long time. Going to buy some napkins. LOL Thanks so much for sharing!
TracyMac  |  Thu Nov 7, 2019 at 12:17 PM
What a great tutorial!
Fantastic idea and brilliant artist!
Thank you for sharing this with us!
mamabean  |  Thu Nov 7, 2019 at 3:57 PM
I always love a tutorial that makes me want to jump up half way through it and go try it....this one did it for me! I can not wait to get started. Thank you for this and for the inspiration.
MickE  |  Fri Nov 8, 2019 at 9:38 AM
WOW! That is so pretty....thank you for sharing this idea
Mjtw  |  Mon Nov 11, 2019 at 4:59 PM
What a fun technique! Thank you for sharing
CindyH371  |  Wed Nov 13, 2019 at 8:34 AM
Excellent project! I have to give it a try now! smile Thank you for sharing.
soozyb13  |  Wed Nov 13, 2019 at 9:32 AM
Love love love this technique!
Shirley Desrochers  |  Wed Nov 13, 2019 at 9:33 AM
WOW❣️ How did I miss this one🤔.
This is absolutely gorgeous. I’m wondering if once dry and with time will these layers come apart? Or did I miss the part where adhesive was applied🤨
stampdujour  |  Wed Jul 15, 2020 at 7:24 AM
I tried this using a patterned napkin (pattern layer on top) and cut flower die from it -looked great when I painted over it with a layer of a clear paint (to puff it up) then a layer of silver paint. I also added a little colour to the leaves so they looked different to the flower. I have a red patterned napkin I want to use with a poinsettia die for Christmas. I'd like other idea for patterned napkins (apart from just sticking them to card and maybe cutting out)
janetannc  |  Wed Jun 2, 2021 at 1:39 PM
Love this idea, it’s a cheap and exciting new way was to make a beautiful card. Thank you for sharing.
Art Joy  |  Sat Sep 25, 2021 at 1:46 PM

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