July 21st, 2009 |

Napkin of the Week: Sunflowers!

sunflowers

Sunflowers add instant warmth to any table.  I’ve always considered sunflowers to be “happy” flowers…they instantly put a smile on my face!  Try setting the table for your next dinner party with these great napkin rings from Pottery Barn, or cut off the top of a flower and insert a placecard.  Both easy to do and equally charming!

Images: napkin rings (potterybarn.com), sunflower placecard (theknot.com)

June 23rd, 2009 |

Napkin of the Week: Orchid Love

Orchid Napkin

This napkin needs little explanation!  But I thought it was a great example of how a little ribbon and a stunning bloom can completely transform a basic napkin into something special.  Take this concept – change the colors, change the ribbon and the flower – and make it your own.

Image via The Knot

May 26th, 2009 |

Napkin of the Week: Summer Bandanna

bandanna-napkins

For a quick and vibrant table – turn to a summer staple for inspiration – the bandanna.  Sold at most craft stores in a large array of colors (and incredibly inexpensive, I might add) – these colorful squares can brighten up any table in no time!  Check out these great ideas from Country Living:

To make the bandanna napkin rings:

Cut a bandanna into 6- by 9-inch strips. Fold each strip in thirds lengthwise, then fold in thirds widthwise. Sew a button on one end, about 1 inch from the edge. (Choose any colorful loose buttons you may have on hand; they don’t need to match.) Then cut a corresponding buttonhole on the opposite end of the strip.

To make the bandanna placesetting:

This quick-and-easy place setting also makes a sweet party favor for guests. Cut a bandanna into fourths. Fill squares with candy, gather edges, and tie with ribbon. For the name tag, make color photocopies of bandannas. Cut into rectangles, punch a hole at one end, and string on ribbon.

May 19th, 2009 |

Napkin of the Week: Sail Away

sailboat

Sail into Memorial Day weekend with this napkin that just SCREAMS summer!  This festive boat would be great for any summer party or children’s birthday party.

Step 1: Fold the napkin. Lay the cloth napkin flat on the surface you are using and fold the napkin in half horizontally. Fold it again vertically so that you have a square that is the fourth of the size of your original napkin.

Step 2: Rotate the napkin. Turn the napkin so that it is in the shape of a diamond with the open edges of the napkin on the bottom.

Step 3: Crease the bottom of the napkin upwards so that you have a triangle. Fold both the left and the right points of the triangle until they touch in the middle of the napkin.

Step 4: Turn down the flaps. There will be two small flaps on your napkin. Fold them under so that the front looks like a triangle again. This time fold them with a line down the middle.

Step 5: Take the left and right points and fold them towards the back until they meet. As this is happening, crease the fold.

Step 6: Pull the flaps. There will be four flaps inside of the triangle you have formed. Pull these flaps out until they look like the sails of boats.

Image via Napkins with a Twist, instructions via ehow.com

May 5th, 2009 |

Napkin of the Week: Daisy Embellishment

daisy-embellishmentThis is a festive way to dress up any Spring table….lovely for Mother’s Day or a Bridal Shower!

Cut a white ribbon into a 14-inch piece. Using silk daisies, trim stems close to the flower’s head. Lightly mark the halfway point on ribbon. Working from center, adhere two daisies on either side.

To create fan with your napkin, start from the bottom and fold napkin accordion style. Tie at the middle with daisy chain.

Image and instructions via Parents.com

April 28th, 2009 |

Napkin of the Week: White!

white-dishes-intro-copy

This week, I thought I should focus on the most common and readily available napkin – the crisp, white napkin.  Used for centuries, a white napkin has graced many dinner tables – both casual and formal.  You can fold it different ways, tie it with different ribbons, even lay a seasonal bloom gently on top of it.  It’s a clean palette – you can change the look of it in an instant.

The only issue with white napkins?  How to keep them clean!  All it takes is one, tiny little stain – and suddenly your crisp, elegant napkin looks old and tired!  In order to help you care for your white linens, here are a few tips that I thought might be helpful:

To launder white table linens, soak them first before washing. For badly stained tablecloths and napkins, you can use household bleach.  (But use warm water and a mild soap or detergent to wash colored and delicate white linens.)  While the linens are still damp, put a hot iron to them and continue until they are completely dry.

Napkins and tablecloths should be ironed on both sides. To iron a tablecloth fold it wrong side out, lengthwise. Iron it with the thread of the material. Refold the cloth right side out and iron it again, pressing in the center crease. Fold it lengthwise a second time, then crosswise several times without pressing the folds. One sharp crease down the center is all you want.

Iron napkins first on the wrong side, beginning with the corners and getting them properly right-angled to avoid distorting the weave, then iron them on the right side. Fold or roll as you wish.

Image via Pottery Barn

April 21st, 2009 |

Napkin of the Week: Roll it up!

roll-it-up

Simple and sophisticated, this rolled napkin will make a stunning companion to any placesetting.

You can accessorize your napkin roll with a ribbon tie, a napkin ring, or even a piece of twine with a placecard attached to it.

Perfect for a luncheon, bridal shower, or special dinner party….I hope you will try this napkin roll at your next party!

Image via The Knot

April 14th, 2009 |

Napkin of the Week: Tied with a Flower

zinnia-napkin-nwat

I love, love, love this week’s Napkin of the Week.  Found in one of my favorite party planning books, Napkins with a Twist, this napkin would bring springtime cheer to any table.  You could really adapt this idea to any color palette or use different types of flowers.  I think this particular combination is so striking because of the use of one color, just different hues.

Solid color napkins are readily available – I found a few at Pottery Barn and Amazon.com.  The construction of this is simple – simply lay the napkin out in a flat square, pinch the center of the napkin and pull up.  Gather together about 3 inches down from the top of the point, and tie with a ribbon.  After you tie your bow, insert a flower.  Voila!

April 7th, 2009 |

Napkin of the Week: Hop to it

Bunny Face Napkin (small)

I thought I would give you one more bunny-inspired napkin before Easter is upon us…..

This happy-faced bunny napkin is sure to be a charming companion to your Easter-theme party.  You need napkins, jelly beans, and licorice strings – these come together quickly (you know how fast bunnies multiple!) so they are great for a party.

Instructions

1. Begin with the napkin full open, laid out as a diamond.  Fold up the lower point 3 or 4 inches and crease the fold with your fingers along the bottom.  The thinner your band, the longer your bunny’s ears will be.

2. Fold the folded edge up 3 or 4 inches and crease the fold with your fingers along the bottom.  Basically, you are “rolling” the napkin.  Continue until you get to be about 3 inches from the top.  Press.

3. Fold the right side of the napkin band up along the right side of the triangle (the top 3 inches you left) so that it overlaps the bottom layer by about 4 inches.

4. Repeat with the left side of the band, pointing it the opposite direction.  Press.

5. Flip the napkin over and there is your bunny face.

6. Decorate as you like!  Licorice strings are great for the mouth and whiskers – as they are easy to cut and shape.  Try using jelly beans for the eyes and nose.

Hop to it napkin via Napkins with a Twist

March 31st, 2009 |

Napkin of the Week: Modern Bunny Ears

Bunny Ears (small)

With Easter quickly approaching, I thought it would be appropriate to show the first (of a few!) napkin ideas for your Easter celebration.  By using a bright colored napkin, these bunny ears energize any modern table!

Instructions

Bunny Ears Instructions (small)

Step 1

Take a solid-colored square napkin, and starch it for optimal workability. Thinner napkins work better, so choose a linen napkin over a thick cotton one.

Step 2

Fold the napkin in half.

Step 3

Fold the napkin in half again, to form a long rectangle.

Step 4

Fold the right and left sides up to meet in the center, forming a point at one end.

Step 5

Repeat with the opposite corners.

Step 6

Fold the side corners in so they meet in the center, but don’t fold exactly straight. Pull up above the center point, and you’ll start to see the ears shape up. The napkin will form a kite shape.

Step 7

Gently turn your napkin over.

Step 8

Fold the bottom point up, so that it is roughly 1” above the center of the napkin.

Step 9

Carefully, turn the napkin over again.

Step 10

Roll the left side over, slightly past the center of the napkin.

Step 11

Fold the right side over, tucking the end into the pocket you created on the left side, holding your napkin together.

Step 12

Turn the napkin upright, separating the bottom to form a base. Fluff your bunny’s ears.

Instructions via Good Housekeeping, images via Flickr

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