Seasonal Crafting: November Napkins

Get easy-to-follow instructions on how to make these beautiful, one-of-a-kind Thanksgiving napkins.

If you are having guests over for Thanksgiving this year, you are probably worried about presentation. Chances are you'll be using your best serving platters, silver ware, and china. But don't forget about another important element in the table setting - napkins.

Paper turkey-print napkins just won't do this year. These fall themed napkins are a perfect way to bring a touch of both sophistication and homemade comfort to the table.

Materials:

Solid colored linen or cotton napkins in dark red, orange or brown (think fall colors)



1 large fall leaf stamp

Gold all purpose craft paint

1 small paintbrush

How to: step by step instructions

1) Go shopping and buy enough napkins so that there will be one per person attending your Thanksgiving dinner, plus 3-5 extra napkins. You never know who might show up, or what someone might spill. Even if you don't want to use the nice napkins to clean up a spill, the guest will need a new one to replace the one that has been spilled upon.

2) Fold the napkin into a rectangle. Most square napkins should be folded into thirds from the (right and left) sides and then fold again, this time in half from top to bottom. If this is not the way you will be presenting your napkins, fold them the way you plan to have them set out on Thanksgiving.

3) Once the napkins are folded, turn them over so that you are looking at the front side of the napkin. In other words, turn the napkin so that you are looking at it from the same angle you would be if you were a guest sitting at the table.

4) Now open the top of the gold paint and dip the paintbrush into the paint. On the leaf stamp that you purchased, the shape of the leaf should be raised up higher than the rest of the stamp. Smooth the gold all-purpose paint onto the raised lines, being careful not to get paint onto the parts of the stamp that aren't raised.

5) When the leaf stamp is all painted, center the stamp on the front of the napkin and press down. Don't be afraid to use strong pressure if you want the whole outline to show up clearly. If you want a more "vintage" look, lightly press the stamp onto the napkin so that the paint shows up spottily. Being careful not to smudge, gently lift the stamp away from the napkin.

6) Set the napkin aside and allow it to dry.

7) Repeat these steps for all of the napkins at the table.

You may choose some optional steps from here.

You can buy several leaf stamps of different sizes or different shapes (leaves are not all the same shape). Put different leaf stamps onto different napkins, but still use the same napkin color and the same color of paint. Or you can buy one smaller leaf stamp and use it in the four corners of the napkin so that there is one bug leaf in the middle and four smaller ones in the corners. Another interesting idea would be to use the same leaf stamp on all of the napkins, but to put it in different places on each one (middle, left corner, right side, etc).

However you do it, guests are sure to comment on the design.

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