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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Setting a frugal table - making your own napkin holders

I have been putting together some frugal ideas for holiday entertaining, and one of the areas I've been focusing on is the table - both food and place settings. I am a big believer in buying neutrals and multitasking pieces for my table so that I'm spending less and also storing less throughout the year. For the most part, I do a good job sticking with this strategy, but we all have our weaknesses, right? Mine? I always find myself drooling over napkin holders. There are so many fun, cute, and elegant options, but lets face it - they are usually pretty expensive and generally don't store well. Our home is storage constrained, so that's a big issue for me.

A few years ago at Thanksgiving my Mom had some elegant napkin holders that matched her placemats perfectly. I had to know her secret! Would you believe she used wired ribbon, folded over a few times and hot glued on the ends, wound around the napkin like a cuff bracelet? Brilliant!

This great idea got me thinking about some other possible options for napkin holders. There is one more I would like to share with you. This is a bit more complicated than the ribbon, so I've included some pictures.

First, the supplies: You will want to purchase a bunch of silk flowers or the necessary individual stems. In addition, purchase a package of pipe cleaners in your preferred color. You will want to use 2 pipe cleaners per holder, so if you'd like, contrasting colors might add a nice touch. Here I have a bunch of sunflowers and green pipe cleaners for some fall/Thanksgiving napkin holders.

The raw ingredients - silk flowers and pipe cleaners

First, pull the flowers off the stem, as shown.

Replace the stem with 2 pipe cleaners. If you feel they are loose, you might want to add some glue to help them stay in place.

To help the pipe cleaners stay together, I twisted them around each other.

Now that your pipe cleaners are in place, roll them back toward the flower to form your napkin holder. Twist the end around the circle to secure it to the flower.

Isn't that cute?

Here it is on the napkin.

And again on the napkin and one of my neutral placemats, all ready for fall entertaining!
To make these specific napkin holders, I paid $2.50 per bunch of flowers (they were on sale) and $0.89 for a package of 25 pipe cleaners. For a set of 12 holders, each one was just under $0.50 each!
How do you save money setting your table? I'd love to hear your ideas!

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Unknown said...

These are gorgeous.

T with Honey said...

Very pretty but... setting a table? napkin ring holders? What are these mythical things you speak of?

Sadly, my family is too big for our holiday dinners to be held around a properly set table. I'm thinking we may need to occasionally have a 'formal dinner night' in our house just so Princess knows about these things.

Mrs. H said...

I like cloth napkins so much better than paper... to save on these, I make my own. If you're "good" you can find discontinued fabric or fabric remnants in the sale basket of the fabric store/section that coordinate with the season or your kitchen colors. I just cut a square and then stitch along 1/4 in. seam folded over on all sides.

Anonymous said...

Those are pretty! Great idea!

Jen said...

I don't have any ideas myself...but what a cute napkin ring holder! I know my daughter would just love them! I think I have a new project...

carrhop said...

Cute, cute!

Unknown said...

love this tutorial! i think i'll try this for turkey day!

Kim -today's creative blog said...

love that idea

Anonymous said...

CUTE CUTE! Great idea...