Thanksgiving is the time of year when family and friends look forward to gathering around a table and breaking bread together in a traditional harvest feast. The right table decorations can help set the stage for the holiday and put guests in the holiday spirit the moment they see them. Making your own simple decorations, such as napkin rings, is a great way to save on your holiday budget and custom-design your table decor.
Since the early 1800's, napkin rings have been used to hold clean cloth napkins at dinner tables. Using ornamental napkin rings is much quicker and easier than fancy napkin folding techniques, and they add a little pizazz to a nicely-decorated table. While napkin rings can be purchased at a range of prices, making your own is an inexpensive way to give your Thanksgiving table setting a finishing touch.
Basic napkin rings can be made out of any small, ring-shaped item that a rolled-up napkin can fit through. You can use simple household items, such as a curtain ring or a short length of a cardboard paper towel tube. Alternately, you can make rings from polymer clay or sculpting wire. Another option is to wrap the napkin with something that can be fastened or tied, such as a ribbon, length of raffia or twine, or an elastic band with a button or snap to close it.
Once a ring form has been found, it can be decorated with Thanksgiving holiday motifs to make your napkin rings more festive. Autumnal and harvest decorations are traditional, such as corn, squash, leaves and sunflowers. You can attach paper die cuts, wood chip die-cuts, miniature figures, silk leaves and flowers or any other holiday decorations to a ring form. Your decor need not be so literal; if you prefer, you can just use pretty bows or beading in seasonal colors.
Create napkin rings that match the rest of your decor and table settings so that they look like part of a coordinated set. If you have a favorite serving tray painted with turkey feathers, use turkey feathers on your rings. Alternately, take some of the materials you used on your rings and use them in other places on your table settings. For example, if your rings have silk leaves hot-glued to them, scatter some of the same leaves in the center of the table beneath your centerpiece.
Napkin holders don't have to be a boring part of a table setting. Instead of making plain napkin rings, make them double as place holders. Tie a gift card to each ring featuring the name of a guest, or hot-glue their photos to the ring. Another great use for a Thanksgiving napkin ring is as a keepsake of the event. Have children make them, tie on a gift tag labeling the year, and send each guest home with one.