Craft Alert: Fall Dinner Napkins

White dinner napkin with traced outlines of leaves in red, brown, and orange. Photo and tracing/design by Cecilia Kennedy.

A lack of fall themed napkins in my house has thrown me into such a tizzy that I’ve had to take drastic measures: I sounded a “craft alert,” which caused Nate and Alex to evacuate the house in search of “hair cuts.” When I came running down the stairs with a package of Sharpies and some perfectly unblemished white dinner napkins, Nate shoved the car keys into Alex’s hands and told him to “drive like a maniac.”

“Please, please cover the dining room table with something before you use the markers,” Nate said, as I sat my crafts supplies down.

“Relax—I’ve got the Eddie Bauer catalog right here,” I told him. “When I’m finished, we’ll have delightful leaf motifs all over the dinner napkins.”

Nate just looked from the crafts supplies in my hands to the Eddie Bauer catalog on the table and I knew what he was thinking: the catalog was much smaller than the actual project size, so I’d probably run out of room and start drawing on the table. Maybe he could pick up some “marker removal” at the store on the way home. Maybe he could spend Thanksgiving at the neighbor’s across the street. How would we even wash these things? All of these thoughts were most likely running through Nate’s mind, but I had a plan: I could just keep moving new material over the catalog as I drew on it with a marker. I only messed up once and I don’t think anyone will notice, especially if I hide the spot with a table runner, a tower of cornucopias and squash—and the napkin of course. If my creations turn out not to be machine-washable, I can just make new ones next year. They’re simply that easy to make. Here are the steps:

1) Go outside in your stocking feet and step in the cold wet grass. Grab a leaf from your yard. Take a moment to place your socks in the washing machine and start a load of laundry—along with everyone else’s laundry.

2) In between loads of laundry, trace the edges of the leaf with various colors of Sharpies. Make a border of the leaves around the white cloth dinner napkin, which you bought at the store for just under $3.

3) Be sure to use an Eddie Bauer catalog to absorb the permanent stains that Sharpies tend to leave on most surfaces.

4) Repeat this process with as many napkins as you dare. (I ran out of steam after one. I’m hoping Nate and Alex find it so festive that they want to make more on their own while I escape in search of a hair cut that turns out to be a spa treatment.)

I was done with my project in no time and when Nate and Alex finally came home with real haircuts, they were impressed.

“That’s a project you could actually be proud of,” Nate said.

“I know, right?”

“So who gets that dinner napkin on Thanksgiving?”

I’m still thinking about the answer to that question. I guess I’ve created more work for myself.   I’ve decided that the festive mood of the day apparently now hinges on my ability to invent an elaborate Thanksgiving game/tradition/scavenger hunt that also makes good use of the punch bowl. So here it is: bobbing for the “prized” dinner napkin may be just the thing to end the lull between the Macy’s Parade and the unveiling of the cheese platter.

Your Turn: What are your favorite fall or Thanksgiving crafts?





13 thoughts on “Craft Alert: Fall Dinner Napkins

  1. My contribution is to just to change a number of decorative items, including scented candles, with the seasons. I don’t do *crafts,* sadly not one of my competencies.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Those are so cool! My tribute to fall involves me buying a bunch of gourds and throwing them in a bowl. That’s what I love about gourds–no matter how little effort you make, they always look festive!

    Liked by 1 person

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