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Set your table in vintage style with these easy Thanksgiving Napkin Rings.

Thanksgiving napkin ring photo
(click here for a larger
Thanksgiving Napkin Ring image)
We got this idea for these Thanksgiving Napkin Rings from an antique pop up book, believe it or not. These vintage-look napkin rings are a simple paper craft that create an eye-catching three-dimensional decoration for your holiday table. So simple even older children can make them, but attractive enough that you'll want to save them for next year.

The hardest part of this craft for us was choosing the perfect Thanksgiving vintage images. Turkey is a very popular symbol for this all-American holiday, and we found hundreds of illustrated turkeys in all stages of life - and gastronomic after-life. We chose a very traditional turkey, visibly proud of his role. Then we thought, "What about vegetarians?" For you, we chose a vintage image of a very thankful child, bowed over his plate, but with his napkin firmly tied under his chin for what comes next.

Materials for Thanksgiving Napkin Rings

  • Crafts & Supplies at joann.com!
    Vintage images (FREE PDF download) printed on heavyweight photo paper (one for each napkin).
  • Matting paper. Any medium weight paper will work. We used 4 1/2" X 6 1/2" pieces of red construction paper for each ring (see Tips).
  • Scrap paper.
  • Craft glue or glue stick.
  • Transparent tape.
  • Decorative edge scissors.
  • Scissors or paper cutter.
  • Craft knife.
  • Self-healing cutting mat.
  • Optional embellishments: ribbon, dried wheat or small flowers (see Tips).

Instructions

  1. Thanksgiving napkin ring craft, step 1Trim the vintage image with scissors or paper cutter.

  2. Thanksgiving napkin ring craft, step 2Cut a 6" X 1/2" strip of scrap paper. Secure the image to a cutting mat. Position the strip of paper vertically down the exact center of the image (2 3/4") and secure it with tape to the mat. With a craft knife, cut around the outline of the turkey, except for the 1/2" at the top and bottom that is covered by the paper strip.
  3. Glue the image to a piece of matting paper (we used 4 1/2" X 6 1/2" red construction paper), applying glue around the outside edges only and carefully avoiding the cut-out turkey section. Let the glue dry.
  4. Thanksgiving napkin ring craft, step 3With decorative edge scissors, trim the mat around the image, leaving a 1/4" border.
  5. Gently curl the image until the short sides slightly overlap in the back, and secure them together with a piece of transparent tape. Adjust the sides of the cut-out turkey until it stands out from the ring.
  6. Fold your napkin and roll it into a tight tube. Slide it into the napkin ring, and fluff it up a little.
  7. Repeat the above for each guest at your table and wait for the "Where did you get these adorable napkin rings?" comments.
Tips
  • Thanksgiving napkin ring craft, vegetarian versionThis photo of the "non-turkey" version shows a variation on how you can arrange the napkin. The napkin was tightly accordion-folded, inserted into the ring, and fluffed.
  • Any kind of medium-weight paper can be used for the decorative matting paper behind the vintage image. For other parties, we made a set with metallic gold paper to match the flatware, and a set that matched the blue tablecloth. Match the yams, if that's what you want!
  • These Thanksgiving napkin rings lend themselves to all sorts of embellishment, if you want to make the project harder. Slip some stalks of dried wheat or dried flowers under the pop up image from both sides. Instead of securing the back with tape, go classy and thread a wide ribbon under the image and tie it in a bow at the back. Add glitter highlights to the picture. Personalize each place setting by leaving a 1/2" mat border below the image and handwriting the guest's name on it.
Don't forget: Add another vintage touch to your table with a Thanksgiving Cracker filled with candy to take home after dinner!


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