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
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
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).
Craft glue or glue stick.
Decorative edge scissors.
Scissors or paper cutter.
Self-healing cutting mat.
Optional embellishments: ribbon, dried wheat or
small flowers (see Tips).
the vintage image with scissors or paper cutter.
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.
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.
decorative edge scissors, trim the mat around the image, leaving a 1/4"
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.
Fold your napkin and roll it into a tight tube.
Slide it into the napkin ring, and fluff it up a little.
Repeat the above for each guest at your table
and wait for the "Where did you get these adorable napkin rings?"
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!