Add seasonal spark to a Christmas table by folding and displaying napkins in creative ways.
This casual place setting shows that simple can be beautiful. Its personality starts with a classic, cleverly folded pocket napkin stuffed with a sprig of evergreen. Add artfully arranged silverware, an inexpensive off-white place mat, layered red and white dishes, and a frame of grapevine twigs -- all on a table runner cut from bargain burlap.
Warm up white china with touches of gold that don't cost a mint. A floral dinner plate and gold silverware gathered in a white cloth napkin with a leafy napkin ring look festive for the holidays. Look for shapely napkin rings at a Christmas-supply store or make your own by hot-gluing a snowflake charm to a plain napkin ring.
Top the napkin at each place setting on your holiday table with a sprig of greenery and a petite ornament ball for a beyond-easy embellishment. Cinch the napkin with sheer colorful ribbon to hold the branch and ornament.
Set off white plates with napkin rings made from graphic drink coasters. Punch a hole in a paper coaster, thread metallic cord through, and tie around a napkin, adding jingle bells for sparkle. A sprig of winter greenery adds a touch of nature.
Editor's Tip: Write guests' names on the drink coasters for easy-to-make place cards.
Instead of place cards, guide guests to their seats with chenille-stem letters. Twist together red and white chenille stems, then shape the stems into guests' first initials. Use one or two stems for each letter, cutting small pieces as needed to finish the shapes. Display the chenille letter on a simple white cloth napkin, and embellish with a sprig of evergreen.
This classic monogrammed cloth napkin is held together with a cute holiday napkin "ring" made from clothespins covered with scrapbook paper. To make the place setting pop, use colored cafe au lait bowls against everyday white plates.
Editor's Tip: Give the place setting a festive turn by adding a small cedar cutting and a gift tin filled with herbs.
This purple place setting looks positively regal. Place a purple cloth napkin between a neutral-color place mat and dinnerware, allowing extra material to drape off the table. Attach a personal note of appreciation around a candle votive at each place setting -- the note doubles as a thank-you and a place card.
Editor's Tip: Turn the notes into keepsakes. Print each message on colorful paper and wrap it around a candleholder.
Turn your table French chic by wrapping a red toile napkin with a thick satin ribbon. Lay a small twig with berries on top for a refined look.
Fashion these charming no-sew napkin rings by gluing together the short ends of a frayed strip of burlap. Tie a single thread of burlap through the buttonhole of a button; then glue the button in place.
Who needs napkin rings? Set a simple crocheted star ornament atop a fragrant evergreen sprig at each place setting. Fold the napkin into a square instead of a rectangle for a twist on the traditional.
Create your own holiday message by using an iron-on transfer kit with cotton napkins. Make an inventive napkin ring by bending a flea market fork around a wooden form.
A miniature belt fashioned from a thin velvet ribbon and jeweled buckle purchased at your local crafts or hobby store -- Santa-style -- keeps a crisp monogrammed napkin neatly rolled.
Use a napkin to enclose a small gift or party favor. Simply tie a festive red napkin around a tiny box, then add a sparkling beaded trim to the corner.
For an enchanted evening, wrap rolled napkins in vintage rhinestone bracelets or wired rhinestones twisted into circles.
Instead of traditional embroidered napkins and spell out a fun message for guests. Cross-stitch a holiday greeting with red thread on a white napkin. Don't worry about stitching perfectly -- messy lettering gives the look of a little kid writing a wish list to Santa. Embellish the napkins with ribbon, small ornaments, or pinecones.
An elegant velvet napkin ring instantly adds glam to a plain table setting. To get the look, fold the napkin in fourths, press, and unfold. Fold the top of the napkin to the three-fourths line. Fold the bottom up at the crease; turn the napkin over. Fold the napkin vertically into thirds. Embellish by wrapping the napkin with a blue velvet ribbon. Spell out your monogram (or use as place cards by spelling out guests¿ names) with letter stickers.
Dress up a cheery red napkin with plaid and velvet ribbons and a Christmas light. To make, take a 1-inch section of cardboard tubing and hot-glue ribbons around it, folding raw edges underneath at the back. Next, hot-glue accents to the lightbulb before gluing it to the top of the ring.
For casual, homespun embellishments, wrap yarn around rolled napkins, tie with bows, and slip on felt beads, miniature pinecone ornaments, or jingle bells.
Sometimes Mother Nature knows best, as in this simple table setting that features a napkin accented by a single pine sprig.