Timely Table Decor

Special table coverings, napkins, and plates combine to set the stage for a memorable New Year's Eve party.

To add to the merriment when the midnight hour strikes, gather all the alarm clocks in the house and make sure they are set to ring at the right moment. Scattering antique clocks around your table -- whether the clocks are working or not -- furthers the timely theme.

What You Need:

(for each place setting)

Get set to count down.
  • Glass dinner plate
  • Silver charger
  • Blue acrylic paint
  • Fine-tipped paintbrush
  • Black permanent marking pen
  • Party hat in silver, black, or blue
  • Preprinted paper clock faces (available at crafts stores)
  • Star-shaped tinsel or garland with stars
  • Crafts glue


1. Paint clock-face numerals on a silver charger, using acrylic paints.

2. Draw clock hands on the underside of a glass plate with black marking pen.

3. Place plate on top of charger.

4. To make party hats: Glue a preprinted clock face to each hat. Use black marking pen to draw the clock hands. Glue tinsel to the tip and around the edges of each hat.

Special tips:

  • When drawing clock hands, "set" them at a time close to midnight, such as 11:45 or 11:50.
  • Rub-on or self-stick numerals and curlicues provide another option if you'd rather not draw the clock face and numbers.
  • The party hats can also be place cards, if you write each guest's name below the hands of the clock.

This simple table cover adds a festive mood. If you want to cover all bases, dress up your chairs for the New Year, too.

What You Need:

A sheer overcloth and corner ties make a plain tablecloth sparkle.
  • Sheer netting (size to fit your dining table)
  • Wide band of silver fabric to fit the perimeter of the netting plus 1 inch
  • Silver or light gray thread
  • Straight pins
  • Scissors
  • Ironing board and iron
  • Blue tablecloth
  • 12 lengths of wired ribbon, each 1 yard long, in silver and dark blue
  • Precut wooden stars (or cut from cardboard)
  • Silver paint
  • Crafts glue
  • Large safety pins


1. Make an overcloth from sheer netting, encasing the edges with bands of shimmery silver fabric. Fold the silver fabric band in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, and press. Fold each long edge under 1/4 inch, wrong sides together, and press. Press short ends under 1/4 inch. Pin band to perimeter of netting, placing center fold along edge of netting and being careful to keep band even on both sides of netting. Miter or overlap banding at corners as necessary. Ends will overlap 1/2 inch. Machine-stitch 1/8 inch from long edges of banding, or blindstitch along long edges.

2. Place overcloth atop a blue tablecloth.

3. Make corner embellishments: For each corner, tie a large bow using several yard-long pieces of wired ribbon, and curl the ribbon ends. Paint wood or cardboard stars silver, and let dry. Glue a star to the end of each ribbon.

You can also download the free star pattern to make your own stars. (Downloading requires Adobe Acrobat software.)

Stars pattern

Download Adobe Acrobat

4. Attach bows to overcloth. Fold up the overcloth at each corner, and attach a bow using a safety pin hidden on the underside.

A napkin becomes a fun keepsake for guests to take home. Tuck a second napkin, for use at the table, inside the one to be signed.

What You Need:

(for each guest)

Sign up for a memorable New Year.
  • 2 cloth napkins, in contrasting colors
  • Extra-fine-point fabric pen
  • Silver fabric
  • Fusible interfacing
  • Ironing board and iron
  • Silver paint
  • Heavy paper and scissors or crafts knife, or 6 precut wooden stars in various sizes
  • Crafts glue


1. Download the free star patterns. Choose either the rounded-edge or pointed stars. (Downloading requires Adobe Acrobat software.)

Stars pattern

Download Adobe Acrobat

2. Cut out fabric and interfacing stars. For each guest, cut 2 large stars from silver fabric. Using the same pattern, cut the same number of stars from interfacing.

3. Fuse stars to napkins. Pin an interfacing star to the back of each silver star. Sandwich one corner of a napkin between 2 stars. Follow manufacturer's instructions to fuse fabric and interfacing. Let cool.

4. Personalize. Using fabric pen, write each guest's name on a fused star.

5. Make stars for streamers. Using small- and medium-size star patterns, cut out 6 small stars from paper. Or punch out 6 small stars from precut wood. Paint these stars silver. Let dry.

6. Assemble streamers. Knot together several 12-inch lengths of narrow ribbon. Glue a wood or paper star to the end of each ribbon. Let dry.

7. Fold napkins. Lay the personalized napkin face up (so you can read the name on the corner star). Place the for-the-table napkin on top. Fold the two napkins in half diagonally (the name on the star will be facing in). Roll them loosely into a cone shape. Secure the roll with the ribbon streamers or a silver napkin ring. If using a napkin ring, tuck the ribbon streamers inside. Fold down the corner with star so the name shows. Slip a fabric pen into rolled napkin.


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