DIY Thrifty Table Dress-Up: How to Make Super Fast Napkin Rings for Almost Nothing!

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Gather pipe cleaners in your color choice and a small bunch of artificial flowers…a great pair of wire cutting scissors is a must! One pipe cleaner is needed per napkin ring….
Fold pipe cleaner in half matching up the ends evenly as shown…
Twist ends together making sure to keep enough of the “tails” free to attach flowers to….the circle made can be any size, I made mine 3 fingers width.
Just a few twists should do…
Cut a bunch of flowers from artificial flower stem or just one flower, get your creative juices flowing here…one flower or more, leaves or not, dried flowers, cinnamon sticks, pine cones…whatever you have to work with! You can even bend more pipe cleaners into flowers or shapes and attach. I cut the flowers with leaves and enough stem left on to twist onto pipe cleaner, about 3 inches.
Keep twisting pipe cleaner around flower stem and stem around pipe cleaner until stem is covered, it doesn’t have to be pretty but you want to have your flower attached firmly.
Trim off any extra wire stem from flower with scissors and cover ends by twisting with remaining pipe cleaner.
Bend your flowers around until you get the look you want for your napkin ring!
Slide your napkin ring over your napkin and set your table! I put my silverware in the napkin ring too…. Easy, thrifty, and pretty way to “dress-up” your table anytime!

Sometimes you just need or want to pretty up your table for friends or family. These napkin rings came about when I was wanting to dress up the table quickly and use what I have on hand. I’ve always loved daisies and they seem to span the seasons so that’s what I decided to make.  Even though my kids are grown with kids of their own, I still keep pipe cleaners around for a quick craft project. There are so many uses for them which I’ll share with you soon! The bunch of daisies and a bag of pipe cleaners were purchased at the Dollar Tree, making this a $2 project! I could have saved even more if I used pine cones, seashells, or even fallen real leaves from my yard….get creative and look around your surroundings for inspiration!

I started using cloth napkins with the family years ago…I wanted to make my table and every day meals pretty for my family not just for guests or at special occasions.  Cloth napkins don’t end up in the landfill, and are large enough to handle messy hands, faces, and even a few spills! Washing the napkins is no trouble with all the laundry I already do, and my family loves feeling “special” with the table prettied up!  They deserve it, and I have to admit, I love doing it!  Check out my future tutorial for making your own quick cloth napkins….with or without a sewing machine…easy peasy!

Table dressing has fallen by the wayside in our busy lives….when I was growing up, paper plates were almost non-existent as were mechanical dishwashers.  Busy schedules today mean many meals are eaten on the run, or in front of the TV, not together at the table sharing more than a meal. Setting the table was an everyday chore of necessity….making it beautiful was an act of love, just as it is today. Sure, we need to feed our families many times a day, but just a simple “dress-up” for our table can make it lovely and special, no matter what you’re serving! I love fresh-cut flowers in a vase or mason jar, candles (not just for a romantic dinner!), place mats, table-cloth, or a table runner. I have to smile and feel happy when we visit our children and see that each one takes some time to “dress-up” their own family’s table, passing on the tradition I started with them, of creating a simply lovely, calm, peaceful meal time atmosphere shared with those we love the most!

Honestly, Mr. D and I eat off of our glass plates with almost every meal, and we’re a huge fan of our Bosch dishwasher, which cleans like a commercial dishwasher, silently and efficiently. The water is heated hotter than I could put my hands in if I washed by hand, and it uses so much less water than what I would use filling up a sink, leaving us more time to spend with friends and family!

Many years ago I read about a family who found a beautiful box of expensive china dishes in the attic of their mother who had passed away…dishes the family had never seen or used. After researching the dishes, they realized that they had been their great-grandma’s wedding dishes, packed up nearly 100  years earlier and brought to America from Europe when she was a new bride.  The dishes remained boxed up through several moves and tucked out-of-the-way.  This story touched my heart, and I decided then to use our “good” dishes every day with our own family, not just once or twice a year.  I didn’t care if they got the nicks and cracks of regular use, I just wanted them to be shared and have their own “story” in our family….like the time our dog Ruby snatched a delicious ham right off of the serving tray and devoured it before we knew what was happening, but the serving tray never fell…leaving it ready for another ham, another story!

Hopefully, this will inspire you to try your hand at making these easy and quick napkin rings, and start your own daily tradition of “dressing-up” your table…as simply or as ornate as you want, sharing memories with your meals.  The important thing is filling your home and lives with love, family, friends, and memories…things that truly matter!

My hope is that when your family grows up, you will enjoy many meals at their table…a table that brings a smile to your face and joy to your heart knowing that many years ago your efforts to bring beauty and happiness to your family’s table is still alive!