Thanksgiving Napkin Rings

Festive napkin rings, handmade by the smallest Thanksgiving participants, dress up the holiday table with creative fun!

By Barbara Albright

 Thanksgiving is a festive holiday and kids love to help make it even more exciting. There are no gifts, no special games -- instead, it's a time for time-honored family rituals revolving around an annual feast.

Even if they are too small or too rambunctious to be of much help in the kitchen, let the children set and decorate the table.

If they have made these adorable construction-paper napkin rings several days ahead of time, they will be thrilled to work on the table. Take the opportunity to instruct them in the proper placement of forks, knifes, and other tabletop utensils.

The homemade napkin rings are easy to assemble and appeal to all ages. Older children and supervising adults can make them elaborate and elegant. Younger children will turn out simpler examples. All will be appreciated.

Getting Started
Cover the work surface to protect it. Assemble the materials ahead of time.

If allowing the children to use scissors, make sure to use age-appropriate ones with blunt tips and easy-to-grasp handles.

If the kids are too young for scissors, cut the construction paper for them.

Set out glue sticks, tape, crayons, glitter, markers, beads, foam shapes, stickers, and feathers.

Make the Napkin Rings
Cut the construction paper into strips about six inches long and one inch wide. Decorate each strip with pictures, colorful designs, stickers and glued-on feathers and beads.

You can buy feathers, collect them in the woods, or cut them from construction paper. If you make them, they should be about two-and-a-half inches long and three-quarters of an inch wide.

Draw a spine down the center of each construction-paper feather and then use scissors to cut diagonal slits along each side.

Glue one, two, or three feathers to each napkin ring. Take care to attach the feather to the top or side of the napkin ring so that it points in the direction you want when the ring is in use.

Join the ends of the napkin ring strips, glue or tape them together. They are now ready to slip over a carefully folded paper or cloth napkin.

Other Ideas
Write each diner's name on a napkin ring so that they double as place cards.

Decorate the rings with yarn, fall leaves, or pictures cut from magazines.

Make napkin rings from paper towel rolls or brown paper bags.

Make a number of napkin rings ahead of time to take to a soup kitchen or senior center. This would be a great project for a scout troop or birthday party.