Most of our craft projects at Beekman 1802 are the result of needing to find a solution to a problem at hand. Need to create a quick placecard? Use twigs and acorns. A quick and fragrant candle votive? Hollow out one half of an orange rind.
When recently planning an outdoor feast to conclude a community barn-raising, we wanted to find a way to keep the napkins from blowing away from the table.
Our simple solution not only solved the problem but allowed the napkins to blow in the wind just like they were on a summer clothesline all the while staying just in reach of our guests’ hands.
We first placed a rustic nail just to the side of each place setting. If you are using an outdoor table that you don’t want to use a nail on, a thumb tack or push pin will also work fine.
We purchased large packs of cheap flour sack cloths (available at most big box stores) and folded them in half lengthwise.
Using an inexpensive grommet kit, we placed a grommet half way down the length of the napkin about 1 inch from the folded edge. Slipping the grommet over the nail held the napkins perfectly in place while allowing enough maneuverability for easy use. The generous size of the napkins allowed guests to reach their hands and mouths without having to remove the napkin from its hook.
The best part is that after the dinner and a trip through the washer, we had a large number of kitchen and craft-space rags that can be placed at arm’s reach—ready for any number of the creative messes to come.