Add (seemingly) effortless elegance to your dinner party
The elegant napkin rose for your party.
How does one add simple elegance to a dinner party? It is a strategic art putting out an effort to make it seem like you’re hardly putting out an effort at all. At your next night-time get together, after you prepare the extensive tasteful menu and dim the lights, consider grabbing your plain, square napkins and transforming them into something much, much more—roses. Once your guests arrive, they will be immediately impressed with your hosting charm, without having even tasted the food- instantly setting a pleasant and comfortable mood.
Although it may seem difficult, check out this quick and clear step-by-step video www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dq-BLpKwL0c/ , and you’ll impress your guests left and right in no time while bursting with pride. Rarely seen today unless you’re on a cruise ship or a fine restaurant, napkin roses display that art is not just for food or wall décor- it can be anywhere, and it can be easy.
How to Fold Adorable Easter Bunny Ear Napkins
Your Easter table will hippity hop to the next level with these whimsical bunny ears made out of everyday napkins.
When I first saw bunny ear napkins all over Easter Pinterest boards, I couldn&apost resist giving them a try. And many folds and frustrations later, I&aposm here to share insider secrets that make it a lot more doable. For example, actually getting them to stand up was. let&aposs call it challenging. But I found an easy solution that really works.
I&aposll show you how to fold the napkins into bunny ears, with step-by-step video instructions and essential how-to tips for this easy Easter DIY.
The below ideas will start you on your quest for a more zero-waste dining room (and home in general):
The most sustainable dining room table is the one you already own. | Alexander Spatari / Getty
Use FSC-certified wood
The most sustainable dining room table is the one you already own. But if the old one is on its last legs (literally), do right by your zero-waste dining room and buy one made of wood with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) logo.
FSC certification guarantees that the lumber was sustainably sourced with forest conservation in mind, such as protecting endangered species and old-growth forests. An “FSC 100%” label means the product is made from virgin materials from an FSC-certified forest, whereas an “FSC Mix” label means the product is a mix of recycled and virgin materials.
Crate & Barrel has several options for dining room tables made from FSC-certified wood. Its Morris Ash Grey dining room table is made from FSC-certified reclaimed pine.
On the less spendy end, the brand Floyd uses FSC-certified walnut. You can also search for specific pieces of FSC-certified furniture on sites like MadeTrade.
If you’re unable to acquire a dining room table made from FSC-certified wood, the second best option may be to get one that is recyclable. IKEA notes that many of its wooden dining room tables can be taken apart and recycled. IKEA dining sets are typically much more affordable.
Let’s talk about dining room chairs. Once again, the most sustainable option for your zero-waste dining room are the chairs you already own. Otherwise, as above, seek out chairs made of FSC-certified wood, or ones made out of reclaimed wood. Zin Home offers several dining room chair options made of reclaimed pine in two styles. There are also a variety of reclaimed wood dining room chairs available on Etsy, as well as reclaimed wood benches (if that’s your thing).
In general, avoid furniture that is made from plastics, which require the use of fossil fuels. Polypropylene is the plastic that you’ll most commonly find used to make dining room chairs (including the uber-popular midcentury-modern design style). Unlike some plastics, polypropylene actually is recyclable. However, a chair made of a wood-plastic composite isn’t recyclable.
Shopping secondhand is a great way to find a dining room table and chairs. Check out your secondhand options at Goodwill, thrift shops, your local Craigslist, and tag sales.
Bring sustainable design to your sustainable dining room with GOTS-certified cotton linens. | Linda Raymond / Getty
Set your table with GOTS-certified cotton linens
From napkins to table runners to placemats, there are a lot of opportunities to bring sustainable design to your sustainable dining room. Pay attention to how the materials are grown and whether chemical dyes were used during manufacturing with Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certification. A GOTS certification means the manufacturer has been independently certified to meet environmental and social criteria at every step of the supply chain. (Another independent certification for organic cotton is Organic Content Standards, or OCS, but GOTS is more common.) You can find 100 percent cotton dinner napkins and placemats in a variety of patterns from the brand Native. On the higher end, Coyuchi also sells organic cotton napkins.
There are also plenty of sustainable fabrics to deck out your dining room. Jute, for example, is a natural fiber that is the second most popular in the world after cotton. You may see jute referred to as hessian or burlap, although they’re all basically the same thing. As a natural fiber, jute is biodegradable and doesn’t require pesticides for growth. You can find a variety of jute or burlap table runners on sites like Wayfair and Etsy.
Compostable napkins are another option for your zero-waste dining room. Seek bamboo that is sourced from USDA-certified organic farms and read labels carefully to ensure the bamboo was not blended with polyester. Look for products made of natural fibers like sugarcane, eucalyptus, and bamboo, or post-industrial recycled paper, like these ones by Bransio.
Now, let’s talk about paper towels — after all, sometimes you have a dinner table mess that is more than a napkin can handle. Paper towels are made from wood pulp: either virgin wood pulp, recycled paper, or some combination thereof. Seventh Generation is one brand that makes paper towels that are 100 percent recycled, but even those often can’t be further recycled because the fibers are too small. So one meaningful swap you can make in a sustainable dining room (and a zero-waste kitchen) is to shop for reusable paper towels, like Swedish dishcloths.
And if you just can’t quit paper towels? Remember to always recycle those cardboard tubes.
Opt for compostable cutlery. | Knork
Switch to compostable cutlery
We totally get it: no one likes washing dishes. And when you’re hosting a meal at your house, it’s tempting to use disposable cutlery to cut back on the washing up.
The bad news is that a lot of disposable forks, knives, and spoons are made of plastics. Plastics are created from extracting and processing the Earth’s natural resources, including crude oil and natural gas. After all the effort (and pollution) required to create some plastics, they are very often used only once. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, 300 million tons of plastic are manufactured every year and half of those plastics are intended for a single use.
Plastics find their way back into our environment, in particular the ocean, in frightening ways. Specifically, plastics break down into what are called microplastics, and then consumed by sea life as well as humans. Plastic utensils (along with plastic bags) are the second most deadly type of marine pollution.
Fortunately, you have sustainable options for disposable cutlery. Although reusable cutlery is still the best option when possible, consider using compostable cutlery instead of plastics. Look for products that are labeled “compostable” and/or “biodegradable” and made from a natural material, like this ÖKABODE set or this reusable, colorful cutlery made from sugarcane from Food52.
Set the mood with sustainable centerpieces. | Maskot/Getty
Set the atmosphere with sustainable centerpieces
Real talk: Martha Stewart–level tablescapes are a little beyond most of our design skills. But we can all still set a pretty dinner table! A great place to start is with a centerpiece of fresh floral arrangements. But make sure that your cut flowers are sustainably-sourced.
Maybe you’re one of those lucky green-thumbed individuals who can stroll into their yard, snip a few stems off your rose bushes, and come back inside with a beautiful bouquet. But most of us rely on cut flowers from florist shops and online services. You may have noticed that all of these places sell cut flowers year-round, even in the dead of winter. That’s because the vast majority of cut flowers are shipped from warmer locations, and travel many miles until they reach your home.
According to the floristry blog Petal Republic, the Netherlands, Columbia, Ecuador, Kenya, and Ethiopia are the top exporters of cut flowers. The United States grows flowers as well 76 percent of grown flowers sold in the U.S. come from California. It is true that growing flowers for export to other countries supports local economies — but we also have to balance that fact with the carbon footprint of our consumer purchases that travel a long distance by truck or plane.
Keeping all that in mind, locally-grown cut flowers are the best option for your zero-waste dining room. (And if your flowers are bee-friendly, all the better.)
Look for florists that can certify that their growers do not use synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. Some pesticides pose a health threat to the human nervous system, among other health hazards. And one class of pesticides, called neonicotinoids, has been banned in the European Union since 2018 for its role in honeybee colony collapse disorder.
With these steps in mind, you’ll be able to create the sustainable dining room of your dreams. Check out more tips on making your home more zero-waste:
LIVEKINDLY is here to help you navigate the growing marketplace of sustainable products that promote a kinder planet. All of our selections are curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, LIVEKINDLY may earn a commission.
How to Fold a Napkin in 10 Beautiful Ways
A beautifully folded napkin sets the scene for a meal to remember. While the debate is out on whether the formal dinner table is a conventionality of the past, any hostess knows the inherent value of napkins. When your guests sit down to the table, they serve both a practical purpose&mdashby tucking in utensils, displaying menu cards&mdashand purely for decorative flair by completing the theme in the place setting.
Napkins can be customized to suit any celebration, any time of the year. One of our easiest ideas folds a napkin into a handsome bow tie. As another, fold your napkin into an envelope that contains anything you see fitting: a place card, the menu, or a parting favor to be cherished after the event is over. Consider seasonal holidays, too. For Easter brunch, prop up a floppy-eared bunny among the decorated eggs and spring flowers. At Thanksgiving, replicate the symbol of the feast: a turkey you will accordion-fold and fan out one napkin into a stately-looking row of tail feathers. On Christmas Eve, fold a tiny Tannenbaum of your own with a green linen napkin and a paper-punched star that spells out your guest's name. They can even be personalized with embroidered handwriting, making it an heirloom for family gatherings in the years to come. Remember: It's a good idea to starch and iron your napkins prior to any folding this helps them to retain their shape.
For these ideas and more, we present the step-by-step tutorials on a dozen ways to spiff up a plain napkin.
21 Best Napkin Folding Ideas for All Your Holiday Dinners
Impress your guests before they even start their meal.
Need a few fun napkin folding ideas for the upcoming holiday season? You're in the right place! Here, we've rounded up our favorite napkin folding tips and tricks to help you impress your guests without spending a dime. With just a bit of elbow grease, creativity, and imagination, you'll be able to turn a simple linen napkin into something truly extraordinary. As gorgeous as these ideas are though, you don't actually have to be a napkin-folding pro to bring them to life. Anyone can origami their way to a napkin masterpiece, no experience needed&mdashor fancy supplies, for that matter. We promise: Learning how to fold napkins isn't hard at all.
From a "pocket" fold that reveals a sprig of rosemary to Christmas dinner napkin folding ideas that involve full tree designs, there's something on our list for just about everyone. And if you're short on time, you can always opt for something a little simpler&mdashsay, an easy "place card holder" napkin fold, or a triple pocket fold, which recreates the sophisticated, no-frills look you've probably seen in many restaurants. Of course, a napkin's nothing without a dinner party. After you've checked out these napkin folding tutorials, read up on our very best Thanksgiving menus, turkey tips, and pie recipes too.
For a pretty, formal place setting, try tucking menus into a pocket created with a diamond pouch fold.
Get the tutorial at Rustic Wedding Chic.
Unexpected and exciting, this lotus napkin fold will impress all of your guests, no doubt about it. The only problem: They might find it too beautiful to unfold.
Get the tutorial at One Kings Lane.
It doesn't get easier than this! These sweet daffodil "bouquets" are a combination of cardstock and a simple napkin fold technique&mdashand they double as place cards.
Get the tutorial at The House That Lars Built.
Napkin folds aren't just easy on the eyes (and thoroughly Instagrammable). They can also be a practical way to lead guests to their assigned seat!
Get the tutorial at Taste of Home.
A colorful, sweet-smelling herb looks lovely peeking out of the "pocket" in this folded napkin. But the sky's the limit in terms of what you can tuck inside them: a simple fork and knife, a piece of candy, a note of gratitude. whatever fills the bill!
Get the tutorial at One Kings Lane.
O Christmas Tree (napkin)! This napkin fold will definitely wow all your guests, and believe it or not, it's very easy to execute.
Get the tutorial at Sugar and Charm.
Perfect for a spring gathering or a summer barbecue, this design is super easy. Put a charm in the center of it for an elegant touch.
Get the tutorial at Atta Girl Says.
In this fold, the napkin works as a pretty display for photos, name tags or greenery.
Get the tutorial at Sewlicious Home Decor.
Start off a memorable Easter meal with an unforgettable napkin fold that will wow everyone.
Get the tutorial at Tortelina.
Recreate the popular napkin fold you often see at restaurants right in your own dining room.
Get the tutorial at Smarty Had a Party.
While this design is fairly easy to do with a napkin ring, here's how to master the fold without one.
Get the tutorial at Creek Line House.
Whether you're planning a fancy gathering or a special meal for Dad, this napkin fold will surely stand out.
Get the tutorial at The Art of Doing Stuff.
Festive table settings can be pricey&mdashfor an easy, budget-friendly way to decorate your holiday table, use this simple tree fold design.
Get the tutorial at Handimania.
This easy design will add a touch of sophistication to any table setting.
Get the tutorial at Kitchen Joy.
Inspired by a trip to a local wildlife park, blogger Sondra Lyn gave her tablescape a peacock theme, complete with peacock plates and, of course, peacock napkin folds.
Get the tutorial at Sondra Lyn.
Tired of using the same bread basket? Switch it up, and sub in a napkin by using this creative folding design.
Get the tutorial at Smarty with a Party.
This napkin fold is the perfect finishing touch for Mother's Day brunch, a spring party, a birthday celebration, and more.
Get the tutorial at Guia de Manualidades.
Similar to the holiday crown, this pouch-like fold lets you fill it up with whatever you'd like. In this example, Easter eggs were added. Other options are name tags, flowers, or breadsticks.
Get the tutorial at Living Locurto.
If home is where the heart is, treat your family to this lovely table setting at your next meal.
Get the tutorial at Vegetable Fruit Carving.
Perfect for Father's Day or Dad's birthday, this fold will be ready in just a few steps.
Get the tutorial at Clever Parties.
Roses are red, your napkins are too. This napkin design is perfect for you!
Pie Crust For The French Apple Pie
Make the pie crust first. This recipe needs to be refrigerated for at least an hour. Make it the day before if you like. This makes enough for two pies or one double-crust pie. You could half it for this recipe.
- 2 – 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. of salt
- 1 tsp. of sugar
- 1 cup of unsalted butter, (2 sticks – cold and cut into pieces)
- 1/4 cup of ice water, (more, if needed)
Measure the flour, sugar, and salt into the food processor bowl. Pulse a couple of times to combine the two. Then, cut the butter into pieces and add to the mixture. Pour the water into the feed tube and process until the mixture comes together and the dough almost cleans the side of the bowl. If needed, add more water a tablespoon at a time.
Don’t process for more than 30 seconds!
Divide the dough in half and place each half on a piece of plastic wrap. Shape the dough into a ball. Then, fold the plastic wrap over the dough, flatten, and shape into a disc. Refrigerate these for at least one hour. This can also be made the day before the pie is made.
Step 1 &ndash Gather together all 7 pipe cleaners needed to make one pipe cleaner rose.
Step 2 &ndash Twist the 6 (same colors) together in the center.
Step 3 &ndash Wrap it around the finger that you want it for, then slide it off.
Step 4 &ndash Open them up like spider legs.
Step 5 &ndash Give each end a little bend and squeeze it tight.
Step 6 &ndash Roll each one in like a snail, pulling in tight as you go.
Step 7 &ndash Once they are all rolled in make then look more rose like by moving them around.
Step 8 &ndash Twist the green around and roll in to look like petals.
Easy enough?! These would be a great activity to do with the kids. Perfect for Valentine&rsquos Day too!
Pour rosé into a 13x9" pan and freeze until almost solid (it won't completely solidify due to the alcohol), at least 6 hours.
Meanwhile, bring sugar and ½ cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan cook, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Add strawberries, remove from heat, and let sit 30 minutes to infuse syrup with strawberry flavor. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl (do not press on solids) cover and chill until cold, about 30 minutes.
Scrape rosé into a blender. Add lemon juice, 3½ ounces strawberry syrup, and 1 cup crushed ice and purée until smooth. Transfer blender jar to freezer and freeze until frosé is thickened (aim for milkshake consistency), 25–35 minutes.
Blend again until frosé is slushy. Divide among glasses.
Do Ahead: Rosé can be frozen 1 week ahead.
How would you rate Frosé (Frozen Rosé)?
What a super-fun, tasty summer recipe. Comes together in a snap. I had only raspberries, which seemed to work just as well as strawberries. Perfect for that midweek backyard hangout with friends. And yes I now you know you Can totally stick your Vitamix blender pitcher in the freezer.
I love this recipe and have shared it with multiple friends. I'm not always one to veer from the process, but I add some of the strawberries during the blending. This provides a more rich color. and it just makes sense.
Recipes you want to make. Cooking advice that works. Restaurant recommendations you trust.
Make the Leaves
- Pull the outer layer and reverse it around the rose, a bit like when you reverse an inside-out sock.
- The leftover "leaf" can be twisted and then pulled up around the rose in the same way as the other one.
- Alternatively, you can pull the second "leaf" in the same direction as the first without twisting, giving it a double-leaf on one side of the rose. This may be a better option for floppier or thinner types of fabric.
As with all origami, practice makes perfect. The first couple of times you make your origami napkin rose, it may not look that good. Simply unfold it and give it another go. Experiment with the tightness of the folding sometimes a looser wrap works better.
The material list is for reference - you can basically use anything you desire. For this purpose, I will just go through the basics and you can pick your own products and follow the steps.
- Elastic Cord
- Nail/Super Glue (fingernail glue that brushes on works great)
- Beads (your choice) - Use your imagination - don&apost be afraid of color!
- Measuring tape
How To Make Homemade Sugar Scrub Bars
Cut your melt & pour soap base into small cubes, then measure out a heaping 1/2 cup. Put the soap base cubes into a microwave-safe glass measuring cup and set aside.
Pour the vegetable glycerin into a ramekin. Add the mica, if using, and stir well with a bamboo skewer. (The amount of mica you’ll use will vary based on how vibrant you want the color to be. Start with 1/2 teaspoon and add more if necessary.)
Microwave the soap base in 10-second increments, stirring regularly with a bamboo skewer, until it is fully melted. Add the coconut oil to the melted soap base and stir until well incorporated. Then add the sugar to the oil and soap mixture and stir again.
Finally, add the glycerin mixture and essential oils and stir once more. At this point, your mixture should have a slushy consistency. (If it has started firming up, just microwave it for another 10 seconds or so.)
Pour the slushy mixture into the cavities of your silicone mold and set it aside. Allow the bars to solidify completely before removing them from the mold, which could take anywhere from one hour to overnight depending on your climate and humidity.