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Pearlescent Painted Napkins Tied Up with Stars

These easy-to-make ties -- satin cord trimmed with starlike dried sweetgum fruits -- are an elegant accompaniment to hemstitched napkins embellished with silver or lavender fabric paint. The "stars" are spray-painted white and attached to the cord's ends with a hot-glue gun.
Martha Stewart Living, November 2009

These easy-to-make ties -- satin cord trimmed with starlike dried sweetgum fruits -- are an elegant accompaniment to hemstitched napkins embellished with silver or lavender fabric paint. The "stars" are spray-painted white and attached to the cord's ends with a hot-glue gun.

Tools and Materials

Hemstitched napkins, made of cotton or linen

Fabric paint (one 2 1/4-ounce bottle covers about 3 napkins)

Small paintbrush

White spray paint, Design Master, available at crafts stores

Dried sweetgum fruits, from Dry Nature Designs

Metallic cord, (No. 9512), width S, color 3, from Shindo

Glue gun

Napkin How-To
1. Wash and dry napkins to remove sizing, which can cause paint to adhere poorly. 

2. Paint napkin edges using brush. Let dry completely, 2 to 3 hours. Flip napkins, and paint other side. 

3. Heat-set paint (ironing is the most common method) according to manufacturer's instructions.

Napkin Ties How-To
1. Lightly spray-paint sweetgum fruits; let dry. 

2. Cut cord into 12-inch lengths. Dab hot glue into openings of 2 sweetgum fruits, and insert end of a cord into each. Repeat to make additional ties. Let dry. 

3. Wrap cords around folded napkins.

Comments (6)

  • 25 Nov, 2013

    Another beautiful idea from Martha Stewart and her team. I want to save this for when I truly retire (have more time).

  • 23 Nov, 2013

    Never in a million years would I have thought to use those spikey thingies that run rampant in my community for an elegant napkin holder! This would be an awesome crafting experience with my children . I my passion is crafting! I even have my own etsy shop where I make custom pennant banners , check me out if your looking to add depth to your decor !! https://www.etsy.com/listing/170100821/custom-pennant-banner10-flag-ornament?

  • 23 Nov, 2012

    Hey, these look very elegant.

  • 22 Jan, 2011

    silver or lavender paint is what instr. says..........is that suppose to be PEARLized paint??

  • 22 Jan, 2011

    The napkins in the picture look like they have been dyed overall and then the pearlescent fabric paint added to just the borders. The directions don't say anything about dyeing the napkins first.

  • 5 Apr, 2010

    You can get the napkins for not too much at dharmatrading.com and a matching table runner too.