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Hold the Napkins


Breezy afternoons are ideal for lunching outdoors, but they can make a mess of stacked napkins. To create this windproof holder, use a hacksaw to cut a 3/8-inch-diameter aluminum pipe 1/4 inch shorter than the width of a galvanized tray (our tray measures 8 inches square). Dull the cut edges of the pipe by rubbing them with fine-grit sandpaper. Coat the tray and pipe with spray paint, and let dry overnight. Measure the tray's perimeter; cut a piece of elastic cord 2 inches shorter. Slip the cord through the pipe, and tie the ends together; conceal the knot inside pipe. Fill the tray with napkins, and fit the holder around the tray.

Martha Stewart Living, June 2006

Reviews (18)

  • 5 Jul, 2012

    It also works really well with a straw. I used a reusable straw because it was not able to bend.

  • 25 Jul, 2011

    you could also use the carboard tube of a clothes hanger and cut it to the given dimensions.

  • 2 Jul, 2009

    No pipe necessary--I created a ~4" flower motif out of felt and stitched a little channel to the back to run the elastic cord through--works great.

  • 1 Jul, 2009

    I have not tried to make this yet, but the directions seem pretty stratight forward just from the photos. Thanks for the great idea.

  • 30 Jun, 2009

    Could be a cake tin but with these directions it is not clear. Help.

  • 30 Jun, 2009

    Looks like a square cake tin, Directions not clear.

  • 30 Jun, 2009

    Looks like it might be a square cake tin but better directions would make the project easier.

  • 8 Jun, 2009

    where did you buy the tray? Or how did you make it?

  • 29 May, 2009

    yes where did you purchase the tray?

  • 28 May, 2009

    Where do you find the galvanized square?

  • 28 May, 2009

    Those ideas would be easier, but would they be heavy enough to hold down the napkins?

  • 26 May, 2009

    Love the idea ... will experiment with bamboo!

  • 25 May, 2009

    If only I had a hacksaw. I think the cardboard tubes that come on some wire coathangers from the drycleaner might work too and be easier to cut.

  • 25 May, 2009

    perfect use for an "old" 8" cake pan

  • 25 May, 2009

    I love the idea of using bamboo instead of pipe!

  • 25 May, 2009

    is this working?

  • 25 May, 2009

    You could also cut a piece of bamboo and use instead of a pipe. Easier to cut and it would give a feel of nature.

  • 6 Jun, 2008

    I love this idea for summer entertaining. I would also spray paint the pipe or wrap it in ribbon for an added touch. Maybe even attach via hot glue a flower, sea shell, or other decorative ornament.