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Table Topper: In a Nutshell

At your Thanksgiving table, celebrate the bounty of the season -- right down to the place cards. To create these walnut name labels, cut slips of paper into flags (about 1 1/2 inches by 1/2 inch each). Write names on the paper using a fine-tipped felt or metallic-paint pen. Open shells slightly with a nutcracker, and insert flags.

Comments (5)

  • 5 Dec, 2013

    I tapped around the seams with a hammer until I got a small crack. Only one walnut opened exactly at the seam, the rest cracked slightly on the sides and was good enough to hold the place cards. And the walnuts stand up easily on their own!

  • 19 Nov, 2012

    I too attempted to open the walnut with a nutcracker, then I read Jane's review and decided to try something different. I wedged the walnut in an cup (you could use anything that a walnut could be stabilized in), then I took a small paring knife (probably not good for the knife, but oh well!), placed it on the seam at the top of the walnut (you have to play around with the position sometimes) and gently tapped with a small hammer until the seam opened up.

  • 17 Nov, 2012

    It's worse than that, the walnuts dont open "slightly' with a nutcracker--instead they are smashed to smithereens! This has been tried with numerous walnuts, not a couple, so I know of what I speak. Maybe you can find riper older weaker walnuts somewhere like a walnut grove that will open. The storebought ones are rock hard and closed shut. I am going to try a small saw tomorrow.

  • 17 Nov, 2012

    It's worse than that, the walnuts dont open "slightly' with a nutcracker--instead they are smashed to smithereens! This has been tried with numerous walnuts, not a couple, so I know of what I speak. Maybe you can find riper older weaker walnuts somewhere like a walnut grove that will open. The storebought ones are rock hard and closed shut. I am going to try a small saw tomorrow.

  • 5 Nov, 2012

    How do you make the nuts stand up?