The loops of this napkin ring riff on traditional compass braids

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plaited wheat napkin ring
JOHNNY MILLER

Make your napkin rings, then set the table (Boxwood Linen Belgian-Linen Dinner Napkin, in Pink Quartz, $29, boxwoodlinen.com; Astier de Villatte Simple Dinner Plate, $88, abchome.com; West Elm Blair Flatware, in Gold, starting from $40 for a 5-piece set, westelm.com; Il Buco Vita Pienza Tumbler, 10 oz., in Blush, $36, ilbuco.com) for a festive, beautiful Thanksgiving feast.

For more ideas, scroll through our entire collection of wheat décor ideas and Thanksgiving place settings.

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What you need

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How to do it

Part 1

Step 1

Trim wheat spikes (the long, hair-like pieces) off heads, if desired. Fill dish with warm water. Submerge about 10 wheat stalks for an hour, trimming ends a bit with scissors if they're too long to fit; the longer they soak, the more flexible and easier to work with they'll be. (You only need eight for each favor, but it's best to soak a few extra in case the head of a stalk breaks off as you work.)

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Step 2

Take four stalks out of water; lay flat and tie together with thread, right under heads. They should be tied tightly (to make the weaving easier), but not so much that you cut the heads off. Repeat with remaining stalks. (You should have two bunches of four individual stalks.)

Step 3

Secure one bunch by holding heads between your knees. Split the four stalks in different directions at right angles, like the hands of a compass. Cross stalks over each other, as shown in the illustrations above. Always cross "north" and "south" stalks together, then "east" and "west," maintaining compass shape and keeping braid still as you work; drip water onto stalks to keep them flexible, if needed. When you reach the end, secure with thread and trim excess stalks, leaving about 1/2 inch to ensure braid doesn't come undone

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Step 4

Repeat steps two and three to create second braid. Twist one braid into a loop, so head end is in front; tie the two ends together with thread, just above heads. Loop second braid through first, so head end is in front; tie all four ends together with thread just above heads. Place favor atop a folded napkin, and tie together with ribbon.

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