Paper napkins make a good medium for craft activities. They are inexpensive and can be found in a variety of colours and patterns. Regular grocery stores carry paper napkins in their paper goods sections. For a more extensive selection of colours and patterns, look at party supply stores. Look for napkins that are square when unfolded and flat.
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Paper Napkin Origami
The ancient art of origami lends itself beautifully to paper napkin folding. Choose an origami pattern. Manipulate the paper according to the origami instructions. As with standard origami, you can make masterpieces with napkins of two different colours. Use napkins that are thick enough to hold the folds. Start with simple patterns and try paper napkins of different sizes.
Paper napkins can be folded to make flowers. One project makes a lotus flower by folding all four corners to the middle. Repeat this step two more times. Then flip the napkin over and do the same thing once again. By coaxing loose all flaps from underneath and bringing them to the top, the petals take form. You can use different colour napkin layers for special effects. Another flower made from paper napkins is the carnation. Several layers of paper napkin are stacked and folded together into accordion pleats. They are then tied in the middle and layers of napkin are pulled apart, forming a carnation.
Elegant Dinner Napkins
You may think that paper napkins can not be elegant, but wait until you see one artfully manipulated into a traditional fancy napkin fold. One striking fold creates a beautiful bird of paradise. Other folds include bishop's hats that sit upright on the plate, or simple folds that produce pockets for your silverware. Often a napkin folded with a cupped interior is used to hold a warm dinner roll.
Applique and Decoupage Projects
A pretty illustration on a napkin can be transferred to another object by means of applique and découpage techniques. You can decorate coffee cups, vases or any number of other objects this way. The layer of napkin with the design is peeled away from any backing layers and fastened to the object with a special découpage glue. Additional layers of this sealer make the applique permanent.
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