Your mom was right: Little things mean a lot, especially if a wedding on a shoestring budget is your objective, but you want everything to look as though a high-price weddings planner in Miami ran the show. No apologies if you tend to be a stickler for detail; these easy projects require time to make them perfect and why would you want to do all of that work on your own? Stage a girl’s night get-together so friends can help you turn cloth squares in the fabric and color of your choice into works of art on a dining room table assembly line. A word of advice: serve wine and snacks after you’re finished crafting.
A rose by any other name would look as sweet. Lay one square wrong side up on the table and fold into a triangle. The folded edge will be the tips of your rose petals. Roll each cloth away from yourself until you produce a long, skinny roll that looks like a rope. Starting at either end, roll that rope into a tight circle and tuck the end of the rope into the flower’s underside. Secure with a straight pin if you wish. Place each rose into a baggie to retain the shape. When placing roses atop place settings at the reception dinner, add silk leaves and voila! You’ve planted a romantic garden.
2. Bow tie
These jazzy bow tie shapes can be made with two colors so they stand out atop plates at a reception dinner. To make them, fold each cloth in half lengthwise and in half again so it measures 18-inches long and 4-inches wide. Bring both ends of the rectangle together in the middle on the back side to wind up with a 9-inch by 4-inch shape. Use 2.5-inch wide cloth strips or ribbon to craft the middle knot, tucking ends into the back so they’re hidden. Place each bow tie on a dinner plate alone or add a silver-wrapped mint, faux gem or embellishment to the knot with a drop of fabric-friendly glue.
3. Spring roll
No Japanese chefs required if you love quirky ideas and want to serve reception dinner guests spring rolls made of napkins rather than edibles. Who doesn’t need two napkins at a festive wedding bash? Two colors of cloth are required for each roll. Fold the first (inner) cloth in half to measure 8.5-inches by 18-inches. Fold twice more to 3.5-inches by 18-inches. Tightly roll up and fasten with a rubber band. Repeat the folds using the second cloth, wrapping it tightly around the “filling.” Pin into place. Stick chopsticks into the middle of each for a fun touch.
4. Winter wheat
“Country weddings” come and go, but new themes suggesting rustic elegance emerge every day. Add to the look of your country theme by folding napkins so they emulate a wheat sack into which stalks of faux wheat and berries are placed. Homespun cloth works best. Fold each in half and then in fourths so your sack measures 4.5-inches by 9-inches. Turn down just the top flap and insert the wheat and berry bunches into the center so they peek out. Add a ribbon around the sack if you like more color.
5. Portrait of your love
Take a photo with your names and turn it into paper bands to embrace each napkin. Snap a “landscape” image of the couple posed in the center plus surrounding area. Your objective is producing photo bands measuring 2.5-inches high by 10-inches wide. Fold down each cloth to 9-inches by 4.5 inches and wrap the band so it centers the couple. You may have to trim the bands, but your effort will pay off. Secure the backs of each band with a spot of glue. Add a silk flower if you like, but these bands stand out at weddings all on their own.