Monday, August 18, 2014

A Napkin For All Occassions

Good news! This project is toddler friendly! 
(Well unless you're the Other Anna where toddlers and paint make you nervous)

Back in May (admittedly this post is a little late...ok alot late) I was scouring my brain for what to get my mom for Mother's Day from the kids. I want it to be personal but also something the boys get to participate in picking out or putting together. Then I came across a post on this blog and it inspired me to make my mom napkins. 

You see, growing up, we always had a set table for dinner. That meant the right utensils, napkins folded and put in their rightful place and of course that meant we had to use proper manners. She learned it from her mom who almost always used cloth napkins on holidays and special occasions. I'm sure my grandmother learned it from her mom and so on and so forth. 

Anyway, it's probably where I learned to love cloth napkins. I mean I should use them every day as many as I have and as much as I love them. Hmmm...note to self: contemplate using cloth napkins daily. 

So off I went to the store for supplies. It was easy to find white cloth napkins but be sure you buy the ones that aren't super stain resistant because I'm not sure how the paint would adhere to them. Then it was a simple act of picking out paint fit for fabric (just read the label) and a few sponges. I bought the craft sponges that are circular and have a stick already attached. It's easier for toddlers. 

And off to the races we were...the boys absolutely loved this project. I gave them a plate of paint colors and a sponge for each color. All the had to do was dot the cloth. It was a hit. I'm talking Big. Huge. I have to go shopping now! ($1 for the person who can name that movie! - Jenny H. you don't count) 

I let them do two (we had 8 total) and I did the other six. I figured if mom had people over she could give the guests the less-toddler-ish napkins and they could eat from the ones the boys made. Although I have to say, their version was very cool and modern looking. I've thought about having them make me some from my old napkins. Nothing says "no there's no stains here" like a big blob of paint. 

There's turned out very cute I must admit and it took us very little time. 

I finished off the rest with a more precise smattering of polka dots. 

What I love about this project is that there are no limits. You really can tailor it to any occasion or color scheme.  Here are some variations you could try: 

  • Stripes (vertical, horizontal, chevron) - free hand it or use painters tape
  • Polka dots (like we did) for any season: orange, gold, black for Halloween; red and green for Christmas; garnet and black for USC football games (or any school colors) - how fun would they be for tailgating! 
  • Use a favorite stencil and make a pattern either all over or just in one corner (a fleur de lis or a bumble bee would be cute and universal)
  • Use a letter stencil and monogram it (like down in one corner would look super cute)
  • Free Hand Toddler - well that's what I'd call giving kids a paint brush and paint and let them go at it! Give them one color at a time and you might be surprised at how cute it turns out. Sort've like an early Van Gogh look. 
  • Play with color - I mentioned some in the polka dot idea but think even further like coordinating with your china or a baby shower theme or the colors in your house. 
Really the options are endless! And the best part, the kids can help. They were so proud to give them to Nana and she commented multiple times how much she loved them. 

It's a win in Schrallville! I think I may update some of my old napkins now. Nothing like writing a blog post to inspire you to do an art and craft with the kiddos. Daniel will be thrilled. Not. (he hates arts and crafts) 

And these are easy Christmas gifts too. 

Oh and the movie reference? Pretty Woman. C'mon people. Get with the program! It's a classic!

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