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Ode to Martha Stewart

jatman | Posted in Photo Gallery on

As a continuation from another discussion regarding what we all have been working on recently – I’m posting my directions for the holiday napkin holders.  These were made from a photo in Martha Stewart’s book entitled Parties and Projects for the Holidays Volume 4 pages 84 through 86.


I used polyester ribbon that was 4 centimeters wide for the flowers and leaves.  If you use wider ribbon you can have less petals on the flower and it will still look full.  The wrapping on the back of the ring is done with 1 centimeter wide ribbon.  The rings I used were 4 ½ centimeters in diameter.

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  1. Cut at an angle at each end (match the angles so there is symmetry).  Angles should be in the same direction – / on one end and / on the other.   
  2. Each petal of the poinsettia should be about 15 centimeters long.  I had 4 ribbons per flower and then another one or two petals in a contrasting color thrown in for appearance.
  3. After cutting all ribbon and before putting it together, pass it quickly over a flame to sear the edges to prevent fraying.  Test one first over the sink – polyester should melt, silk will probably burn.  One pass quickly over the flame does it – you can feel where it has melted just a tiny bit after doing it.
  4. Make sure all of your points are going in the same direction for all petals and all flowers (you can accidentally sew them upside down – I did!). 
  5. Crimp each one in the center and put a couple of stitches in there by hand.   In some cases I put two different colors together and sewed them as one.
  6. Place all of the petals together to make a full flower and put a couple of hand stitches through all of them to hold them together.
  7. Embellish the centers with beads – this will cover any of your hand stitches and give it extra strength by sewing through all the layers.
  8. I cut all of the leaves differently depending on how the flower looked best.  Some have one strip folded, some have two in contrasting greens put together.  All were about 20-21 centimeters long with a v-cut.  I folded each end in half of the width and cut a single angle creating the v when I unfolded the ribbon.
  9. I took about 25 centimeters of the thinner ribbon and sewed it on the back of the leaves with my machine, just about 2 centimeters long in the center.
  10. Hand sew the leaf part to the flower part hiding your stitches in the petals.
  11. I then took about 45 centimeters of the thinner ribbon and wrapped it around the metal ring.  This was probably the most time consuming part since it kept slipping off.  Once the ribbon is wrapped around so you can no longer see the ring tie the ends together tightly and trim close to the tie.  Sear the edges.
  12. Take the thin piece that is sewn to the back of each flower and tie it tightly to the covered napkin ring at the place where the two ribbons are tied together and you’re done!

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None of mine matched because I sort of liked the eclectic look of them that way but you could certainly make them all the same.  Have fun!!

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<!—->JT <!—->

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  1. jatman | | #1

    I've posted my directions for the holiday napkin holders in the photo gallery!  Thank you for asking for them!


    1. kayrosie | | #3

      If you posted the pic. here I can't seem to get to them.  How can I.


      1. jatman | | #4

        Hi Kayrosie - the pictures should be under the first post in this topic.  If you right click on them you can then choose to open in a new window and they will be sized better for viewing. 

        Did this help?


        1. User avater
          blondie2sew | | #7

          Hi JTThese are wonderful!! Thanks for posting them!!Connie

          1. jatman | | #8

            Glad you like them!  Enjoy!




          2. jatman | | #9

            I'm getting ready to make my own set of these and decided to resurrect this thread in case anyone needed an easy gift to make for the holidays.  Have fun!


          3. Josefly | | #10

            I'm so glad to be reminded of these beautiful placemats. Thanks. Do you intend to make each one different, as before, or all the same? What colors will you use for the flowers and background?

          4. jatman | | #12

            Hi Josefly!  I haven't really decided yet.  I'm probably going to go to the little place where I got the ribbon last year and see what they have available.  I liked the muted colors but I think a more traditional vibrant red with green might look nice, too.  I may also see if they have a stark white ribbon and maybe gold, too.  That could be an interesting combination.  Hopefully I'll actually get them done - since this set is for me there is nothing motivating me to actually finish them!


          5. Josefly | | #14

            Whoops, I forgot that they're napkin rings, not placemats. Sorry for the confusion. Placemats with this embellishment would be so difficult to care for - and the napkin rings will stay nice-looking with just a little care in storing, I would think. I want to try these, too.

          6. jatman | | #15

            Last year when I made these I found a small, hard-sided decorated box to put them in so my friend would have a way to store them without them getting smashed.  I also put a little card in there telling her if they needed ironing to use a cool iron since the polyester ribbon will melt on a hot iron.  Found that out the hard way...!


          7. Tangent | | #11

            A suggestion for wrapping the ribbon around the ring....  put a little strip of double-sided tape on the ring to hold one end of the ribbon so it can't slip, it makes the wrapping so much easier! The ribbon will completely hide the tape.

            These look great, I'm going to share this idea with a friend!

          8. jatman | | #13

            Hi Tangent!  What a great idea!  I never would have thought of that.  You're right - how much easier that will make wrapping the ribbon around.  I will put double sided tape on my list of things I need to get.  Thank you!


          9. Tangent | | #16

            "...on my list of things to get"   (double-sided tape) 

            You mean you don't already have a roll or two?  How do you manage without it?   ;-)

            That stuff is so handy for all sorts of things.

            Happy sewing!


          10. jatman | | #17

            First I have to figure out what it's called in Swedish!  Once I find it, I suspect it will become invaluable!


          11. Tangent | | #18

            maybe if you can describe it, the store clerk can find it for you.

  2. jatman | | #2

    I've posted my directions for the holiday napkin holders in the photo gallery.  Thank you for asking for them!


  3. Josefly | | #5

    Thank you for the thorough directions for the napkin holders. I'm going to try them with colors to match some Christmas placemats I'm making as a gift. Yours are beautiful.

    1. jatman | | #6

      That sounds like a nice gift.  Post some pictures when you're done?


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