Judging from the feedback we’re receiving about our festive table settings and tips from The Life Creative’s Chris Carroll, there are many readers out there who seriously love this time of year. So in the spirit of sharing and giving, here’s another festive-themed titbit for you.

A simple way of dressing up your festive table is to do something nifty with your napkins. It’s dead easy and will impress the pearls off your mother-in-law.

Now, we’re talking linen napkins here; keep the everyday single-ply paper ones for mopping up spills on the kids’ table. You can pick up inexpensive napery at most department or homewares stores.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to recreating the festive napkins from our Scandinavian table setting.

What you’ll need:

  • Linen or thick cotton napkins (x number of guests at your table)
  • Small festive ornaments with twine or ribbon (these little ceramic stars are from Adairs)
  • Springs of rosemary (remember it’s nice to ask permission before you start pruning your neighbour’s rosemary bush)
  • Spare twine or ribbon (optional)

Step 1

Fold your napkin into a square then roll it up diagonally.

Scandinavian napkin: Step 1

Step 2

Thread your rolled napkin through the loop of an ornament. Make sure it’s loose enough for the rosemary to slide through; otherwise, use your own twine/ribbon to tie a bigger loop.

Scandinavian napkin: Step 2

Step 3

Arrange your ornament to lay flat on top of the napkin.

Scandinavian napkin: Step 3

Step 4

Slide a sprig of rosemary between the napkin and the ornament.

Scandinavian napkin: Step 4

Step 5

If it looks a bit sparse or if you really love the scent of rosemary, add another spring. Brush away any bits of rosemary that may have broken off.

Scandinavian napkin: Step 5

Step 6

Stand back and admire your Christmas table setting. How easy was that?

Scandinavian napkin: Step 6

NB: If ornaments aren’t your thing or you need to make sure Aunty Marg doesn’t end up sitting next to Uncle Simon, create some simple name tags instead. Cardboard, scissors, a hole-punch, felt-tip pen and some twine is all it takes. (It helps if you have nice hand-writing.)

Napkins with name tags for your Christmas table setting