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Kid Craft: Thanksgiving Napkins

Kid Craft: Thanksgiving Napkins

This craft may be a little more expensive than some of the crafts we have done. However, the result will provide an heirloom product that you will use forever (at least my parents used this type of product until I left their home for my own.) Also, you can easily use the idea for other holidays – including Christmas – if you choose. 

This does require a practice piece, and the time to make it. Be sure to plan for that. Use material of a similar weight to the napkins you will be using. 

Plan ahead for this craft and look for the supplies you will need. They are readily available, but not necessarily in one place. I made a special trip to the craft department in Walmart to check on the availability of all the supplies for this activity. In addition to the fabric paints which I mention, there were also fabric paint markers and pens which might be easier for many children to use. I also found plain white bandanas, which would be quite usable as napkins. If you can’t find exactly what you need, look around the fabric and housewares departments for substitutions. Your extra effort will be well worth it. The other place that you might want to look is an arts and crafts store, such as Hobby Lobby.


– Cloth napkins – enough for all of your expected guests, plus some extras

– Fabric paint (This will not be washable – as in correctable – so it is important that you encourage your children to work very carefully. The paint is washable after it has dried, just not while wet, to correct mistakes.) 

– Stencils or fall patterns (dried leaves would also be a possibility) 

– Coverings for clothes and work surfaces


1. If so directed, launder the napkins to remove “sizing” and iron them accordingly. 

2. Cover clothes with paint smocks and work surfaces with newspaper or some other protective material. 

3. This is the time to make that practice piece mentioned. Every child should do one so he or she has a chance to use the paints. Follow all steps below, even allowing the article to dry and laundering it so there are no surprises, since this is probably a new technique. 

4. With fabric pencil, very lightly outline one stencil on each napkin. These look best in a corner. 

5. Paint the pictures with fabric paints, outlining them if it will enhance the picture. Use one of the markers (or even a fabric paint pen might be best for the outlining). 

6. The last of the painting steps is to initial and date (year) the work. This step is especially important when you have more than one child. The dating step is important for the heirloom aspect. NOTE: If your child is not a very good writer, you will want to help with the signing and dating. 

7. Launder, iron and fold. 

8. Give as gifts or use on your Thanksgiving table!

About The Author

Sherryl LaPointe

Sherryl LaPointe, a retired teacher and children’s minister, lives with her husband, Harris, and dog, Muffin, in Gulfport. They enjoy frequent visits from their daughter, Linette. Sherryl enjoys pursuing many hobbies including crafts, art and writing.

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