The easiest thing you're making this Thanksgiving

And, no, it's not just opening the cranberry sauce

By Amanda Sims

Published November 20, 2021 4:29PM (EST)

 (Bobbi Lin / Food52)
(Bobbi Lin / Food52)

This story first appeared on Food52, an online community that gives you everything you need for a happier kitchen and home – that means tested recipes, a shop full of beautiful products, a cooking hotline, and everything in between!

Hosting Thanksgiving can certainly be stressful, especially if you're planning to cook the bulk of the meal. There's turkey to plan for (like, how many pounds of turkey is appropriate for each person?), sides to make, and, lest we forget, a table to set. For the Home52 team, setting the table is at least half the fun. There are lots of options for crafting a masterful centerpiece, putting out your very best in dishes and breaking out the cloth napkins, and setting the vibe for when your guests arrive. 

Good news, though. The centerpieces or table settings do not need to be extravagant. On the contrary, you'll find that once every place is set with flatware, plates, glasses and napkins, they only need the smallest touch to make them feel pulled together. 

This quick, easy, customizable idea came from Yasmina Jacobs at Eat Make Celebrate, who says to make a napkin ring using a rosemary sprig. Sure, we may have thought to tuck a rosemary sprig into an existing napkin ring, but why not take it a step further and make the napkin ring itself from the herb? 

The idea is so simple, and so perfect for the season, we even experimented with a host of other herbs, to great success. All you need is some fresh herbs and some flower wire (and napkins, of course). Here's how to make them:

1. Source your herbs

Look for the longest, freshest sprigs of herbs you can find — rosemary is an obvious contender, but smaller, leafier herbs like sage, thyme, and oregano will do too. If they're a little dry, Yasmina suggests soaking in warm water for 1 to 2 hours to make them more pliable; dry thoroughly before beginning. 

2. Link herbs together with wire 

diy napkin rings
Photo by Bobbi Lin.

Starting with a single spring and a length of wire, bind the herbs into a long strand by wrapping the wire around each sprig as you lay it on top of the one before it, working down. When you've gone a few inches, you should have enough to wrap around the napkins. 

3. Wrap in a ring around napkins

Wrap the herb strand around the middle of the napkins with the wire, securing it wherever the wire ends to hold. Experiment with other herbs, and use a variety!

Looking for more DIY napkin ring ideas? We've got a couple more up our sleeves, thanks to arguably the best place in the world… Pinterest.


Photo by Mikyla Creates.

How cute are these wooden bead napkin rings? Mikyla Creates made these adorable tasseled rings with just some yarn, beads, and a pair of scissors. Easy! 


Photo by The Merrythought.

If you've been wanting to try your hand with oven bake clay, these twisted napkin rings are the perfect first foray. The MerryThought made these guys by rolling out two pieces of clay, twisting them together, and pinching them into a ring. Once baked, they make the perfect addition to a handmade table. 


Photo by A Box of Twine.

Got some leather scraps hanging around (a belt or shoelaces count!)? This sweet and simple DIY from Susan at A Box of Twine combines two tones and widths of leather to make a tied napkin ring.

Oh, and if you're not interested in making any napkin rings to go along with the napkins, maybe try your hand at some fancy folding skills


Amanda Sims

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