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December 10, 2011

How to Make Your Own Napkin Holders and Place Cards Like a Pro

Eduardo Xol place setting tutorial step 1

Completed handmade place settings by Eduardo Xol

Want to add color and whimsy to your table settings? Let me, designer Eduardo Xol, give you expert advice on creating unique and artful table setting elements that will delight your guests.

This is a wonderful and easy way to design napkin holders and place settings with names. Here are all of the elements and the easy steps to do it yourself.

Napkin Holder Elements

  • Cloth napkins
  • Decorative ribbon
  • Long necklaces or strings of beads, etc.
  • A decorative insert that defines your theme

5  Easy Steps

Step 1: Fold your napkin diagonally to form a triangle, then fold the triangle sides upward to form a square.

Eduardo Xol napkin holder tutorial step 1

Step 2: Wrap your decorative ribbon around the folded napkin and tie a bow so that the open ends are at the top

Step 3: Tie your necklace over and around the ribbon and napkin and secure it by tying it like a bow as well.

Eduardo Xol napkin holder tutorial step 2

Step 4: Tuck your decorative element inside the opening of the napkin.

Eduardo Xol napkin holder tutorial step 3

Step 5: Cut the loose ends of the ribbon for a clean look!

Eduardo Xol napkin holder tutorial step 4

Eduardo Xol napkin holder tutorial step 5

Place Setting Elements

  • Decorative paper
  • Arts and crafts glue
  • Decorative “theme” element
  • Decal lettering or marking pen
  • Decorative stickers

5 Easy Steps

Step 1: Cut decorative paper into 4-inch-by-4-inch squares.

Eduardo Xol place setting tutorial step 2

Step 2: Fold the paper almost in half so that one half is a little bit longer than the other.

Step 3: Glue the decorative “theme” element on top of the fold with the shorter side of the paper facing you.

Eduardo Xol place setting tutorial step 3

Step 4: Apply lettering or use a marker to write the names.

Eduardo Xol place setting tutorial step 4

Step 5: Add stickers where desired.

Eduardo Xol place setting tutorial step 5

Eduardo Xol place setting tutorial step 6

For more table setting ideas, check out my book “Extreme Entertaining Made Simple.” Meanwhile, I’m curious: What are some of your favorite table settings that you’ve had success with? Let me know in the comments area below.

For more tips on how to be a better party planner, follow me on Twitter or my Facebook page.



About the Author

Eduardo Xol
Eduardo Xol
Eduardo Xol, a design and a lifestyle expert, brings his wealth of diverse experiences to Magazines.com this
 fall as a featured contributor. Previously a Spanish telenovela actor 
and a star designer on the two-time Emmy-winning 
television program “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” Eduardo has been an 
international TV personality for more than two decades. He is an award-winning author of two books,
“Home Sense” and “Extreme Entertaining Made Simple,” and has contributed to People en Espanol magazine, AOL and The Huffington Post. At Eduardo Xol, Inc., he currently develops projects ranging from design, television and music 
production to technology and branding.




  • Jcook814

    Great ideas thanks for sharing. Another easy name card holder for the holidays is two candy canes glued together with hooks facing up, which hold the name card.

  • Max

    That was me, Max Tucci designing those for the chapter “The Classic Dinner Party”
    Eduardo visited my Villa in Florence, Italy and asked me to be a part
    of his book. I gladly said yes and designed my heart out. The house
    we used, was my dear friend actress Eva La tue’s home in California.