Modern crafts: How to make napkins using old family photographs

By Kelly Wilkinson
Thursday, November 19, 2009

As much as I adore the happy din of the Thanksgiving table, I savor the moment before everyone sits down when the table is set, the candles are lit and the chairs are empty. The hush before the lovely mania erupts.

Every year, that moment feels like a homecoming. Because even if the time zone or recipes are different, the rituals are the same: cooking, drinking wine, setting a table for the ancient tradition of gathering family and friends.

Even if we can't get all those people in one place, we can still include them at the table with a set of homemade napkins featuring photos of beloved people and places. A bonus: Unlike other heirlooms, these can be tossed into the washing machine after the meal.

As with many craft projects, most of the work here is in the setup. For the napkins, this involves scanning, sizing and printing old photos, or even letters and handwritten recipes.

Indulge my nostalgia here: The time spent creating these napkins feels worthy of the occasion. Yes, there is a little fussing before the instant gratification of the image transfer, but the fuss means something. It's part of creating room at the table for lives and places that are dear to us.

You'll need

- Old photographs or favorite images

- Scanner

- Computer with photo-editing program (such as Photoshop)

- Ink-jet printer

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