Creative Uses for Paper Napkins

If you’ve ever looked at a decorative paper napkin and thought, “Gosh, that design is so pretty that I’d like to decorate my house with it,” you’re not alone. A whole slew of DIY bloggers have found ingenious ways to decorate with paper napkins, and none of them are chintzy. On a recent trip to Crate & Barrel, I found packages of Marimekko print napkins on sale. Decoupaging the Marimekko print napkins onto home accessories, like a large mirror frame or vase, is a way to incorporate the designer patterns into my house, without breaking the bank. Many high end designers sell gorgeous paper napkins with their signature patterns printed on them. With some decoupage glue and a little creativity, these napkins could become distinctive interior accessories that make your design scheme pop.

Napkin decoupage mirror frame: Alyssa from the blog My Clever Nest upgraded a basic framed mirror by decoupaging decorative napkins onto the frame. It looks custom-made, and adds a burst of color and a hip design to her foyer. Deceptively luxe, the napkins she used were from Target! Great design is everywhere, if only you have the eye for it.

Use napkins to make cards: Spray adhesive, card stock, and pretty napkins (or funky hip napkins!) are all you need to make custom greeting cards. If you are putting together a DIY wedding, or an extra special tablescape, this concept would also work well for place cards. See the blog Wonderfully Made for complete instructions for this project. You’ll never look at the greeting cards or place cards the same way!

Make clever snack bowls out of paper cocktail napkins: You don’t have to be great at origami to fold up some clever paper cocktail napkin snack bowls. These are perfect for the times when you’re doing some impromptu decorating, but you don’t want to deal with washing up bowls or cocktail plates. Sometimes napkin bowls are just enough for small snacks. Also, they’re whimsical and fun. Making folded napkin bowls is also a good way to occupy kids while you cook or clean up for company.

Paper napkin decoupage decorative eggs: Spring is about to…spring! A fun way to dress up decorative plastic eggs is to decoupage them with decorative napkins. Yes, you need to have an unlimited amount of time on your hands to even consider embarking on such a project, but who cares?! Maybe there will be a rainy Sunday that you can dedicate to crafting, or maybe you could brighten an old person’s day by bringing decoupage egg supplies to your local nursing home and leading a craft activity with the residents (we appreciate community service at Networx). Have fun crafting, and enjoying your new spring decorative accents.

Paper napkin roses: Are roses always red? Definitely not when you craft them out of paper napkins! While it would be costly to supply each diner with a real rose at his or her place setting, paper napkin roses look just as nice, for a fraction of the cost. Instructions for folding the paper roses from paper napkins are on the blog Busy in Brooklyn. They’re easier to craft than they look! Paper roses are as big visual payoff, with a minimal financial commitment.

Chaya Kurtz writes about everything from electrical contractors in Cleveland to working with local plumbers for

15 Surprising Uses for Safety Pins

By Chaya Kurtz, Networx

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Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson2 years ago


Heidi Aubrey
Heidi Aubrey2 years ago

The paper napkin bowl direction were, well, none. I really was hoping for instructions, not a story about what his uncle did when he was a kid and how neat a trick it was.

Joanne S.
Jo S.2 years ago

Very clever useful ideas,thank you.

Miranda Parkinson

beautiful ideas!

Val M.
Val M.2 years ago


Les M.
Les M.2 years ago

i like the ideas but would never suggest buying paper napkins.

Laura Fulmer
Laura Fulmer2 years ago

Thank you, the napkin roses are a good idea.

Angie V.
Angie V.2 years ago

Wow awesome ideas

Latoya Brookins
Latoya Brookins2 years ago

This is really smart since you can get lots of different napkins everywhere for free (so many holiday and occassion paties) or find them for a cheap price.

jessica r.
jessica r.2 years ago

Don't usually use paper napkins but sometimes they are the best ideas; thanks.