I got a little ahead of myself and twittered and facebooked about five crafts but I hadn’t gotten to this one yet. So HERE is the fifth craft: These are happy little challah bread napkin rings made from recycled plastic trash bags! They don’t exactly look like Challah Bread but they are braided and a whole lot prettier than the plastic bag they came from.
As everyone knows plastic bags blow. However! They are actually quite wonderful as a crafting medium. You can make all sorts of things with them: rope, crocheted into a bag, fused together as fabric…the possibilities are amazing.
Here’s how I made napkin rings:
First you’ll need the tan colored ones. These are not as common as they used to be. In my town everyone has switched to white for some reason. But check around, they still exist in MASSIVE quantities, probably in your own garage, pantry or under-the-sink hidey hole.
Next smooth out your bag of any creases and cut it into three strips. Don’t worry about the handle portions being longer. You’ll trim the excess off later.
Next you’ll need to “fuse” the ends together so you can start your braid. To do this you will need a hot iron and some tinfoil. Fold your tinfoil over a couple times so that there will be two sheets between your iron and the plastic bag strips. Now, very carefully, hold the iron down on the tinfoil in 15-second increments until it fuses. (Be careful not to touch the plastic with your iron or you’ll have a messy clean-up job later.)
Now it’s time to braid!
Braid about six or seven inches and stop. Give yourself about a half inch of unbraided ends and then trim the excess off with scissors.
Wrap your braid into a circle big enough for a cloth napkin to slip through and then carefully insert your tinfoil and iron onto the loose ends using your tinfoil. You might need to fold the tinfoil into a triangle to fit it inside the napkin right. Repeat the ironing technique used above and fuse your ring together.
Voila! You have a fancy napkin ring and you saved the landfills from one more plastic trash bag! Isn’t that a great way to start off the new year? L’Shanah Tovah!