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DIY: A Navajo-Inspired Table

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DIY: A Navajo-Inspired Table

Cristina Soriano

A table inspired by Alberto Pinto’s hand-painted Bahia dinnerware collection, highlighting the best of the fall season and incorporating bursts of color and whimsy. Very simple do-it-yourself napkin rings with an easy step by step process so that you can bring the spirit of the mid-west onto your next Autumn tabletop!

A beautiful tablescape at the lobby of 41 Madison

A beautiful tablescape at the lobby of 41 Madison

A few weeks ago I attended the NY Tabletop Market Week at 41 Madison, to explore the latest collections from some of the most innovative and beautiful names in dinnerware and entertaining. 

Exploring the twenty-seven floors of the building was pure creative stimulation –beautiful tablescapes, wonderful ideas and unique entertaining solutions all under one roof! What could be more motivational?! 

Alberto Pinto's beautiful Bahia collection

Alberto Pinto's beautiful Bahia collection

Out of the myriad of chargers, salad plates, pasta bowls, fish knives and champagne flutes, an intricately stunning hand painted collection caught my eye – Alberto Pinto’s Bahia Collection. I was immediately drawn to the whimsical array of feathers, the bursts of bright colors, and, of course, the delicate detailing.  

I thought to myself: What a different and spectacular way to celebrate the fall season, Thanksgiving and the bounty of our land, than a tabletop that incorporates elements of America’s true heritage: the Navajo Indians!  

Because I love any do-it-yourself entertaining challenge, I set myself a goal to bring the most iconic southwestern motifs to my next dinner party, creating emphasis on simple yet ornate napkin rings. Here is how I made them: 

Materials:

Wooden napkin rings

Twine, Abaca fiber or cotton thread (I used various colors of abaca thread)

Feathers (As a lover of color, I mixed natural feathers with dyed versions)

Beads, buttons, stones (I used some fools gold I’ve collected over the years)

Glue gun

Scissors

Step One: Glue one end of the thread to the inside of the napkin ring and tightly wrap the twine around the ring. I like using more natural fibers but cotton thread, similar to those you would use to make a friendship bracelet, work perfectly as well. You can have fun with this – keep it all one color or mix the colors creating a striped pattern. 

Step Two: Using the hot glue gun, adhere feathers to the napkin ring. Greatly inspired by the Alberto Pinto Bahia collection, I wanted to mix various feathers of different sizes and colors, placing them onto the ring at an angle. But, if you’re looking to do something more elegant and monochromatic, try using natural pheasant feathers have a stunning design and have subtle degrees of color. 

Step Three: Cover the base of the feathers with a some more twine, a button or a circular piece of cloth. I wrapped the same abaca thread around the bottom of the feathers – this conceals all the glue work and the boney quills which are not the most attractive to look at! 

Step Four: As the Bahia plate also resembles a bull’s eye, I placed a piece of fools gold (I have been collecting it for years- since my early days at ski school on the slopes of Colorado) on the center. If you don’t have fools gold lying around at home, use a bead, a shell, or a stone. Adding this accent gives the napkin rings a more complete finish and certainly elevates the design. 

And there you have it! 

Set your table with a mid-western geometric runner, some colorful fall blooms and your DIY feather napkin rings!  

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